Page:A Study of Mexico.djvu/23

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A STUDY OF MEXICO.




CHAPTER I.


Recent popular ignorance concerning Mexico—Reasons therefor—Experience of travel by Bayard Taylor in 1850—Mexico in 1878, according to the then American minister—Rejoinder of the Mexican Government—Present security and facilities for Mexican travel—Picturesque aspect of Mexico—Peons, or agricultural population—Social condition of the people—Mexican architecture and buildings.

Although geographically near, and having been in commercial relations with the rest of the world for over three hundred and fifty years, there is probably less known to-day about Mexico than of almost any other country claiming to be civilized; certainly not as much as concerning Egypt, Palestine, or the leading states of British India; and not any more than concerning the outlying provinces of Turkey, the states of Northern Africa, or the seaport districts of China and Japan. It is doubtful, furthermore, if as large a proportion as one in a thousand of the fairly educated men of the