Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1335

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


979

SALVADOR.

(Republica del Salvador.)

Constitution and Government.

In 1853 the Central American Federation, which had comprised the States of Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Kica, was dissolved, and Salvador became an independent Republic. The Constitution, proclaimed in 1864, and modified in 1880, 1883, and 1886, vests the legislative power in a Congress of 70 Deputies, 42 of whom are proprietors. The election is for one year, and by universal suffrage. The executive is in the hands of a President, whose tenure of office is limited to four years.

President of the Republic. — General Rafael Antonio Gutierrez, March I, 1895 — 1899. In November, 1898, however, General Tomas Reglado made himself Dictator, demanding to be recognised as President.

The administrative affairs of the Republic are carried on, under the President, by a ministry of four members, having charge of the departments of : — The Exterior, Justice, Worship, and Instruction ; War and Marine ; Interior and Government ; Finance, Fomento, and Beneficence.

The three Republics of Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, by treaty ratified September 15, 1896, for the purposes of foreign affairs, constituted themselves as the Republica Major de Centro-America. But in November, 1898, it was announced that this confederation had collapsed.

The army numbers 4,000 men, and the militia 18,000. There is one custom-house cruiser.

Area and Population.

The area of the Republic is estimated at 7,225 English square miles, divided into 14 dex^artments. The population, according to a census of January 1, 1886, was 651,130 (318,329 males and 332,801 females), giving an average of 89 inhabitants to the square mile, being twenty times that of the average of the other States of Central America. An official estimate for the end of 1894 makes the population 803,534. Aboriginal and mixed races con- stitute the bulk of the population, among whom live about 20,000 whites or descendants of Europeans. The capital is San Salvador, with 25,000 inhabitants. The city in 1854 was overwhelmed by volcanic disturbances, and most of the inhabitants erected new dwellings on a neighbouring site, at present called Nueva San Salvador. The new capital suffered similarly in 1873, and again in 1879.

Instruction and Justice.

Education is free and obligatory. In 1S93 there were in Salvador 585 primary schools, with 29,427 pupils ; 18 higher schools (including 2 normal and 3 technical schools) with 1,200 pupils; and a national university with faculties of jurisprudence, medicine, natural sciences, and engineering, attended by 180 students.

In the capital is a national library and museum, and in the Republic 13 newspapers are published.

Justice is administered by the Supreme Court of Justice, by several sub- ordinate courts, and by local justices.