A Study of Mexico
STUDY OF MEXICO
DAVID A. WELLS, LL.D., D.C.L
MEMBRE CORRESPONDANT DB L’INSTITUT DE FRANCE; CORRESPONDENTE
DELLA REALE ACCADEMIA DE’ LINCEI, ITALIA; HONORARY MEMBER
OF THE STATISTICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON, ETC.
REPRINTED, WITH ADDITIONS,
FROM THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
By D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.
All rights reserved.
|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||13|
|Popular fallacies concerning Mexico — Its geographical position and physical characteristics — Elevation of the Mexican Central Railroad — The valley of the city of Mexico — The City of Mexico and Vera Cruz Railroad — The Tierras Calientes — No navigable rivers in Mexico — Population — Character of the Aztec civilization — A development of the Stone Age — The romance of Prescott's History — The predecessors of the Aztecs — Counterparts of the mounds of the United States in Mexico — Possible explanation of their origin||38|
|Spanish colonial policy in Mexico — How Spain protected her home industries against colonial competition — Origin of the War of Independence — Portraits of the Spanish viceroys — The last auto-da-fe in Mexico — Portraits of distinguished Mexicans in the National Hall of Embassadors — Ingratitude of the republic — The American war of invasion and the spoliation of Mexico — Injustice of the war||62 |
|The French invasion of Mexico — Benito Juarez — Maximilian and his empire — Relation of the Church to the French invasion and the empire — Nationalization of the Mexican Church — Confiscation of its property — Momentous character and influence of this measure — Evidences of the perpetuation of the Aztec religion by the Mexican Indians — Foreign (Protestant) missions in Mexico||75|
|Divisions of the population of Mexico — The national language and its commercial drawbacks — Extreme ignorance and poverty of the masses — Tortillas and frijoles — Responsibility of the Church for the existing condition of the people — Educational efforts and awakening in Mexico — Government schools, secular and military — Government and social forces of Mexico — What constitutes public opinion in Mexico? — Character of the present Executive — Newspaper press of Mexico||92|
|Occupations of the people of Mexico — Drawbacks to the pursuits of agriculture — Land-titles in Mexico — Mining laws — Scant agricultural resources of Northern Mexico — Origin and original home of the cow-boy — Resources of the Tierras Calientes — Agriculture on the plateau of Mexico — Deficiency of roads and methods of transportation — Comparative agricultural production of the United States and Mexico||115|
|Manufacturing in Mexico — Restricted use of labor-saving machinery — Scarcity of fuel and water — Extent of Mexican handicrafts — Number of factories using power — Manufacture of pottery and leather — Restriction of employments for women — The pauper-labor argument as applied to Mexico — Rates of wages — Fallacy of abstract statements in respect to wages — Scarcity of labor in Mexico — Retail prices of commodities — The point of lowest wages in the United States — Analysis of a leading Mexican cotton-factory — Free trade and protection not matters of general interest in Mexico — Characteristics of the Mexican tariff system — Mines and mining — The United States, not Mexico, the great silver-producing country — Popular ideas about old Spanish mines without foundation||133 |
|Taxation in Mexico — Each State and town its own custom-houses — Practical illustrations of the effect of the system — Cost of importing a stove from St. Louis — Export taxes — Mexican taxation a relic of European mediævalism — The excise or internal tax system of Mexico — A continuation of the old alcavala tax of Spain — Effect of taxation upon general trade — The method of remedy most difficult — Parallel experience of other countries — Greatest obstacle to tax reform in Mexico||163|
|The Federal budget — Receipts and expenditures — Principal sources of national revenue — Foreign commerce — Coinage of the Mexican mints — Imports and exports — The United States the largest customer for Mexican products — Silver monometallism in Mexico — Its inconveniences and abandonment — Introduction of paper money — Sanitary conditions of Mexico — Terrible mortality of the cities of Mexico and Vera Cruz||188|
|Political relations, present and prospective, of the United States and Mexico — The border population — Their interests, opinions, and influence — The bearing of the Monroe doctrine — The United States no friends on the American Continent — Opinions of other nations in respect to the United States — Adverse sentiments in Mexico — Enlightened policy of the present Mexican Government — Religious toleration — Recent general progress — Claims of Mexico on the kindly sympathies of the United States — Public debt of Mexico — Interoceanic transit and traffic||207 |
|The American railroad system in Mexico — Its influence in promoting internal order and good government — Remarkable illustration of the influence of the railroad in developing domestic industry — The kerosene-lamp a germ of civilization — Commercial supremacy of the Germans in Mexico — Mexican credit system — Trade advantages on the part of the United States — Inaptitude of Americans for cultivating foreign trade — American products most in demand in Mexico — Weakness of argument in opposition to the ratification of a commercial treaty — Adverse action of Congress — Reasons offered by the Committee of Ways and Means — Interest of the Protestant Church of the United States in the treaty — Conclusion||228|