Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/555

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

All except a small fraction of the copper ore is obtained from the province of Huelva, in which lie the well-known mines of Tharsis and Rio Tinto (g.i».). The lead ore is obtained chiefly in Murcia and Jaen . The famous mines of Linares belong to the latter province. Argentiferous lead is chiefly produced in Almeria, which also pro- duces most of the silver ore of other kinds except argentiferous copper ore, which is entirely obtained from Ciudad Real. The still more celebrated mercury mines of Almaden (?.».), the richest in the world till the discovery of the Californian mines of New Almaden, belong to Ciudad Real, and this province, together with that of Oviedo, furnishes the whole of the Spanish production of this mineral. Spanish salt is partly marine, partly derived from brine-springs and partly from rock-salt, of which last there is an entire mountain at Cardona {q.v.) in Barcelona. Coal is chiefly obtained in Oviedo, Palencia and Cordova. TITe production is quite insignificant compared with the extent of the coal-bearing beds, which are estimated to cover an area of about 3500 sq.' m., of which nearly a third belongs to Oviedo. Among the less important Spanish minerals are manganese (chiefly in Ciudad Real), antimony, gold, cobalt, sodic sulphate, sulphate of barium (barytes), phosphorite (found in Caceres), alum, sulphur, kaolin, lignite, asphalt, besides a variety of building and ornamental stones. In 1905 the workmen employed on mines in Spain numbered 105,000, and the total value of the output was estimated at £7,734,805. By the law of the 6th of July 1859, a large number of important mines, including all the salt-works and rock-salt mines, were reserved as state property, but financial necessities compelled the government to surrender one mine after another, so that at present the state possesses only the mercury mines and some salt-works. Many of the mines have been granted to foreign (principally British) companies.

Manufactures. — The maritime provinces, being those most favour- ably situated for the import of coal, and, where necessary, of raw material, are the chief seats of Spanish manufactures. The principal manufacture is that of cotton. The exports of Spanish cotton goods were, until the close of the 19th century, hardly worth mentioning outside the colonial markets, which took an average of two millions sterling in the decade 1 888-1 898. This outlet is now almost closed, as the new masters of Cuba, Porto Rico and the Philippines no longer protect Spanish imports against European and American com- petitors. But this loss has been to a great extent compensated by the expansion of the home market for cotton, and the Spanish manufacturers are unable to meet the wants of the population, large quantities of cotton goods being imported every year. The cotton industry was long principally centred in Catalonia, and mainly in the province and town of Barcelona, famed also for their manu- factures of lace, woollen and linen goods. The northern provinces, especially Guipiizcoa and Biscay, Navarre and Oviedo, have followed in the wake of Catalonia for linen and cotton industries and for paper-mills. Flax-spinning is confined to Galicia. The silk industry, though inadequate to meet the home demands, is active in Valencia, Murcia and Seville. Metal industries, at first limited to the Basque Provinces, particularly around Bilbao, have spread to Asturias, Almeria, Galicia, near the great ore beds and in the vicinity of many coal mines. In the same Asturian districts the government has its foundries and factories for making arms at La Trubia and Oviedo, Toledo being only now famous for its blades and decorative work, while the foundries at Seville and Segovia are unimportant compared with those of Asturias. The manufacture of leather, another Spanish industry of old renown, is still extensively carried on in Catalonia and elsewhere, but the making of cordwain has long ceased to be a speciality of Cordova, from which it takes its name. Gloves are made in Seville and Madrid, shoes in the Balearic Isles, chiefly for Cuba and Porto Rico. The esparto is twisted into cords and ropes and the staple matting so common on the floors of Spanish houses of all classes, the estera. Soap, chocolate and cork manufactures are among the prosperous industries. The same may be said of charcoal, both for heating and mechanical purposes. The large furnaces for the distillation of mercury at Almaden were at one time heated solely with charcoal obtained from the Cistus ladaniferus. The making of porcelain is chiefly carried on at Seville. The war of tariffs between France and Spain after 1891 was an inducement for an extraordinary development in the making of brandy and liqueurs of every kind, of fruit preserves, potted meats, etc., in Navarre, the Basque Provinces, Catalonia, and even in Valladolid and Andalusia. Special mention must be made of the manufacture of tobacco, a royal monopoly, farmed out to a company, which increased the factories from seven to twelve and began by paying the treasury £3,400,000 annually.

The decade following the Spanish- American War (1898- 1908), which may be regarded as a period of industrial and commercial reconstruction, was marked by a very rapid increase in the use of electricity for lighting, traction and other purposes. Owing to the abundance of water-power to be obtained in the mountainous regions, these new undertakings proved very successful. Spain is, on the whole, a country whose production falls far short of her own requirements. With a protected home market, cheap power and cheap labour available, there is room for much industrial develop- ment. It is, however, noteworthy that Spanish capitalists are, as a class, though exclusive of the Catalans, unduly conservative. Hence the capital for the establishment of electrical industries was

almost exclusively subscribed in Germany, France, Belgium, Switzer- land and the United States, just as, in the 19th century, the railways and mining industries had been mainly financed by British investors, and the Valencian silk industry by French. Another feature of the period of reconstruction was the formation of numerous trusts or combinations of producing companies designed to take advantage of the high tariff, and to restrict competition, lower expenses and raise prices. The paper, sugar, salt petroleum and metallurgical industries were subjected to this process, but in no case was it possible to secure a complete monopoly.

Commerce. — Possessing varied resources and being favourably situated for commerce, Spain might be expected to take a leading place among the trading communities of Europe. This it did at one time hold, when the treasure acquired by the discovery of America and the conquest of Mexico and Peru was squandered in the purchase of various commodities from England, the Nether- lands and other countries. This period of outward prosperity, however, was also that in which the seeds of decline were planted. The expulsion of the Moors from Granada was contemporaneous with the discovery of the New World. Hundreds of thousands of Moors were driven out from the country on subsequent occasions, and in the act Spain lost the best of her agriculturists and handi- craftsmen. The Spaniards ot that day, excited by the hope of rapidly acquired wealth and the love of adventure, embarked upon a career of discovery, and agriculture and manufacturing industry fell into contempt. The loss of all her possessions on the American mainland in the early part of the 19th century dealt a severe blow to the foreign commerce of Spain, from which it only recovered about 1 850, when imports and exports began to increase. After the re- storation of the Bourbons in 1875, the first cabinet of Alphonso XII. 's reign stopped the operation of the tariff law of the Revolution and reverted to protection. In 1882 a Liberal cabinet revived the system of a gradual reduction of import duties to a fixed maxi- mum, and made commercial treaties with France and several other nations, which were followed by a treaty with Great Britain in 1886. The foreign commerce of Spain rapidly developed in the decade 1882-1892, Great Britain, France and the United States figuring at the head of the imports, Great Britain and France at the head of the exports. The exports of Spanish wines to France alone amounted to £12,000,000 annually. When France and other European nations abandoned free trade for protection towards 1890, a strong movement set in in Spain in favour of protection. In 1890 the Conservative cabinet of Senor Canovas raised the duties on agricultural products, in 189 1 it denounced all the treaties of com- merce that included most-favoured-nation treatment clauses, and in 1 892 a new tariff law established considerably higher duties than those of 1882 — in fact, duties ranging from 40% to 300%. The subsequent revision of the tariff, completed in 1906, involved no serious departure from the economic policy adopted in 1890.

The following table shows the value of Spanish imports and exports for a number of representative years after 1848:—







































The principal exports include metals and other minerals; wine, sugar, fruit and other alimentary substances, cotton and its manu- factures; animals and their products, including wool and hair; timber and wrought wood. The principal imports include grain, dried fish and other food-stuffs; livestock and animal products; machinery, vehicles and ships; stone, minerals, glass and pottery; drugs and chemical products; textiles and raw cotton. Great Britain, France, the United States, Germany and Portugal, named in the order of their importance, are the chief consumers of Spanish exports. The chief exporters to Spain (in the same order) are Great Britain, France, Cuba, Germany and Portugal. The foreign trade of the country is of course carried on mainly by sea, and of the land commerce by far the largest proportion is with or through France. The smallness of the trade with Portugal is partly due to the similarity of the chief products of the two countries.

Shipping and Navigation. — Spain has 21 seaboard provinces, with more than 120 ports of some importance. The merchant navy of Spain, far from decaying through the loss of her colonies in 1898, seems to have been given fresh impetus. Many English and French steamers have been purchased abroad and nationalized. In 1905 the mercantile marine comprised 449 steamships of 434,846 tons, and 541 sailing vessels of 85,583 tons. The sailing vessels are decreasing in numbers in the exterior trade, but not in the coasting