Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1199

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843 NICARAGUA.

(Kepublica de Nicaragua.) Constitution and Government.

The new Constitution of the Kepuljlic of Nicaragua was proclaimed on July 4, 1894. It vests the legislative power in a Congress of one House. The Legislature is elected by universal suffrage, the term being two years, and the numl)er of representatives 40. The executive power is with a President elected for four years.

President of the Republic. — General Santos Zelaya, for the term 1898- 1902.

The President exercises his functions through a council of responsible ministers, composed of the four departments of Foreign Affairs and Public Instmction ; Finance ; Interior, Justice, War, and Marine ; Public Works.

In 1896 Nicaragua, Salvador and Honduras were, for the purposes of foreign relations, constituted as the Greater Republic of Central America, but towards the end of 1898 the confederation collapsed.

The active army consists of 2,000 men, with a reserve of 10,000 men, and a militia or national guard of 5, 000.

Area and Population.

The area of the Republic is estimated at 49, 200 English square miles, and the population (1895) 380,000, or including uncivilised Indians 420,000, giving about 8 5 inhabitants ])er sij^uare mile. The great mass of the popu- lation consists of al)original 'Indians,' umlattoes, negroes, and mixed races, and the number of Europeans and their descendants is very small but on the increase. Their number is about 1, 200 ; while the number of foreigners who have settled in Nicaragua is (1892)371, possessing property valued at 4,205,160 dollars (Nicaraguan currency). Of these foreigners 88 are German, 69 Italian, 60 from United States, and 52 from Great Britain. There are 14 towns with from 2,000 to 30,000 inhabitants. The chief occupation of the inhabitants is the rearing of cattle and raising of coffee. The capital of the Republic and seat of government is the town of Managua, situated on the southern border of the great lake of the same name, with about 18,000 inhabitants, Leon has a population of 34,000, iiluefields in 1885 had 2,091 inhabitants, and San Juan del Norte 1,480.

On November 20, 1894, the so-called Mosquito Reserve was reincorporated with the territory of the Republic by free resolution of the Indians. The new ' Departamento ' is called Departamento de Zelaya. It brings the number of provinces of Nicaragua up to 13, and the area to 49,200 square miles.

For the delimitation of the boundary towards Costa Rica a commission has been appointed July 9, 1896, with an arbitrator to decide points of disagreement.

Instruction.

According to an official statement of 1894 there were 1,020 schools with 20,000 pupils. There are, besides, two higher schools for boys and one for girls. In 1895 an official report stated that in Granada and Leon (the most advanced of the towns), 30 per cent, of the children were enrolled, but only half of these learned any thing, while of the whole population of school age only about 3 per cent, learned the few things taught.

In 1897 a law was passed for the establishment of a national Industrial, Commercial, and scientific Museum at Managua.