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On the Political State of Algiers, the
PRINTED FOR ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE AND CO. EDINBURGH,
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Jan. 27. Duke of Sussex born.
30. King Charles I. martyrdom. Feb. 2. Candlemas.
14. Old Candlemas.
24. Duke of Cambridge born.
We are much obliged by the hints lately received from different quarters, with a view to the Improvement of our Register. Our Military and Naval readers shall, in future, find these Insts regularly; they were only postponed from a wish to devote as much as possible of our Pages to matter altogether Original. We shall also attend to the wishes expressed in Letters from London, Edinburgh, and Fife, in regard to other Divisions of the same Department. But we have some reason to doubt if it will be in our power fully to comply with the desire of our London Correspondent, within the bounds to which the Tables he alludes to must necessarily be confined.
Edinburgh, January 20, 1818.
The Correspondents of the EDINBURGH MAGAZINE AND LITERARY MISCELLANY are respectfully requested to transmit their Communications for the Editors to ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE and COMPANY, Edinburgh, or LONGMAN and COMPANY, London, to whom also orders for the Work should be particularly addressed.
AFFAIRS OF SPANISH AMERICA.
THE Commotions by which Europe has been shaken for nearly the last thirty years, have excited such deep and universal interest, that, during these eventful times, the inhabitants of this agitated spot have neither had leisure nor inclination to inquire minutely into the affairs of other countries, their attention having been wholly absorbed by revolutions which more immediately affected their own happiness and peace. It has happened, however, by a singular coincidence, that, at the time when the revolutionary spirit appears to have spent its force in Europe, a similar spirit of resistance to established authority should have been kindled through out the Spanish provinces of America, and that the scene of commotion should thus have been in a manner only shifted from the Old to the New World. The changes which have taken place in the remote dependencies of Spain, will unquestionably be attended by the most important and beneficial consequences, destroying, as they must do, root and branch, that system of monopoly, which enthralled the industry of nations, and consigned to neglect the most precious resources of nature,
Chili in many parts abounds in the finest iron. But a law existed prohibiting any person from working it, because it interfered with the import of iron from the mother country. Upon the same principle, wine was prohibited from being made in Mexico.
and opening, on a liberal footing, these extensive countries to the commerce and manufactures of Europe. Contemplating the advantages which must. inevitably result from the independence of the Spanish colonies, the struggle in which they are now engaged appears to excite the most lively sympathy in this country, and since, by the re-establishment of peace in Europe, we have leisure for inquiry and speculation, there prevails a general desire for information regarding these extensive regions, now unhappily the scene of intestine commotions. For the purpose of gratifying this laudable spirit of curiosity, we shall briefly submit to our readers a geographical sketch of those colonies, with such notices of their principal towns, rivers, and most im¬ portant products, as will enable them to appreciate the different military statements which are, from time to time, circulated in the journals of the day, and from the positions of the hostile armies contending for the possession of the country, to form some rational conclusions as to the nature of the operations which they are carrying on. Such a digest of facts may, we hope, in every view, prove useful to our readers, by saving them the trouble of tedious researches for information, which, with all their labour, they may not at last be able to obtain.
The Spanish possessions in America occupy the vast tract of country comprised between 41° 43′ of S. Lat. and 37° 48' of N. Lat. and extend about 5000 miles from north to south. They lie partly in North and partly
6. The viceroyalty of Peru.
7. The viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres.
1. Mexico, or New Spain, generally designates that extensive country which is bounded to the N. and S. by the 38th and 10th parallels of N. Lat. which, on the E. and S.E. has the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, and on the W. is bounded by the Pacific Ocean. Among the Spanish colonies, Mexico occupies undoubtedly the first rank, both on account of its great population-the number of considerable cities which it contains its territorial wealth, and the enormous value of its metallic produce.
1. The kingdom of Mexico. 2. The kingdom of New Galicia. 3. The new kingdom of Leon. 4. The colony of Santander. 5. The province of Texas. 6. The province of Cohahuila. 7. The province of New Biscay. 8. The province of Sonora. 9. The province of New Mexico. 30. The Californias.
Before the introduction of the new administration of the country in 1776, Mexico, or New Spain, was divided in the following manner:
About one-half of this extensive country is situated within the tropics, while the other half lies within the temperate zone. It is well known, however, that the influence of geographical position on the climate of any country, is modified by another cause of equally powerful operation, namely, the height of the ground above the level of the sea, and that the continent of America is distinguished by its general and prodigious eleco rise in abrupt and mountainous Vation; nor does the land in Mexiridges. On the contrary, it has been estimated, that about three-fifths of the country is spread out in extensive plains of from 6000 to 8000 feet in height. In travelling into the interior, either from Acapulco, on the coast of the Pacific, or from Vera Cruz on the eastern shore, the land rises to its height gradually, and the whole country is laid out in vast and uniform plains, which, from their forming so perfect a level, have received the denominaThese plains tion of Table Land. rise to the height of 6000 and 8000 feet above the level of the surrounding seas, which is equal to some of the highest summits of the Alps, such as Mount Cenis, St Gothard, or the great St Bernard.
These ancient divisions are still frequently used in the country. At present, New Spain is divided into the following twelve intendencies and three provinces.
10. Valladolid, or Mechoacan.
13. Vera Cruz.
From this singular form of the ground, it happens, that the coasts alone possess a hot climate, adapted for the productions of the West Indies. The mean temperature of the plains which lie within the tropics, and which are not elevated above the level of the sea more than 984 feet, is about 77° of Fahrenheit, or about 16° above the mean heat of Naples. The climate of these tropical countries, more especially in the cities, is exceedingly fatal to Europeans, who are liable, on their first landing, to the terrible malady of the yellow-fever. The western declivity of the Cordillera of Mexico, and the shores of the South Sea from Acapulco, to the ports of Colima and San Blas, are among the hottest and most unhealthy places in the south. The port of Acapulco, more especially, is frequently fatal to visitors landing from Europe, or to merchants who descend from the cool and salubrious temperature of the Table Land, to breathe the hot and tainted atmosphere of the coast.
On the declivity of the Andes, at the height of from 4000 to 5000 feet,