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own country the articles of which their colonies stood in Chap. need. Thus the traffic with those colonies, great as it VH" was, did little to enrich the country in general. It created 18U* colossal fortunes in the merchants of Cadiz and Corunna, of the Havanna or Buenos Ayres, but nothing more— like the railway traffic from London to Liverpool and Manchester, which does much for the wealth of these great towns a£ either end of the line, but comparatively little for the intermediate country along the sides of the communication between them. The causes of this peculiarity are to be found in the peculiarities of its physical circumstances, national character, and long-established policy, which have deprived old Spain of nearly all the advantages of her magnificent colonies, and afford the true, though hitherto unobserved, key to her long decline. 1. The first of these is to be found in the national cha
racter and temperament, the real source from which, want of inhere as everywhere else, more even than its physical thUStionai or political circumstances, its fortunes and destiny have ch"BCterflowed. The races whose mingled blood have formed the heterogeneous population of old Spain, have none of them, excepting the Moors, been remarkable for their industrial habits. Tenacious of custom, persevering in inclination, repugnant to change, the original inhabitants of the country, with whom the Legions maintained so long and doubtful a conflict, were, like all the other families of the Celtic race, formidable enemies, indomitable guerillas, but by no means either laborious husbandmen or industrious artisans. The Visigoths, who poured through the passes of the Pyrenees, and overspread the country to the Pillars of Hercules, added nothing to their industrious habits, but much to their warlike propensities: from them sprang Pelayo and the gallant defenders of the Asturian hills, but not either the cultivators of the fields or the manufacturers of the towns; from them sprang Pizarro and Cortes, and the conquerors of the New World, but neither a Penn or a Franklin, nor the hardy pioneers of civilisa
Chap. tion in its wastes. The Moors alone, who at one time UI' had nearly wrested all Spain from the Christians, and
1814- established themselves for a very long period on the banks of the Guadalquivir, were animated by the real spirit of industry, and great was the wealth and prosperity of their provinces to the south of the Sierra Morena. But religious bigotry tore up from the state this source of wealth; and the banishment, three hundred years ago, of nearly a million of its most industrious and orderly citizens, deprived Spain—as a similar measure, at a later period, did France—of the most useful and valuable portion of its inhabitants, and with them of the most important advantages she could have derived from her colonial settlements. 2. The physical circumstances and peculiarities of The ph'ysi- Spain, and the pursuits to which its inhabitants were for stances of the most part of necessity driven, were such as favoured voured*" nautical and commercial, as much as they obstructed mabu?n°o7c°' nufacturing pursuits. Placed midway between the Old manufac- and the New World, with one front washed by the waves
tures. m' J
of the Atlantic, and another by the ripple of the Mediterranean, with noble and defensible harbours forming the access to both, she enjoyed the greatest possible advantages for foreign commerce; and accordingly, even in the days of Solomon, the merchants of Tarshish rivalled those of Tyre in conducting the traffic of the then known world. But she had little natural advantages for interior traffic or manufactures. The mountainous nature of the greater part of the country rendered internal intercourse difficult; the entire want of roads, save the great chausse'es from Madrid to Bayonne, Cadiz, Barcelona, Badajos, and Valencia, made it impossible. What little traffic there was off these roads, was all carried on on the backs of mules. Having little or no coal, aud few of the forests which in France supply in some degree its want, she had none of the advantages for manufacturing industry which that invaluable mineral has furnished to northern Europe, enabling the inhabitants of Great Britain to reap the whole advantages of their own colonies, and Chap. great part of those of Spain, by supplying the former YIL directly, and the latter by the merchants of Cadiz and Co- 1814. runna, or the contraband trade in the West Indies, with the greater part of the manufactured articles which they required. Hence it was that the Spanish merchants sougbt the materials of their traffic in Belgium or Lancashire, and that the manufacturers of Flanders and England, not Spain, reaped the principal advantages arising from the growth of its colonial dominion.
3. If the physical circumstances of Spain were such as almost to preclude the possibility of manufacturing indus- Effect if try arising among its inhabitants, its history had still more continued clearly marked their character and occupations. Their ^'th, annals for five centuries are nothing but a continual con- Moorsflict with the Moors. These ruthless invaders, as formidable and devastating in war as they were industrious and orderly in peace, spread gradually from the rock of Gibraltar to the foot of the Pyrenees. They were at last expelled, but it was only after five hundred years of almost incessant combats. These combats were not, for a very long period, the battles of great armies against each other, but the ceaseless conflicts of small forces or guerilla bands, among whom success and defeat alternated, and to whom at length the predominance was given to Spain only by the perseverance and energy of the Spanish character. It was the wars of the Heptarchy or of the Anglo-Saxons with the Danes, continued, not till the reign of Alfred, but to that of Henry VII. Incalculable was the effect of this long-continued and absorbing hostility upon the bent and disposition of the Spanish mind. As much as eight centuries of unbroken peace, during which the southern counties of England have never seen the fires of an enemy's camp, have formed the English, have the five centuries of Moorish warfare stamped their impress on the Spanish character. Engrossing every thought, animating every desire, directing every passion in the coun
Chap try; uniting the fervour of the Crusader to the ardour YIL of chivalry, the glow of patriotism to the thirst for conl814* quest; penetrating every valley, ascending every mountain in the Peninsula, they have stamped a durable and indelible character on the Spanish nation. They made it a race of shepherds and warriors, but not of husbandmen and artisans. In the Cid we may discern the perfection of this character, when it was directed to the highest objects and refined by the most generous sentiments; in the indolent hidalgo, who spent his life in lounging under the arcades of Saragossa or in the coffee-houses of Madrid, the opposite extreme, when it had become debased by the inactivity and degraded by the selfishness of pacific life. 4. These circumstances would have rendered it a very impolitic difficult matter, if not an impossibility, for the manufackpain in turers of Spain, had any such sprung up, to have mammoney.'° tained their ground against those of northern Europe, even in the supply of their own colonies. But, in addition to this, there was a very curious and decisive circumstance, which must at once have proved fatal to the manufacturers of Spain, even if they had begun to arise. This was the possession of the mines of Mexico and Potosi by the Government, and the policy, in regard to the precious metals, pursued with determined perseverance by the cabinet of Madrid. This was the policy of favouring the importation and prohibiting the exportation of the precious metals, in the belief that it was the only way to keep their wealth to themselves. The effect of this policy is thus described by the father of political economy: "That degradation in the value of gold or silver, which is the effect of the increased fertility of the mines which produce those metals, or the discovery of new ones, operates equally, or nearly so, over the whole commercial world; but that which, being the effect either of the peculiar situation or political institutions of a particular country, takes place only in that country, is a matter of very great consequence, which, far from tending to make
anybody really richer, tends to make everybody really Chap.
poorer. The rise in the money-price of all commodities, !_
which is in this case peculiar to that country, tends to 18U" discourage, more or less, every sort of industry which is carried on within it, and to enable foreign nations, by furnishing almost all sorts of goods for a smaller quantity of silver than its workmen can afford to do, to undersell them not only in the foreign, but even in the home market. Spain by taxing, and Portugal by prohibiting, the exportation of gold and silver, load that exportation with the price of smuggling, and raise the value of those metals in those countries much above what it is in other countries. The cheapness of gold and silver, or, what is the same thing, the clearness of all commodities, discourages both the agriculture and manufactures of Spain and Portugal, and enables foreign nations to supply them with many sorts of rude, and with almost all sorts of manufactured produce, for a smaller quantity of gold and silver 1fw^e^.th than they themselves can either raise or make them forMv. c.b. at home."1
5. The religion which obtains a lasting place in a country is often to be regarded as an effect rather than a cause, important It is the consequence of a predisposition in the general Romish mind which leads to the embracing of doctrines or forms fa"hwhich fall in with its propensities. We are apt to say that the Scotch are energetic and persevering because they are Protestants, the Irish volatile and indolent because they are Roman Catholic; forgetting that the adoption of these different creeds by these different nations was with both a voluntary act, and that it bespoke rather than created the national character. Had the English been of the turn of mind of the Spaniards, they never would have become Protestants; had the Spaniards been of the English, they never would have remained Catholic. But admitting that it is in the distinctive character of Race that we are to look for the remote cause of the peculiar modification of faith which is to be