Imatges de pÓgina
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These accounts are made to square exactly, because the revenue is given according to the estimates; but although it is stated that in some branches there was an excess and in others a deficit, the precise pecuniary result is nowhere brought out. Without clearing up this point, Ramirez Arcas observes that the proper equilibrium between revenue and expenditure deserves the attention of Spanish statesmen ; and he informs us that, from calculations he has made, founded on the increased charges for interest, he has ascertained that a large addition has been made to the public debt within the last ten years.

In Spain, the chief sources of the public revenue are direct taxes on property and industry; the customs ; duties on wine, meal, and oil; stamp duties on transferences of property and succession ; rents and produce of state properties ; and the surplus revenues remitted from the colonies after defraying their own expenses. Of all the imposts, the heaviest is the territorial tax, which yielded, in 1858, 4,166,6661. This is equivalent to 14 per cent. ou the annual value ; but to this must be added the local taxes, estimated at 54 per cent., making the whole burdens on property equal to 19) per cent., or nearly one-fifth of the free rental. The tax on industry and commerce seems to be partial in its operation, as it yielded, in 1858, only 708,3331. Salt, tobacco, and gunpowder are government monopolies. State lotteries are generally condemned as immoral by all enlightened statesmen, from the numerous frauds incident to all such schemes, and their inevitable tendency to foster a spirit of gambling among the body of the people. But this pernicious system still prevails in Spain, and yielded, in 1858, about two millions sterling—a sum very nearly equal to the whole revenue derived from the customs.

As to the expenditure, a large sum is entered in the budget under the comprehensive head of general state obligations, amounting, for the year 1858, to 525,981,647 reals, or 5,973,975l. A particular state of these obligations is given by Ramirez Arcas, showing that they include, among other items, 514,0621. as the charges of the royal family, and 3,236,0941. as the interest of the public debt. All the rest of the expenditure, not comprehended under general state obligations, is exhibited in the budget as the gross amount of the charges of each of the different departments into which the administration is divided; but we have no account of the particulars embraced under each of these heads.

So imperfect are the public accounts, that it is quite impossible to define the amount of the national debt of Spain. During the present reign it has undergone a great variety of transformations, under the unscrupulous auspices of the numerous ministers who have presided over the department of finance; but the apparent reductions made at different times in the amount, have chiefly arisen not from liquidation but from deliberate confiscation. In an official account, published in 1834, the public debt, foreign and domestic, was stated to be 89,600,0001. More recently, in the budget of January, 1851, the capital of the debt was represented to be 114,366,4691. With a great advance in the trade and revenue of the country since that date, it is very disheartening to be told, as we are by Ramirez Arcas, that the public debt has gone on increasing, and that it now amounts to about 14,000,000,000 reals, or 145,833,3337.

Of course, the sum entered in the budget of 1858 as the interest of the public debt, falls greatly short of the just amount due to the creditors of the state, and it constitutes a much smaller proportion of the general revenue than is applied to similar purposes by Britain, France, and other European nations which keep faith with their public creditors. In Spain, the principal stocks are divided by the financial authorities into three classes, the active, deferred, and passive. On the active debt, interest is paid at 3 per cent. ; the deferred debt, which represents a much larger capital, bears a small nominal rate of interest, with a promise to pay 3 per cent. in 1870; passive stock is a floating obligation without interest, which is left to be dealt with a ta future date, as it may suit the convenience of the state.

Army and Navy.In January, 1859, the standing army of Spain consisted of 75,000 men, with 4695 officers and 9147 horses. À provincial reserve of 42,173 men, with 1463 officers, is liable to be put under arms in the event of war or any great public commotion. Besides the regular troops, there are 12,000 carabiniers, who are employed in putting down the contraband trade, and a military police of 10,000 men called guardia civil, besides a small local corps of 500 men in Catalonia.

The army is recruited by volunteers, and, failing these, by the conseription, to which all young men from 20 to 22 are liable. None but Spaniards can be received as soldiers, and the length of service is 8 years. The Spanish troops are well disciplined, and very superior to what they were during the Peninsular war. There are military colleges in different cities of the kingdom for infantry, cavalry, artillery, and engineers. The infantry are a fine-looking body of men, armed with grooved muskets and long-range rifles.

Notwithstanding some recent attempts to improve it, the Spanish navy has fallen into a state of decay and insignificance : 2 sailing ships of the line, 8 frigates—whereof 4 are steamers-4 corvettes, 9 brigs, and & considerable number of small craft and gun-boats, making an aggregate of 78 vessels of all sizes, carrying 904 cannons, and representing a steam power of 9870 horses, are all that now remain of the once magnificent fleet of Spain. These figures include 2 steam frigates and 3 smaller steamers, which were in course of building at the date of the return.

Nor is the mercantile marine of Spain nearly equal to the position she ought to occupy, looking at her natural commercial advantages from the great extent of her coasts and her numerous and commodious harbours. The shipping of the Peninsula consists of 5175 vessels, carrying 349,753 tons ; and the colonies have 6777 vessels, carrying 149,802 tons. Arcas estimates the able-bodied seamen employed in these vessels to be 104,491; but of this number nearly 40,000 are assigned by him to the shipping of the Philippine Islands.

Church and Education-The established religion is the Roman Catholic, and no other is permitted in Spain. Formerly the wealth of the Church was immense ; but, by a law passed in the present reign, the whole estates belonging to the cathedrals were confiscated, and appointed to be applied in discharge of the national debt, and the clergy are henceforth to be supported by the nation. The monastic orders having been suppressed, there were, in 1858, 6632 excloistered ecclesiastics.

Prior to 1851 there were in Spain 8 archbishops, 50 suffragan bishops,

and 4 independent bishops, including two of the military orders. By the concordat with the Pope in 1851, this establishment was modified, so that there are now 9 archbishops, including Valladolid, recently raised to that rank, 46 suffragan bishops, and one prelate of the military orders. The Archbishop of Toledo is the primate of Spain. According to Mellado, the Patriarch of the Indies exercises independent jurisdiction, being accounted the special prelate of the royal family and of the army and navy.

Spain possesses 58 cathedral churches. The number of the cathedral clergy is 2201, and of the collegiate 460, making together 2661. To these must be added the parochial clergy and other ecclesiastics, forming an aggregate, according to Arcas, of about 43,000 ecclesiastics--that is, in the proportion of one clergyman for every 370 inhabitants.

Though the priests are sufficiently numerous, there is, unfortunately, a great scarcity of schoolmasters. Education is not generally diffused. Of late

years the number of primary schools has been increased, but no uniform system has been adopted, and in many places no provision has been made for the instruction of the lower classes. According to the estimate of Ramirez Arcas, there are in Spain 2,512,922 children of both sexes, between the ages of six and thirteen years, who are fit to go to school, while the number who do attend is only 1,004,974, so that there are 1,507,948 persons between the above ages who receive no instruction at all.

As to the higher branches of education, there are ten universities in different parts of Spain, including a central one in the capital; but these are in a very deplorable condition so far as regards the cultivation of literature and science. There are few students except those destined for the professions of law and medicine, as shown by the following table of the attendance at the different faculties in 1858: Law

3742 Medicine and pharmacy

2118 Theology

326 Philosophy, literature, and science

318

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Total students

6504 Only 318 votaries of literature, philosophy, and the sciences, out of a population of 16,000,000, in all the ten universities of Spain! Even theology is at a discount, most of the priests being educated abroad, either at the Propaganda or St. Sulpice. Only law and medicine furnish a respectable roll of professional students, and, if it were not for them, the universities might almost shut their doors for all the good they seem to do.

Agriculture and Commerce. — Spain is eminently an agricultural country. About two-thirds of the active population are engaged in cultivating the soil, attending to flocks and herds, and other agricultural pursuits. The most abundant cereal crops are wheat, maize, barley, and rice. The western portion of Old Castile and Leon, and Catalonia, produce the largest quantity of wheat. Rice is only cultivated on the coasts of the Mediterranean. Spanish wines and fruits are important articles of commerce, and large quantities are exported to Britain and other parts of the world. The pasture-lands are extensive, and support large flocks. In round numbers the horned cattle are estimated at 1,500,000, the

sheep at upwards of 16,000,000, the goats at 3,000,000, and the swine at more than 1,000,000. Mules and asses are much used as beasts of burden, being far more numerous than horses.

In a country so extensive as Spain there is a great diversity of climate and soil. Landed property is very much subdivided, and a large proportion of it is cultivated by the proprietors themselves, without the intervention of tenants. This subdivision of land is sometimes carried to an injurious extent, particularly in the four Galician provinces, where there are 152,900 proprietors, who pay only from 1 to 10 reals of territorial tax. Among the chief barriers to agricultural improvement are the want of good roads of communication, the imperfect means of transport for produce, and the rude and primitive implements of husbandry, to say nothing of the natural indolence of the people, which is aggravated by an immense waste of time and labour, in consequence of their custom of living clustered together in towns and villages, in place of being scattered over the face of the country in the immediate vicinity of the cultivated lands. Yet in the midst of much ignorance and prejudice, and stagnant and weary debasement, it is gratifying to perceive some indications of progress which encourage the hope of future regeneration. During the last ten years public tranquillity has not been disturbed by any revolutionary movement; an improved steam-packet service in the Mediterranean and on the west coast has opened up rapid communication with France and Britain; the electric telegraph has been established over a great part of the country, extending into the interior even as far as Burgos ; and the railroads, though still few in number and of limited extent, have worked wonders in rebuking the indolence and rousing the torpid genius of the people.

The principal railway now open in Spain is that from Madrid to Alicante, a distance of 282 miles: and this line, which traverses Don Quixote's far-famed territory of La Mancha, is of great importance, by opening up a direct communication between the capital of the kingdom and the Mediterranean. A branch from this line leads to Toledo, and another branch will soon be completed to Valencia, being already open for about 50 miles as far as Mogente. Between Seville and Cordova a railway has been formed, about 80 miles long; and there are a few short lines in operation near Barcelona, Santander, and Cadiz. More main lines have been projected in the interior of the country; but a considerable time must elapse before these enterprises can be carried into execution.

Since the revision of the tariff in 1849, the commerce of Spain has made great progress, as will be seen from the following return, showing the estimated value of the exports and imports for 1849 and 1858; Exports. Imports.

Total.
£
£

£
1849

4,979,167 6,114,583 11,093,750 1858

13,905,471 11,304,031 25,209,502 These figures prove that the foreign trade of Spain has more than doubled within the last ten years. While the revenue derived from the customs in 1848 was only 114,000,000 reals, it rose in 1858 to 219,000,000 reals.

The chief exports from Spain consist of agricultural produce, wines,

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and fruits, besides iron, copper, quicksilver, lead, and other mineral products. Some of her manufactures are sent to the colonies ; but they are chiefly confined to the home market.

The exports from Great Britain to Spain have increased in value from 616,878)., in 1848, to 1,627,976l., in 1858, without taking into account a considerable trade carried on with Gibraltar. On the other hand, Great Britain is the best customer of Spain, taking a larger amount of her exports than any other nation, the value of the exports in 1858 being 4,590,3177. This is considerably more than the exports to France, and, if France be left out of view, more than the exports to all the rest of Europe put together.

FOOTSTEPS.

BY FREDERICK ENOCH,

The sunshine tapestries the way

With shadow green and thread of gold,
And, musing in the bright still ray,

My thoughts are as of old.
There is no shadow in the air,

And not a breeze-and, as I wait,
My hope half cheats my heart, that there

Are footsteps at the gate;
Dear footsteps that shall come and

pace
The old worn garden-walk again,
To hear them and to see her face

I wait--and is it vain ?
A long strange road must reach those feet,

So near and yet so far between ;
I tremble, though I yearn, to greet

The known in the unseen.
The twilight falls along the land,

And bright a mimic world is rollid
In yonder sky, of main, and strand,
And
crag,

and castle old;
While as the purple shines along

The pathway of the star, those feet
Tread all the ways of life, and throng

My heart with musings sweet:
Sweet in that solitude that hears

A footstep from the aching past,
That tells of pilgrimage and tears,

And perfect life at last.
Who has not heard those steps again,-

Nor known the solace they impart,-
Which, when the ear may wait in vain,

Still echo on the heart?

VOL, XLVII.

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