and even the Jesuits, as reputed apologists of resist-
ance and regicide when kings are unjust, were on the point of being driven from the most Catholic country of Europe
ranked as the fourth European
power in extent of territory, the fifth in revenue, while its colonies exceeded all others of the world beside; embracing nearly all South America
, except Brazil
and the Guianas; all Mexico
and Central America
, which had no bounds on the north; Louisiana
, which came to the Mississippi
, and near its mouth beyond it; Cuba
, Porto Rico
, and part of Hayti; and mid-way between the Pacific
and the Indian Ocean
, the Marianna and Philippine groups of isles; in a word, the countries richest in soil, natural products, and mines, and having a submissive population of nearly twenty millions of souls.
In the midst of this unexampled grandeur of possession, Spain
, which with Charles V. and Philip II.
had introduced the mercantile system of restrictions, was weak, and poor, and wretched.
It had no canals, no good roads, no manufactures.
There was so little industry, or opportunity of employing capital, that though money was very scarce, the rate of interest was as low at Madrid
as in Holland.
Almost all the lands were entailed in perpetuity, and were included in the immense domains of the grandees.
These estates, never seen by their owners, were poorly cultivated and ill managed; so that almost nothing fell to the share of the masses.
Except in Barcelona
, the nation every where presented the most touching picture of misery and poverty.
, which by its laws of navigation reserved to itself all traffic with its colonies, and desired