Francis Lieber.

Library of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) online

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the e. by tracts of land frequently low, but in some parts traversed by hill-ranges; on
the s. by the valley of the Guadalquivir, which intervenes between it and the Sierra
Nevada (q.v.). This great plateau rises to the height of from 2,000 to 3,000 ft., and
occupies upward of 90,000 sq.m., or about half of the entire area of the country. The
whole of the Pyrenean peninsula is divided by Spanish geographers into 7 mountain,
ranges, of which the chief are: 1. The Cantabrian mountains (q.v.) and the Pyrenees
(q.v.), forming the most northern range; 2. The Sierra de Guadarrama, separating Leon
and Old Castile from Estremaduru and New Castile, and rising in the peak of Penalara
7,764 ft. above sea-level; 3. The Monies de Toledo, forming a part of the watershed
between the Tagus and the Guadiana; 4. The Sierra Morena (q.v.), betweea the upper
waters of the Guadiana and Guadalquivir; 5. The Sierra Nevada (q.v.), running paral-
lel with the shores of the Mediterranean, through southern Murcia and Andalusia, and
rising in its chief summits to loftier elevations than are found in any mountain-system
of Europe, except that of the Alps. The several mountain-ridges, or as they are called,
Cordilleras of Spain, have a general e. and w. direction, and between them run, in the
same direction, the nearly parallel valleys or basins of the great rivers of the country,
the Douro, Tagus, Guadiaua, and Gaudalquivir, each of which is described iu its proper

C.imate and Soil. The climate of Spain, owing to the extent and configuration of the
country, is exceedingly various. In the n.w. (maritime) provinces, it is damp and rainy
during the greater part of the year; at Madrid, which is situated about 11 s. of London,
and only 5 n. of the shores of Africa, winters have occurred of such severity, that senti-
nels, while on duty, have been frozen to death; while the s. and e. provinces are warm
in winter, and are exposed to burning winds from the s., and to an almost tropical heat
in summer. Both ancient and modern geographers have adopted difference of climate
as the rule for dividing the peninsula into tracts distinct as well in soil and vegetation as
in temperature. Of these tracts or zones the first and most northern may be considered
as embracing Galicia, Asturias, the Basque provinces, Navarne, Catalonia, and the
northern districts of Old Castile and Aragon. In this tract the winters are long, and the
springs and autumns rainy, while n. and n.e. winds blow cold from the snow-covered
Pyrenees. The country, which alternates with hill and dale, is plentifully watered by
streams rich in fish, and meadows yielding rich pasturage abound. Corn scarcely
ripens in the more exposed districts, but grain crops of all kinds are produced in others,
as well as cider, wine, and valuable timber. The middle zone is formed mainly by the
great central plateau, and embraces northern Valencia, New Castile, Leon, and fistre-
madura, with the s. parts of Old Castile and Aragon. The climate of the great part of
this region is pleasant only in spring and autumn. Throughout the chilly winter, the
treeless table-lands are over-swept by violent tempests, and in summer are burn< d up by
the sun. The soil is generally fertile, and corn and wine are most abundantly produced.
The southern or Baetican zone, comprising the rich country that extends between the
southern wall of the central plateau and the Mediterranean shores, includes Andalusia,
Murcia, and southern Valencia. The stony rampart on the n. protects it. from the chilly
winds of the central zone; but it is unprotected against the hot winds (the Solana. see
SIMOON) which in summer blow n. from Africa, and render this reason intolerable to
northern Europeans. Here the winter is temperate, and the spring and autumn delight-
ful beyond description. The descent from the cold and mountainous central regions to
this tract of tropical heat and ferti'ity affords a most striking contrast. The soil, which
is artificially irrigated, is well adapted to agriculture and the cultivation of heat-loving
fruits. The products comprise sugar, cotton, and rice, and the orange, lemon, and

Material Revival of Spain; Population; and Distribution of Land. Owing to a num-
ber of causes, Spain, at one time the most opulent kingdom in Europe, had in the 18Hi
c. lapsed into a state of complete stagnation; the spirit of enterprise seemed extinct, and

ease and squalor to be preferred to labor and affluence. Before the commencement of
tlie present century, however, the country began to throw off its lethargy, and since that
time tlie rate at which it has been advancing toward a healthy condition of active life
has become gradually accelerated. Since 1851 the onward movement of the nation has
been as rapid as that of any of the great European powers. The population has greatly
increased, and is increasing; agriculture, previously stagnant, is now carried on with
activity and success; manufactures are multiplying rapidly; and railways, of which in
the beginning of 1848, not a mile had- been constructed, are now in process of being laid
out between all the great centers of population 3,810 m. having been completed in
1875. A view of the increase of the population, the first basis of power, will afford an
index of the growing prosperity of the country. The estimates of the population of
Spain for various periods between the beginning of the 10th c. and the middle of the
18th c. vary considerably; but it is certain that there was a gradual decrease of from
2,000,000 to 3,000,000 of inhabitants between the years 1500 and 1700. With regard to
later times, we have the following authentic statement:

Year. Population.

1768 9,159,999

1797 10,541,221

1857 15,464,340

1860 15.673,536

1870 16,835,506

It thus appears that in about a century the population of Spain has increased over 7,000,000.
Comparing the census of May, 1857, with that of Dec., 1870, we rind that the provinces
in which the population has most largely increased are Madrid, Barcelona, Pontevedra,
Seville, Cadiz, Valencia, Alicante. Oviedo, Zaragoza, Jaen, and Guadalajara. These are
for the most part maritime provinces, or such as, from their vicinity to the coast, have
facilities for communication with the sea; and, this being the case, it may be fairly
argued that the rapid extension of the railway system now going on, will besides act-
ing favorably on the whole kingdom have a specially beneficial effect upon the interior
provinces. In agriculture as well as in population, the onward movement has been
remarkable. The vast mountains of tlie country affording for the most part only scanty
crops of herbage, are utilized as pasture-grounds, and are divided into large farms. But
ID the warm and fertile plains, especially in localities where water is abundant, tho
farms are small. In 1860 there were 3,426,083 farms of all sizes, of which 750.000 were
occupied by tenants, and the others by proprietors. Over 40 per cent of the wi^o.e sur-
face of the kingdom is still uncultivated.

Origin of the I'eople. The Spaniards are a mixed race, and hnve sprung from a greater
variety of stocks than any other European nation. The bulk of the people is doubtless
descended in the main from the ancient Celtiberian occupants of the peninsula. At an
early time, however, there were extensive Phenician and Carthaginian settlements in
y pain, especially on the eastern seaboard. Later, the country was penelrated with
Roman elements, and was Romanized throughout, save in the Basque (q.v.) country,
where tVe ancient speech still lives on intact, Gothic invasions left a large Germanic
strain in the blood of Spain, which may yet be plainly traced in the hill country of the
n.e. The Arab conquerors of Spain planted themselves too firmly on Spanish soil to be
utterly expelled; and the Moriscoes (see MOONS) are still, to the number of 60,000. easily
distinguishable by their tongue and other peculiarities. In the s. and center Gypsies
(Gitaiw*) are numerous, and there are some Jews. One result of this commingling of
races may be seen in tlie strongly marked provincial peculiarities of Spain, extending
not merely to dialectal differences, but to physique, character, ami amusements. The
Castilian is the literary language of Spain; the Andalusian diverges somewhat broadly
from it; in Catalonia, Valencia, and on the Balearic isles, the prevailing dialect is closely
allied to Provencal; while in the Basque provinces the old tongue is still in universal
use among the people. Until lately (see FUEKOS), the Basques enjoyed quite peculiar
privileges as to local government and administration. In spite of great local differences
of character, the Spaniard is generally temperate, and his few wants are easily satisfied,
lie requires a daily siesta, is not very energetic by nature, loves music, dancing, and the
bull-right, and is not averse to intrigue and the use of weapons. Even amid poverty
and squalor, native dignity never forsakes him. The houses are generally poorly
furnished and uncomfortable, and often far from cleanly.

llt'Ugion. Till very lately, the Roman Catholic faith, to which almost all the nation
adheres, was the only creed tolerated by law. There are 9 archbishoprics, 51 suffragan
bishoprics, and 4 unattached bishoprics. Before the suppression of the monasteries
in 1836. about one-fifth of the whole nation was engaged in the service of the church.

Occupations of the People. Agriculturists, laborers, miners, artisans, shepherds, and
sailors constitute two-thirds of the population; one-seventh is composed of merchants
and tradesmen; another seventh of officials, the army, the nobility, the clergy, nuns,
beggars, and prisoners. The nobility is very numerous; the lower nobility, mostly quite
poor, counting nearly 1,000,000 kidfuffOf. Heggars are almost as numerous, owing partly
to the large number of benevolent institutions. In 1860 nearly 500,000 persons were
maintained in 1028 charitable institutions.


Productions, Commerce, Exports and Imports, etc. The total imports of Spain, inclu-
ding bullion and specie, iu the years 1868-74, averaged 19 millions sterling per annum;
while the exports averaged 12 millions sterling. The countries with which (Spain trades
most extensively are France, Great Britain, Cuba, British possessions, and the United
States; and of these countries, Great Britain receives the great bulk of its exports,
while France (owing, probaby, to the vicinity of that country) supplies more of tha
imports of Spain than any other state. The foreign trade of the country is carried on
most extensively at the following ports, which are set down in the order of their impor-
tance: Barcelona, Cadiz, Santander, Alicante, Malaga, Valencia, Bilbao, Cartagena, San,
Sebastian, Elizondo, ;,n.l Irun. The principal articles imported are. in the order of their
importance, sugar, yarn, woolen fabrics, raw cotton, iron, machinery, coals, and dried
fish; the chief articles exported are wine, metals, dried fruit, flour, bullion, green fruits,
olive oil, minerals, wool, grain, vegetables and seeds, cork, and salt.

The total imports from Spain into the United Kingdom were, in 1875, valued at
8,660,953; in 1876, at 8.763,146; in 1877, at 10,842,097. The exports from the Uni-
ted Kingdom to Spain amounted, in 1875 <o 4, 294,490; in 1876, to 4,796,498; in 1877
to 4 207,214. The wine i i ported hither from Spain in 1875 was valued at 2,122.127;
in 1876 at 2,076,538; and in 1877 at 2,017,112. In 1877, 467.800 worth of Spanish
copper was imported; 1,671,272 of lead; 488,840 value of cattle; 316.586 of wheat;
and near 90,000 of cork. About 5,COO,000 gallons of olive oil are annually produced
in the country, of which quantity the half is exported. Almonds, grapes, nuts, oranges,
lemons, and raisins are also imported into Great Britain in immense quantities.

. The cotton manufactures of Spain have been making considerable advance, and silk
stuffs are largely fabricated. The principal cotton factories are at Barcelona. Excellent
paper is made at Tolosa. and Valladolid, and in the last named town there are a few
minor manufactures. All the manufactures of tobacco, arms, and gunpowder are carried
on by the government exclusively. Though neither the agricultural nor the mineral
resources of Spain are properly developed, much progress has been evident of late years,
chiefly in mining. Lead, copper, and tin are abundant; quicksilver is wrought; and
there are large deposits of good coal and iron ore. The last, however, are so imper-
fectly worked, that great quantities of iron and coal are imported from Belgium and

In 1877 the mercantile marine of Spain consisted of 2,915 sea-going vessels (of which
220 were steamers), with a total burden of 557,320 tons. The number of Spanish vessels
that entered British ports in 1875 was 485, of 225.577 tons.

Railways and Roads. In Oct., 1848, the first Spanish railway, 18m. in length, from
Barcelona to Mataro, was thrown open to the public, and by the beginning of 1875, 3,810
m. of railway were open for traffic, and in the same year 1264 m. were in course of con-
struction. The whole of the Spanish railways belong to private companies. In 1858,
6.164 m. of public roads had been constructed; in 1863, the length of public roads was
8,c94 miles. The number of letters that passed through the post-office in 1857 \\as 38,
704,788; in 1874 the number had increased to 75,500, OCO. In 1874 there were in opera-
tion in Spain 7,510 m. of electric telegraph. In 1857 there were 47 lighthouses in Spain,
and 16 in process of construction ; in 1863 there were 102 light-houses, and 34 in process
of construction.

Army. Official returns for the year 1876 state the active strength of the army as
151.668, of whom 60,000 were infantry, 11,000 were cavalry, 12,000 were engineers and
artillerymen, the rest consisting of the guardia civil (gendarmerie), militia, caiabiiteros,
and the reserve.

Navy. The navy consisted (at the end of June 1875) of 89 vessels (81 being steam
vessels), carrying in all 914 guns.

Revenue and Expenditure. The entire revenue of Spain, for the financial year begin-
ning July 1, 1874, and ending June 80, 1875, was 609,5-41.141 pesetas, equivalent to about
24,381,600. The expenditure for the same year was 605,125,569 pesetas, or about 24,-
205,000. The public debt amounted in 1875 "to 375.000,000.

Education. In 1851. there were, according to calculalion, 22,317 schools, attended
by 839.182 scholars; in 1868, the number of scholars had risen to 1,251,653. There are
ten universities in Spain, in Madrid, Barcelona, Granada,, Oviedo, Salamanca. Seville,
Santiago. Valencia, Valladolid, and Zaragoza Of the whole population of 1860, 3,129,
921 could read and write, and apart from them, 705,778 could read; and although the
state of education indicated by these figures does not seem to be advanced, it is a fact
to be remembered that 14 years before in 1846 only 1,898,288 could read.

Ifixtory. Spain, the tipnnia, Hixpania, and Iberiu of the Greeks, and known to the
Romans by the same names, was inhabited at the period at which it first receives
historical mention, by a people deriving their origin from different races. It is sup-
posed to have been originally inhabited by a distinct race called Iberians; upon whom,
however, a host of Celts are supposed to have descended from the Pyrenees. In the
earliest times of which we have any record, these two races had already coalesced and
foimed the mixed nation of the Celtiberians, who were massed chiefly in the center of
the peninsula, in the western districts of Lusitania, and on the n. coasts. In the
Pyrenees and along the e. coast, were to be found pure Iberian tribes, while unmixed
Celtic tribes occupied the n.w. In Bsetica (Andalusia) there was a large admixture of



thj henieian element, and on the s. and e. coasts, numerous Phenicinn, Carthaginian,
Pihvr.u.i, and other colonies. A portion of the s. coast, called Tartessus by the Greeks,
the T.irshish of Scripture, was much frequented for its mineral riches by the Phoeniciaa
merchantmen, and the "ships of Tarshish" were as distinct a section of the Tyrian
mercanl.'lo marine, as were the Spanish galleons of the 16th c., or our own Indiamen of
more rec^ut times. But the bond which connected (lie Iberians and the Phenicians
was purel/ of a commercial character. About the middle of the 3d c. B.C., the Cartha-
ginian innrtnce began to be much felt in Iberia, and a considerable tract of territory
was brought under subjection to Carthage by Hamilcar (q.v.), who founded the city of
Barcelona. During the next eight years, the Carthaginian interest was advanced, and
its power t'l.nher strengthened by JIasdrubal (q.v. died 220 B.C.), son-in-law of
Hamilcar wi\o founded Carthago Nova (the modern Cartagena) and concluded a treaty
with the whereby it was stipulated that he should not advance his standards n.
of the Ibtrus (Ebro). Hannibal (q.v.), son of Hamilcar. and the greatest of all
the CarthaginUvQ generals, now assumed the command in the peninsula. He attacked
and destroyed Siguutum (q.v.), and thus violated the treaty made between his father
and the Romau.i. The destruction of Saguntum was the cause of the Second Punic
War, for the priacipal incidents of which see CARTHAGE, HOME, HANNIBAL, and the
Bcu'ios. After llis Romans had driven the Carthaginians from the peninsula in 206
B.C., the country was erected into a Roman province, consisting of two political
divisions Hixpahia Citenor (Hither Spain) including the eastern and northern districts
or those nearest to the center of the Roman Empire; and Hispania Ulterior (Further
Spain) including ,'l.e districts furthest from Rome, or the southern and western districts.
It was not. however, till 25 B.C. that the Cautabri and Astures in the extreme north of
the country, laid down their arms to Augustus. After the country had been reduced to
subjection, it was divided into the three provinces of Tarraconensis (embracing the
northern and eastera provinces). Baetica (Andalusia), and Lusitania (Portugal and certaia
of the western provinces). This division of the country lasted till the reign of
Constantino the great (q.v.), (303-37). From the time of the complete supremacy of
the Ho.Tians till the death of Coustantine, the condition of Spain was eminently pros-
per )us. The inhabitants, when brought under the iron rule of the empire, were forced
for the time to desist from the intestine wars in which it had been their habit to indulge,
and adopting the language, laws, and manners of tiieir conquerors, they devoted
themselves to industrial pursuits, and increased remarkably both in wealth and in
numbers. Everywhere throughout the country, towns of a purely Roman character
sprang up, among the chief of which were Leon, Emerita Augusta (Merida), Pax Julia
(Beja), Ctesar Augusta (Zaragoza); and numerous aqueducts, bridges, amphitheaters,
etc., were built, the ruins of which are the wonder of the modern traveler. Spain,
though obtained at enormous cost both in treasure and human life, was for three
centuries the richest province of the Roman Empire. Its fertile fields formed for a
considerable time the granary of Rome, and from its metal veined sierras, an immense
amount of treasure in gold, silver, etc., flowed into the Roman coffers. "Twenty
thousand pound-weight of gold," says Gibbon, "was annually received from the
provinces of Austria (Asturias), Galicia, and Lusitania." This amount of wealth was
not the voluntary offering of the natives, who were compelled to labor in their mines
for the beuefit of strangers; and thus Spain, in the early ages, was the type of Spanish
America in the loth and succeeding centuries, with the single difference that in the first
case the Spaniards were the slaves, and in the second they were the slave-holders. In
409 A.D., hordes of barbarians, Alans, Vandals, and Suevi, crossed the Pyrenees and
swept over and desolated the peninsula the Vandals for the most part settling in
Baetica, the Alans in Lusitania, and the Suevi in Leon and Castile. About 412, the
Visigoths invaded the country, and their Icing, Athaulf, who acknowledged a nominal
dependence on the Roman emperor, established the Gothic monarchy in Catalonia. See
GOTHS. Of tiie Visigoths by whom the Suevi were subjugated (584), the Vandals and
Alans expelled (427) from the country, and large portions of Gaul annexed to their
Spanish dominion the most remarkable kings were Wallia (415-18), who greatly
extended the Gothic monarch}'; Euric (46G-83), who, besides increasing his territory,
introduced and enforced a body of laws, and did much for the advancement of civiliza-
tion in Spain; Wamba (673-80), who built a fleet for the protection of the coasts; and
Rodcric (q.v.). who was killed at Xeres de la Frontcra in 711, in battle with the
Moors. The battle of Xeres gave the Moors almost undisputed mastery of nearly the
whole of Spain, as well as of the outlying Gothic province of Septimania (Languedoc)
in France; for the remnant of the Goths betook themselves to the highlands of Asturias,
Burgos, and Biscay, where, in a region which throughout had enjoyed more liberty
than any other part of Spain, they maintained their independence.

Dynasty of the Moors. The Arabs, or, as they are more properly termed, the Moors
(q.v.), held Spain for the first few years of their rule, as a dependency of the province
of n. Africa; but, after the downfaU of Muza (q.v.), and his son Abd-el-aziz, who had
been the deputy-governor of Spain, the country was governed (717) by emir* appointed
by the caliph of Damascus. The favorite scheme pursued by the Spanish emirs was the
extension of their conquests into Gaul, to the neglect of the rising power of the Goths
in Asturias; they also took the Balearic iolaads, Sardinia, Corsica, and part of Apulit



and Calabria; the Mediterranean was infested by their fleets, but their northward progress
was most signally checked on tlie plain of Tours by Charles Martel (q.v.). Anarchy and
bloodshed were prominent features of the first 40 years of Mohammedan rule in Spain.
The wahs, or local governors of districts and provinces, frequently rebelled against the
emir, and drew sword against each other according as ambition or animosity dictated.
Within this period of 40 years, no fewer than 20 emirs had been called to the direction
of affairs; but a revolution at Damascus, which unseated the Ommiades, and placed the
Abbasides in possession of the caliphate, put an end to this state of misrule in Spain.
The last of the emirs, Jussuf, was in favor of the Abbasides, but the walls and alcaydet
being chiefly of theOmmiade faction, invited one of this family, who was in concealment
among the Zeneta Arabs iu Barbary, to become an independent caliph in Spain. See
OMMIADES. Thus was founded the caliphate of Cordova, from which, in 778, the Fran La
wrested all its possessions n. of the Pyrenees, and north-eastern Spain to the Ebro; the
latter acquisition, subsequently denominated the Spanish March, being alternately in the
hands of the Moors and dependent upon France.

Christian Kingdoms. During this period of Moorish domination, the small indepen-
dent kingdom of Asturias, founded by Pelayo (q.v.), had been growing in power and
extent. It was increased by Galicia in 758, and by parts of Leon and Castile toward the
close of the century. In 758 a second independent Christian kingdom was founded in
Sobrarve, and increased by portions of Navarre on one hand and ArHgon on the other,
but though it, along with the French Gascons, aided the Moors at Rp'icesvalles (q.v.),
it was, in 801, again swallowed up by the caliphate of Cordova. However. 86 years
afterward a Navarrese count, casting off his allegiance to France, founded the third
Christian kingdom, that of Navarre (q.v.), which from this time easily maintained itself,
owing to its situation, in independence of the Moors. The kingdom of Asturias, now
(900) Leon, was for a long time distracted by bitter and bloody strife among the mem-
bers of the royal line, and with its neighbor Navarre would have fallen an easy prey to
the powerful Ommiades, had not the latter directed their chief attention to the subjuga-
tion of Morocco; and under cover of this relaxation of the constant warfare between
Moors and Christians, another independent monarchy, an offshoot from Leon, was
founded in Castile (933, kingdom in 1035), which, from its central position, and conse-
quent greater facilities for expansion, soon became the most powerful of the Spanish
states, especially after its union (temporary, 1072-1157), in 1230, with Leon. A con-

Online LibraryFrancis LieberLibrary of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) → online text (page 156 of 203)