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Chinese goods, groceries, spices and pre- The chief commercial cities of South cious stones. Guatimala is celebrated for America are Rio Janeiro, Buenos Ayres, its indigo, which is noted for its hardness, Lima, Carthagena, Caracas, Potosi and lustre and weight.
Bahia. Buenos Ayres was in possession SOUTH AMERICA. South America has of the transit trade of all the Spanish posmany articles of trade. The mineral treas- sessions in America, and, before the beures of the country are boundless. In ginning of the revolution, was the mart of the 16th century, gold and silver existed the trade of the mother country and its in such profusion, that, for 25 years, colonies. The principal source of gain $13,000,000 are said to have been annu- for Caracas is the cacao plant, as it supally exported to Spain from Peru alone, plies nearly two thirds of the European exclusive of what was sent in bars. These demand. The hides and skins which it precious metals are found throughout Peru, exports are superior to those of Buenos Chile, and the upper section of Tucuman, Ayres ; and the rich ore from the copper especially in the Cordilleras; but, in addition mines of Aroa is superior to the Swedish, to gold and silver, this immeasurable chain or to that of Coquimbo, in Chile. The of mountains affords copper, lead, iron and internal trade of South America, especially platina. The richest mines of South between Buenos Ayres and Peru, is very America are those of the province Las considerable. That with the Indian tribes Charcas, in the territory of the former vice- is chiefly in the way of barter ; axes, royalty of Buenos Ayres. There are, in knives, scissors, swords, necklaces, mirthat district, 30 gold mines, 27 silver mines, rors, and coarse cotton and woollen goods, 7 copper, 1 tin, and 7 lead mines. The being exchanged for the productions of richest of these mines are those of Potosi, the country, especially the celebrated Parwhich are situated near the sources of the aguay tea, and some fine furs. La Plata. Acosta's account, that, during Brazil has three great commercial cities 40
years that the mines had been wrought, Rio Janeiro, Bahia, or St. Salvador, and they had yielded $12,000,000,000, is much Pernambuco. The exports are, chiefly, exaggerated. But we gather from official cotton, indigo, sugar, coffee, rice, tobacco, reports, that, from the time of the discovery tallow, mahogany, Peruvian bark, ipecacof America till 1538, the fifth part, accru- uanha, hides, gold, cacao, vanilla, the ing to the king, of all the silver obtained diamond, the topaz, chrysolite, amethyst, from the mines of Potosi, and registered, and other precious stones, and a great amounted to $395,619,000, so that, when variety of dye-stuffs, balsams and gums, 39 years had elapsed from the discovery dried beef, and India-rubber shoes. The of America, $51,255,043 were obtained greater part of the Brazilian trade is in the annually, exclusive of the considerable hands of the English. The imports are quantities which undoubtedly were con- iron, steel, copper utensils, salt, woollen veyed from the country secretly, and with- cloths, linen, calicoes, hats, shoes of all out the payment of duties, and of that kinds, china, glass-ware, trinkets, books, which was used for making silver vessels, paper, watches, clocks, and particularly images and ornaments for the monasteries East India goods, such as are not raised and churches, which must have amounted in Brazil. Portugal sends to Brazil wine, to an immense sum, since all the religious oil, spirits, hats ; the U. States, flour, turestablishments in the country, and espe- pentine and furniture. Naval munitions, cially in the city of Potosi, were very rich sailors' clothes and arms are likewise in silver vessels. But, whether owing to imported. the exhaustion of the mines themselves, or Colombia, consisting of Venezuela and the faulty management of them, the profits New Grenada, says Alex. Humboldt, has have since diminished. The other ex- received from nature a greater and richer ports from South America, although the variety of vegetable products, suited for Spanish and Portuguese directed their commerce, than any other country of chief attention to the obtaining of metals, Spanish America; yet its commerce has are very considerable. The following are been declining every year since its sepathe principal: cochineal, indigo, cacao, ration from Spain. In Colombia, Peruvian the Peruvian bark, hides, ox horns, tal- bark is found of the best quality and in low, wax, cotton, wool, flax, hemp, to- the greatest quantity. Coffee, indigo, subacco, sugar, coffee, ginger, pimento, jalap, gar, cotton, cacao, ipecacuanha, the tosarsaparilla, ipecacuanha, guaiacum, drag- bacco of Varinas, hides and dried meat, on's blood, and various other medicinal pearls, gold and platina, &c., are obtained gums, dye-wood, ebony, mahogany, eme- in this highly favored country. Its imralds, various kinds of balsams,
&c. ports embrace all kinds of manufactured
goods, oil, soap, ropes, paper, in fact al- States, bread-stuffs, and manufactures of most every thing which is wanted by the various sorts ; from Europe, manufacindolent inhabitants, and made by the tured goods, particularly silks, fine cloth, hands of men; for the people themselves lace, fine linen, and other articles of luxmanufacture hardly any thing. Humboldtury and show; from the Philippine islhas estimated the exports of Colombia at ands, muslins, tea, and other East India $9,000,000, and its imports at $11,200,000. goods ; from Guatimala, indigo ; from M. Mollien estimates the former at Chile, wheat and copper; and from Bu$8,000,000, and the latter at $10,000,000. enos Ayres, mules and Paraguay tea. CalThe state of this country, at the present lao is the port of Lima. moment, prevents the possibility of ob- The commerce of Central America, or taining
accurate information on this sub- Guatimala, is increasing in activity. Coject. The ports of La Guayra (harbor of lonial commodities, chiefly sugar, coffee, Caracas), Rio del Hacha, St. Martha, Car- cacao, cotton, indigo, cochineal, ebony and thagena, Chagres, Porto Cabello, Pana- logwood (from the bay of Honduras), are ma and Guayaquil are the most frequent- the principal exports sent to Europe and ed by strangers. The English, from Ja- some of the U. States. The imports are maica, the Americans and French, are the linen, from Germany and France; woolnations who trade principally with the len cloths, silks and wines, from France; Colombians in the Atlantic ports; the English and French calicoes; flour, and Peruvian vessels carry on the coasting some manufactured goods, from the U. trade on the Pacific.
States. This country is well adapted Buenos Ayres, like all the other South for commerce, on account of its fine harAmerican states, is in unsettled bors and several navigable rivers. A cacondition. The chief exports of this nal across the isthmus would be of vast country are horse and ox hides: in fact, benefit to this country; in fact, the execuBuenos Ayres may be called, by way of tion of such a canal would bear a similareminence, the country of cattle. Its im- ity to some of those great inventions, which ports include all the manufactured articles have changed the face of the world. which the inhabitants make use of. Eng- The English, Dutch and French posland sends thither woollen and cotton sessions in South America are Demerara, cloth, cutlery, hardware, furniture, sad- Berbice, Essequibo, Surinam and Caydlery, hats, porter and cheese; the U. enne. From Cayenne are exported cloves, States, lumber, cod-fish, mackerel and Cayenne pepper, annotta, sugar, cotton, herring, leather, gunpowder, provisions; coffee and cacao; from Berbice, rum, from Brazil are sent sugar, coffee, cotton, sugar, cotton, cacao, &c.; from Demerara, rum; steel and iron from the north of Surinam and Essequibo, sugar, rum, cotEurope; and France sends her manufac- ton, coffee and molasses. tures. The exports and imports are esti- West Indies. The chief islands which mated at $9,000,000.
constitute the West Indies are Cuba, St. The commerce of Chile is, at present, Domingo, or Hayti, Jamaica, Barbadoes, in a low condition. Its rich mines are Dominica, St. Christopher, or St. Kitt's, poorly managed, and the political state of Curaçao and Guadaloupe. They have the country prevents its commerce from all very nearly the same productions, viz. acquiring that activity which it might sugar, coffee, wax, ginger and other spices, easily attain by the export of the precious mastich, aloes, vanilla, quassia, manioc, metals of the country to the East Indies, maize, cacao, tobacco, indigo, cotton, moto give in return for sugar and cotton. lasses, mahogany, long peppers, lignumIt could also provide Peru with salt meat, vitæ, Campeachy wood, yellow wood, and take in return coffee, sugar, &c. gums, tortoise-shell
, rum, pimento, &c. Caldcleugh estimates the English impor- Before St. Domingo or Hayti became an tations into Valparaiso, in 1822, at 4,071,250 independent government of blacks, it was francs, and Lowe at 47,248,625 francs, for the depot of the goods brought from Hathe same year. The U. States send thith- vanna, Vera Cruz, Guatimala, Carthagena er flour.
and Venezuela; but, since that event, JaPeru trades with the U. States, with maica has been the magazine of all goods Europe, the Philippine islands, Guatimala from the gulf of Mexico. Trinidad is the and Chile, and, by land, with Buenos Ayres. great seat of the contraband trade with Its exports are chiefly gold and silver, Cumaná, Barcelona, Margarita and Guiwine, brandy, sugar, pimento, Peruvian ana. The imports are manufactures of bark, salt, vicuna wool and coarse wool- all kinds, wine, flour, and, formerly, slaves, lens. It receives, in return, from the U. who are still smuggled into many of the
COMMERCE OF THE WORLD-COMMERCIAL COURTS.
islands. The West Indies form one great were appointed in all the great commersource of the commerce of the world; cial cities of Europe; and, in the course of and we must refer the reader, for more time, they really became tribunals of jusparticular information, to the articles on tice, and were, in part at least, administhe different islands.
tered by men of legal learning and expeA new path has been laid open to the rience. Pope Paul III confirmed the commerce of the world by the British, commercial consuls in Rome. Francis II, in the Southern ocean, where, of late, the in 1560, granted to the Parisian merchants Sandwich, the Friendly and the Society particular arbiters for the adjustment of islands have been taken within the circle commercial disputes, and in 1563 was of European and American intercourse; established the Parisian court of comand in Australia and Van Diemen's land, merce, consisting of a judge and four cona great market has been established for suls. The same thing soon followed in the exchange of British manufactures for all the important commercial towns of the productions of nature; while the North France. In London, Henry VII appointAmericans have attempted to found com- ed particular commercial judges. The mercial settlements on the Washington president of the commercial tribunal for (Nukahiva) and other islands of the
Pa- the Hanse towns, established in 1447, bore cific. (See Moreau de Jonnes Du Com- the name of alderman. At Nuremberg, in merce extérieur du XIXme Siècle, 2 vols., 1621, a similar tribunal was instituted unParis, 1826.) In 1828, the imports from der the name of inspectors of the markets New Holland and the South sea islands, (marktvorsteher). There was one, also, in into Great Britain, amounted to £83,552, Botzen, in 1630. The diets of the empire and the exports to £267,529.
even called upon the German princes and COMMERCIAL COURTS are tribunals dis- commercial cities to follow this example, tinct from the ordinary civil courts, and as the decrees of the empire of 1654 and are established in commercial towns, or 1668, and the decree of the imperial comwithin certain districts, to settle disputes mission of Oct. 10, 1668, show. In many with regard to rights and obligations be- of these cities, as in Frankfort on the tween persons engaged in trade, with the Maine, and in Leipsic, they were not so assistance of experienced merchants, by a much independent authorities as delegates brief process, according to equitable prin- from the city councils. When commerciples. It is doubtful whether the com- cial courts take cognizance particularly or mercial nations of antiquity, had any com- solely of disputes relating to maritime afmercial tribunals of this sort. The general fairs, they are called courts of admiralty. introduction of them began in the middle Such a court was erected in Hamburg in ages. The first of these tribunals was 1623. Among the tribunals more recently probably that established at Pisa, in the established are the French, formed in 11th century, and the basis of its decisions 1808, according to the provisions of the was the code of maritime laws of Pisa, Code de Commerce; and the new Hamconfirmed by pope Gregory VII, in 1075, burg commercial court, of the same kind, from which the Consolato del Mare may which dates from the time when Hamhave been, in part, borrowed. At first, the burg was the chief city of a French decommercial tribunals were not so much partment; this was, in 1816, retained with courts established by government as arbi- some modifications. Their internal reguters of disputes, freely chosen by the mer- lations commonly require that a part of chants, and confirmed by the governments. the members, or, at least, the presidents, This is evident from the first chapter of the should be lawyers: the rest are, for the Consolato del Mare, which runs thus :- most part, experienced merchants, who “ The good seamen, ship-owners, and sea- are better adapted than regular judges to faring people generally, are accustomed to give counsel on commercial affairs, with assemble on Christmas evening of every which they are more acquainted, and year, either all or the greater part of them, which, very often, are not to be reduced at a place of their appointment, and when to simple principles of law, but are to be nearly all are convened, they appoint, not decided according to commercial practice. by lot, but by vote, two worthy men, ex- Their jurisdiction commonly extends over perienced in all maritime affairs, for their all commercial disputes, whether occurconsuls, and another, of the same occupa- ring during the fairs, or at other times, tion, as judge of appeal. To him are matters of exchange, insurance, freight, made all appeals from the sentence of the bottomry, average, &c., and, further, over consuls.” Under the name of commercial bankrupts, the hiring of shops and consuls, such committees of arbitration stores, clerks and apprentices, the debts
of those who receive goods from mer- of the commercial tribunal are to be found chants upon credit; and all natives and under the 25th title of the 2d book of the foreigners who traffic in the place, and are Civil Code, and are very similar to those found there, all ship-owners, contractors of the Consolato del Mare. From the senfor transporting goods, brokers, factors, tence of these tribunals appeal is made to &c., are obliged to submit to their decis- the court of appeal within whose jurisdicions. They do as much as possible by tion they happen to be. (See Commercial oral investigation; and the intention of Law.) their institution is, that they shall avoid COMMERCIAL Law (or the law merthe long and formal process of other chant) is that which relates to trade, navcourts. But when the difficulty and con- igation, maritime contracts, such as those fusion of the matters in dispute occasion of insurance, bottomry, bills of lading, the necessity of an investigation in wri- charter-parties, seamen's wages, general ting, recourse is had thereto. The greater average, and also to bills of exchange, bills despatch of these courts consists princi- of credit, factors and agents. Lord Manspally in this—that the defendant is orally field describes it as a branch of the public summoned, once, or several times, to ap- law, and applied to its universal adoption pear before them, at an early day, and, if the language of Cicero respecting the he twice fails to come, is brought by force; great nciples of morals and eternal justhe complaint is then made orally, both tice-nec erit alia lex Roma, alia Athenis. parties are heard, and sentence is given, The body of rules constituting this law if possible, immediately after. But, as this is substantially the same in the U. States can seldom be done, and most cases re- and Europe, the rules, treatises and dequire reference to written documents, a cisions of one country and one age being, day not far distant is appointed for the in general, applicable to the questions arisanswer to the complaint, and for the evi- ing in any other. The reason is obvious dence on both sides, and the time is sel- why this law should be common to differdom or never prolonged. The remedies ent nations, for it regulates those contracts against a sentence (such as revision, resti- and transactions in which they come in tution, &c.; see Hamburg Code of Commer- contact, being a sort of neutral ground becial Procedure of Dec. 15, 1815) must be tween their hostile interests, institutions, sought from the same judges, and are not customs and prejudices. National law, easily obtained. Appeals are only allowed which regulates the conduct of different in very important cases, and upon the de- nations towards each other, is distinguishposit of a large sum as a pledge that the ed from maritime law, by which private final decision shall be obeyed without de- contracts between individuals are regulay. The principal features of this pro- lated. The first collection of marine laws cess are found in the Consolato del Mare was that of Rhodes, of which some frag(see chapters 8–31), and form the basis ments have come down to us in the Digest of most commercial codes. According to of Justinian, in the title De Lege Rhodia the French code, each tribunal consists of de Jactu; the collection under the title a president, several judges (not more than of Rhodian Laws, published at Basle in 8, and not less than in number), together 1561, and at Frankfort in 1596, being genwith several persons, who, in case of a erally considered as spurious. This title pressure of business, become assistant and that De Nautico Fonore recognise the judges (vice-judges-suppléans), a clerk of first broad principles on the subjects of the court (greffier), and several inferior offi- jettison and maritime law. The law de cers (huissiers). (Code de Commerce, livre 3, exercitoria actione, in the Digest, also transtit. 1, § 615–14.) The members of a com- mits to us their principles as to the liability mercial tribunal are chosen from among the of the owners for the acts and contracts most respectable merchants. Every mer- of the master of a vessel. The remaining chant 30 years of age, who has done busi- rules and principles by which the comness in an honorable manner for 5 years, mercial transactions of the ancients, in the can be appointed judge or assistant judge. Mediterranean, were governed, have, for The president must be 40 years old, and the most part, passed into oblivion. The have already exercised the office of judge. reason of so small a space being assigned The election is made by secret ballot. to this branch of jurisprudence, in the RoThe members elect take an oath before man laws, may be the low estimation in entering upon their office, which they which trade was held by the Romans, hold for 2 years; they receive no salary, who prohibited men of birth and rank and cannot be reëlected until a year after from engaging in commerce, of which the the expiration of their term. The rules code (4.63.3) speaks contemptuously; and
Cicero says it was not fitting that the same But Selden, Coke and Blackstone people should be both the porters and the assert that it is an English work, published masters of the world. The Greeks, being by Richard I, in his character of king the merchants and navigators of the an- of England. The maritime codes of Wiscients, adopted the Rhodian laws, with buy and the Hanse towns are also of modifications. The Athenian law, on the historical celebrity, and constitute a part subject of maritime loans, is stated par- of the legal antiquities of this branch of ticularly in Boeckh's Economy of Athens, jurisprudence. These were the principal b. 1, sec. 23, from which it appears that marine codes down to 1673, the date of the rules on this subject were very defi- the French ordinance of commerce, which nitely settled. The laws of trade natural- treated largely of bills of exchange, and ly followed the trade which they were negotiable paper. In 1681 was published, designed to regulate. Accordingly, we also, the French Ordinance of Marine, one find them first revived in the middle ages, of the most glorious monuments of the on the shores of the same sea, in one of reign of Louis XIV. It was framed unthe islands of which they had their origin; der the influence of Colbert, and merits a collection of them being made at Amal- all its celebrity, being comprehensive, and fi, a city within the limits of the pres- including provisions, not only on many of ent kingdom of Naples, about the time of the subjects of commercial law, as we the first crusade, towards the close of the have defined its limits, but, also, very am11th century, called the Amalfitan Table, ple regulations on the subject of prizes. the authority of which was acknowledged These ordinances are the foundation of throughout Italy. The origin of the com- the present system of marine law in Eupilation of sea laws, which passes under rope and the U. States. Valin's commenthe title of Consolato del Mare, though in- tary upon the Ordinance of the Marine, volved in some obscurity, is most gener- published in 1760, is a profound, original, ally assigned to the city of Barcelona, in comprehensive, learned and Spain. Some writers, however, and partic- work. In 1763, he also published his ularly Azuni, claim the honor of this col- commentaries on the provisions of the lection also for Italy. But Casaregis, a pro- ordinance in relation to prizes. About 20 found commercial jurist, who published years afterwards (1782)
, Emerigon puban edition of it, in Italian, at Venice, in lished his masterly treatise on insurance. 1737, and M. Boucher, who published a The two ordinances, with the commentaFrench translation in 1808, from what he ry of Valin, and the treatise of Emerigon, considers the original edition of Barcelona made the commercial law a science, of of 1494, both admit the Spanish claim. which the principles were now settled, These laws are supposed by M. Boucher and their application also traced out into to have been adopted and in use as early a great number of examples.
It was as the 9th century, and their authority was now in the power of jurists, judges and acknowledged in all the maritime coun- legislators to make every new question tries of Europe, and some of the articles and case that should arise only a confirof this collection form a part of the pres- mation and extension, in application, of ent commercial law of all civilized nations. doctrines which had been established upon It has been translated into German, also, conclusive reasons, and made parts of a but no entire English translation has yet harn.onious system ; and all the combeen made. It is an ill-arranged, confused mercial nations have adopted the system compilation; and, though it is interesting thus formed. It constitutes the present as a historical record of the marine laws French code of commerce, and appeais and customs of the middle ages, a large pro- every where in the British, American and portion of its provisions do not apply to the continental treatises and decisions. The modes of transacting business and making other French writers of greatest celebrity, contracts in modern times. The Jugemens on this branch of law, are Pothier, Cleirac d'Oléron (or Laws of Oleron) are supposed and Boucher. Mr. Jacobsen, a jurisconto have been compiled about the time of sult of Altona, has published a useful work Richard I; and the honor of this collec- on the subject of sea laws. The earlier tion, like that of the Consolato, from which English writers on commercial law were it is partly borrowed, is in dispute, being Malynes (a merchant), Molloy (a lawyer), claimed for the French wy Valin, Emeri- Beawes (a merchant), Postlethwaite, Magon and Cleirac, who say it was made by gens (a dispacheur, or adjuster of marine order of queen Eleanor, duchess of Gui- losses, originally of Hamburg, afterwards enne, for the use of that province, and of London) and Wiskett (a merchant). adopted by her son Richard I, duke of Gui- But the marine law cannot be considered