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Principal Cities: Chihuahua, the capital, is also the largest city, and has a population of 40,000. It is an important railway, mining, industrial and distributing center. It lies 225 miles south of the American border. Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, has a population of 10.000, and is one of the most important gateways between the United States and Mexico. Parral, with a population of 15,000, is one of the chief mining centers of Mexico. It lies 174 miles southeast of the city of Chihuahua. Other important mining centers are Santa Eulalia, Batopilas, and Cusihuarichic.
Transportation: The main line of the Mexican Central (National Railways) from Juarez (El Paso) to Mexico City runs the full length of the state of Chihuahua. The Mexico Northwestern, by a circuitous course from Juarez to the city of Chihuahua, taps the rich mineral, lumber, and agricultural sections of western Chihuahua. The Kansas City, Mexico, and Orient Railroad also has a line (eventually designed to connect the Mississippi Valley with the west coast of Mexico) from Marquez, in northeastern Chihuahua, to Tabaloopa, six miles from the capital, and from Minaca to Sánchez, in the southwestern corner of the state.
Area: 63,786 square miles.
Population: 376,747 (average density 5.7).
Location: A state on the northern border opposite the American state of Texas. Bounded on the east by Nuevo León, on the south by San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas; and on the west by Durango and Chihuahua.
Physical Characteristics: For the most part the state is a broken, mountainous plateau, with a warm, though healthful climate, and insufficient rainfall. Near the western boundary lies the arid region known as the Bolson de Mapimi, a vast depression or sunken valley, which constitutes one of the unique geological features of the state. The rivers of Coahuila are of no importance except for irrigation purposes. In the southwestern portion of the state, near the Durango boundry, the Nazas River has formed the famous Laguna de Parras, one of the two chief cotton producing centers of the republic.
Chief Industries: Mining and agriculture, with some manufacturing in the south, constitute the chief industries of the state. The chief mining centers are those of Sierra Mojada in western Coahuila, where large silver-lead deposits exist; Mazapil, an important copper camp near Saltillo in southeastern Coahuila; and the Sabinas Valley, tributary to the Rio Grande. From this last named region comes almost all of the coal mined in Mexico. The chief agricultural products of Coahuila are cotton, grains, and fruits. Until the combined misfortunes of drought and flood brought ruin to many of the farmers of the Laguna district in 1919-1920, that region was regarded as the chief cotton center of the Republic. The guayule industry was also at one time a significant feature of the state's economic life; but this industry was virtually wiped out by the years of revolution and the low price of rubber following the Great War.
Principal Cities: Saltillo, the capital. has a population of about 35,000 and is regarded as an important manufacturing center. Torreon, a city of 40,000 inhabitants near the Durango boundary, containing as it does large cotton mills, soap works, smelters, and machine shops, is looked upon as one of the chief industrial centers of northern Mexico. It is also a railroad center of the first importance, and carries on a large export and import trade with the United States. Parras, the center of the grape and wine industry in southern Coahuila, Cuidad Porfirio Diaz (Piedras Negras), a port of entry opposite Eagle Pass, and Monclova, the center of a rich agricultural district about midway between Saltillo and Cuidad Porfirio Diaz, are also worthy of mention.
Transportation: Southern and eastern Coahuila possess exceptional railway facilities, as Mexican conditions go. The main line of the National
Railways from Eagle Pass to Mexico City runs the full length of the state. The trunk line from Juarez to the capital also passes through Torreon. The latter city and Saltillo likewise have through connections with Durango on the west, and with Monterrey, Matamoros, and Tampico in the east and north.
Area: 2,272 square miles.
Population: 80,500 (average density, 34.2).
Location: A small state fronting on the Pacific and bounded on all sides, except the west, by the states of Jalisco and Michoacan.
Physical Characteristics: Much of Colima consists of a low coastal plain lying along the Pacific. The climate is hot, humid and malarial. To the northeast, however, there is a mountainous section where conditions are much more agreeable.
Chief Industries: The state is very backward in its economic development. Stock raising and agriculture are the chief industries, and a large amount of salt is annually obtained south of Manzanillo. The lumber industry is also of some importance, but little has been done toward exploiting the mineral resources. Sugar, rice, cotton, coffee and tropical fruits are the principal agricultural products.
Principal Cities: Colima, the capital, with a population of about 27,000, is the chief commercial center of the state. Manzanillo, a port of entry some sixty miles from Colima, has about 2,000 inhabitants and carries on considerable export and import trade.
Transportation: A branch of the National Railways runs from Manzanillo and the capital to Guadalajara. Otherwise, there are no railways in the state; and the consequent lack of adequate transportation facilities seriously retards economic progress.
Area: 42,272 square miles.
Population: 509,585 (average density, 12.8).
Location: One of the north Mexican states, lying immediately south of Chihuahua. It is bounded on the east by Coahuila and Zacatecas; on the south by Zacatecas, Jalisco, and Nayarit; and on the west by Sinaloa.
Physical Characteristics: In climate and physical characteristics Durango very closely resembles the state of Chihuahua. It is extremely mountainous in the west, and contains much desert or semi-arid land along its eastern frontier. The climate is dry and healthful. The rainfall is light, and the only rivers of importance are the Nazas, and its tributary the Papasquiaro, the Santiago, and the Mezquital. A portion of the Bolson de Mapimi extends into Durango.
Chief Industries: Durango is preeminently an agricultural, stock raising and mining state. The agricultural products are chiefly cotton, grains, tobacco, and fruits. From the mineral standpoint Durango is one of the richest states in the Republic. Gold, silver, lead, copper, tin and iron are all produced within its borders, and its mining centers, Guanacevi, Velardeña, San Dimas, El Oro, Nombre de Díos, Promontorio and Mapimi, are internationally famous. The Cerro del Mercado (Iron Mountain) has also enjoyed a long continued and widespread reputation. The forests of western Durango are of considerable magnitude, but have never been adequately developed.
Principal Cities: The most important mining camps have been enumerated. Besides these there is the capital and chief city, Durango, with a population of about 40,000. The city is an important railway, mining, and agricultural center and also carries on a considerable amount of manufacturing. The prin cipal products are textile goods, flour, tobacco, leather and iron.
Gomez Palacio, lying across the Durango-Coahuila boundary from Torreon, is a city of 20,000 inhabitants. It contains important cotton mills and the largest soap factory in Mexico. Santiago Papasquiaro is a town of 5,000 inhabitants located about sixty-five miles west of Durango. It is chiefly important as a mining center.
Transportation: Much of Durango is still without railway facilities. The northeast corner of the state, however, is crossed by the Mexican Central (National Railways); and a line of the Mexican International (National Railways) runs from Torreon to the capital. The latter city also has rail connections with Tepehuanes, a few miles beyond Santiago Papasquiare and with Cañitas in Zacatecas.
Area: 578 square miles.
Population: 763,170 (average density, 1556.8).
Location: Situated in the valley of Mexico, 265 miles by rail from Vera Cruz, 600 miles from Manzanillo on the Pacific, and about 850 miles from the American boundary at Laredo. Except where its southern boundary touches the state of Morelos, the Federal District is bounded on every side by the State of Mexico.
Physical Characteristics: The Federal District, surrounded on all sides by lofty mountains, and itself lying at an elevation of about 7,000 feet, is situated in the southwestern corner of the Valley of Mexico. Its climate is temperate and delightful throughout the year, with an average rainfall of about twenty to twenty-five inches. Lying partially within the boundaries of the Federal District are the three lakes, Texcoco, Chalco and Xochimilco. The region was formerly too swampy and poorly drained for the best conditions of health; but in 1900 the completion of the great drainage canal, first conceived by the Spanish conqueror, Cortés, remedied the worst of these conditions.
Chief Industries: The Federal District, because of the City of Mexico, is the center of the nation's financial and commercial life. Here the chief banks of the Republic are located and its most important mercantile establishments, both wholesale and retail. There are also many manufacturing plants within the District.
Principal Cities: The City of Mexico, capital and largest city in the Republic, has a population of about 500,000. It is the center, not only of the nation's political and economic activities, but of its cultural and intellectual life as well. A detailed description of the city will be found in any standard guide-book on Mexico.
Tacubaya, a city of 18,000 inhabitants, lies four miles southwest of the capital. Xochimilco, population 11,000, is situated near the margin of the lake of the same name, 12 miles from Mexico City. Tlalpam, about midway between Tacubaya and Xochimilco, has a population of 5,000. Other towns of some importance are also located within the District, but for the most part they are merely tributary to the national capital.
Transportation: The City of Mexico is the railway nucleus of the country. Roads radiate from it in all directions, connecting it with almost every important city in the Republic. The lines to Vera Cruz and northward to the American border are especially important.
Area: 10,950 square miles.
Population: 1,085,681 (average density, 95.1).
Location: A central plateau state, bounded on the north by Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí; on the east by Querétaro; on the south by Michoacán; and on the west by Jalisco.
Physical Characteristics: The state is mountainous for the most part, but contains a considerable amount of exceedingly fertile lowland. Its most famous valley is that of the Santiago, through which flows the Lerma River.
Chief Industries: Manufacturing is carried on to some extent, and the state ranks high in the production of cereals, tobacco, beans, garbanzos, and vegetables. It is also one of the chief centers of the pulque industry. But the preeminent business of the state is mining. The famous Veta Madre lode, discovered in 1558, runs close to the city of Guanajuato. On this lode, as well as in other parts of the state, are located some of the oldest and finest mines in Mexico. The production is principally silver, with some gold.
Principal Cities: Guanajuato, the capital, with a population of 45,000, is situated near the center of the state, about 250 miles from Mexico City, and at an altitude of over 6,800 feet. During certain seasons of the year its climate is disagreeably cold, and heavy rains occur from June to October. It is one of the most historic and picturesque cities of Mexico, and has been a famous mining center for over 350 years. Celaya, population 26,000, is an important junction of the Mexican Central and National Railways, seventy miles from Guanajuato. It is also a manufacturing and agricultural center of some note. Irapuato, about the same size as Celaya, is likewise an important junction point for the Guadalajara and Pacific Coast traffic. The surrounding country is given over to mining and agriculture, and the city itself has a number of manufacturing establishments, including an electric light and power plant. Leon, the largest city of the state, has a population of about 65,000. It is situated thirty-five miles northwest of Guanajuato on the Mexican Central Railway, and is an important mining and agricultural center.
Besides the cities just enumerated there are perhaps half a dozen smaller cities in Guanajuato with a population ranging from 5,000 to 15,000. Among these may be mentioned Silao (15,000); San Luis de la Paz (10,000); San Miguel de Allende (11,000); and Acambaro (13,600).
Transportation: The line of the Mexican Central from Querétaro to Aguascalientes passes through the southern and western portions of the state. From this road, at Irapuato, an important branch line turns southwest to Lake Chapala and Guadalajara. The National Railway line (Mexican Central) which runs from Chihuahua to the City of Mexico, with a number of branches, serves eastern and central Guanajuato.
Area: 25,279 square miles.
Population: 620,416 (average density, 20.1).
Location: The state fronts south and west on the Pacific.
On the north
it is bounded by the states of Mexico and Morelos, and on the northeast and east by Puebla and Oaxaca.
Physical Characteristics: Except along the coast, where there is a low, fertile plain some twenty miles in width, the state of Guerrero is largely mountainous and difficult of access. Its lowlands are hot and receive an abundant rainfall; but in the higher altitudes the climate is exceptionally agreeable. One large river, the Balsas, flows from west to east across the state and then turns south to Michoacán. At various times in the past Guerrero has been subject to violent earthquakes.
Chief Industries: The state possesses unusually valuable resources in minerals, forests, and agriculture. But these resources are almost wholly undeveloped. Some coffee, cotton and cereals are grown, and stock raising is regarded as an important industry. In a small way, too, the gold, silver, copper and lead deposits of the state are being exploited; but neither in mining nor agriculture has Guerrero advanced beyond a very rudimentary stage. Nor have the timber possibilities of the state yet begun to be realized.
Transportation: The lack of transportation facilities is the chief cause of Guerrero's backward economic condition. The only railway line within the state is a branch of the National Railways, which extends from Cuernavaca to the Balsas River, by way of the city of Iguala. It serves a very limited territory between the Balsas River and the state of Morelos. The rest of the state must depend for its transportation upon trails and wagon roads.
Principal Cities: Chilpancingo, the capital, has a population of only 9,000. It is situated at an altitude of 4,250 feet, and can be reached only by horseback or stage coach. Iguala, the largest city, with a population of 12,000, lies 78 miles north of Chilpancingo, on the Quernavaca branch of the National Railways. It is historically famous as the place where the "Plan of Iguala" was proclaimed in the concluding months of Mexico's war for independence. Acapulco is an important Pacific port of about 7,000 inhabitants. It lies 115 miles from Chilpancingo, with which it is connected by wagon road, and serves as the chief import and export center for the limited business done along the coast between Manzanillo and Salina Cruz. Historically, Acapulco is distinguished as the ancient port of the Manila galleon. From Acapulco a great highway ran to Vera Cruz, by way of Mexico City; and for hundreds of years this road served as the overland link for Asiatic-European commerce.
Area: 8,637 square miles.
Population: 655,187 (average density, 75.8).
Location: A central plateau state bounded on the north by San Luis Potosí; on the east by Vera Cruz and Puebla; on the south by Mexico and Tlaxcala; and on the west and northwest by Querétaro.
Physical Characteristics: Except in the south and west the state is extremely mountainous. It has a number of rivers (chief of which are the Rio Grande and the Tula), and a lake of considerable size known as the Metztitlan. The climate for the most part is temperate, but the difference in the temperature between the highlands and lowlands is rather marked.
Chief Industries: Hidalgo is one of the great mining states of Mexico, and in the Pachua-Real del Monte district possesses one of the richest mineral regions of the world. The chief products are silver, gold, copper, lead, zinc, antimony, and tin. Some platinum, mercury, and manganese are also found.
Hidalgo is also rich from the agricultural standpoint. Its chief crops are cereals (especially barley), peppers, tobacco, coffee, fruits, and sugar-cane. The state also contains nearly half a million acres of timber land, most of which is undeveloped.
Principal Cities: Pachuca, the capital and largest city, has a population of 45,000, and as already indicated, is one of the oldest and most important mining centers in Mexico. It is also a manufacturing and commercial city of some note. The famous Real del Monte, one of the greatest silver producing districts in the world, lies only six miles from Pachuca and is really tributary to that city. Zimapan, in the northern part of Hidalgo, is another mining camp of some importance, producing principally silver, lead, and copper. Tulancingo, population 10,000, is an important agricultural center lying thirtyeight miles east of Pachuca.
Transportation: The northern and central portions of Hidalgo are without railroads; but in the south, Pachuca is joined to Mexico City by two branches of the Mexican Central (National Railways); by a branch of the Mexican Railway (Vera Cruz); by a branch of the Interoceanic; and by the Hidalgo and Northeastern. The main line of the National Railways from Mexico City to Laredo also passes through the southwestern corner of the state.
Area: 33,492 square miles.
Population: 1,220,160 (average density, 37.9).
Location: Jalisco is one of the most peculiarly shaped states in Mexico. On the north it thrusts an irregular wedge between Nayarit and Zacatecas, reaching as far as the southern boundary of Durango. To the northwest a similar, though somewhat more regular wedge, separates Zacatecas and Aguascalientes from the state of Guanajuato. Thus on the north Jalisco is bounded by Nayarit, Durango, Zacatecas, and Aguascalientes; on the east by San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato and Michoacán; on the south by Michoacán and Colima; and on the west by the Pacific.