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Physical Characteristics: From the standpoint of actual and potential wealth, attractiveness of climate, and general progress, Jalisco ranks among the first states of the Republic. The Sierra Madre chain (Sierra de Nayarit and Sierra de Jalisco) gives much of the state a very mountainous character; but the numerous valleys, the great eastern plateau region, and the low coastal plain on the Pacific, afford almost unlimited areas for agricultural development.
The state, moreover, is exceptionally well watered; and in the Rio Grande de Santiago (Lerma), which rises in Lake Chapala and flows diagonally across Jalisco and Nayarit to the Pacific, possesses one of the largest and most famous of Mexican rivers. Lake Chapala, lying partly in Jalisco and partly in Michoacán, is the largest of Mexican lakes and one of the most beautiful. Besides the Santiago there are a number of other important rivers, chief of which are the Ameca, Acaponeta, and San Pedro; and in addition to Lake Chapala there are various lakes of smaller size, most important of which are the Magdalena and Sayula. The active volcano of Colima (14,120 feet) and the Nevado de Colima (15,544 feet) are among the most famous mountain peaks of Mexico.
Chief Industries: From the standpoint of agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and hydro-electric development, Jalisco stands in the front rank of Mexican states. She is the chief corn producing state in the Republic, and for this reason, as well as for the production of other cereals, has long been known as the " granary of Mexico." Sugar-cane, maguey, vegetables, tobacco, indigo, and fruits are also grown extensively throughout the state.
Mining, though relatively less important in Jalisco than in most west coast plateau states, is still of great importance. Silver, copper, gold and zinc are the chief minerals exploited. The principal mines are located in the districts of Hostotipaquillo, Etzatlan, Ameca, Ayutla and Autlan.
Principal Cities: Guadalajara, the capital, is the second largest city of Mexico, claiming a population of nearly 150,000. It is situated at an altitude of 6,000 feet, and enjoys almost a perfect climate throughout the year. Historically, it was one of the most important cities of Spanish rule, and about 1550 was made the seat of the audiencia of Nueva Galicia. The modern city is attractive, up-to-date, and prosperous. It carries on a considerable amount of manufacturing, and serves as the financial, political and commercial center of western Mexico. There are no other cities in Jalisco of much importance.
Jalisco, like most other Mexican states, needs more railroads to realize its economic possibilities. The main line of the Mexican Central crosses the northwest corner of the state, and Guadalajara has excellent railway connections with Mexico City by the Irapuato division of this line. The Mexican Central also extends south from Guadalajara to Manzanillo on the Pacific. Westward a branch has been built to Ameca and the work of connecting this road with the Southern Pacific of Mexico, which at present terminates south of Tepic, is now in progress. It will require some years, even under the most favorable conditions, to complete this junction, but when it is accomplished, Jalisco will undergo an economic transformation.
Area: 58,338 square miles.
Population: 53,254 (average density .9).
Location: Lower (Baja) California is a long, narrow peninsula, bounded on the north by the state of California, on the west by the Colorado River and the Gulf of California (formerly known as the Vermillion Sea), and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. On the mainland across the Gulf it is paralleled by the states of Sonora and Sinaloa.
Physical Characteristics: A chain of mountains runs almost the full length of the Peninsula. All of the territory, except in the higher altitudes, is exceedingly dry and much of it is desert. A number of small rivers or streams, however, find their way down from the mountains to the sea, and the valleys thus formed are amazingly fertile.
In the northern part of the Peninsula is a region irrigated by the waters of the Colorado which has become one of the most productive areas in the world. It is the chief cotton district of Mexico, and will grow everything that has made the Imperial Valley of California famous. Elsewhere, in the river valleys already mentioned, some agriculture and stock raising is carried on, but only in a very limited way.
Lower California is rich in mineral wealth, much of which lies undeveloped. The only important mining center is the great copper camp of Santa Rosalia on the Gulf. This is controlled by the El Boleo Company and ranks as one of the two or three chief producing districts of Mexico.
A few gold and silver mines are also found in the vicinity of Triunfo and La Paz. The island of Carmen contains copper and large salt deposits, and in various other districts mining is carried on in a small way. Pearl fishing has been carried on for centuries in the Gulf.
Of recent years, considerable commercial fishing has been done in Lower California waters by American fish concerns located at San Diego and San Pedro in California. But this industry, like that of mining and agriculture, has only been begun. The full development of Lower California will one day make of that backward territory one of the richest areas in the world.
Principal Cities: Lower California is divided into two political districts with La Paz serving as the capital of the southern, and Enseñada of the northern division. Mexicali, across the international line from Calexico, is the chief export and commercial center, aside from Santa Rosalia. The latter city, with a population of about 10,000, is the largest city in the territory. With the possible exception of San José del Cabo, at the extreme south of the Peninsula, there are no towns of importance in Lower California, other than those already named.
Transportation: Except for the narrow district immediately south of the American line, no part of Lower California has the advantage of railway transportation. The few towns on the Gulf or Pacific side are served by various steamship lines, but the Peninsula as a whole is almost isolated, commercially speaking, from the outside world.
Area: 9,230 square miles.
Population: 11,000,900 (average density, 107).
Location: A central plateau state, bounded on the north by Hidalgo; on the east by Tlaxcala and Puebla; on the south by the Federal District, Morelos and Guerrero; and on the west and northwest by Michoacán and Querétaro.
Physical Characteristics: With the exception of the northern portion, which is a somewhat broken plain, the state of Mexico is a succession of beautiful valleys lying between snow-clad mountain ranges. Chief of these valleys is that of Texcoco in the east and the far-famed valley of Toluca, which includes the Federal District, in the center. The state also includes the highest and best known mountain peaks in the Republic. Chief of these are Popocatepetl (16,076 feet); and Toluca (15,100 feet). There are also numerous fresh water lakes, the largest of which are Lake Texcoco and Lake Chalco. The Lerma River rises in the valley of Toluca and flows through the northwest corner of the state. The climate of Mexico ranges from cold to semi-tropic, depending upon the altitude, but that of most of the state is temperate.
Chief Industries: Mining and agriculture are the characteristic industries of the state. It holds a foremost place in the production of cereals and the manufacture of pulque, and also raises considerable quantities of coffee, tobacco, and sugar-cane. Stock raising and dairying are also important industries.
The mineral wealth of Mexico has been exploited for many centuries, and today it is still known as one of the important mining states of the Republic. The metals chiefly produced are gold, silver, copper and lead. Some tin and antimony are also mined. The El Oro district, lying on the boundary between
Mexico and Michoacán. is one of the chief gold producing regions in the country. Other important districts are Sultepec. Zacualpan, and Temascaltepec. In addition to agriculture and mining there are a number of textile factories, corn and flour mills, breweries, tanneries, and electric light and power plants in the state.
Principal Cities: Toluca, population 38,000, the capital and chief city, is an agricultural and manufacturing city of much importance. Other cities of some note, aside from the mining camps already listed, are Amecameca, lying at the foot of Popocatepetl; Guadalupe Hidalgo, made famous by the treaty between the United States and Mexico in 1848; Otumba, Tenancingo, and Texcoco.
With the exception of the southwest corner, the state of Mexico is adequately served by the railway lines that radiate from the City of Mexico.
Area: 22,621 square miles.
Population: 1,003,491 (average density 43.3).
Location: A Pacific Coast state bounded on the north by Jalisco, Guanajuato, and a corner of Querétaro; on the west by the state of Mexico; on the south by Guerrero; on the southwest by the Pacific; and on the west by Colima and a part of Jalisco.
Physical Characteristics: Michoacán, like most Pacific states, has a narrow, low lying plain along the coast, which in the interior is paralleled by the high ranges of the Sierra Madre Mountains. The climate of the state accordingly varies with the altitude, ranging from the moist heat of the tropics to the more agreeable climate of the temperate zone.
The Lerma River runs a short distance along the northern boundary of the state, and the Balsas flows through the extreme south. The state also contains a number of lakes, chief of which are Lake Chapala, on the northwestern border; Cuitzeo, near the Guanajuato line; and lake Patzcuaro about the center of the state. Since Michoacán lies in the region of active volcanoes, much of the state is subject to violent earthquakes.
Chief Industries: Two centuries ago Michoacán possessed some of the most famous mines of New Spain. Today the state is still one of the richest in mineral resources in the Republic. Silver, gold, and copper are the chief minerals exploited, but there are also large iron deposits not yet developed. The principal mining districts are those of Tlalpujahua, which contains the famous Dos Estrelas mines, geologically a part of the El Oro district; Angangueo, some thirty miles southwest of El Oro; Ozumatlan; and the copper region of Inguaran.
In agriculture Michoacán also holds a leading place. It ranks near the top in the output of corn, barley and rice, and is the largest wheat producing state in the Republic. It is also one of the two or three chief bean growing regions in Mexico; and occupies a foremost place in the production of sugarcane, alcohol, pulque, tobacco, and indigo. In the number and value of its live-stock Michoacán ranks fourth or fifth in the republic, and in the extent of its timber lands holds about the same position.
Principal Cities: Morelia, the capital and largest city, has a population of 40,000 and ranks as an important agricultural and commercial center. It lies 230 miles from Mexico City with which it is connected by the National Railways. Uruapan, the second largest town. has a population of 16.000 and lies about eighty-five miles southwest of Morelia. It is the terminus of the Morelia Branch of the National Railways. Zamora. about the same size as Uruapan, is situated in the midst of a rich agricultural region on the Duero River.
Transportation: Two branches of the National Railways, the one running through the mining camp of Angangueo to Zitacuaro, and the other to Uruapan by way of Morelia, serve the northeastern portion of Michoacán. The north
western corner is taken care of by the Zamora branch of the National Railways, which runs south to Los Reyes from the Lake Chapala-Guanajuato line. Most of the state, especially the southern half, is without railway facilities, nor are there any harbors on the coast at which ships can land.
Area: 2,734 square miles.
Population: 183,705 (average density, 67.2).
Location: A plateau state lying directly south of the Federal District. On the west and north the state is almost surrounded by Puebla, and on the south and southwest by Guerrero.
Physical Characteristics: The state is everywhere broken by high mountain ranges, between which lie fertile valleys of varying width. The climate is hot and unhealthy in the southern lowlands, but temperate or cold in the higher altitudes. The Amacusac, a tributary of the Balsas, is the only river of importance.
Chief Industries: Morelos is preeminently an agricultural state, ranking very high in this respect among the other states of the Federation. Cereals, beans, rice, coffee, fruits, and tobacco are grown in large quantities, but the most important product is sugar-cane. Since Morelos leads the Republic in the production of this crop, the manufacture of sugar and cane alcohol have become distinctive industries throughout the state. Though valuable mineral deposits are scattered throughout the mountainous regions, mining plays almost no part in the state's economic life. In this respect Morelos differs materially from every other interior state of Mexico.
Principal Cities: Morelos has only one city of much importance. This is the capital, Cuernavaca, long famous for its beautiful surroundings. It lies about seventy-five miles from Mexico City and has a population of 15,000. The manufacture of Cuernavaca pottery is carried on in a suburb of this city.
Transportation: The line of the Mexican Central (National Railways) from Mexico City to Balsas in Guerrero crosses the western part of Morelos in a general north and south direction. A branch of the Interoceanic, leaving the main line at Los Reyes, crosses the northern border of Morelos near its eastern extremity and follows a general southwesterly course, by way of Cuautla and Yautepec until it connects with the Mexican Central at Ixtla, almost on the boundary of Morelos and Guerrero. Cuautla is also the junction point for the line running to Puebla, via Atencingo.
Area: 25,032 square miles.
Population: 372,202 (average density, 15.4).
Location: A long narrow state in northeastern Mexico, bounded on the north and east by Tamaulipas, on the south and southwest by San Luis Potosí, and on the west and north by Coahuila. A very small segment of the northern border also touches the United States.
Physical Characteristics: Nuevo León lies mostly on the high central plateau at an average elevation of about 5,500 feet. Except in the west and southwest the state is mountainous. Much of its area is arid or semi-arid in character, though on the eastern slopes the rainfall is fairly heavy. The climate is generally temperate and healthful, but the lowlands and northern desert regions furnish an exception to this statement. The state has many small streams, a few lagoons, and some very famous mineral springs, but no navigable rivers.
Chief Industries: Nuevo León is both an important agricultural and mining state, and also possesses the chief manufacturing city in the Republic. Cattle and cereals constitute its chief agricultural wealth; while lead, silver, and zinc are its most valuable mineral products. The state also possesses the largest steel and iron mills in the Federation and important smelting and refining works.
Principal Cities: Monterrey, the capital and principal city, has a population of 85,000. It is one of the most modern and progressive cities of Mexico, and carries on a large manufacturing business. Besides the foundries and smelting works already referred to, there are in Monterrey a number of large flour mills, ice factories, breweries, and the main shops of the National Railways of Mexico. It is the second most important railway center in the country.
Aside from Monterrey, there are no cities of any size in Nuevo León. Montemorelos and Linares, neither of which has more than 8,000 inhabitants, are the only ones worth mentioning.
Transportation: Nuevo León is well supplied with railways. Three lines of the National Railways from Mexico City to the American border pass through the state, one connecting Monterrey with Matamoros, another with Laredo, and the third with Cuidad Juarez. There is also a direct road from Monterrey to Tampico; and in the west two lines to Torreon.
Area: 10,953 square miles.
Population: 175,731 (average density 15.1).
Location: A Pacific Coast state (formerly the territory of Tepic), lying directly south of Sinaloa and Durango and bounded on the east and south by Jalisco.
Physical Characteristics: Except along the coast the state is very mountainous and heavily timbered. Its two chief rivers are the Rio Grande or Santiago, and the Mezquital. The rainfall is abundant and the climate is tropical and malarial.
Chief Industries: Nayarit, economically, is one of the most backward states of Mexico. Its rich resources in minerals, timber and agriculture have been but slightly developed owing to disturbed political conditions and lack of transportation facilities. The state's chief reliance at present is upon agriculture. Sugar-cane is the most important product and has led to the erection of many sugar mills and distilleries on the haciendas. Tobacco, coffee, cotton, and corn are also grown abundantly.
Gold, silver and copper are found in the mountain regions; but for the reasons already noted, large scale development of these deposits has not been possible. The slopes of the Sierra del Nayarit-a portion of the Sierra Madre which constitutes the mountain system of the state-are covered with virgin forests of valuable woods, many of which have never been commercially exploited.
Principal Cities: Tepic, the capital, is a place of some 20,000 people, lying on the old highway between San Blas and Mexico City. It is surrounded by a rich agricultural region and has a few small manufacturing establishments. San Blas, the port already referred to, was relatively much more important in Spanish colonial days, when it served as a base for the California supply ships, than it is at present. It lies at the mouth of the Santiago River, and has a population of approximately 3,000. Acaponeta is a town of 5,000 inhabitants situated seventy miles north of Tepic on the Southern Pacific Railway.
Transportation: The Southern Pacific of Mexico runs parallel to the coast from the state's northern border and extends a few miles south of the city of Tepic. Otherwise the state has no railways, and for the most part must depend upon the primitive methods of transportation used in Mexico three hundred years ago. The port of San Blas carries on some foreign and coastwise traffic but its trade is very limited. The transportation situation will be greatly improved when a connection between the Southern Pacific of Mexico and the Guadalajara branch of the National Railways is finally completed.
Area: 35,689 square miles.
Population: 1,059,789 (average density 29.3).
Location: Oaxaca is a Pacific Coast-Isthmus state, having a coast line of