those of the other European nations were for 
a long time in a great measure neglected. The 
former did not, perhaps, thrive the better in 
consequence of this attention, nor the latter 
the worse in consequence of this neglect. In 
proportion to the extent of the country which 
they in some measure possess, the Spanish colonies 
are considered as less populous and 
thriving than those of almost any other European 
nation. The progress even of the Spanish 
colonies, however, in population and improvement
has certainly been very rapid and 
very great. The city of Lima, founded since 
the conquest, is represented by Ulloa as containing 
fifty thousand inhabitants near thirty 
years ago. Quito, which had been but a miserable 
hamlet of Indians, is represented by 
the same author as in his time equally populous
Gemel i Carreri, a pretended traveller
it is said, indeed, but who seems everywhere 
to have written upon extreme good information
represents the city of Mexico as containing 
a hundred thousand inhabitants; a number 
which, in spite of all the exaggerations of 
the Spanish writers, is probably more than five 
times greater than what it contained in the 
time of Montezuma. These numbers exceed 
greatly these of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, 
the three greatest cities of the English 
colonies. Before the conquest of the Spaniards
there were no cattle fit for draught
either in Mexico or Peru. The lama was 
their only beast of burden, and its strength 
seems to have been a good deal inferior to that 
of a common ass. The plough was unknown 
among them. They were ignorant of the use 
of iron. They had no coined money, nor any 
established instrument of commerce of any 
kind. Their commerce was carried on by barter
A sort of wooden spade was their principal 
instrument of agriculture. Sharp stones 
served them for knives and hatchets to cut 
with; fish bones, and the hard sinews of certain 
animals, served them with needles to sew 
with; and these seem to have been their principal 
instruments of trade. In this state of 
things, it seems impossible that either of those 
empires could have been so much improved or 
so well cultivated as at present, when they are 
plentifully furnished with all sorts of European 
cattle, and when the use of iron, of the 
plough, and of many of the arts of Europe
have been introduced among them. But the 
populousness of every country must be in proportion 
to the degree of its improvement and 
cultivation. In spite of the cruel destruction 
of the natives which followed the conquest
these two great empires are probably more populous 
now than they ever were before; and 
the people are surely very different; for we 
must acknowledge, I apprehend, that the Spanish 
creoles are in many respects superior to 
the ancient Indians
After the settlements of the Spaniards, that 
of the Portuguese in Brazil is the oldest of 
any European nation in America. But as for 
a long time after the first discovery neither 
gold nor silver mines were found in it, and as 
it afforded upon that account little or no revenue 
to the crown, it was for a long time in a 
great measure neglected; and during this state 
of neglect, it grew up to be a great and powerful 
colony. While Portugal was under the 
dominion of Spain, Brazil was attacked by 
the Dutch, who got possession of seven of the 
fourteen provinces into which it is divided
They expected soon to conquer the other seven, 
when Portugal recovered its independency by 
the elevation of the family of Braganza to the 
throne. The Dutch, then, as enemies to the 
Spaniards, became friends to the Portuguese
who were likewise the enemies of the Spaniards
They agreed, therefore, to leave that 
part of Brazil which they had not conquered 
to the king of Portugal, who agreed to leave 
that part which they had conquered to them, 
as a matter not worth disputing about, with 
such good allies. But the Dutch government 
soon began to oppress the Portuguese colonists
who, instead of amusing themselves with 
complaints, took arms against their new masters, 
and by their own valour and resolution
with the connivance, indeed, but without 
any avowed assistance from the mother country, 
drove them out of Brazil. The Dutch
therefore, finding it impossible to keep any 
part of the country to themselves, were contented 
that it should be entirely restored to the 
crown of Portugal. In this colony there are 
said to be more than six hundred thousand 
people, either Portuguese or descended from 
Portuguese, creoles, mulattoes, and a mixed 
race between Portuguese and Brazilians. No 
one colony in America is supposed to contain 
so great a number of people of European extraction
Towards the end of the fifteenth, and during 
the greater part of the sixteenth century
Spain and Portugal were the two great naval 
powers upon the ocean; for though the commerce 
of Venice extended to every part of Europe
its fleet had scarce ever sailed beyond 
the Mediterranean. The Spaniards, in virtue 
of the first discovery, claimed all America as 
their own; and though they could not hinder 
so great a naval power as that of Portugal 
from settling in Brazil, such was at that time 
the terror of their name, that the greater part 
of the other nations of Europe were afraid to 
establish themselves in any other part of that 
great continent. The French, who attempted 
to settle in Florida, were all murdered by the 
Spaniards. But the declension of the naval 
power of this latter nation, in consequence of 
the defeat or miscarriage of what they called 
their invincible armada, which happened towards 
the end of the sixteenth century, put it 
out of their power to obstruct any longer the 
settlements of the other European nations. In 
the course of the seventeenth century, therefore,