as it is, since the days of the Conquest uniformly sinking lower and lower in the scale of human degradation, without one scintillation of energy to foretell a change; we see this population, in the last twenty years - unlike its great and prosperous neighbour of the north, doubling its numbers - absolutely reduced in the aggregate twelve per cent.; we see their boasted eight millions at the completion of the Revolution reduced to a small fraction over seven, with increased taxes, with diminished product of metals, with an agriculture which has gone back from bad to worse, with ninety millions of public debt, the most of which is due a foreign creditor with the will and the power to force its payment; we see an unwise accumulation of wealth in the priesthood, who hoard from a fanatical laity with a mania which increases with age; we see a foreign commerce, the profits of which is a perpetual drain upon the body politic, with a government of bayonets, the support of which is death to the citizen: in fine, we see a nation of abject ignorance and slavery, without a Constitution, and governed with the sword. Thus it is we see Mexico, without the hope of advancement, and everything receding to a state far worse than aboriginal  simplicity, because in its backward march, without the virtues of the primitive man, it carries with it the vices and corruptions of civilized artifice.1
If we are asked to what these things are attributable, it would be an unsatisfactory answer to say that such is the history of the Spanish colonies. Let us look beyond.
Upon the discovery of the new continent, the bright metals allured a court, then governed by the fanatical dogmas of the Romish Church, to a belief of unceasing wealth. That court, in extending its colonial government over such untold treasures, as well from the religious fanaticism which governed the sixteenth century as from an equal desire to possess itself permanently thereof, threw its government into the control of a priesthood, whose long-settled policy has been to govern by the suppression of the Bible, and through the ignorance of the governed. This policy, adhered to with such unceasing aim for three hundred years, at the same time that it made the court and the Church the recipients of the wealth, sunk in a reverse ratio the subject both in ignorance and want. A system so erroneous in its commencement could have no cure short of universal dethronement of the power first instituting it; and how was that power to be reached, when it was the moral soul of the governed?
The Church in Mexico, whose existence depends upon its unchanged policy, is the moral soul of the people; and were it to allow learning to the million,  it would permit a transfer of that great moral lever by which it governs. Thus, while its fanaticism debases, its cupidity impoverishes the many. With its hundreds of millions of wealth, it teaches the strict doctrine that upon your conduct depends your redemption from purgatory, and without my will you cannot