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so that 23,725,809 may be considered the agricultural population, and 8,835,125 the population devoted to other pursuits—a result entirely different from that which the population of Great Britain gives us.
The division of France, according to law, is into
The division which nature seems to have esta blished is of a different description : for Nature seems to have divided France into four great plains, round which are grouped other parts less important, and which amalgamate less with the general character of the kingdom. Each of these plains or platforms is confined, as it were, by a net of streams, rivulets, and rivers, which intersecting it in every direction, keep it at once in communication with itself, and separate from the adjoining districts.
In England, as appears by the census of 1821.
46 per cent. in trade.
For the south you have the Saône and the Rhône, which meet at Lyons, and fall into the Mediterranean, between Marseilles and Montpellier, after having received into their bed all the rivers and rivulets which flow through this division.
For the north you have the Seine communicating between Paris and Rouen.
For the east the Loire, with its various tributary streams falling into the sea beneath Nantes.
And, lastly, you have the Gironde, forming the other great division, which has always had its peculiar characteristics.
Round these four great fluvial divisions are to the south-the little basins of the Hérault, and the Aude. To the west—the Landes, so different from the rest of France, the country watered by the Charente, La Vendée, and that ancient Britanny, with its old manners, its peculiar language, and peculiar history. To the north--Normandy and the basin of the Orne. And to the north-east, that region bordering on the Rhine, only half French, where three millions of men still talk German and Flemish--that region of which France covets the entire possession, and over which Germany will not permit the progress of France—that region which must be attacked and defended in the next war that breaks out in Europe.
Here then is France as divided by pursuits, as divided by law, as divided by nature. Another
division exists in cultivation; and the 53,000,000 hectares which constitute her surface, are thus distributed :
Thus out of the 53,000,000 of hectares capable of cultivation in France,
There are under the plough or spade
France being the only country in the world, perhaps, where ten-elevenths of the land fit to be cultivated is actually under cultivation. But at the same time
there are few countries where upwards of 22,000,000 of cultivated hectares (54,000,000 English acres) are hardly sufficient to supply food to 32,000,000 of inhabitants.* These two facts are connected together by another, for which France is more especially remarkable, viz. the allotment of her soil.
There are in France about 10,200,000 of distinct properties charged to the land tax. This tax is about the sixth of the revenue from the land. Of these 10,000,000 properties there are not much above 34,000, as will be seen by the annexed table, that pay upwards of 300 frs. i. e. that yield an income of 1,800 frs.- little more than £70. Number of properties paying from 300 fs, to 400 fs.
6,379 700 800
40,702 900 1,000
2,495 1,000 1,500
8,634 1,500 2,000
3,313 2,000 3,000
832 3,000 4,000
861 4,000 5,000
14,579 + Properties, however, distinct in their taxation, may belong to the same proprietor. M. Dupin, * See imports. + Taken from the returns of the different préfets.
taking this union of properties into consideration, reckons 5,000,000 of landed proprietors; and from the best sources from which I can derive information, there would be 1,400 or 1,500 persons paying from 4,000 to 5,000 francs, i. e. receiving a landed income of from 24,000 to 30,000 francs a year, instead of 939, which is the number of distinct properties paying that sum, or yielding that income, in the separate departments.*
This division of land produces two remarkable effects on the government, which it will be sufficient here merely to point out.
In the first place, property being distributed in such small portions in the country, twelve-fifteenths of the electors are from the towns, though threefourths of the population are, as I have said, from the country.
Secondly. The want of any wealthy class in the nation invests in the state much of the power, and much of the business, which in more aristocratical countries would be performed by individuals. The demand, then, which the landed nobility make for a lower suffrage, is a demand natural to their situation, interests, and position, while the force and centralization of the French government is the consequence of that with which it is sometimes considered inconsistent, viz. the equality that exists among the French people.
• The proprietors of forest lands are not included in this calculation.