land they tilled, they were protected against the usurer, that curse of East and West
In guaranteeing the land to the husbandman, the " Laws of the Indies" compare favourably with the law of the United States regarding Indian land tenure. The Supreme Court in 1823 decided that "discovery gives the dominion of the land discovered to the States of which the discoverers were the subjects."
It has been almost an axiom with some writers that no advance was made or could be made under Spanish rule.
There were difficulties indeed The Colonial Minister, importuned on the one hand by doctrinaire liberals, whose crude schemes of reform would have set the Archipelago on fire, and confronted on the other by the serried phalanx of the Friars with their hired literary bravos, was very much in the position of being between the devil and the deep sea, or, as the Spaniards phrase it "entre la espada y la pared."
Even thus the Administration could boast of some reforms and improvements.
The hateful slavery of the Cagayanes had been abolished ; the forced cultivation of tobacco was a thing of the past and in all the Archipelago the corve had been reduced.
A telegraph cable connecting Manila with Hong Kong and th world's telegraph system had been laid and subsidized. Telegraph wires were extended to all the principal towns of Luzon; lines of mail steamers to all the principal ports of the Archipelago were established and subsidized. A railway 120 miles long had been built from Manila to Dagupan under guarantee. A steam traaway had been laid to Malabon, and horse tramways through the suburbs of Manila. The Quay walls of the Pasig had been improved, and the river illuminated from its mouth to the bridge by powerful electric arc lights.
Several lighthouses had been built, others were in progress. A capacious harbour was in construction, although unfortunately defective in 1 design and ex^cu-Several lighthouses had been built, others were in progress. A capacious harbour was in construction, although unfortunately defective in 1 design and ex^cu-