The New International Encyclopædia/Michoacán
MICHOACÁN, mē̇-chō′ȧ-kän′. A Pacific Coast State of Mexico, bounded by the States of Jalisco and Guanajuato on the north, Mexico on the east, Guerrero and the Pacific Ocean on the south, and Colima and Jalisco on the west (Map: Mexico, H 8). Area, 22,874 square miles. The surface is generally mountainous, although its highest elevations are below 13,000 feet. The northern part is the more elevated, being in general over 6000 feet above the sea, with a few peaks exceeding 10,000 feet. The southern part slopes toward the coast, which is mostly low. The extreme northern part is rather flat and interspersed with a number of lakes. With the exception of the large rivers Lerma and Las Balsas, forming part of the boundaries, and the Tepalcatepec, a tributary of Las Balsas, crossing the State from east to west, the rivers are small, but lakes are abundant, and some of them, such as Cuitzeo, are of considerable size. The climate is on the whole healthful, except in the southern part, where fever prevails to some extent. The soil is of remarkable fertility; the principal products are cereals in the more elevated parts, and sugar, coffee, vanilla, tobacco, and other tropical plants in the valleys. Stock-raising and mining are also important industries, and trade is considerable. The province is crossed by the Mexican National and the Mexican Central railway lines. Population, in 1895, 896,495. Capital, Morelia (q.v.). Michoacán was inhabited by the Tarascos, who had successfully resisted the domination of the Aztecs up to the time of the Conquest.