The initial efforts began by securing the services of thoroughbred stallions for specified districts, by offering a limited number of " Queen's Premiums," of L200 each, to selected animals of four years old and upwards.
Encouragement of industry was not wanting; the state undertook to develop the herds of merino sheep, by issuing prohibitions against inclosures, which proved the ruin of agriculture, and gave premiums for large merchant ships, which ruined the owners of small vessels and reduced the merchant navy of Spain to a handful of galleons.
An act was passed in 1894 authorizing the government to offer premiums and grant advantageous concessions for the development of manufacturing industries, especially in sugar production, but conditions have not been favourable and the results have been disappointing.
About the beginning of the 17th century Olivier de Serres and Laffemas, somewhat against the will of Sully, obtained royal edicts favouring the growth of mulberry plantations and the cultivation of silk; but it cannot be said that these industries were firmly established till Colbert encouraged the planting of the mulberry by premiums, and otherwise stimulated local efforts.
Incidental charges are lower than they were in 1870; handling charges, brokers' commissions and insurance premiums have been in many instances reduced, but all these economies when combined only amount to about 2S.