« PreviousContinue »
which she principally did derive from her liberty and con- c H A P. sequent industry, at home, was not flow in following the steps of her rival. The Swedes, the Danes, the Pruffians, and the Austrians, have also had their colonizing schemes; but not to the same extent with the nations already mentioned. · 101.. All those schemes were formed upon a similar principle. Contracted views of commercial and financial advantage, narrowed their foundations, and fuffered them not to fpread beyond the limits of a partial and local policy. For, as far as I can learn, the founders of the modern European colonies scarcely ever entertained a thought of enlarging the sphere of human felicity, and extending the blessings of civilization and religion to diftant nations. On the contrary, it is melancholy to trace the progress of the modern European colonization, marked, as it is, with injustice, rapine and murder, in various shapes.
102. And what advantages have the respective mother Consequencountries derived from their plundering fchemes? Why, narrow polithe Spaniards and the Portuguese gained gold, and they cy. gained pride; but they lost their home-confumers by excessive emigrations; and their remaining people lost their industry, and their enterprizing spirit, which before had made them so respectable in Europe. The Dutch gained the Spice Islands, on which indeed they formed settlements, or factories, rather than colonies *. But in the West Indies
* I think it'right to distinguish colonies from settlements or factories. A colony signifies a number of families, formed into a regular community, who have fixed themselves on an unoccupied spot, with a view to cultivate the soil, and rear pofterity. The words colony and settlement have sometimes the same meaning; but as the latter is very often used for the word factory, I wish to restrict it to this last fignification.-Factories (or settlements) having only commercial, temporary ends in view, remove as soon as those ends are answered, leaving wholly out of sight eve. ry kind of cultivation and improvement, either of the people or the land.
CHA P. they formed real colonies, which may perhaps have contri
buted to fill the bags of the Amsterdam Bank. With mo-
103. Colonies, as hitherto established and supported, have
hitherto been too much the case, to treat with indifference C H A P.
VII. and neglect those whom Providence has placed in the humbler, but not less useful, station of executers of their plans.
104. Though it be usual to compare nations and their Comparison colonies to parents and their children; yet, as things now and their coNand, I apprehend the analogy is very far from being just. lonies, to paIn every family, the procreation and education of children children. are innate principles, and the evident intention of the Cre.
Where is the sensible parent who does not strive to give his children an education as good, at least, as he himself has received, and to elevate them into a situation in life equal, or even superior, to that which he himself fills. Acting thus, has he any other end than their good; any other purpose to serve than that of establishing them in society, and enabling them, in due time, to become the provident and beneficent fathers of future families ?
105. From such obligations, it would be a contradiction to infer, that children, arrived at maturity, ought, from a principle of false gratitude, inseparably to abide by their parents throughout life. No! Nature herself then emancipates them from parental authority, and justifies their claim to a separate residence, even though opposed by their parents. Without this procedure, society could not exist, and the human race would soon become extinct. In a word, children are fruit hanging on the tree: men are ripe fruit, qualified to produce, in their turn, new groups to grace the forest.
106. The gratitude and filial attachment which children preserve for their parents is, or ought to be, proportioned to K
C HA P. the care they have taken in their education, and to the tie
which has been mutually formed by both, during the state
107. Societies at large ought to act precisely on the same vide territo- principle, in forming colonies, which are no other than their surplus po.
own children, or the superfluity of their population. It is pulation.
indeed a duty incumbent on the government of every free,
108. When a large society thus gives birth to a small one, can it act on a nobler principle than that of regarding, in the first place, the interest of mankind at large, or universal society, and subordinately, the advantage of it's own colony, or the society descended from it in particular? Stand. ing thus between both, will not the happiness of both centre in itself? Does not the father of a family rejoice in, and partake of, the felicity both of the community and of his children?
Causes of difcord be
109. But is there any colony existing, founded on these CH A P. truly humane and enlarged principles? On the contrary, does not the education, or treatment, which the present European colonies have received, and do still receive, from their tween naimprudent and interested parents, generally prove the source their coloof hatred between societies that ought to be united by the the most indissoluble ties? Whence comes it, that parties and sects have been first driven to discontent, then to emigration, and lastly, to separation from the larger societies to which they belonged; but from perverted systems of policy, the abuse of power, civil and ecclesiastical, and the provoking attempt to keep mature descendants perpetually in leading strings, like infants? Was it thus that the ancient Greeks treated their colonies ? And ought not the moderns, in prudence, to have imitated the liberal system of those famed ancients, who considered their colonies as friends and allies, not as dependent societies or conquered provinces?
110. “ The mother Greek city, says Dr. Smith, though she considered the colony as a child, at all times entitled to great favour and assistance, and owing, in return, much gratitude and respect, yet considered it as an emancipated child, over whom she pretended to claim no direct authority or jurisdiction. The colony settled it's own form of government, enacted it's own laws, and made peace and war with it's neighbours, as an independent state. The progress of
of the ancient Greek colonies seems accordingly to have been very rapid. In a century or two, several of them appear to have rivalled, and even surpassed, their mother cities. Syracuse and Agrigentum, in Sicily; Tarentum and Locri, in Italy; Ephesus and Miletus, in Lesser Asia, appear,