« PreviousContinue »
Colonies are well known to be esta- colonies as have formed no engagements, blishments remote from the seat of eme the arrangement depends on the option pire, that have been originally founded of the conquerors, regulated however by the nation to which they are attached, by the eternal principles of justice. In as by some others, from which the pos. those that have capitulated on the ex. session has been obtained by conquest or press condition of enjoying the priviliges by cession.
of their conquerors, the case becomes The colonies, owing their existence to one of right, not of choice: those who the possessing power, must be consider surrender on such terms are entitled to ed integral parts of the empire; for in all the advantages and immunities of quitting their native shores, neither the their fellow colonists. first adventurers nor their successors re- The analogical arguments in favour of linquished their birth-right: 'they inerely this side of the question, may be found transferred their habitations; being still in the history of every state in Europe. subject to the laws of that country which Our own country furnishes some striking gave them birth: they could not have examples. The very essence of every sacrificed any privileges, because no political compact, is the reciprocity of crime was imputed by law; they suffer- advantage conferred and received by each ed the penalties of every crime commit. part of the united body. It is therefore ted abroad, and succeeded to estates and required only under ordinary circum. honours in the same way as if at home. stances, that each should govern and In short, they remained within the pide detend itself; when critical emergencies of their country's laws, except in those arise, all must concur in-contributing instances in which local circumstances succour, and each must contribute in rendered it impossible. The regulations the best and most efficient manner that of each province of a state are adapted its means permit. In Great Britain and to some peculiarities which do not exist Ireland, the inanufacturing loans are el-ewhere: yet the aggregate of these the fruitful resources of the recruiting provinces constitute the empire.
the sea-ports man our navy: It cannot be urged that a temporary yet it cannot be contended that these relinquishment of privilege may take places alone defend the empire: The place'; for it involves the gross absurdity oiher parts do their duty by paying of surrendering a power to be resumed taxes, and promoting other objects of at pleasure, while no specific contract to' national importance, which indirectly that effect was ever inade. The very conduce to the saine point. The appliact of surrendering the advantages of cation of this position is sufficiently obany society, disqualifies a inan for the vious. functions of a citizen. His political ex- It is worthy of recollection, that there istence having ceased, he caimot pere is no political compact in which the difo furin political acts.
The whole cominu- ferent members contribute in the same nity alone can enable him to resume his way, or in tlie same proportion. This is rauk
among them : the nioral difficulty very remarkable in the well-known in• in this case is very' analogous to the phy. stance of the States of Holland, where sical iinpossibility of a dead man's re- Guelderland, the first of the provinces in turning lo life by his ow'll act.
point of rank, paid 5 per cent. of the No laws, however, have ever been en- whole taxes, and Holland, the second, acted to distranchise the British colonists 58 per cent. This is certainly anomaof their birth-riglits: they are in the saine but it confirms the general position, situation with their countrymen on the that each part of the empire furnishes high seas; alike removed from the im- the state with means, in proportion to miciliate superintendance of the govern- its ability. It will hereafter be shewn nient, but equally entitled to protec- that the West Indies do more than their tion.
duty in this respect; which authorises The application of this doctrine to, the thein tu expect and to enjoy protection original colonies, or those which owe in ordinary cases, and favour, lihen their their existence to the state in' actual interests are opposed to those of foreignpossession, is unquestionable. It is worthy of enquiry, how far they extend The pólitical considerations which to captured colonies. This may be also have been alluded to are so numerous, determined on broad principles, depen- tiat it will be sufficient to mention a few dent on liose already set forth. In such of the most striking. The West India
colonies defray the whole of their civil valuable work on Colonial Policy,* esti. establishments; and in most, if not all of mates the revenue of West India prothem, a considerable surplus remains in prietors subject to taxation in this country the public fund for imperial uses.
at several millions. It may be difficult The sole expences, then, which Great to ascertain the precise ainnunt, but it Britain incurs for her colonies, is con- may be fairly estimated from the net fined to small salaries of soine of the average of four years, t at about two public officers, (who are moreover ainply millions, which contributes in the same paid by the colonies themselves) and 10 way as any other revenue in this country. ihat of their military and naval establish- If this be the case, under the present ments.
grevious system, how much greater would Political writers have generally com- it be in inore propitious tines. . The puted the value of the several parts of resources of those already in Britain an empire hy the number of men that would he augmented, and others would they furnish, and the support they afo reside here, who at present are deterred ford to the public revenue. To these by the difficulties they have to encounpoints' the examination of the value of ter. the West Indies is now reduced. Their Nor is this the whole advantage in constitution precludes an increase of the point of revenue. Goods to the amount wbite population; it is therefore impose of sixt millions of pounds are annually sible to raise troops for general service exported to the colonies; most of which from that class of inhabitants. Several articles are taxed - in some forin or black regiments, bowever, have been other. Taised, some at the sole expence of the colo- From these facts, it is clear that the nies in which they were formed. These West India colonies answer the great men form a very respectable military force. criterion of political utility, and ouglio In addition to this, there is no part of therefore to enjoy those benefits to which the empire in which the militia duiy falls they have such powerful claims. so generally as in the West Indies. Alilough there has been a pretty These local troops are self-supported, minute detail of those points which have and perforın with fidelity all their duties. been selected by politicians, and the
In most of the colonies, a gratujious importance of which is unquestionable, allowance is inade to the British troops there are some others of great inoment, that are stationed there; so that the aid, as promoting national objects in an emi. in point of men, though not so compleré nent degree. as in some places, is far beyond some The quantity of industry called forth others. Let'us examine the test in its by any pursuit, and the real wealth proother bearings :-the West India colonists duced by it, toorm the best criterion of contribute to the public revenue in an
its value. Mr. Bosanqueig has well intinitely larger proportion than any shewn that the value of the imports from, other class of British subjects. In 1804-5,* and exports to, the West India colonies, ihe value of the imports from the far excceds that of any trade we have. British West Indies was above seventeen The monopoly Acts secure all the advan.' million of pounds sterling, which yielded tages to the mother country, by excluding abore five millions of direct public every rival. The demand for British revenue. By various indirect means, Mr. produce, the want of which cannot be Luet computes that an equal sum finds dispensed with, is so enormous as to call its way into the Treasury ; making a total forth directly and indirectly the energies of ten millions of pounds of annual re
of every part of the empire. An immense venue tr) the state in general.
number of men are employed by the Besides the enormous revenue drawn manufacturers, who are thus supported : from the produce of the colonies, British merchants, ship-owner-, insurance large suins are puid by those West ludia brokers, and others, are actually maine proprietrics resident in Britain, who con
tamed by the West India colonies. thlure in a three-fold form to the state:
The materials for some very important 1. By the colonial taxes; 2. By those manufactures are furnished by' them, on produce; and, 3. By those on reve
above one-third of the whole of the Rue in Britain. Mr. Brougham, in his Young's West Ind.Com. Place Bock, p.86.
+ Young's W. Ind.
* Vol. 1.
Ibid. † Lowe's Inquiry into State, &c. p. dj. § Leiter to W, Marining, esq. p. 41.&c. on
cotton imported into Great Britain being and all the taxes now paid by them, must derived from them.
be drawn from the parent state. Mr. Brougham* has shewn, that in the It is an awful and important truth, shipping employed between This country that Britain cannot exist with a smaller and the West India colonies, there are revenue than she at present possesses. more seamen in proportion to the tonnage Landholders, as well as the mercantile than in any other trade, being that of interest, should weigh well this fact, and one man to every fourteen tons.
act in such a manner as to promote their From the official reports made to the own interests no less than those of their House of Commons of the tonnage and fellow-subjects. seamen employed in that trade, during These circumstances apply perhaps in the year 1804, it appears that the former a greater degree to the sugar than to the amounted to 236,580 tons of shipping; cottoncolonies: there is another peculiari. and that 17,680 seamen were engaged on ty connected with the latter. board of those vessels. The proportion, Raw cotton has become nearly with in this instance, exceeds the estimate of wool, a staple of these kingdoms. The M:. Brougham; there being one man to unrivalled excellence of our manufactures every hirteen tons. But Mr. Lowet ensures us the market wherever we have estimates the number of men, including access. At present we derive the cottonthose engaged in fisheries dependent on wool wbich is manufactured or exported the colonies, at 25,000 men, which would in its raw state, from our own colonies, reduce the proportion to one man to from the United States of America, the about each nine į tons. The same gentle. Brazils, the Spanish colonies, the Levant, man has stated most decisive reasons for and the East Indies. Of the whole of the preference given to this trade by the this, above one-third is imported from the lower classes; and he has also shewn, that British colonies. On this we can always the inducements held out by it, are so great calculate, barring the risk of crops, and as to lead many to enter into the sea of capture; the last being much lessened service, who would otherwise have shun- by the expulsion of the French from the ped it. He has done this, and indeed western hemisphere. All obtained fron every part of his subject, such ample foreigners is dependent on their caprice justice, that the repetition of the facts of this America has afforded an admira iu this place would be a superfluous ble illustration. labour.
In 1808, the quantity of cotton in There is another consideration which ported from North America was only 10 has been too generally overlooked: that millions of lbs. being thus reduced y the intercourse between Britain and her little more than one-third of what it ha culonies, replaces two British capitals, been for the three preceding years, an while all others replaces only oue,
to one-fifth of what it has since bee Such are a few of the advantages en. The other independent states may joyed by the parent state: the next object equally whimsical, or their interests m: of attention is the disadvantages under be different from what they now which the colonists labour. They are too There are also physical objections to son goading to be overlooked. To a large class of the cotton-wool obtained from foreig of theni the legislature has of late sources: that from the Levant bei afforded some relief, which has however only fit for the coarsest manufacture been imperfect. To another (the cotton. that from India is either coarse or fi planters) there appears to be no intention in the extreme, and cannot be genera of affording any aid; for every petition used. The expence, too, of freight is fo that bas been forwarded to the Board of tiines that from the West Indies. Trade, has been dismissed without the Unless the colonists obtain relief, the relief sought.
must and they will seek it for themselv Every man in this empire is deeply It is true that they are without the mea affected by the prosperity or adversity of of revolt; their peculiar situation, th the colonies; for should the evil become- inclinations, all concur to oppose suc! too great to be borne, ruin must ensue to design. This furnishes an addition those iminediately dependent on them: claim on generosity.
There is a pitch, however, to'which o * Colonial Policy, vol. 1. p. 17.
the chords of attachment can be tuned + Inquiry, &c. p. 11,
wound farther, discord is produced,
who are then rendered active from ne- occurred, the North Americans hare cessity, will devise means of reliet; those otroduced enormous and increasing of active redress are not in their power, quantities of colton-wool. The produce but they may share their wrongs with of the Brazils was inonopolized by Porthose who now inflict them, by withdraw. tugal previous to the occupation of the ing themselves and their slaves to some latter country by the French; it has country, where they will receive that pro- since found a vent in Great Britain, tection which is denied at home. And even Uniinportant as the quantities undoubtshould this dread alternative not be edly are that are derived from other adopred, the dissatisfaction excited by sources, they also increase. Foreigners, such real causes will not be confined to as well as our fellow-citizens, are thus the breasts of the immediate sufferers. protected, in a way that does not seein It will spread rapidly, and may ultimately quite congenial to the common notions excite efforts which are much to be de- of justice. precated. Men will not be oppressed, The following statement will enable nay absolutely defrauded, without a mur. the reader to appreciate fairly the real mur or complaint.
miseries of the British cotton planter, These evils will result from the cala- who suffers for the benefit of foreigners. mities of the whole of the West India co. In the British cotton-culonies immense Jonies; if a part only suffers, the mischief, capitals have been vested, and large though less general, will be proportionably tracts of country have been devoted to destructive to all connected with them. the cultivation of this article. In point The cotton.colonies are therefore entitled of national importance, these colonies to their due share of attention from the have been rapidly increasing, as will be legislature. A statement of their former seen by reference to table C. (in our and present situation, in all respects, will next.) bext be given; it is fatally correct, and The original expence of forming planneeds no embellishments to heighten the tations, and of rendering them fit for the mniseries it contains,
for which they are now used, Ever since the British have engaged in was very considerable, as will be more colomal speculations in the West Indies, evident when it is recollected that the they have made the culture of the cotton- barren uncultivated tracis which have tree in some degree an object of atten- been rendered productive and fruitful, tion. For a long time it was partial, were remote from all those facilities and confined to very few situations: the which we possess so amply at home; increasing enterprise of the mother that the whole labour of clearing away country did not, however, allow West immense forests, and of draining swamps Indian industry to be exclusively con- or unhealthy lands, was performed by fined to sugar; but, by improving the negroes brought from Africa at a heavy manufactures at home, it gave a new expence, who for a time were entirely impulse to the western world, and cotton dependent on foreign supplies for suplas gradually become an object of more port, A calculation might be instigeneral attention.
tuted; but the facts are so strong, that The West Indies, for a considerable the general position may be assumed period, supplied nearly the whole of the without fear of being questioned. British demand. About thirty years
From the very nature of our West ago, the Dutch settlements on the coast India colonies, they must even now, and of Guyana first attracted the attention at all periods, be in a great measure of the cotton-planters; and about the dependent on other countries for some same time North America engaged in of che inost important necessaries of life. similar pursuits in her southern states. The constitution of the society precludes
During the progress of this cultivation, manufacturing the inost cominon articles, the extension of manufactories at home, and they do not possess all the means of produced a corresponding demand for support. ihe raw material; which was principally The monopoly secured by Britain to supplied by the British colonies, including herself, enhances the price of whatever those on the coast of Guyana, and which is derived from her, as provisions can were captured in 1796 by the British. always be obtained inuch cheaper from A few years ago, the foreign planter dis- North America—but this is inconsistent covered that Britain was the best mar. with the notions of those who have the ket for this produce; and since that power of remedying the mischief.
The effects of this monopoly are deci- to year, and from generation to genededly Brostile to Me British cotton- ration, rich in the use of their customers' planter, for it increases the real cost of money, and livir:g in great style on the his property, while it depresses the principle of never settling accounts. value of his produce. Of this, however, Were bankers in general called upon more will be said herearier: at present, to pay back to every one his own), and the allusion is sufficient to confirm The balance with the world, is it not to be estimate of the value of such property. feared that not one in ten would prove It may be here remarked that clotining of solvent, nor one in four be able to pay every kind, as well as provisions, is ex- ten shillings in the pound? How often ported from this country.
has it happened, on the failure of a large It appears from a careful comparison banking-house, which has for years mainof these circumstances of the real value tained in insolent splendiour the families of cotton estates, (iaking every source of of five or six partners, that a tardy divis expence into consideration), that the dend has been obtained of half-a-crown, average value of each · acre of land
or five shillings, in the pound! inay he stated at between 1401. and 1501. At the beginning of the French rern. sterling.
lution, the bankers of France lost the Each acre (as proved by an average public confrelence, and ruined thousands of ten years) produces about 200lbs, net of families, paying in general but trifling of cotton wool.
dividends; and the consequent exaspera (To be corc'uded in our next.) tion of the public mind, led to many of
the horrors of the revolution. The same To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. effects would probably arise in England SIR,
on an invasion, or on any public event URING the current month, various that inight create general alarm.
dealers in money and negociable It is my advice then, that ihe banking paper, commonly called Bankers, bave system be placed under legislative restopt payment in town and country, and gulation; that bankers be compelled to ruined many honest people.
give security to public functionaries for As however it is the prosessed objcct amounts proportioned to the extent of of this description of traders to biccome their credits, and especially to their thie depositories of other persons' spare issues of notes—a regulation adopted in cash, and as they sellom or never lend the United States. At present they are money for any useful or benevolent dangerous, because delusive, establishpurpose,
it appears to me that no banker ments; they encourage and sustain mo. can Iwonestly become a bankrupt; and nopolists and monopulies, and they play therefore, that when he does, he ought tricks with the circulating medium, to be rendered the object of some espe- which ought not itself to be an object of cial punishineni.
traffic! Men whose solc business is that of
COMMON SENSE. receiving other peoples' money, of which they' are bound to be the gundians, do. To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. not live in the same relation to society
SIR, as traders in merchandize. These latter VIE bishop of Lincoln, in bis Elespeculations, fluctuations in markets, and “after a certain time, the whole race of even in money matters are subject to men moved from their original babilathe tricks, mariauvres, and alliberal rions in Armenia, and settled in the practices of bankers themselves. - Bank- plains of Shinar, near the Euphrates, in ers, however, who obtain the use of Assyria or Chaldæa.” The Scripture large sums without interest, are moraliy says, “ It came to pass, as they journeyed bound to enter into no speculations from the east, that they found a plain in which place at hazard the money con- the land of Shinar; and they dwelt fided ti them; and ought every night to there." If we consider the position of compare their obligations with their re- Armenia and of Shinar, we shall find sources, and be able, if needful, at a few that the journey here mentioned could hours notice, to restore to every man not have been from the direction of Are that which has been confided to them. menia. 1. Armenia is a province of Yer so little is this the practice, that Asia, and consists of the niodern Turbankers proceed in business from year comagia, and part of Persia. It is