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    Book IV: Chapter 7

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    PART I.

    Of the Motives for Establishing New Colonies.

    The interest which occasioned the first settlement of the
    different European colonies in America and the West Indies, was
    not altogether so plain and distinct as that which directed the
    establishment of those of ancient Greece and Rome.

    All the different states of ancient Greece possessed, each of
    them, but a very small territory; and when the people in anyone
    of them multiplied beyond what that territory could easily
    maintain, a part of them were sent in quest of a new habitation,
    in some remote and distant part of the world ; the warlike
    neighbours who surrounded them on all sides, rendering it
    difficult for any of them to enlarge very much its territory at
    home. The colonies of the Dorians resorted chiefly to Italy and
    Sicily, which, in the times preceding the foundation of Rome,
    were inhabited by barbarous and uncivilized nations; those of the
    Ionians and Aeolians, the two other great tribes of the Greeks,
    to Asia Minor and the islands of the Aegean sea, of which the
    inhabitants sewn at that time to have been pretty much in the
    same state as those of Sicily and Italy. The mother city, 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 its own form of government, enacted its own laws,
    elected its own magistrates, and made peace or war with its
    neighbours, as an independent state, which had no occasion to
    wait for the approbation or consent of the mother city. Nothing
    can be more plain and distinct than the interest which directed
    every such establishment.

    Rome, like most of the other ancient republics, was originally
    founded upon an agrarian law, which divided the public territory,
    in a certain proportion, among the different citizens who
    composed the state. The course of human affairs, by marriage, by
    succession, and by alienation, necessarily deranged this original
    division, and frequently threw the lands which had been allotted
    for the maintenance of many different families, into the
    possession of a single person. To remedy this disorder, for
    such it was supposed to be, a law was made, restricting the
    quantity of land which any citizen could possess to five hundred
    jugera; about 350 English acres. This law, however, though we
    read of its having been executed upon one or two occasions, was
    either neglected or evaded, and the inequality of fortunes went
    on continually increasing. The greater part of the citizens had
    no land ; and without it the manners and customs of those times
    rendered it difficult for a freeman to maintain his independency.
    In the present times, though a poor man has no land of his own,
    if he has a little stock, he may either farm the lands of
    another, or he may carry on some little retail trade ; and if he
    has no stock, he may find employment either as a country
    labourer, or as an artificer. But among the ancient Romans, the
    lands of the rich were all cultivated by slaves, who wrought
    under an overseer, who was likewise a slave; so that a poor
    freeman had little chance of being employed either as a farmer or
    as a labourer. All trades and manufactures, too, even the retail
    trade, were carried on by the slaves of the rich for the benefit
    of their masters, whose wealth, authority, and protection, made
    it difficult for a poor freeman to maintain the competition
    against them. The citizens, therefore, who had no land, had
    scarce any other means of subsistence but the bounties of the
    candidates at the annual elections. The tribunes, when they had a
    mind to animate the people against the rich and the great, put
    them in mind of the ancient divisions of lands, and represented
    that law which restricted this sort of private property as the
    fundamental law of the republic. The people became clamorous to
    get land, and the rich and the great, we may believe, were
    perfectly determined not to give them any part of theirs. To
    satisfy them in some measure, therefore, they frequently proposed
    to send out a new colony. But conquering Rome was, even upon such
    occasions, under no necessity of turning out her citizens to seek
    their fortune, if one may so, through the wide world, without
    knowing where they were to settle. She assigned them lands
    generally in the conquered provinces of Italy, where, being
    within the dominions of the republic, they could never form any
    independent state, but were at best but a sort of corporation,
    which, though it had the power of enacting bye-laws for its own
    government, was at all times subject to the correction,
    jurisdiction, and legislative authority of the mother city. The
    sending out a colony of this kind not only gave some satisfaction
    to the people, but often established a sort of garrison, too, in
    a newly conquered province, of which the obedience might
    otherwise have been doubtful. A Roman colony, therefore, whether
    we consider the nature of the establishment itself, or the
    motives for making it, was altogether different from a Greek one.
    The words, accordingly, which in the original languages denote
    those different establishments, have very different meanings. The
    Latin word (colonia) signifies simply a plantation. The Greek
    word (apoixia), on the contrary, signifies a separation of
    dwelling, a departure from home, a going out of the house. But
    though the Roman colonies were, in many respects, different from
    the Greek ones, the interest which prompted to establish them was
    equally plain and distinct. Both institutions derived their
    origin, either from irresistible necessity, or from clear and
    evident utility.

    The establishment of the European colonies in America and the
    West Indies arose from no necessity; and though the utility which
    has resulted from them has been very great, it is not altogether
    so clear and evident. It was not understood at their first
    establishment, and was not the motive, either of that
    establishment, or of the discoveries which gave occasion to it ;
    and the nature, extent, and limits of that utility, are not,
    perhaps, well understood at this day.

    The Venetians, during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries,
    carried on a very advantageous commerce in spiceries and other
    East India goods, which they distributed among the other nations
    of Europe. They purchased them chiefly in Egypt, at that time
    under the dominion of the Mamelukes, the enemies of the Turks, of
    whom the Venetians were the enemies ; and this union of interest,
    assisted by the money of Venice, formed such a connexion as gave
    the Venetians almost a monopoly of the trade.

    The great profits of the Venetians tempted the avidity of the
    Portuguese. They had been endeavouring, during the course of the
    fifteenth century, to find out by sea a way to the countries from
    which the Moors brought them ivory and gold dust across the
    desert. They discovered the Madeiras, the Canaries, the Azores,
    the Cape de Verd islands, the coast of Guinea, that of Loango,
    Congo, Angola, and Benguela, and, finally, the Cape of Good Hope.
    They had long wished to share in the profitable traffic of the
    Venetians, and this last discovery opened to them a probable
    prospect of doing so. In 1497, Vasco de Gamo sailed from the port
    of Lisbon with a fleet of four ships, and, after a navigation of
    eleven months, arrived upon the coast of Indostan ; and thus
    completed a course of discoveries which had been pursued with
    great steadiness, and with very little interruption, for near a
    century together.

    Some years before this, while the expectations of Europe were in
    suspense about the projects of the Portuguese, of which the
    success appeared yet to be doubtful, a Genoese pilot formed the
    yet more daring project of sailing to the East Indies by the
    west. The situation of those countries was at that time very
    imperfectly known in Europe. The few European travellers who had
    been there, had magnified the distance, perhaps through
    simplicity and ignorance ; what was really very great, appearing
    almost infinite to those who could not measure it; or, perhaps,
    in order to increase somewhat more the marvellous of their own
    adventures in visiting regions so immensely remote from Europe.
    The longer the way was by the east, Columbus very justly
    concluded, the shorter it would be by the west. He proposed,
    therefore, to take that way, as both the shortest and the surest,
    and he had the good fortune to convince Isabella of Castile of
    the probability of his project. He sailed from the port of Palos
    in August 1492, near five years before the expedition of Vasco de
    Gamo set out from Portugal; and, after a voyage of between two
    and three months, discovered first some of the small Bahama or
    Lucyan islands, and afterwards the great island of St. Domingo.

    But the countries which Columbus discovered, either in this or in
    any of his subsequent voyages, had no resemblance to those which
    he had gone in quest of. Instead of the wealth, cultivation, and
    populousness of China and Indostan, he found, in St. Domingo, and
    in all the other parts of the new world which he ever visited,
    nothing but a country quite covered with wood, uncultivated, and
    inhabited only by some tribes of naked and miserable savages. He
    was not very willing, however, to believe that they were not the
    same with some of the countries described by Marco Polo, the
    first European who had visited, or at least had left behind him
    any description of China or the East Indies ; and a very slight
    resemblance, such as that which he found between the name of
    Cibao, a mountaim in St. Domingo, and that of Cipange, mentioned
    by Marco Polo, was frequently sufficient to make him return to
    this favourite prepossession, though contrary to the clearest
    evidence. In his letters to Ferdinand and Isabella, he called the
    countries which he had discovered the Indies. He entertained no
    doubt but that they were the extremity of those which had been
    described by Marco Polo, and that they were not very distant from
    the Ganges, or from the countries which had been conquered by
    Alexander. Even when at last convinced that they were different,
    be still flattered himself that those rich countries were at no
    great distance; and in a subsequent voyage, accordingly, went in
    quest of them along the coast of Terra Firma, and towards the
    Isthmus of Darien.

    In consequence of this mistake of Columbus, the name of the
    Indies has stuck to those unfortunate countries ever since; and
    when it was at last clearly discovered that the new were
    altogether different from the old Indies, the former were called
    the West, in contradistinction to the latter, which were called
    the East Indies.

    It was of importance to Columbus, however, that the countries
    which he had discovered, whatever they were, should be
    represented to the court of Spain as of very great consequence ;
    and, in what constitutes the real riches of every country, the
    animal and vegetable productions of the soil, there was at that
    time nothing which could well justify such a representation of

    The cori, something between a rat and a rabbit, and supposed by
    Mr Buffon to be the same with the aperea of Brazil, was the
    largest viviparous quadruped in St. Domingo. This species seems
    never to have been very nurnerous; and the dogs and cats of the
    Spaniards are said to have long ago almost entirely extirpated
    it, as well as some other tribes of a still smaller size. These,
    however, together with a pretty large lizard, called the ivana or
    iguana, constituted the principal part of the animal food which
    the land afforded.

    The vegetable food of the inhabitants, though, from their want of
    industry, not very abundant, was not altogether so scanty. It
    consisted in Indian corn, yams, potatoes, bananas, etc., plants
    which were then altogether unknown in Europe, and which have
    never since been very much esteemed in it, or supposed to yield a
    sustenance equal to what is drawn from the common sorts of grain
    and pulse, which have been cultivated in this part of the world
    time out of mind.

    The cotton plant, indeed, afforded the material of a very
    important manufacture, and was at that time, to Europeans,
    undoubtedly the most valuable of all the vegetable productions of
    those islands. But though, in the end of the fifteenth century,
    the muslins and other cotton goods of the East Indies were much
    esteemed in every part of Europe, the cotton manufacture itself
    was not cultivated in any part of it. Even this production,
    therefore, could not at that time appear in the eyes of Europeans
    to be of very great consequence.

    Finding nothing, either in the animals or vegetables of the newly
    discovered countries which could justify a very advantageous
    representation of them, Columbus turned his view towards their
    minerals; and in the richness of their productions of this third
    kingdom, he flattered himself he had found a full compensation
    for the insignificancy of those of the other two. The little bits
    of gold with which the inhabitants ornamented their dress, and
    which, he was informed, they frequently found in the rivulets and
    torrents which fell from the mountains, were sufficient to
    satisfy him that those mountains abounded with the richest gold
    mines. St. Domingo, therefore, was represented as a country
    abounding with gold, and upon that account (according to the
    prejudices not only of the present times, but of those times), an
    inexhaustible source of real wealth to the crown and kingdom of
    Spain. When Columbus, upon his return from his first voyage, was
    introduced with a sort of triumphal honours to the sovereigns of
    Castile and Arragon, the principal productions of the countries
    which he had discovered were carried in solemn procession before
    him. The only valuable part of them consisted in some little
    fillets, bracelets, and other ornaments of gold, and in some
    bales of cotton. The rest were mere objects of vulgar wonder and
    curiosity ; some reeds of an extraordinary size, some birds of a
    very beautiful plumage, and some stuffed skins of the huge
    alligator and manati ; all of which were preceded by six or seven
    of the wretched natives, whose singular colour and appearance
    added greatly to the novelty of the show.

    In consequence of the representations of Columbus, the council of
    Castile determined to take possession of the countries of which
    the inhabitants were plainly incapable of defending themselves.
    The pious purpose of converting them to Christianity sanctified
    the injustice of the project. But the hope of finding treasures
    of gold there was the sole motive which prompted to undertake it;
    and to give this motive the greater weight, it was proposed by
    Columbus, that the half of all the gold and silver that should be
    found there, should belong to the crown. This proposal was
    approved of by the council.

    As long as the whole, or the greater part of the gold which the
    first adventurers imported into Europe was got by so very easy a
    method as the plundering of the defenceless natives, it was not
    perhaps very difficult to ,pay even this heavy tax ; but when the
    natives were once fairly stript of all that they had, which, in
    St. Domingo, and in all the other countries discovered by
    Columbus, was done completely in six or eight years, and when, in
    order to find more, it had become necessary to dig for it in the
    mines, there was no longer any possibility of paying this tax.
    The rigorous exaction of it, accordingly, first occasioned, it is
    said, the total abandoning of the mines of St. Domingo, which
    have never been wrought since. It was soon reduced, therefore, to
    a third; then to a fifth; afterwards to a tenth; and at last to a
    twentieth part of the gross produce of the gold mines. The tax
    upon silver continued for a long time to be a fifth of the gross
    produce. It was reduced to a tenth only in the course of the
    present century. But the first adventurers do not appear to have
    been much interested about silver. Nothing less precious than
    gold seemed worthy of their attention.

    All the other enterprizes of the Spaniards in the New World,
    subsequent to those of Columbus, seem to have been prompted by
    the same motive. It was the sacred thirst of gold that carried
    Ovieda, Nicuessa, and Vasco Nugnes de Balboa, to the Isthmus of
    Darien ; that carried Cortes to Mexico, Almagro and Pizarro to
    Chili and Peru. When those adventurers arrived upon any unknown
    coast, their first inquiry was always if there was any gold to be
    found there ; and according to the information which they
    received concerning this particular, they determined either to
    quit the country or to settle in it.

    Of all those expensive and uncertain projects, however, which
    bring bankruptcy upon the greater part of the people who engage
    in them, there is none, perhaps, more perfectly ruinous than the
    search after new silver and gold mines. It is, perhaps, the most
    disadvantageous lottery in the world, or the one in which the
    gain of those who draw the prizes bears the least proportion to
    the loss of those who draw the blanks; for though the prizes are
    few, and the blanks many, the common price of a ticket is the
    whole fortune of a very rich man. Projects of mining, instead of
    replacing the capital employed in them, together with the
    ordinary profits of stock, commonly absorb both capital and
    profit. They are the projects, therefore, to which, of all
    others, a prudent lawgiver, who desired to increase the capital
    of his nation, would least choose to give any extraordinary
    encouragement, or to turn towards them a greater share of that
    capital than what would go to them of its own accord. Such, in
    reality, is the absurd confidence which almost all men have in
    their own good fortune, that wherever there is the least
    probability of success, too great a share of it is apt to go to
    them of its own accord.

    But though the judgment of sober reason and experience concerning
    such projects has always been extremely unfavourable, that of
    human avidity has commonly been quite otherwise. The same passion
    which has suggested to so many people the absurd idea of the
    philosopher's stone, has suggested to others the equally absurd
    one of immense rich mines of gold and silver. They did not
    consider that the value of those metals has, in all ages and
    nations, arisen chiefly from their scarcity, and that their
    scarcity has arisen from the very small quantities of them which
    nature has anywhere deposited in one place, from the hard and
    intractable substances with which she has almost everywhere
    surrounded those small quantities, and consequently from the
    labour and expense which are everywhere necessary in order to
    penetrate, and get at them. They flattered themselves that veins
    of those metals might in many places be found, as large and as
    abundant as those which are commonly found of lead, or copper, or
    tin, or iron. The dream of Sir Waiter Raleigh, concerning the
    golden city and country of El Dorado, may satisfy us, that even
    wise men are not always exempt from such strange delusions. More
    than a hundred years after the death of that great man, the
    Jesuit Gumila was still convinced of the reality of that
    wonderful country, and expressed, with great warmth, and, I dare
    say, with great sincerity, how happy he should be to carry the
    light of the gospel to a people who could so well reward the
    pious labours of their missionary.

    In the countries first discovered by the Spaniards, no gold and
    silver mines are at present known which are supposed to be worth
    the working. The quantities of those metals which the first
    adventurers are said to have found there, had probably been very
    much magnified, as well as the fertility of the mines which were
    wrought immediately after the first discovery. What those
    adventurers were reported to have found, however, was sufficient
    to inflame the avidity of all their countrymen. Every Spaniard
    who sailed to America expected to find an El Dorado. Fortune,
    too, did upon this what she has done upon very few other
    occasions. She realized in some measure the extravagant hopes of
    her votaries; and in the discovery and conquest of Mexico and
    Peru (of which the one happened about thirty, and the other about
    forty, years after the first expedition of Columbus), she
    presented them with something not very unlike that profusion of
    the precious metals which they sought for.

    A project of commerce to the East Indies, therefore, gave
    occasion to the first discovery of the West. A project of
    conquest gave occasion to all the establishments of the Spaniards
    in those newly discovered countries. The motive which excited
    them to this conquest was a project of gold and silver mines; and
    a course of accidents which no human wisdom could foresee,
    rendered this project much more successful than the undertakers
    had any reasonable grounds for expecting.

    The first adventurers of all the other nations of Europe who
    attempted to make settlements in America, were animated by the
    like chimerical views; but they were not equally successful. It
    was more than a hundred years after the first settlement of the
    Brazils, before any silver, gold, or diamond mines, were
    discovered there. In the English, French, Dutch, and Danish
    colonies, none have ever yet been discovered, at least none that
    are at present supposed to be worth the working. The first
    English settlers in North America, however, offered a fifth of
    all the gold and silver which should be found there to the king,
    as a motive for granting them their patents. In the patents of
    Sir Waiter Raleigh, to the London and Plymouth companies, to the
    council of Plymouth, etc. this fifth was accordingly reserved to
    the crown. To the expectation of finding gold and silver mines,
    those first settlers, too, joined that of discovering a
    north-west passage to the East Indies. They have hitherto been
    disappointed in both.

    PART II.

    Causes of the Prosperity of New Colonies.

    The colony of a civilized nation which takes possession either of
    a waste country, or of one so thinly inhabited that the natives
    easily give place to the new settlers, advances more rapidly to
    wealth and greatness than any other human society.

    The colonies carry out with them a knowledge of agriculture and
    of other useful arts, superior to what can grow up of its own
    accord, in the course of many centuries, among savage and
    barbarous nations. They carry out with them, too, the habit of
    subordination, some notion of the regular government which takes
    place in their own country, of the system of laws which support
    it, and of a regular administration of justice; and they
    naturally establish something of the same kind in the new
    settlement. But among savage and barbarous nations, the natural
    progress of law and government is still slower than the natural
    progress of arts, after law and government have been so far
    established as is necessary for their protection. Every colonist
    gets more land than he can possibly cultivate. He has no rent,
    and scarce any taxes, to pay. No landlord shares with him in its
    produce, and, the share of the sovereign is commonly but a
    trifle. He has every motive to render as great as possible a
    produce which is thus to be almost entirely his own. But his land
    is commonly so extensive, that, with all his own industry, and
    with all the industry of other people whom he can get to employ,
    he can seldom make it produce the tenth part of what it is
    capable of producing. He is eager, therefore, to collect
    labourers from all quarters, and to reward them with the most
    liberal wages. But those liberal wages, joined to the plenty and
    cheapness of land, soon make those labourers leave him, in order
    to become landlords themselves, and to reward with equal
    liberality other labourers, who soon leave them for the same
    reason that they left their first master. The liberal reward of
    labour encourages marriage. The children, during the tender years
    of infancy, are well fed and properly taken care of ; and when
    they are grown up, the value of their labour greatly overpays
    their maintenance. When arrived at maturity, the high price of
    labour, and the low price of land, enable them to establish
    themselves in the same manner as their fathers did before them.

    In other countries, rent and profit eat up wages, and the two
    superior orders of people oppress the inferior one ; but in new
    colonies, the interest of the two superior orders obliges them to
    treat the inferior one with more generosity and humanity, at
    least where that inferior one is not in a state of slavery. Waste
    lands, of the greatest natural fertility, are to be had for a
    trifle. The increase of revenue which the proprietor, who is
    always the undertaker, expects from their improvement,
    constitutes his profit, which, in these circumstances, is
    commonly very great; but this great profit cannot be made,
    without employing the labour of other people in clearing and
    cultivating the land; and the disproportion between the great
    extent of the land and the small number of the people, which
    commonly takes place in new colonies, makes it difficult for him
    to get this labour. He does not, therefore, dispute about wages,
    but is willing to employ labour at any price. The high wages of
    labour encourage population. The cheapness and plenty of good
    land encourage improvement, and enable the proprietor to pay
    those high wages. In those wages consists almost the whole price
    of the land ; and though they are high, considered as the wages
    of labour, they are low, considered as the price of what is so
    very valuable. What encourages the progress of population and
    improvement, encourages that of real wealth and greatness.

    The progress of many of the ancient Greek colonies towards wealth
    and greatness seems accordingly to have been very rapid. In the
    course of a century or two, several of them appear to have
    rivalled, and even to have surpassed, their mother cities.
    Syracuse and Agrigentum in Sicily, Tarentum and Locri in Italy,
    Ephesus and Miletus in Lesser Asia, appear, by all accounts, to
    have been at least equal to any of the cities of ancient Greece.
    Though posterior in their establishment, yet all the arts of
    refinement, philosophy, poetry, and eloquence, seem to have been
    cultivated as early, and to have been improved as highly in them
    as in any part of the mother country The schools of the two
    oldest Greek philosophers, those of Thales and Pythagoras, were
    established, it is remarkable, not in ancient Greece, but the one
    in an Asiatic, the other in an Italian colony. All those colonies
    had established themselves in countries inhabited by savage and
    barbarous nations, who easily gave place to the new settlers.
    They had plenty of good land; and as they were altogether
    independent of the mother city, they were at liberty to manage
    their own affairs in the way that they judged was most suitable
    to their own interest.

    The history of the Roman colonies is by no means so brilliant.
    Some of them, indeed, such as Florence, have, in the course of
    many ages, and after the fall of the mother city, grown up to be
    considerable states. But the progress of no one of them seems
    ever to have been very rapid. They were all established in
    conquered provinces, which in most cases had been fully inhabited
    before. The quantity of land assigned to each colonist was seldom
    very considerable, and, as the colony was not independent, they
    were not always at liberty to manage their own affairs in the way
    that they judged was most suitable to their own interest.

    In the plenty of good land, the European colonies established in
    America and the West Indies resemble, and even greatly surpass,
    those of ancient Greece. In their dependency upon the mother
    state, they resemble those of ancient Rome; but their great
    distance from Europe has in all of them alleviated more or less
    the effects of this dependency. Their situation has placed them
    less in the view, and less in the power of their mother country.
    In pursuing their interest their own way, their conduct has upon
    many occasions been overlooked, either because not known or not
    understood in Europe; and upon some occasions it has been fairly
    suffered and submitted to, because their distance rendered it
    difficult to restrain it. Even the violent and arbitrary
    government of Spain has, upon many occasions, been obliged to
    recall or soften the orders which had been given for the
    government of her colonies, for fear of a general insurrection.
    The progress of all the European colonies in wealth, population,
    and improvement, has accordingly been very great.

    The crown of Spain, by its share of the gold and silver, derived
    some revenue from its colonies from the moment of their first
    establishment. It was a revenue, too, of a nature to excite in
    human avidity the most extravagant expectation of still greater
    riches. The Spanish colonies, therefore, from the moment of their
    first establishment, attracted very much the attention of their
    mother country; while those of the other European nations were
    for a long time in a great measure neglected. The former did not,
    perhaps, thrive the better in consequence of this attention, nor
    the latter the worse in consequence of this neglect. In
    proportion to the extent of the country which they in some
    measure possess, the Spanish colonies are considered as less
    populous and thriving than those of almost any other European
    nation. The progress even of the Spanish colonies, however, in
    population and improvement, has certainly been very rapid and
    very great. The city of Lima, founded since the conquest, is
    represented by Ulloa as containing fifty thousand inhabitants
    near thirty years ago. Quito, which had been but a miserable
    hamlet of Indians, is represented by the same author as in his
    time equally populous. Gemel i Carreri, a pretended traveller, it
    is said, indeed, but who seems everywhere to have written upon
    extreme good information, represents the city of Mexico as
    containing a hundred thousand inhabitants ; a number which, in
    spite of all the exaggerations of the Spanish writers, is
    probably more than five times greater than what it contained in
    the time of Montezuma. These numbers exceed greatly those of
    Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, the three greatest cities of
    the English colonies. Before the conquest of the Spaniards, there
    were no cattle fit for draught, either in Mexico or Peru. The
    lama was their only beast of burden, and its strength seems to
    have been a good deal inferior to that of a common ass. The
    plough was unknown among them. They were ignorant of the use of
    iron. They had no coined money, nor any established instrument of
    commerce of any kind. Their commerce was carried on by barter. A
    sort of wooden spade was their principal instrument of
    agriculture. Sharp stones served them for knives and hatchets to
    cut with; fish bones, and the hard sinews of certain animals,
    served them with needles to sew with; and these seem to have been
    their principal instruments of trade. In this state of things, it
    seems impossible that either of those empires could have been so
    much improved or so well cultivated as at present, when they are
    plentifully furnished with all sorts of European cattle, and when
    the use of iron, of the plough, and of many of the arts of
    Europe, have been introduced among them. But the populousness of
    every country must be in proportion to the degree of its
    improvement and cultivation. In spite of the cruel destruction of
    the natives which followed the conquest, these two great empires
    are probably more populous now than they ever were before; and
    the people are surely very different; for we must acknowledge, I
    apprehend, that the Spanish creoles are in many respects superior
    to the ancient Indians.

    After the settlements of the Spaniards, that of the Portuguese
    in Brazil is the oldest of any European nation in America. But as
    for a long time after the first discovery neither gold nor silver
    mines were found in it, and as it afforded upon that account
    little or no revenue to the crown, it was for a long time in a
    great measure neglected ; and during this state of neglect, it
    grew up to be a great and powerful colony. While Portugal was
    under the dominion of Spain, Brazil was attacked by the Dutch,
    who got possession of seven of the fourteen provinces into which
    it is divided. They expected soon to conquer the other seven,
    when Portugal recovered its independency by the elevation of the
    family of Braganza to the throne. The Dutch, then, as enemies to
    the Spaniards, became friends to the Portuguese, who were
    likewise the enemies of the Spaniards. They agreed, therefore, to
    leave that part of Brazil which they had not conquered to the
    king of Portugal, who agreed to leave that part which they had
    conquered to them, as a matter not worth disputing about, with
    such good allies. But the Dutch government soon began to oppress
    the Portuguese colonists, who, instead of amusing themselves with
    complaints, took arms against their new masters, and by their own
    valour and resolution, with the connivance, indeed, but without
    any avowed assistance from the mother country, drove them out of
    Brazil. The Dutch, therefore, finding it impossible to keep any
    part of the country to themselves, were contented that it should
    be entirely restored to the crown of Portugal. In this colony
    there are said to be more than six hundred thousand people,
    either Portuguese or descended from Portuguese, creoles,
    mulattoes, and a mixed race between Portuguese and Brazilians. No
    one colony in America is supposed to contain so great a number of
    people of European extraction.

    Towards the end of the fifteenth, and during the greater part of
    the sixteenth century, Spain and Portugal were the two great
    naval powers upon the ocean ; for though the commerce of Venice
    extended to every part of Europe, its fleet had scarce ever
    sailed beyond the Mediterranean. The Spaniards, in virtue of the
    first discovery, claimed all America as their own; and though
    they could not hinder so great a naval power as that of Portugal
    from settling in Brazil, such was at that time the terror of
    their name, that the greater part of the other nations of Europe
    were afraid to establish themselves in any other part of that
    great continent. The French, who attempted to settle in Florida,
    were all murdered by the Spaniards. But the declension of the
    naval power of this latter nation, in consequence of the defeat
    or miscarriage of what they called their invincible armada, which
    happened towards the end of the sixteenth century, put it out of
    their power to obstruct any longer the settlements of the other
    European nations. In the course of the seventeenth century,
    therefore, the English, French, Dutch, Danes, and Swedes, all the
    great nations who had any ports upon the ocean, attempted to make
    some settlements in the new world.

    The Swedes established themselves in New Jersey; and the number
    of Swedish families still to be found there sufficiently
    demonstrates, that this colony was very likely to prosper, had it
    been protected by the mother country. But being neglected by
    Sweden, it was soon swallowed up by the Dutch colony of New York,
    which again, in 1674, fell under the dominion of the English.

    The small islands of St. Thomas and Santa Cruz, are the only
    countries in the new world that have ever been possessed by the
    Danes. These little settlements, too, were under the government
    of an exclusive company, which had the sole right, both of
    purchasing the surplus produce of the colonies, and of supplying
    them with such goods of other countries as they wanted, and
    which, therefore, both in its purchases and sales, had not only
    the power of oppressing them, but the greatest temptation to do
    so. The government of an exclusive company of merchants is,
    perhaps, the worst of all governments for any country whatever.
    It was not, however, able to stop altogether the progress of
    these colonies, though it rendered it more slow and languid. The
    late king of Denmark dissolved this company, and since that time
    the prosperity of these colonies has been very great.

    The Dutch settlements in the West, as well as those in the East
    Indies, were originally put under the government of an exclusive
    company. The progress of some of them, therefore, though it has
    been considerable in comparison with that of almost any country
    that has been long peopled and established, has been languid and
    slow in comparison with that of the greater part of new colonies.
    The colony of Surinam, though very considerable, is still
    inferior to the greater part of the sugar colonies of the other
    European nations. The colony of Nova Belgia, now divided into the
    two provinces of New York and New Jersey, would probably have
    soon become considerable too, even though it had remained under
    the government of the Dutch. The plenty and cheapness of good
    land are such powerful causes of prosperity, that the very worst
    government is scarce capable of checking altogether the efficacy
    of their operation. The great distance, too, from the mother
    country, would enable the colonists to evade more or less, by
    smuggling, the monopoly which the company enjoyed against them.
    At present, the company allows all Dutch ships to trade to
    Surinam, upon paying two and a-half per cent. upon the value of
    their cargo for a license; and only reserves to itself
    exclusively, the direct trade from Africa to America, which
    consists almost entirely in the slave trade. This relaxation in
    the exclusive privileges of the company, is probably the
    principal cause of that degree of prosperity which that colony at
    present enjoys. Curacoa and Eustatia, the two principal islands
    belonging to the Dutch, are free ports, open to the ships of all
    nations; and this freedom, in the midst of better colonies, whose
    ports are open to those of one nation only, has been the great
    cause of the prosperity of those two barren islands.

    The French colony of Canada was, during the greater part of the
    last century, and some part of the present, under the government
    of an exclusive company. Under so unfavourable an administration,
    its progress was necessarily very slow, in comparison with that
    of other new colonies; but it became much more rapid when this
    company was dissolved, after the fall of what is called the
    Mississippi scheme. When the English got possession of this
    country, they found in it near double the number of inhabitants
    which father Charlevoix had assigned to it between twenty and
    thirty years before. That jesuit had travelled over the whole
    country, and had no inclination to represent it as less
    inconsiderable than it really was.

    The French colony of St. Domingo was established by pirates and
    freebooters, who, for a long time, neither required the
    protection, nor acknowledged the authority of France; and when
    that race of banditti became so far citizens as to acknowledge
    this authority, it was for a long time necessary to exercise it
    with very great gentleness. During this period, the population
    and improvement of this colony increased very fast. Even the
    oppression of the exclusive company, to which it was for some
    time subjected with all the other colonies of France, though it
    no doubt retarded, had not been able to stop its progress
    altogether. The course of its prosperity returned as soon as it
    was relieved from that oppression. It is now the most important
    of the sugar colonies of the West Indies, and its produce is said
    to be greater than that of all the English sugar colonies put
    together. The other sugar colonies of France are in general all
    very thriving.

    But there are no colonies of which the progress has been more
    rapid than that of the English in North America.

    Plenty of good land, and liberty to manage their own affairs
    their own way, seem to be the two great causes of the prosperity
    of all new colonies.

    In the plenty of good land, the English colonies of North
    America, though no doubt very abundantly provided, are, however,
    inferior to those of the Spaniards and Portuguese, and not
    superior to some of those possessed by the French before the late
    war. But the political institutions of the English colonies have
    been more favourable to the improvement and cultivation of this
    land, than those of the other three nations.

    First, The engrossing of uncultivated land, though it has by
    no means been prevented altogether, has been more restrained in
    the English colonies than in any other. The colony law, which
    imposes upon every proprietor the obligation of improving and
    cultivating, within a limited time, a certain proportion of his
    lands, and which, in case of failure, declares those neglected
    lands grantable to any other person; though it has not perhaps
    been very strictly executed, has, however, had some effect.

    Secondly, In Pennsylvania there is no right of primogeniture,
    and lands, like moveables, are divided equally among all the
    children of the family. In three of the provinces of New England,
    the oldest has only a double share, as in the Mosaical law.
    Though in those provinces, therefore, too great a quantity of
    land should sometimes be engrossed by a particular individual, it
    is likely, in the course of a generation or two, to be
    sufficiently divided again. In the other English colonies,
    indeed, the right of primogeniture takes place, as in the law of
    England: But in all the English colonies, the tenure of the
    lands, which are all held by free soccage, facilitates alienation
    ; and the grantee of an extensive tract of land generally finds
    it for his interest to alienate, as fast as he can, the greater
    part of it, reserving only a small quit-rent. In the Spanish and
    Portuguese colonies, what is called the right of majorazzo takes
    place in the succession of all those great estates to which any
    title of honour is annexed. Such estates go all to one person,
    and are in effect entailed and unalienable. The French colonies,
    indeed, are subject to the custom of Paris, which, in the
    inheritance of land, is much more favourable to the younger
    children than the law of England. But, in the French colonies, if
    any part of an estate, held by the noble tenure of chivalry and
    homage, is alienated, it is, for a limited time, subject to the
    right of redemption, either by the heir of the superior, or by
    the heir of the family; and all the largest estates of the
    country are held by such noble tenures, which necessarily
    embarrass alienation. But, in a new colony, a great uncultivated
    estate is likely to be much more speedily divided by alienation
    than by succession. The plenty and cheapness of good land, it has
    already been observed, are the principal causes of the rapid
    prosperity of new colonies. The engrossing of land, in effect,
    destroys this plenty and cheapness. The engrossing of
    uncultivated land, besides, is the greatest obstruction to its
    improvement ; but the labour that is employed in the improvement
    and cultivation of land affords the greatest and most valuable
    produce to the society. The produce of labour, in this case, pays
    not only its own wages and the profit of the stock which employs
    it, but the rent of the land too upon which it is employed. The
    labour of the English colonies, therefore, being more employed in
    the improvement and cultivation of land, is likely to afford a
    greater and more valuable produce than that of any of the other
    three nations, which, by the engrossing of land, is more or less
    diverted towards other employments.

    Thirdly, The labour of the English colonists is not only
    likely to afford a greater and more valuable produce, but, in
    consequence of the moderation of their taxes, a greater
    proportion of this produce belongs to themselves, which they may
    store up and employ in putting into motion a still greater
    quantity of labour. The Eng1ish colonists have never yet
    contributed any thing towards the defence of the mother country,
    or towards the support of its civil government. They themselves,
    on the contrary, have hitherto been defended almost entirely at
    the expense of the mother country ; but the expense of fleets and
    armies is out of all proportion greater than the necessary
    expense of civil government. The expense of their own civil
    government has always been very moderate. It has generally been
    confined to what was necessary for paying competent salaries to
    the governor, to the judges, and to some other officers of
    police, and for maintaining a few of the most useful public
    works. The expense of the civil establishment of Massachusetts
    Bay, before the commencement of the present disturbances, used to
    be but about £18;000 a-year ; that of New Hampshire and Rhode
    Island, £3500 each; that of Connecticut, £4000; that of New York
    and Pennsylvania, £4500 each; that of New Jersey, £1200; that of
    Virginia and South Carolina, £8000 each. The civil establishments
    of Nova Scotia and Georgia are partly supported by an annual
    grant of parliament; but Nova Scotia pays, besides, about £7000
    a-year towards the public expenses of the colony, and Georgia
    about £2500 a-year. All the different civil establishments in
    North America, in short, exclusive of those of Maryland and North
    Carolina, of which no exact account has been got, did not, before
    the commencement of the present disturbances, cost the
    inhabitants about £64,700 a-year; an ever memorable example, at
    how small an expense three millions of people may not only be
    governed but well governed. The most important part of the
    expense of government, indeed, that of defence and protection,
    has constantly fallen upon the mother country. The ceremonial,
    too, of the civil government in the colonies, upon the reception
    of a new governor, upon the opening of a new assembly, etc.
    though sufficiently decent, is not accompanied with any expensive
    pomp or parade. Their ecclesiastical government is conducted upon
    a plan equally frugal. Tithes are unknown among them; and their
    clergy, who are far from being numerous, are maintained either by
    moderate stipends, or by the voluntary contributions of the
    people. The power of Spain and Portugal, on the contrary, derives
    some support from the taxes levied upon their colonies. France,
    indeed, has never drawn any considerable revenue from its
    colonies, the taxes which it levies upon them being generally
    spent among them. But the colony government of all these three
    nations is conducted upon a much more extensive plan, and is
    accompanied with a much more expensive ceremonial. The sums spent
    upon the reception of a new viceroy of Peru, for example, have
    frequently been enormous. Such ceremonials are not only real
    taxes paid by the rich colonists upon those particular occasions,
    but they serve to introduce among them the habit of vanity and
    expense upon all other occasions. They are not only very grievous
    occasional taxes, but they contribute to establish perpetual
    taxes, of the same kind, still more grievous ; the ruinous taxes
    of private luxury and extravagance. In the colonies of all those
    three nations, too, the ecclesiastical government is extremely
    oppressive. Tithes take place in all of them, and are levied with
    the utmost rigour in those of Spain and Portugal. All of them,
    besides, are oppressed with a numerous race of mendicant friars,
    whose beggary being not only licensed but consecrated by
    religion, is a most grievous tax upon the poor people, who are
    most carefully taught that it is a duty to give, and a very great
    sin to refuse them their charity. Over and above all this, the
    clergy are, in all of them, the greatest engrossers of land.

    Fourthly, In the disposal of their surplus produce, or of
    what is over and above their own consumption, the English
    colonies have been more favoured, and have been allowed a more
    extensive market, than those of any other European nation. Every
    European nation has endeavoured, more or less, to monopolize to
    itself the commerce of its colonies, and, upon that account, has
    prohibited the ships of foreign nations from trading to them, and
    has prohibited them from importing European goods from any
    foreign nation. But the manner in which this monopoly has been
    exercised in different nations, has been very different.

    Some nations have given up the whole commerce of their colonies
    to an exclusive company, of whom the colonists were obliged to
    buy all such European goods as they wanted, and to whom they were
    obliged to sell the whole of their surplus produce. It was the
    interest of the company, therefore, not only to sell the former
    as dear, and to buy the latter as cheap as possible, but to buy
    no more of the latter, even at this low price, than what they
    could dipose of for a very high price in Europe. It was their
    interest not only to degrade in all cases the value of the
    surplus produce of the colony, but in many cases to discourage
    and keep down the natural increase of its quantity. Of all the
    expedients that can well be contrived to stunt the natural growth
    of a new colony, that of an exclusive company is undoubtedly the
    most effectual. This, however, has been the policy of Holland,
    though their company, in the course of the present century, has
    given up in many respects the exertion of their exclusive
    privilege. This, too, was the policy of Denmark, till the reign
    of the late king. It has occasionally been the policy of France ;
    and of late, since 1755, after it had been abandoned by all other
    nations on account of its absurdity, it has become the policy of
    Portugal, with regard at least to two of the principal provinces
    of Brazil, Pernambucco, and Marannon.

    Other nations, without establishing an exclusive company, have
    confined the whole commerce of their colonies to a particular
    port of the mother country, from whence no ship was allowed to
    sail, but either in a fleet and at a particular season, or, if
    single, in consequence of a particular license, which in most
    cases was very well paid for. This policy opened, indeed, the
    trade of the colonies to all the natives of the mother country,
    provided they traded from the proper port, at the proper season,
    and in the proper vessels. But as all the different merchants,
    who joined their stocks in order to fit out those licensed
    vessels, would find it for their interest to act in concert, the
    trade which was carried on in this manner would necessarily be
    conducted very nearly upon the same principles as that of an
    exclusive company. The profit of those merchants would be almost
    equally exorbitant and oppressive. The colonies would be ill
    supplied, and would be obliged both to buy very dear, and to sell
    very cheap. This, however, till within these few years, had
    always been the policy of Spain; and the price of all European
    goods, accordingly, is said to have been enormous in the Spanish
    West Indies. At Quito, we are told by Ulloa, a pound of iron sold
    for about 4s:6d., and a pound of steel for about 6s:9d. sterling.
    But it is chiefly in order to purchase European goods that the
    colonies part with their own produce. The more, therefore, they
    pay for the one, the less they really get for the other, and the
    dearness of the one is the same thing with the cheapness of the
    other. The policy of Portugal is, in this respect, the same as
    the ancient policy of Spain, with regard to all its colonies,
    except Pernambucco and Marannon; and with regard to these it has
    lately adopted a still worse.

    Other nations leave the trade of their colonies free to all their
    subjects, who may carry it on from all the different ports of the
    mother country, and who have occasion for no other license than
    the common despatches of the custom-house. In this case the
    number and dispersed situation of the different traders renders
    it impossible for them to enter into any general combination, and
    their competition is sufficient to hinder them from making very
    exorbitant profits. Under so liberal a policy, the colonies are
    enabled both to sell their own produce, and to buy the goods of
    Europe at a reasonable price; but since the dissolution of the
    Plymouth company, when our colonies were but in their infancy,
    this has always been the policy of England. It has generally,
    too, been that of France, and has been uniformly so since the
    dissolution of what in England is commonly called their
    Mississippi company. The profits of the trade, therefore, which
    France and England carry on with their colonies, though no doubt
    somewhat higher than if the competition were free to all other
    nations, are, however, by no means exorbitant ; and the price of
    European goods, accordingly, is not extravagantly high in the
    greater past of the colonies of either of those nations.

    In the exportation of their own surplus produce, too, it is only
    with regard to certain commodities that the colonies of Great
    Britain are confined to the market of the mother country. These
    commodities having been enumerated in the act of navigation, and
    in some other subsequent acts, have upon that account been called
    enumerated commodities. The rest are called non-enumerated, and
    may be exported directly to other countries, provided it is in
    British or plantation ships, of which the owners and three
    fourths of the mariners are British subjects

    Among the non-enumerated commodities are some of the most
    important productions of America and the West Indies, grain of
    all sorts, lumber, salt provisions, fish, sugar, and rum.

    Grain is naturally the first and principal object of the culture
    of all new colonies. By allowing them a very extensive market for
    it, the law encourages them to extend this culture much beyond
    the consumption of a thinly inhabited country, and thus to
    provide beforehand an ample subsistence for a continually
    increasing population.

    In a country quite covered with wood, where timber consequently
    is of little or no value, the expense of clearing the ground is
    the principal obstacle to improvement. By allowing the colonies a
    very extensive market for their lumber, the law endeavours to
    facilitate improvement by raising the price of a commodity which
    would otherwise be of little value, and thereby enabling them to
    make some profit of what would otherwise be mere expense.

    In a country neither half peopled nor half cultivated, cattle
    naturally multiply beyond the consumption of the inhabitants, and
    are often, upon that account, of little or no value. But it is
    necessary, it has already been shown, that the price of cattle
    should bear a certain proportion to that of corn, before the
    greater part of the lands of any country can be improved. By
    allowing to American cattle, in all shapes, dead and alive, a
    very extensive market, the law endeavours to raise the value of a
    commodity, of which the high price is so very essential to
    improvement. The good effects of this liberty, however, must be
    somewhat diminished by the 4th of Geo. III. c. 15, which puts
    hides and skins among the enumerated commodities, and thereby
    tends to reduce the value of American cattle.

    To increase the shipping and naval power of Great Britain by the
    extension of the fisheries of our colonies, is an object which
    the legizslature seems to have had almost constantly in view.
    Those fisheries, upon this account, have had all the
    encouragement which freedom can give them, and they have
    flourished accordingly. The New England fishery, in particular,
    was, before the late disturbances, one of the most important,
    perhaps, in the world. The whale fishery which, notwithstanding
    an extravagant bounty, is in Great Britain carried on to so
    little purpose, that in the opinion of many people ( which I do
    not, however, pretend to warrant), the whole produce does not
    much exceed the value of the bounties which are annually paid for
    it, is in New England carried on, without any bounty, to a very
    great extent. Fish is one of the principal articles with which
    the North Americans trade to Spain, Portugal, and the

    Sugar was originally an enumerated commodity, which could only be
    exported to Great Britain; but in 1751, upon a representation of
    the sugar-planters, its exportation was permitted to all parts of
    the world. The restrictions, however, with which this liberty was
    granted, joined to the high price of sugar in Great Britain, have
    rendered it in a great measure ineffectual. Great Britain and her
    colonies still continue to be almost the sole market for all
    sugar produced in the British plantations. Their consumption
    increases so fast, that, though in consequence of the increasing
    improvement of Jamaica, as well as of the ceded islands, the
    importation of sugar has increased very greatly within these
    twenty years, the exportation to foreign countries is said to be
    not much greater than before.

    Rum is a very important article in the trade which the Americans
    carry on to the coast of Africa, from which they bring back negro
    slaves in return.

    If the whole surplus produce of America, in grain of all sorts,
    in salt provisions, and in fish, had been put into the
    enumeration, and thereby forced into the market of Great Britain,
    it would have interferred too much with the produce of the
    industry of our own people. It was probably not so much from any
    regard to the interest of America, as from a jealousy of this
    interference, that those important commodities have not only been
    kept out of the enumeration, but that the importation into Great
    Britain of all grain, except rice, and of all salt provisions,
    has, in the ordinary state of the law, been prohibited.

    The non-enumerated commodities could originally be exported to
    all parts of the world. Lumber and rice having been once put into
    the enumeration, when they were afterwards taken out of it, were
    confined, as to the European market, to the countries that lie
    south of Cape Finisterre. By the 6th of George III. c. 52, all
    non-enumerated commodities were subjected to the like
    restriction. The parts of Europe which lie south of Cape
    Finisterre are not manufacturing countries, and we are less
    jealous of the colony ships carrying home from them any
    manufactures which could interfere with our own.

    The enumerated commodities are of two sorts ; first, such as are
    either the peculiar produce of America, or as cannot be produced,
    or at least are not produced in the mother country. Of this kind
    are molasses, coffee, cocoa-nuts, tobacco, pimento, ginger,
    whalefins, raw silk, cotton, wool, beaver, and other peltry of
    America, indigo, fustick, and other dyeing woods; secondly, such
    as are not the peculiar produce of America, but which are, and
    may be produced in the mother country, though not in such
    quantities as to supply the greater part of her demand, which is
    principally supplied from foreign countries. Of this kind are all
    naval stores, masts, yards, and bowsprits, tar, pitch, and
    turpentine, pig and bar iron, copper ore, hides and skins, pot
    and pearl ashes. The largest importation of commodities of the
    first kind could not discourage the growth, or interfere with the
    sale, of any part of the produce of the mother country. By
    confining them to the home market, our merchants, it was
    expected, would not only be enabled to buy them cheaper in the
    plantations, and consequently to sell them with a better profit
    at home, but to establish between the plantations and foreign
    countries an advantageous carrying trade, of which Great Britain
    was necessarily to be the centre or emporium, as the European
    country into which those commodities were first to be imported.
    The importation of commodities of the second kind might be so
    managed too, it was supposed, as to interfere, not with the sale
    of those of the same kind which were produced at home, but with
    that of those which were imported from foreign countries ;
    because, by means of proper duties, they might be rendered always
    somewhat dearer than the former, and yet a good deal cheaper than
    the latter. By confining such commodities to the home market,
    therefore, it was proposed to discourage the produce, not of
    Great Britain, but of some foreign countries with which the
    balance of trade was believed to be unfavourable to Great

    The prohibition of exporting from the colonies to any other
    country but Great Britain, masts, yards, and bowsprits, tar,
    pitch, and turpentine, naturally tended to lower the price of
    timber in the colonies, and consequently to increase the expense
    of clearing their lands, the principal obstacle to their
    improvement. But about the beginning of the present century, in
    1703, the pitch and tar company of Sweden endeavoured to raise
    the price of their commodities to Great Britain, by prohibiting
    their exportation, except in their own ships, at their own price,
    and in such quantities as they thought proper. In order to
    counteract this notable piece of mercantile policy, and to render
    herself as much as possible independent, not only of Sweden, but
    of all the other northern powers, Great Britain gave a bounty
    upon the importation of naval stores from America; and the effect
    of this bounty was to raise the price of timber in America much
    more than the confinement to the home market could lower it; and
    as both regulations were enacted at the same time, their joint
    effect was rather to encourage than to discourage the clearing of
    land in America.

    Though pig and bar iron, too, have been put among the enumerated
    commodities, yet as, when imported from America, they are
    exempted from considerable duties to which they are subject when
    imported front any other country, the one part of the regulation
    contributes more to encourage the erection of furnaces in America
    than the other to discourage it. There is no manufacture which
    occasions so great a consumption of wood as a furnace, or which
    can contribute so much to the clearing of a country overgrown
    with it.

    The tendency of some of these regulations to raise the value of
    timber in America, and thereby to facilitate the clearing of the
    land, was neither, perhaps, intended nor understood by the
    legislature. Though their beneficial effects, however, have been
    in this respect accidental, they have not upon that account been
    less real.

    The most perfect freedom of trade is permitted between the
    British colonies of America and the West Indies, both in the
    enumerated and in the non-enumerated commodities Those colonies
    are now become so populous and thriving, that each of them finds
    in some of the others a great and extensive market for every part
    of its produce. All of them taken together, they make a great
    internal market for the produce of one another.

    The liberality of England, however, towards the trade of her
    colonies, has been confined chiefly to what concerns the market
    for their produce, either in its rude state, or in what may be
    called the very first stage of manufacture. The more advanced or
    more refined manufactures, even of the colony produce, the
    merchants and manufacturers of Great Britain chuse to reserve to
    themselves, and have prevailed upon the legislature to prevent
    their establishment in the colonies, sometimes by high duties,
    and sometimes by absolute prohibitions.

    While, for example, Muscovado sugars from the British plantations
    pay, upon importation, only 6s:4d. the hundred weight, white
    sugars pay £1:1:1; and refined, either double or single, in
    loaves, £4:2:5 8/20ths. When those high duties were imposed,
    Great Britain was the sole, and she still continues to be, the
    principal market, to which the sugars of the British colonies
    could be exported. They amounted, therefore, to a prohibition, at
    first of claying or refining sugar for any foreign market, and at
    present of claying or refining it for the market which takes off,
    perhaps, more than nine-tenths of the whole produce. The
    manufacture of claying or refining sugar, accordingly, though it
    has flourished in all the sugar colonies of France, has been
    little cultivated in any of those of England, except for the
    market of the colonies themselves. While Grenada was in the hands
    of the French, there was a refinery of sugar, by claying, at
    least upon almost every plantation. Since it fell into those of
    the English, almost all works of this kind have been given up;
    and there are at present (October 1773), I am assured, not above
    two or three remaining in the island. At present, however, by an
    indulgence of the custom-house, clayed or refined sugar, if
    reduced from loaves into powder, is commonly imported as

    While Great Britain encourages in America the manufacturing of
    pig and bar iron, by exempting them from duties to which the like
    commodities are subject when imported from any other country, she
    imposes an absolute prohibition upon the erection of steel
    furnaces and slit-mills in any of her American plantations. She
    will not suffer her colonies to work in those more refined
    manufactures, even for their own consumption ; but insists upon
    their purchasing of her merchants and manufacturers all goods of
    this kind which they have occasion for.

    She prohibits the exportation from one province to another by
    water, and even the canriage by land upon horseback, or in a
    cart, of hats, of wools, and woollen goods, of the produce of
    America; a regulation which effectually prevents the
    establishment of any manufacture of such commodities for distant
    sale, and confines the industry of her colonists in this way to
    such coarse and household manufactures as a private family
    commonly makes for its own use, or for that of some of its
    neighbours in the same province.

    To prohibit a great people, however, from making all that they
    can of every part of their own produce, or from employing their
    stock and industry in the way that they judge most advantageous
    to themselves, is a manifest violation of the most sacred rights
    of mankind. Unjust, however, as such prohibitions may be, they
    have not hitherto been very hurtful to the colonies. Land is
    still so cheap, and, consequently, labour so dear among them,
    that they can import from the mother country almost all the more
    refined or more advanced manufactures cheaper than they could
    make them for themselves. Though they had not, therefore, been
    prohibited from establishing such manufactures, yet, in their
    present state of improvement, a regard to their own interest
    would probably have prevented them from doing so. In their
    present state of improvement, those prohibitions, perhaps,
    without cramping their industry, or restraining it from any
    employment to which it would have gone of its own accord, are
    only impertinent badges of slavery imposed upon them, without any
    sufficient reason, by the groundless jealousy of the merchants
    and manufacturers of the mother country. In a more advanced
    state, they might be really oppressive and insupportable.

    Great Britain, too, as she confines to her own market some of the
    most important productions of the colonies, so, in compensation,
    she gives to some of them an advantage in that market, sometimes
    by imposing higher duties upon the like productions when imported
    from other countries, and sometimes by giving bounties upon their
    importation from the colonies. In the first way, she gives an
    advantage in the home market to the sugar, tobacco, and iron of
    her own colonies; and, in the second, to their raw silk, to their
    hemp and flax, to their indigo, to their naval stores, and to
    their building timber. This second way of encouraging the colony
    produce, by bounties upon importation, is, so far as I have been
    able to learn, peculiar to Great Britain: the first is not.
    Portugal does not content herself with imposing higher duties
    upon the importation of tobacco from any other country, but
    prohibits it under the severest penalties.

    With regard to the importation of goods from Europe, England has
    likewise dealt more liberally with her colonies than any other

    Great Britain allows a part, almost always the half, generally a
    larger portion, and sometimes the whole, of the duty which is
    paid upon the importation of foreign goods, to be drawn back upon
    their exportation to any foreign country. No independent foreign
    country, it was easy to foresee, would receive them, if they came
    to it loaded with the heavy duties to which almost all foreign
    goods are subjected on their importation into Great Britain.
    Unless, therefore, some part of those duties was drawn back upon
    exportation, there was an end of the carrying trade; a trade so
    much favoured by the mercantile system.

    Our colonies, however, are by no means independent foreign
    countries; and Great Britain having assumed to herself the
    exclusive right of supplying them with all goods from Europe,
    might have forced them (in the same manner as other countries
    have done their colonies) to receive such goods loaded with all
    the same duties which they paid in the mother country. But, on
    the contrary, till 1763, the same drawbacks were paid upon the
    exportation of the greater part of foreign goods to our colonies,
    as to any independent foreign country. In 1763, indeed, by the
    4th of Geo. III. c. 15, this indulgence was a good deal abated,
    and it was enacted, " That no part of the duty called the old
    subsidy should be drawn back for any goods of the growth,
    production, or manufacture of Europe or the East Indies, which
    should be exported from this kingdom to any British colony or
    plantation in America; wines, white calicoes, and muslins,
    excepted." Before this law, many different sorts of foreign goods
    might have been bought cheaper in the plantations than in the
    mother country, and some may still.

    Of the greater part of the regulations concerning the colony
    trade, the merchants who carry it on, it must be observed, have
    been the principal advisers. We must not wonder, therefore, if,
    in a great part of them, their interest has been more considered
    than either that of the colonies or that of the mother country.
    In their exclusive privilege of supplying the colonies with all
    the goods which they wanted from Europe, and of purchasing all
    such parts of their surplus produce as could not interfere with
    any of the trades which they themselves carried on at home, the
    interest of the colonies was sacrificed to the interest of those
    merchants. In allowing the same drawbacks upon the re-exportation
    of the greater part of European and East India goods to the
    colonies, as upon their re-exportation to any independent
    country, the interest of the mother country was sacrificed to it,
    even according to the mercantile ideas of that interest. It was
    for the interest of the merchants to pay as little as possible
    for the foreign goods which they sent to the colonies, and,
    consequently, to get back as much as possible of the duties which
    they advanced upon their importation into Great Britain. They
    might thereby be enabled to sell in the colonies, either the same
    quantity of goods with a greater profit, or a greater quantity
    with the same profit, and, consequently, to gain something either
    in the one way or the other. It was likewise for the interest of
    the colonies to get all such goods as cheap, and in as great
    abundance as possible. But this might not always be for the
    interest of the mother country. She might frequently suffer, both
    in her revenue, by giving back a great part of the duties which
    had been paid upon the importation of such goods; and in her
    manufactures, by being undersold in the colony market, in
    consequence of the easy terms upon which foreign manufactures
    could be carried thither by means of those drawbacks. The
    progress of the linen manufacture of Great Britain, it is
    commonly said, has been a good deal retarded by the drawbacks
    upon the re-exportation of German linen to the American colonies.

    But though the policy of Great Britain, with regard to the trade
    of her colonies, has been dictated by the same mercantile spirit
    as that of other nations, it has, however, upon the whole, been
    less illiberal and oppressive than that of any of them.

    In every thing except their foreign trade, the liberty of the
    English colonists to manage their own affairs their own way, is
    complete. It is in every respect equal to that of their
    fellow-citizens at home, and is secured in the same manner, by an
    assembly of the representatives of the people, who claim the sole
    right of imposing taxes for the support of the colony government.
    The authority of this assembly overawes the executive power ; and
    neither the meanest nor the most obnoxious colonist, as long as
    he obeys the law, has any thing to fear from the resentment,
    either of the governor, or of any other civil or military officer
    in the province. The colony assemblies, though, like the house of
    commons in England, they are not always a very equal
    representation of the people, yet they approach more nearly to
    that character ; and as the executive power either has not the
    means to corrupt them, or, on account of the support which it
    receives from the mother country, is not under the necessity of
    doing so, they are, perhaps, in general more influenced by the
    inclinations of their constituents. The councils, which, in the
    colony legislatures, correspond to the house of lords in Great
    Britain, are not composed of a hereditary nobility. In some of
    the colonies, as in three of the governments of New England,
    those councils are not appointed by the king, but chosen by the
    representatives of the people. In none of the English colonies is
    there any hereditary nobility. In all of them, indeed, as in all
    other free countries, the descendant of an old colony family is
    more respected than an upstart of equal merit and fortune; but he
    is only more respected, and he has no privileges by which he can
    be troublesome to his neighbours. Before the commencement of the
    present disturbances, the colony assemblies had not only the
    legislative, but a part of the executive power. In Connecticut
    and Rhode Island, they elected the governor. In the other
    colonies, they appointed the revenue officers, who collected the
    taxes imposed by those respective assemblies, to whom those
    officers were immediately responsible. There is more equality,
    therefore, among the English colonists than among the inhabitants
    of the mother country. Their manners are more re publican; and
    their governments, those of three of the provinces of New England
    in particular, have hitherto been more republican too.

    The absolute governments of Spain, Portugal, and France, on the
    contrary, take place in their colonies; and the discretionary
    powers which such governments commonly delegate to all their
    inferior officers are, on account of the great distance,
    naturally exercised there with more than ordinary violence. Under
    all absolute governments, there is more liberty in the capital
    than in any other part of the country. The sovereign himself can
    never have either interest or inclination to pervert the order of
    justice, or to oppress the great body of the people. In the
    capital, his presence overawes, more or less, all his inferior
    officers, who, in the remoter provinces, from whence the
    complaints of the people are less likely to reach him, can
    exercise their tyranny with much more safety. But the European
    colonies in America are more remote than the most distant
    provinces of the greatest empires which had ever been known
    before. The government of the English colonies is, perhaps, the
    only one which, since the world began, could give perfect
    security to the inhabitants of so very distant a province. The
    administration of the French colonies, however, has always been
    conducted with much more gentleness and moderation than that of
    the Spanish and Portuguese. This superiority of conduct is
    suitable both to the character of the French nation, and to what
    forms the character of every nation, the nature of their
    government, which, though arbitrary and violent in comparison
    with that of Great Britain, is legal and free in comparison with
    those of Spain and Portugal.

    It is in the progress of the North American colonies, however,
    that the superiority of the English policy chiefly appears. The
    progress of the sugar colonies of France has been at least equal,
    perhaps superior, to that of the greater part of those of
    England; and yet the sugar colonies of England enjoy a free
    government, nearly of the same kind with that which takes place
    in her colonies of North America. But the sugar colonies of
    France are not discouraged, like those of England, from refining
    their own sugar; and what is still of greater importance, the
    genius of their government naturally introduces a better
    management of their negro slaves.

    In all European colonies, the culture of the sugar-cane is
    carried on by negro slaves. The constitution of those who have
    been born in the temperate climate of Europe could not, it is
    supposed, support the labour of digging the ground under the
    burning sun of the West Indies ; and the culture of the
    sugar-cane, as it is managed at present, is all hand labour ;
    though, in the opinion of many, the drill plough might be
    introduced into it with great advantage. But, as the profit and
    success of the cultivation which is carried on by means of
    cattle, depend very much upon the good management of those cattle
    ; so the profit and success of that which is carried on by slaves
    must depend equally upon the good management of those slaves ;
    and in the good management of their slaves the French planters, I
    think it is generally allowed, are superior to the English. The
    law, so far as it gives some weak protection to the slave against
    the violence of his master, is likely to be better executed in a
    colony where the government is in a great measure arbitrary, than
    in one where it is altogether free. In ever country where the
    unfortunate law of slavery is established, the magistrate, when
    he protects the slave, intermeddles in some measure in the
    management of the private property of the master ; and, in a free
    country, where the master is, perhaps, either a member of the
    colony assembly, or an elector of such a member, he dares not do
    this but with the greatest caution and circumspection. The
    respect which he is obliged to pay to the master, renders it more
    difficult for him to protect the slave. But in a country where
    the government is in a great measure arbitrary, where it is usual
    for the magistrate to intermeddle even in the management of the
    private property of individuals, and to send them, perhaps, a
    lettre de cachet, if they do not manage it according to his
    liking, it is much easier for him to give some protection to the
    slave; and common humanity naturally disposes him to do so. The
    protection of the magistrate renders the slave less contemptible
    in the eyes of his master, who is thereby induced to consider him
    with more regard, and to treat him with more gentleness. Gentle
    usage renders the slave not only more faithful, but more
    intelligent, and, therefore, upon a double account, more useful.
    He approaches more to the condition of a free servant, and may
    possess some degree of integrity and attachment to his master's
    interest ; virtues which frequently belong to free servants, but
    which never can belong to a slave, who is treated as slaves
    commonly are in countries where the master is perfectly free and

    That the condition of a slave is better under an arbitrary than
    under a free government, is, I believe, supported by the history
    of all ages and nations. In the Roman history, the first time we
    read of the magistrate interposing to protect the slave from the
    violence of his master, is under the emperors. When Vidius
    Pollio, in the presence of Augustus, ordered one of his slaves,
    who had committed a slight fault, to be cut into pieces and
    thrown into his fish-pond, in order to feed his fishes, the
    emperor commanded him, with indignation, to emancipate
    immediately, not only that slave, but all the others that
    belonged to him. Under the republic no magistrate could have had
    authority enough to protect the slave, much less to punish the

    The stock, it is to be observed, which has improved the sugar
    colonies of France, particularly the great colony of St Domingo,
    has been raised almost entirely from the gradual improvement and
    cultivation of those colonies. It has been almost altogether the
    produce of the soil and of the industry of the colonists, or,
    what comes to the same thing, the price of that produce,
    gradually accumulated by good management, and employed in raising
    a still greater produce. But the stock which has improved and
    cultivated the sugar colonies of England, has, a great part of
    it, been sent out from England, and has by no means been
    altogether the produce of the soil and industry of the colonists.
    The prosperity of the English sugar colonies has been in a great
    measure owing to the great riches of England, of which a part has
    overflowed, if one may say so, upon these colonies. But the
    prosperity of the sugar colonies of France has been entirely
    owing to the good conduct of the colonists, which must therefore
    have had some superiority over that of the English; and this
    superiority has been remarked in nothing so much as in the good
    management of their slaves.

    Such have been the general outlines of the policy of the
    different European nations with regard to their colonies.

    The policy of Europe, therefore, has very little to boast of,
    either in the original establishment, or, so far as concerns
    their internal government, in the subsequent prosperity of the
    colonies of America.

    Folly and injustice seem to have been the principles which
    presided over and directed the first project of establishing
    those colonies; the folly of hunting after gold and silver mines,
    and the injustice of coveting the possession of a country whose
    harmless natives, far from having ever injured the people of
    Europe, had received the first adventurers with every mark of
    kindness and hospitality.

    The adventurers, indeed, who formed some of the latter
    establishments, joined to the chimerical project of finding gold
    and silver mines, other motives more reasonable and more
    laudable; but even these motives do very little honour to the
    policy of Europe.

    The English puritans, restrained at home, fled for freedom to
    America, and established there the four governments of New
    England. The English catholics, treated with much greater
    injustice, established that of Maryland ; the quakers, that of
    Pennsylvania. The Portuguese Jews, persecuted by the inquisition,
    stript of their fortunes, and banished to Brazil, introduced, by
    their example, some sort of order and industry among the
    transported felons and strumpets by whom that colony was
    originally peopled, and taught them the culture of the
    sugar-cane. Upon all these different occasions, it was not the
    wisdom and policy, but the disorder and injustice of the European
    governments, which peopled and cultivated America.

    In effectuation some of the most important of these
    establishments, the different governments of Europe had as little
    merit as in projecting them. The conquest of Mexico was the
    project, not of the council of Spain, but of a governor of Cuba ;
    and it was effectuated by the spirit of the bold adventurer to
    whom it was entrusted, in spite of every thing which that
    governor, who soon repented of having trusted such a person,
    could do to thwart it. The conquerors of Chili and Peru, and of
    almost all the other Spanish settlements upon the continent of
    America, carried out with them no other public encouragement, but
    a general permission to make settlements and conquests in the
    name of the king of Spain. Those adventures were all at the
    private risk and expense of the adventurers. The government of
    Spain contributed scarce any thing to any of them. That of
    England contributed as little towards effectuating the
    establishment of some of its most important colonies in North

    When those establishments were effectuated, and had become so
    considerable as to attract the attention of the mother country,
    the first regulations which she made with regard to them, had
    always in view to secure to herself the monopoly of their
    commerce; to confine their market, and to enlarge her own at
    their expense, and, consequently, rather to damp and discourage,
    than to quicken and forward the course of their prosperity. In
    the different ways in which this monopoly has been exercised,
    consists one of the most essential differences in the policy of
    the different European nations with regard to their colonies. The
    best of them all, that of England, is only somewhat less
    illiberal and oppressive than that of any of the rest.

    In what way, therefore, has the policy of Europe contributed
    either to the first establishment, or to the present grandeur of
    the colonies of America ? In one way, and in one way only, it has
    contributed a good deal. Magna virum mater! It bred and formed
    the men who were capable of achieving such great actions, and of
    laying the foundation of so great an empire ; and there is no
    other quarter of the world; of which the policy is capable of
    forming, or has ever actually, and in fact, formed such men. The
    colonies owe to the policy of Europe the education and great
    views of their active and enterprizing founders; and some of the
    greatest and most important of them, so far as concerns their
    internal government, owe to it scarce anything else.


    Of the Advantages which Europe has derived From the Discovery of
    America, and from that of a Passage to the East Indies by the
    Cape of Good Hope.

    Such are the advantages which the colonies of America have
    derived from the policy of Europe.

    What are those which Europe has derived from the discovery and
    colonization of America?

    Those advantages may be divided, first, into the general
    advantages which Europe, considered as one great country, has
    derived from those great events; and, secondly, into the
    particular advantages which each colonizing country has derived
    from the colonies which particularly belong to it, in consequence
    of the authority or dominion which it exercises over them.

    The general advantages which Europe, considered as one great
    country, has derived from the discovery and colonization of
    America, consist, first, in the increase of its enjoyments ; and,
    secondly, in the augmentation of its industry.

    The surplus produce of America imported into Europe, furnishes
    the inhabitants of this great continent with a variety of
    commodities which they could not otherwise have possessed ; some
    for conveniency and use, some for pleasure, and some for ornament
    ; and thereby contributes to increase their enjoyments.

    The discovery and colonization of America, it will readily be
    allowed, have contributed to augment the industry, first, of all
    the countries which trade to it directly, such as Spain,
    Portugal, France, and England; and, secondly, of all those which,
    without trading to it directly, send, through the medium of other
    countries, goods to it of their own produce, such as Austrian
    Flanders, and some provinces of Germany, which, through the
    medium of the countries before mentioned, send to it a
    considerable quantity of linen and other goods. All such
    countries have evidently gained a more extensive market for their
    surplus produce, and must consequently have been encouraged to
    increase its quantity.

    But that those great events should likewise have contributed to
    encourage the industry of countries such as Hungary and Poland,
    which may never, perhaps, have sent a single commodity of their
    own produce to America, is not, perhaps, altogether so evident.
    That those events have done so, however, cannot be doubted. Some
    part of the produce of America is consumed in Hungary and Poland,
    and there is some demand there for the sugar, chocolate. and
    tobacco, of that new quarter of the world. But those commodities
    must be purchased with something which is either the produce of
    the industry of Hungary and Poland, or with something which had
    been purchased with some part of that produce. Those commodities
    of America are new values, new equivalents, introduced into
    Hungary and Poland, to be exchanged there for the surplus produce
    of these countries. By being carried thither, they create a new
    and more extensive market for that surplus produce. They raise
    its value, and thereby contribute to encourage its increase.
    Though no part of it may ever be carried to America, it may be
    carried to other countries, which purchase it with a part of
    their share of the surplus produce of America, and it may find a
    market by means of the circulation of that trade which was
    originally put into motion by the surplus produce of America.

    Those great events may even have contributed to increase the
    enjoyments, and to augment the industry, of countries which not
    only never sent any commodities to America, but never received
    any from it. Even such countries may have received a greater
    abundance of other commodities from countries, of which the
    surplus produce had been augmented by means of the American
    trade. This greater abundance, as it must necessarily have
    increased their enjoyments, so it must likewise have augmented
    their industry. A greater number of new equivalents, of some kind
    or other, must have been presented to them to be exchanged for
    the surplus produce of that industry. A more extensive market
    must have been created for that surplus produce, so as to raise
    its value, and thereby encourage its increase. The mass of
    commodities annually thrown into the great circle of European
    commerce, and by its various revolutions annually distributed
    among all the different nations comprehended within it, must have
    been augmented by the whole surplus produce of America. A greater
    share of this greater mass, therefore, is likely to have fallen
    to each of those nations, to have increased their enjoyments, and
    augmented their industry.

    The exclusive trade of the mother countries tends to diminish, or
    at least to keep down below what they would otherwise rise to,
    both the enjoyments and industry of all those nations in general,
    and of the American colonies in particular. It is a dead weight
    upon the action of one of the great springs which puts into
    motion a great part of the business of mankind. By rendering the
    colony produce dearer in all other countries, it lessens its
    consumption, and thereby cramps the industry of the colonies, and
    both the enjoyments and the industry of all other countries,
    which both enjoy less when they pay more for what they enjoy, and
    produce less when they get less for what they produce. By
    rendering the produce of all other countries dearer in the
    colonies, it cramps in the same manner the industry of all other
    colonies, and both the enjoyments and the industry of the
    colonies. It is a clog which, for the supposed benefit of some
    particular countries, embarrasses the pleasures and encumbers the
    industry of all other countries, but of the colonies more than of
    any other. It not only excludes as much as possible all other
    countries from one particular market, but it confines as much as
    possible the colonies to one particular market; and the
    difference is very great between being excluded from one
    particular market when all others are open, and being confined to
    one particular market when all others are shut up. The surplus
    produce of the colonies, however, is the original source of all
    that increase of enjoyments and industry which Europe derives
    from the discovery and colonization of America, and the exclusive
    trade of the mother countries tends to render this source much
    less abundant than it otherwise would be.

    The particular advantages which each colonizing country derives
    from the colonies which particularly belong to it, are of two
    different kinds ; first, those common advantages which every
    empire derives from the provinces subject to its dominion ; and,
    secondly, those peculiar advantages which are supposed to result
    from provinces of so very peculiar a nature as the European
    colonies of America.

    The common advantages which every empire derives from the
    provinces subject to its dominion consist, first, in the military
    force which they furnish for its defence; and, secondly, in the
    revenue which they furnish for the support of its civil
    government. The Roman colonies furnished occasionally both the
    one and the other. The Greek colonies sometimes furnished a
    military force, but seldom any revenue. They seldom acknowledged
    themselves subject to the dominion of the mother city. They were
    generally her allies in war, but very seldom her subjects in

    The European colonies of America have never yet furnished any
    military force for the defence of the mother country. The
    military force has never yet been sufficient for their own
    defence; and in the different wars in which the mother countries
    have been engaged, the defence of their colonies has generally
    occasioned a very considerable distraction of the military force
    of those countries. In this respect, therefore, all the European
    colonies have, without exception, been a cause rather of weakness
    than of strength to their respective mother countries.

    The colonies of Spain and Portugal only have contributed any
    revenue towards the defence of the mother country, or the support
    of her civil government. The taxes which have been levied upon
    those of other European nations, upon those of England in
    particular, have seldom been equal to the expense laid out upon
    them in time of peace, and never sufficient to defray that which
    they occasioned in time of war. Such colonies, therefore, have
    been a source of expense, and not of revenue, to their respective
    mother countries.

    The advantages of such colonies to their respective mother
    countries, consist altogether in those peculiar advantages which
    are supposed to result from provinces of so very peculiar a
    nature as the European colonies of America; and the exclusive
    trade, it is acknowledged, is the sole source of all those
    peculiar advantages.

    In consequence of this exclusive trade, all that part of the
    surplus produce of the English colonies, for example, which
    consists in what are called enumerated commodities, can be sent
    to no other country but England. Other countries must afterwards
    buy it of her. It must be cheaper, therefore, in England than it
    can be in any other country, and must contribute more to increase
    the enjoyments of England than those of any other country. It
    must likewise contribute more to encourage her industry. For all
    those parts of her own surplus produce which England exchanges
    for those enumerated commodities, she must get a better price
    than any other countries can get for the like parts of theirs,
    when they exchange them for the same commodities. The
    manufactures of England, for example, will purchase a greater
    quantity of the sugar and tobacco of her own colonies than the
    like manufactures of other countries can purchase of that sugar
    and tobacco. So far, therefore, as the manufactures of England
    and those of other countries are both to be exchanged for the
    sugar and tobacco of the English colonies, this superiority of
    price gives an encouragement to the former beyond what the latter
    can, in these circumstances, enjoy. The exclusive trade of the
    colonies, therefore, as it diminishes, or at least keeps down
    below what they would otherwise rise to, both the enjoyments and
    the industry of the countries which do not possess it, so it
    gives an evident advantage to the countries which do possess it
    over those other countries.

    This advantage, however, will, perhaps, be found to be rather
    what may be called a relative than an absolute advantage, and to
    give a superiority to the country which enjoys it, rather by
    depressing the industry and produce of other countries, than by
    raising those of that particular country above what they would
    naturally rise to in the case of a free trade.

    The tobacco of Maryland and Virginia, for example, by means of
    the monopoly which England enjoys of it, certainly comes cheaper
    to England than it can do to France to whom England commonly
    sells a considerable part of it. But had France and all other
    European countries been at all times allowed a free trade to
    Maryland and Virginia, the tobacco of those colonies might by
    this time have come cheaper than it actually does, not only to
    all those other countries, but likewise to England. The produce
    of tobacco, in consequcnce of a market so much more extensive
    than any which it has hitherto enjoyed, might, and probably
    would, by this time have been so much increased as to reduce the
    profits of a tobacco plantation to their natural level with those
    of a corn plantation, which it is supposed they are still
    somewhat above. The price of tobacco might, and probably would,
    by this time have fallen somewhat lower than it is at present. An
    equal quantity of the commodities, either of England or of those
    other countries, might have purchased in Maryland and Virginia a
    greater quantity of tobacco than it can do at present, and
    consequently have been sold there for so much a better price. So
    far as that weed, therefore, can, by its cheapness and abundance,
    increase the enjoyments, or augment the industry, either of
    England or of any other country, it would probably, in the case
    of a free trade, have produced both these effects in somewhat a
    greater degree than it can do at present. England, indeed, would
    not, in this case, have had any advantage over other countries.
    She might have bought the tobacco of her colonies somewhat
    cheaper, and consequently have sold some of her own commodities
    somewhat dearer, than she actually does ; but she could neither
    have bought the one cheaper, nor sold the other dearer, than any
    other country might have done. She might, perhaps, have gained an
    absolute, but she would certainly have lost a relative advantage.

    In order, however, to obtain this relative advantage in the
    colony trade, in order to execute the invidious and malignant
    project of excluding, as much as possible, other nations from any
    share in it, England, there are very probable reasons for
    believing, has not only sacrificed a part of the absolute
    advantage which she, as well as every other nation, might have
    derived from that trade, but has subjected herself both to an
    absolute and to a relative disadvantage in almost every other
    branch of trade.

    When, by the act of navigation, England assumed to herself the
    monopoly of the colony trade, the foreign capitals which had
    before been employed in it, were necessarily withdrawn from it.
    The English capital, which had before carried on but a part of
    it, was now to carry on the whole. The capital which had before
    supplied the colonies with but a part of the goods which they
    wanted from Europe, was now all that was employed to supply them
    with the whole. But it could not supply them with the whole;
    and the goods with which it did supply them were necessarily sold
    very dear. The capital which had before bought but a part of the
    surplus produce of the colonies, was now all that was employed to
    buy the whole. But it could not buy the whole at any thing near
    the old price ; and therefore, whatever it did buy, it
    necessarily bought very cheap. But in an employment of capital,
    in which the merchant sold very dear, and bought very cheap, the
    profit must have been very great, and much above the ordinary
    level of profit in other branches of trade. This superiority of
    profit in the colony trade could not fail to draw from other
    branches of trade a part of the capital which had before been
    employed in them. But this revulsion of capital, as it must have
    gradually increased the competition of capitals in the colony
    trade, so it must have gradually diminished that competition in
    all those other branches of trade ; as it must have gradually
    lowered the profits of the one, so it must have gradually raised
    those of the other, till the profits of all came to a new level,
    different from, and somewhat higher, than that at which they had
    been before.

    This double effect of drawing capital from all other trades, and
    of raising the rate of profit somewhat higher than it otherwise
    would have been in all trades, was not only produced by this
    monopoly upon its first establishment, but has continued to be
    produced by it ever since.

    First, This monopoly has been continually drawing capital from
    all other trades, to be employed in that of the colonies.

    Though the wealth of Great Britain has increased very much since
    the establishment of the act of navigation, it certainly has not
    increased in the same proportion as that or the colonies. But the
    foreign trade of every country naturally increases in proportion
    to its wealth, its surplus produce in proportion to its whole
    produce; and Great Britain having engrossed to herself almost the
    whole of what may be called the foreign trade of the colonies,
    and her capital not having increased in the same proportion as
    the extent of that trade, she could not carry it on without
    continually withdrawing from other branches of trade some part of
    the capital which had before been employed in them, as well as
    withholding from them a great deal more which would otherwise
    have gone to them. Since the establishment of the act of
    navigation, accordingly, the colony trade has been continually
    increasing, while many other branches of foreign trade,
    particularly of that to other parts of Europe, have been
    continually decaying. Our manufactures for foreign sale, instead
    of being suited, as before the act of navigation, to the
    neighbouring market of Europe, or to the more distant one of the
    countries which lie round the Mediterranean sea, have the greater
    part of them, been accommodated to the still more distant one of
    the colonies; to the market in which they have the monopoly,
    rather than to that in which they have many competitors. The
    causes of decay in other branches of foreign trade, which, by Sir
    Matthew Decker and other writers, have been sought for in the
    excess and improper mode of taxation, in the high price of
    labour, in the increase of luxury, etc. may all be found in the
    overgrowth of the colony trade. The mercantile capital of Great
    Britain, though very great, yet not being infinite, and though
    greatly increased since the act of navigation, yet not being
    increased in the same proportion as the colony trade, that trade
    could not possibly be carried on without withdrawing some part of
    that capital from other branches of trade, nor consequently
    without some decay of those other branches.

    England, it must be observed, was a great trading country, her
    mercantile capital was very great, and likely to become still
    greater and greater every day, not only before the act of
    navigation had established the monopoly of the corn trade, but
    before that trade was very considerable. In the Dutch war, during
    the government of Cromwell, her navy was superior to that of
    Holland ; and in that which broke out in the beginning of the
    reign of Charles II., it was at least equal, perhaps superior to
    the united navies of France and Holland. Its superiority,
    perhaps, would scarce appear greater in the present times, at
    least if the Dutch navy were to bear the same proportion to the
    Dutch commerce now which it did then. But this great naval
    power could not, in either of those wars, be owing to the act of
    navigation. During the first of them, the plan of that act had
    been but just formed; and though, before the breaking out of the
    second, it had been fully enacted by legal authority, yet no part
    of it could have had time to produce any considerable effect, and
    least of all that part which established the exclusive trade to
    the colonies. Both the colonies and their trade were
    inconsiderable then, in comparison of what they are how. The
    island of Jamaica was an unwholesome desert, little inhabited,
    and less cultivated. New York and New Jersey were in the
    possession of the Dutch, the half of St. Christopher's in that of
    the French. The island of Antigua, the two Carolinas,
    Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Nova Scotia, were not planted.
    Virginia, Maryland, and New England were planted; and though they
    were very thriving colonies, yet there was not perhaps at that
    time, either in Europe or America, a single person who foresaw,
    or even suspected, the rapid progress which they have since made
    in wealth, population, and improvement. The island of Barbadoes,
    in short, was the only British colony of any consequence, of
    which the condition at that time bore any resemblance to what it
    is at present. The trade of the colonies, of which England, even
    for some time after the act of navigation, enjoyed but a part
    (for the act of navigation was not very strictly executed till
    several years after it was enacted), could not at that time be
    the cause of the great trade of England, nor of the great naval
    power which was supported by that trade. The trade which at that
    time supported that great naval power was the trade of Europe,
    and of the countries which lie round the Mediterranean sea. But
    the share which Great Britain at present enjoys of that trade
    could not support any such great naval power. Had the growing
    trade of the colonies been left free to all nations, whatever
    share of it might have fallen to Great Britain, and a very
    considerable share would probably have fallen to her, must have
    been all an addition to this great trade of which she was before
    in possession. In consequence of the monopoly, the increase of
    the colony trade has not so much occasioned an addition to the
    trade which Great Britain had before, as a total change in its

    Secondly, This monopoly has necessarily contributed to keep up
    the rate of profit, in all the different branches of British
    trade, higher than it naturally would have been, had all nations
    been allowed a free trade to the British colonies.

    The monopoly of the colony trade, as it necessarily drew towards
    that trade a greater proportion of the capital of Great Britain
    than what would have gone to it of its own accord, so, by the
    expulsion of all foreign capitals, it necessarily reduced the
    whole quantity of capital employed in that trade below what it
    naturally would have been in the case of a free trade. But, by
    lessening the competition of capitals in that branch of trade, it
    necessarily raised the rate of profit in that branch. By
    lessening, too, the competition of British capitals in all other
    branches of trade, it necessarily raised the rate of British
    profit in all those other branches. Whatever may have been, at
    any particular period since the establishment of the act of
    navigation, the state or extent of the mercantile capital of
    Great Britain, the monopoly of the colony trade must, during the
    continuance of that state, have raised the ordinary rate of
    British profit higher than it otherwise would have been, both in
    that and in all the other branches of British trade. If, since
    the establishment of the act of navigation, the ordinary rate of
    British profit has fallen considerably. as it certainly has, it
    must have fallen still lower, had not the monopoly established by
    that act contributed to keep it up.

    But whatever raises, in any country, the ordinary rate of profit
    higher than it otherwise would be, necessarily subjects that
    country both to an absolute, and to a relative disadvantage in
    every branch of trade of which she has not the monopoly.

    It subjects her to an absolute disadvantage ; because, in such
    branches of trade, her merchants cannot get this greater profit
    without selling dearer than they otherwise would do, both the
    goods of foreign countries which they import into their own, and
    the goods of their own country which they export to foreign
    countries. Their own country must both buy dearer and sell
    dearer; must both buy less, and sell less; must both enjoy less
    and produce less, than she otherwise would do.

    It subjects her to a relative disadvantage; because, in such
    branches of trade, it sets other countries, which are not subject
    to the same absolute disadvantage, either more above her or less
    below her, than they otherwise would be. It enables them both to
    enjoy more and to produce more, in proportion to what she enjoys
    and produces. It renders their superiority greater, or their
    inferiority less, than it otherwise would be. By raising the
    price of her produce above what it otherwise would be, it enables
    the merchants of other countries to undersell her in foreign
    markets, and thereby to justle her out of almost all those
    branches of trade, of which she has not the monopoly.

    Our merchants frequently complain of the high wages of British
    labour, as the cause of their manufactures being undersold in
    foreign markets; but they are silent about the high profits of
    stock. They complain of the extravagant gain of other people; but
    they say nothing of their own. The high profits of British stock,
    however, may contribute towards raising the price of British
    manufactures, in many cases, as much, and in some perhaps more,
    than the high wages of British labour.

    It is in this manner that the capital of Great Britain, one may
    justly say, has partly been drawn and partly been driven from the
    greater part of the different branches of trade of which she has
    not the monopoly ; from the trade of Europe, in particular, and
    from that of the countries which lie round the Mediterranean sea.

    It has partly been drawn from those branches of trade, by the
    attraction of superior profit in the colony trade, in consequence
    of the continual increase of that trade, and of the continual
    insufficiency of the capital which had carried it on one year to
    carry it on the next.

    It has partly been driven from them, by the advantage which the
    high rate of profit established in Great Britain gives to other
    countries, in all the different branches of trade of which Great
    Britain has not the monopoly.

    As the monopoly of the colony trade has drawn from those other
    branches a part of the British capital, which would otherwise
    have been employed in them, so it has forced into them many
    foreign capitals which would never have gone to them, had they
    not been expelled from the colony trade. In those other branches
    of trade, it has diminished the competition of British capitals,
    and thereby raised the rate of British profit higher than it
    otherwise would have been. On the contrary, it has increased the
    competition of foreign capitals, and thereby sunk the rate of
    foreign profit lower than it otherwise would have been. Both in
    the one way and in the other, it must evidently have subjected
    Great Britain to a relative disadvantage in all those other
    branches of trade.

    The colony trade, however, it may perhaps be said, is more
    advantageous to Great Britain than any other; and the monopoly,
    by forcing into that trade a greater proportion of the capital of
    Great Britain than what would otherwise have gone to it, has
    turned that capital into an employment, more advantageous to the
    country than any other which it could have found.

    The most advantageous employment of any capital to the country to
    which it belongs, is that which maintains there the greatest
    quantity of productive labour, and increases the most the annual
    produce of the land and labour of that country. But the quantity
    of productive labour which any capital employed in the foreign
    trade of consumption can maintain, is exactly in proportion, it
    has been shown in the second book, to the frequency of its
    returns. A capital of a thousand pounds, for example, employed in
    a foreign trade of consumption, of which the returns are made
    regularly once in the year, can keep in constant employment, in
    the country to which it belongs, a quantity of productive labour,
    equal to what a thousand pounds can maintain there for a year. If
    the returns are made twice or thrice in the year, it can keep in
    constant employment a quantity of productive labour, equal to
    what two or three thousand pounds can maintain there for a year.
    A foreign trade of consumption carried on with a neighbouring,
    is, upon that account, in general, more advantageous than one
    carried on with a distant country ; and, for the same reason, a
    direct foreign trade of consumption, as it has likewise been
    shown in the second book, is in general more advantageous than a
    round-about one.

    But the monopoly of the colony trade, so far as it has operated
    upon the employment of the capital of Great Britain, has, in all
    cases, forced some part of it from a foreign trade of consumption
    carried on with a neighbouring, to one carried on with a more
    distant country, and in many cases from a direct foreign trade of
    consumption to a round-about one.

    First, The monopoly of the colony trade has, in all cases,
    forced some part of the capital of Great Britain from a foreign
    trade of consumption carried on with a neighbouring, to one
    carried on with a more distant country.

    It has, in all cases, forced some part of that capital from the
    trade with Europe, and with the countries which lie round the
    Mediterranean sea, to that with the more distant regions of
    America and the West Indies ; from which the returns are
    necessarily less frequent, not only on account of the greater
    distance, but on account of the peculiar circumstances of those
    countries. New colonies, it has already been observed, are always
    understocked. Their capital is always much less than what they
    could employ with great profit and advantage in the improvement
    and cultivation of their land. They have a constant demand,
    therefore, for more capital than they have of their own ; and, in
    order to supply the deficiency of their own, they endeavour to
    borrow as much as they can of the mother country, to whom they
    are, therefore, always in debt. The most common way in which the
    colonies contract this debt, is not by borrowing upon bond of the
    rich people of the mother country, though they sometimes do this
    too, but by running as much in arrear to their correspondents,
    who supply them with goods from Europe, as those correspondents
    will allow them. Their annual returns frequently do not amount to
    more than a third, and sometimes not to so great a proportion of
    what they owe. The whole capital, therefore, which their
    correspondents advance to them, is seldom returned to Britain in
    less than three, and sometimes not in less than four or five
    years. But a British capital of a thousand pounds, for example,
    which is returned to Great Britain only once in five years, can
    keep in constant employment only one-fifth part of the British
    industry which it could maintain, if the whole was returned once
    in the year; and, instead of the quantity of industry which a
    thousand pounds could maintain for a year, can keep in constant
    employment the quantity only which two hundred pounds can
    maintain for a year. The planter, no doubt, by the high price
    which he pays for the goods from Europe, by the interest upon the
    bills which he grants at distant dates, and by the commission
    upon the renewal of those which he grants at near dates, makes
    up, and probably more than makes up, all the loss which his
    correspondent can sustain by this delay. But, though he make up
    the loss of his correspondent, he cannot make up that of Great
    Britain. In a trade of which the returns are very distant, the
    profit of the merchant may be as great or greater than in one in
    which they are very frequent and near ; but the advantage of the
    country in which he resides, the quantity of productive labour
    constantly maintained there, the annual produce of the land and
    labour, must always be much less. That the returns of the trade
    to America, and still more those of that to the West Indies, are,
    in general, not only more distant, but more irregular and more
    uncertain, too, than those of the trade to any part of Europe, or
    even of the countries which lie round the Mediterranean sea, will
    readily he allowed, I imagine, by everybody who has any
    experience of those different branches of trade.

    Secondly, The monopoly of the colony trade, has, in many
    cases, forced some part of the capital of Great Britain from a
    direct foreign trade of consumption, into a round-about one.

    Among the enumerated commodities which can be sent to no other
    market but Great Britain, there are several of which the quantity
    exceeds very much the consumption of Great Britain, and of which,
    a part, therefore, must be exported to other countries. But this
    cannot be done without forcing some part of the capital of Great
    Britain into a round-about foreign trade of consumption.
    Maryland, and Virginia, for example, send annually to Great
    Britain upwards of ninety-six thousand hogsheads of tobacco, and
    the consumption of Great Britain is said not to exceed fourteen
    thousand. Upwards of eighty-two thousand hogsheads,
    therefore, must be exported to other countries, to France, to
    Holland, and, to the countries which lie round the Baltic and
    Mediterranean seas. But that part of the capital of Great
    Britain which brings those eighty-two thousand hogsheads to Great
    Britain, which re-exports them from thence to those other
    countries, and which brings back from those other countries to
    Great Britain either goods or money in return, is employed in a
    round-about foreign trade of consumption; and is necessarily
    forced into this employment, in order to dispose of this great
    surplus. If we would compute in how many years the whole of this
    capital is likely to come back to Great Britain, we must add to
    the distance of the American returns that of the returns from
    those other countries. If, in the direct foreign trade of
    consumption which we carry on with America, the whole capital
    employed frequently does not come back in less than three or four
    years, the whole capital employed in this round-about one is not
    likely to come back in less than four or five. If the one can
    keep in constant employment but a third or a fourth part of the
    domestic industry which could be maintained by a capital returned
    once in the year, the other can keep in constant employment but a
    fourth or a fifth part of that industry. At some of the outports
    a credit is commonly given to those foreign correspondents to
    whom they export them tobacco. At the port of London, indeed, it
    is commonly sold for ready money: the rule is Weigh and pay. At
    the port of London, therefore, the final returns of the whole
    round-about trade are more distant than the returns from America,
    by the time only which the goods may lie unsold in the warehouse;
    where, however, they may sometimes lie long enough. But, had not
    the colonies been confined to the market of Great Britain for the
    sale of their tobacco, very little more of it would probably have
    come to us than what was necessary for the home consumption. The
    goods which Great Britain purchases at present for her own
    consumption with the great surplus of tobacco which she exports
    to other countries, she would, in this case, probably have
    purchased with the immediate produce of her own industry, or with
    some part of her own manufactures. That produce, those
    manufactures, instead of being almost entirely suited to one
    great market, as at present, would probably have been fitted to a
    great number of smaller markets. Instead of one great round-about
    foreign trade of consumption, Great Britain would probably have
    carried on a great number of small direct foreign trades of the
    same kind. On account of the frequency of the returns, a part,
    and probably but a small part, perhaps not above a third or a
    fourth of the capital which at present carries on this great
    round-about trade, might have been sufficient to carry on all
    those small direct ones; might have kept inconstant employment an
    equal quantity of British industry ; and have equally supported
    the annual produce of the land and labour of Great Britain. All
    the purposes of this trade being, in this manner, answered by a
    much smaller capital, there would have been a large spare capital
    to apply to other purposes; to improve the lands, to increase the
    manufactures, and to extend the commerce of Great Britain; to
    come into competition at least with the other British capitals
    employed in all those different ways, to reduce the rate of
    profit in them all, and thereby to give to Great Britain, in all
    of them, a superiority over other countries, still greater than
    what she at present enjoys.

    The monopoly of the colony trade, too, has forced some part of
    the capital of Great Britain from all foreign trade of
    consumption to a carrying trade; and, consequently from
    supporting more or less the industry of Great Britain, to be
    employed altogether in supporting partly that of the colonies,
    and partly that of some other countries.

    The goods, for example, which are annually purchased with the
    great surplus of eighty-two thousand hogsheads of tobacco
    annually re-exported from Great Britain, are not all consumed in
    Great Britain. Part of them, linen from Germany and Holland, for
    example, is returned to the colonies for their particular
    consumption. But that part of the capital of Great Britain which
    buys the tobacco with which this linen is afterwards bought, is
    necessarily withdrawn from supporting the industry of Great
    Britain, to be employed altogether in supporting, partly that of
    the colonies, and partly that of the particular countries who pay
    for this tobacco with the produce of their own industry.

    The monopoly of the colony trade, besides, by forcing towards it
    a much greater proportion of the capital of Great Britain than
    what would naturally have gone to it, seems to have broken
    altogether that natural balance which would otherwise have taken
    place among all the different branches of British industry. The
    industry of Great Britain, instead of being accommodated to a
    great number of small markets, has been principally suited to one
    great market. Her commerce, instead of running in a great number
    of small channels, has been taught to run principally in one
    great channel. But the whole system of her industry and commerce
    has thereby been rendered less secure; the whole state of her
    body politic less healthful than it otherwise would have been. In
    her present condition, Great Britain resembles one of those
    unwholesome bodies in which some of the vital parts are
    overgrown, and which, upon that account, are liable to many
    dangerous disorders, scarce incident to those in which all the
    parts are more properly proportioned. A small stop in that great
    blood-vessel, which has been artificially swelled beyond its
    natural dimensions, and through which an unnatural proportion of
    the industry and commerce of the country has been forced to
    circulate, is very likely to bring on the most dangerous
    disorders upon the whole body politic. The expectation of a
    rupture with the colonies, accordingly, has struck the people of
    Great Britain with more terror than they ever felt for a Spanish
    armada, or a French invasion. It was this terror, whether well or
    ill grounded, which rendered the repeal of the stamp act, among
    the merchants at least, a popular measure. In the total
    exclusion from the colony market, was it to last only for a few
    years, the greater part of our merchants used to fancy that they
    foresaw an entire stop to their trade; the greater part of our
    master manufacturers, the entire ruin of their business; and the
    greater part of our workmen, an end of their employment. A
    rupture with any of our neighbours upon the continent, though
    likely, too, to occasion some stop or interruption in the
    employments of some of all these different orders of people, is
    foreseen, however, without any such general emotion. The blood,
    of which the circulation is stopt in some of the smaller vessels,
    easily disgorges itself into the greater, without occasioning any
    dangerous disorder; but, when it is stopt in any of the greater
    vessels, convulsions, apoplexy, or death, are the immediate and
    unavoidable consequences. If but one of those overgrown
    manufactures, which, by means either of bounties or of the
    monopoly of the home and colony markets, have been artificially
    raised up to any unnatural height, finds some small stop or
    interruption in its employment, it frequently occasions a mutiny
    and disorder alarming to government, and embarrassing even to the
    deliberations of the legislature. How great, therefore, would be
    the disorder and confusion, it was thought, which must
    necessarily be occasioned by a sudden and entire stop in the
    employment of so great a proportion of our principal

    Some moderate and gradual relaxation of the laws which give to
    Great Britain the exclusive trade to the colonies, till it is
    rendered in a great measure free, seems to be the only expedient
    which can, in all future times, deliver her from this danger ;
    which can enable her, or even force her, to withdraw some part of
    her capital from this overgrown employment, and to turn it,
    though with less profit, towards other employments; and which, by
    gradually diminishing one branch of her industry, and gradually
    increasing all the rest, can, by degrees, restore all the
    different branches of it to that natural, healthful, and proper
    proportion, which perfect liberty necessarily establishes, and
    which perfect liberty can alone preserve. To open the colony
    trade all at once to all nations, might not only occasion some
    transitory inconveniency, but a great permanent loss, to the
    greater part of those whose industry or capital is at present
    engaged in it. The sudden loss of the employment, even of the
    ships which import the eighty-two thousand hogsheads of tobacco,
    which are over and above the consumption of Great Britain, might
    alone be felt very sensibly. Such are the unfortunate effects of
    all the regulations of the mercantile system. They not only
    introduce very dangerous disorders into the state of the body
    politic, but disorders which it is often difficult to remedy,
    without occasioning, for a time at least, still greater
    disorders. In what manner, therefore, the colony trade ought
    gradually to be opened ; what are the restraints which ought
    first, and what are those which ought last, to be taken away ; or
    in what manner the natural system of perfect liberty and justice
    ought gradually to be restored, we must leave to the wisdom of
    future statesmen and legislators to determine.

    Five different events, unforeseen and unthought of, have very
    fortunately concurred to hinder Great Britain from feeling, so
    sensibly as it was generally expected she would, the total
    exclusion which has now taken place for more than a year (from
    the first of December 1774) from a very important branch of the
    colony trade, that of the twelve associated provinces of North
    America. First, those colonies, in preparing themselves for their
    non-importation agreement, drained Great Britain completely of
    all the commodities which were fit for their market ; secondly,
    the extra ordinary demand of the Spanish flota has, this year,
    drained Germany and the north of many commodities, linen in
    particular, which used to come into competition, even in the
    British market, with the manufactures of Great Britain; thirdly,
    the peace between Russia and Turkey has occasioned an
    extraordinary demand from the Turkey market, which, during the
    distress of the country, and while a Russian fleet was cruizing
    in the Archipelago, had been very poorly supplied ; fourthly, the
    demand of the north of Europe for the manufactures of Great
    Britain has been increasing from year to year, for some time
    past; and, fifthly, the late partition, and consequential
    pacification of Poland, by opening the market of that great
    country, have, this year, added an extraordinary demand from
    thence to the increasing demand of the north. These events are
    all, except the fourth, in their nature transitory and
    accidental; and the exclusion from so important a branch of the
    colony trade, if unfortunately it should continue much longer,
    may still occasion some degree of distress. This distress,
    however, as it will come on gradually, will be felt much less
    severely than if it had come on all at once ; and, in the mean
    time, the industry and capital of the country may find a new
    employment and direction, so as to prevent this distress from
    ever rising to any considerable height.

    The monopoly of the colony trade, therefore, so far as it has
    turned towards that trade a greater proportion of the capital of
    Great Britain than what would otherwise have gone to it, has in
    all cases turned it, from a foreign trade of consumption with a
    neighbouring, into one with a more distant country ; in many
    cases from a direct foreign trade of consumption into a
    round-about one; and, in some cases, from all foreign trade of
    consumption into a carrying trade. It has, in all cases,
    therefore, turned it from a direction in which it would have
    maintained a greater quantity of productive labour, into one in
    which it can maintain a much smaller quantity. By suiting,
    besides, to one particular market only, so great a part of the
    industry and commerce of Great Britain, it has rendered the whole
    state of that industry and commerce more precarious and less
    secure, than if their produce had been accommodated to a greater
    variety of markets.

    We must carefully distinguish between the effects of the colony
    trade and those of the monopoly of that trade. The former are
    always and necessarily beneficial ; the latter always and
    necessarily hurtful. But the former are so beneficial, that the
    colony trade, though subject to a monopoly, and, notwithstanding
    the hurtful effects of that monopoly, is still, upon the whole,
    beneficial, and greatly beneficial, though a good deal less so
    than it otherwise would be.

    The effect of the colony trade, in its natural and free state, is
    to open a great though distant market, for such parts of the
    produce of British industry as may exceed the demand of the
    markets nearer home, of those of Europe, and of the countries
    which lie round the Mediterranean sea. In its natural and free
    state, the colony trade, without drawing from those markets any
    part of the produce which had ever been sent to them, encourages
    Great Britain to increase the surplus continually, by continually
    presenting new equivalents to be exchanged for it. In its natural
    and free state, the colony trade tends to increase the quantity
    of productive labour in Great Britain, but without altering in
    any respect the direction of that which had been employed there
    before. In the natural and free state of the colony trade, the
    competition of all other nations would hinder the rate of profit
    from rising above the common level, either in the new market, or
    in the new employment. The new market, without drawing any thing
    from the old one, would create, if one may say so, a new produce
    for its own supply ; and that new produce would constitute a new
    capital for carrying on the new employment, which, in the same
    manner, would draw nothing from the old one.

    The monopoly of the colony trade, on the contrary, by excluding
    the competition of other nations, and thereby raising the rate of
    profit, both in the new market and in the new employment, draws
    produce from the old market, and capital from the old employment.
    To augment our share of the colony trade beyond what it otherwise
    would be, is the avowed purpose of the monopoly. If our share of
    that trade were to be no greater with, than it would have been
    without the monopoly, there could have been no reason for
    establishing the monopoly. But whatever forces into a branch of
    trade, of which the returns are slower and more distant than
    those of the greater part of other trades, a greater proportion
    of the capital of any country, than what of its own accord would
    go to that branch, necessarily renders the whole quantity of
    productive labour annually maintained there, the whole annual
    produce of the land and labour of that country, less than they
    otherwise would be. It keeps down the revenue of the inhabitants
    of that country below what it would naturally rise to, and
    thereby diminishes their power of accumulation. It not only
    hinders, at all times, their capital from maintaining so great a
    quantity of productive labour as it would otherwise maintain, but
    it hinders it from increasing so fast as it would otherwise
    increase, and, consequently, from maintaining a still greater
    quantity of productive labour.

    The natural good effects of the colony trade, however, more than
    counterbalance to Great Britain the bad effects of the monopoly ;
    so that, monopoly and altogether, that trade, even as it is
    carried on at present, is not only advantageous, but greatly
    advantageous. The new market and the new employment which are
    opened by the colony trade, are of much greater extent than that
    portion of the old market and of the old employment which is lost
    by the monopoly. The new produce and the new capital which has
    been created, if one may say so, by the colony trade, maintain in
    Great Britain a greater quantity of productive labour than what
    can have been thrown out of employment by the revulsion of
    capital from other trades of which the returns are more frequent.
    If the colony trade, however, even as it is carried on at
    present, is advantageous to Great Britain, it is not by means of
    the monopoly, but in spite of the monopoly.

    It is rather for the manufactured than for the rude produce of
    Europe, that the colony trade opens a new market. Agriculture is
    the proper business of all new colonies; a business which the
    cheapness of land renders more advantageous than any other. They
    abound, therefore, in the rude produce of land ; and instead of
    importing it from other countries, they have generally a large
    surplus to export. In new colonies, agriculture either draws
    hands from all other employments, or keeps them from going to any
    other employment. There are few hands to spare for the necessary,
    and none for the ornamental manufactures. The greater part of the
    manufactures of both kinds they find it cheaper to purchase of
    other countries than to make for themselves. It is chiefly by
    encouraging the manufactures of Europe, that the colony trade
    indirectly encourages its agriculture. The manufacturers of
    Europe, to whom that trade gives employment, constitute a new
    market for the produce of the land, and the most advantageous of
    all markets ; the home market for the corn and cattle, for the
    bread and butcher's meat of Europe, is thus greatly extended by
    means of the trade to America.

    But that the monopoly of the trade of populous and thriving
    colonies is not alone sufficient to establish, or even to
    maintain, manufactures in any country, the examples of Spain and
    Portugal sufficiently demonstrate. Spain and Portugal were
    manufacturing countries before they had any considerable
    colonies. Since they had the richest and most fertile in the
    world, they have both ceased to be so.

    In Spain and Portugal, the bad effects of the monopoly,
    aggravated by other causes, have, perhaps, nearly overbalanced
    the natural good effects of the colony trade. These causes seem
    to be other monopolies of different kinds: the degradation of the
    value of gold and silver below what it is in most other countries
    ; the exclusion from foreign markets by improper taxes upon
    exportation, and the narrowing of the home market, by still more
    improper taxes upon the transportation of goods from one part of
    the country to another ; but above all, that irregular and
    partial administration of justice which often protects the rich
    and powerful debtor from the pursuit of his injured creditor, and
    which makes the industrious part of the nation afraid to prepare
    goods for the consumption of those haughty and great men, to whom
    they dare not refuse to sell upon credit, and from whom they are
    altogether uncertain of repayment.

    In England, on the contrary, the natural good effects of the
    colony trade, assisted by other causes, have in a great measure
    conquered the bad effects of the monopoly. These causes seem to
    be, the general liberty of trade, which, notwithstanding some
    restraints, is at least equal, perhaps superior, to what it is in
    any other country ; the liberty of exporting, duty free, almost
    all sorts of goods which are the produce of domestic industry, to
    almost any foreign country; and what, perhaps, is of still
    greater importance, the unbounded liberty of transporting them
    from one part of our own country to any other, without being
    obliged to give any account to any public office, without being
    liable to question or examination of any kind; but, above all,
    that equal and impartial administration of justice, which renders
    the rights of the meanest British subject respectable to the
    greatest, and which, by securing to every man the fruits of his
    own industry, gives the greatest and most effectual encouragement
    to every sort of industry.

    If the manufactures of Great Britain, however, have been
    advanced, as they certainly have, by the colony trade, it has not
    been by means of the monopoly of that trade, but in spite of the
    monopoly. The effect of the monopoly has been, not to augment
    the quantity, but to alter the quality and shape of a part of the
    manufactures of Great Britain, and to accommodate to a market,
    from which the returns are slow and distant, what would otherwise
    have been accommodated to one from which the returns are frequent
    and near. Its effect has consequently been, to turn a part of the
    capital of Great Britain from an employment in which it would
    have maintained a greater quantity of manufacturing industry, to
    one in which it maintains a much smaller, and thereby to
    diminish, instead of increasing, the whole quantity of
    manufacturing industry maintained in Great Britain.

    The monopoly of the colony trade, therefore, like all the other
    mean and malignant expedients of the mercantile system, depresses
    the industry of all other countries, but chiefly that of the
    colonies, without in the least increasing, but on the contrary
    diminishing, that of the country in whose favour it is

    The monopoly hinders the capital of that country, whatever may,
    at any particular time, be the extent of that capital, from
    maintaining so great a quantity of productive labour as it would
    otherwise maintain, and from affording so great a revenue to the
    industrious inhabitants as it would otherwise afford. But as
    capital can be increased only by savings from revenue, the
    monopoly, by hindering it from affording so great a revenue as it
    would otherwise afford, necessarily hinders it from increasing so
    fast as it would otherwise increase, and consequently from
    maintaining a still greater quantity of productive labour, and
    affording a still greater revenue to the industrious inhabitants
    of that country. One great original source of revenue, therefore,
    the wages of labour, the monopoly must necessarily have rendered,
    at all times, less abundant than it otherwise would have been.

    By raising the rate of mercantile profit, the monopoly
    discourages the improvement of land. The profit of improvement
    depends upon the difference between what the land actually
    produces, and what, by the application of a certain capital, it
    can be made to produce. If this difference affords a greater
    profit than what can be drawn from an equal capital in any
    mercantile employment, the improvement of land will draw capital
    from all mercantile employments. If the profit is less,
    mercantile employments will draw capital from the improvement of
    land. Whatever, therefore, raises the rate of mercantile profit,
    either lessens the superiority, or increases the inferiority of
    the profit of improvement : and, in the one case, hinders capital
    from going to improvement, and in the other draws capital from
    it; but by discouraging improvement, the monopoly necessarily
    retards the natural increase of another great original source of
    revenue, the rent of land. By raising the rate of profit,
    too, the monopoly necessarily keeps up the market rate of
    interest higher than it otherwise would be. But the price of
    land, in proportion to the rent which it affords, the number of
    years purchase which is commonly paid for it, necessarily falls
    as the rate of interest rises, and rises as the rate of interest
    falls. The monopoly, therefore, hurts the interest of the
    landlord two different ways, by retarding the natural increase,
    first, of his rent, and, secondly, of the price which he would
    get for his land, in proportion to the rent which it affords.

    The monopoly, indeed, raises the rate of mercantile profit and
    thereby augments somewhat the gain of our merchants. But as it
    obstructs the natural increase of capital, it tends rather to
    diminish than to increase the sum total of the revenue which the
    inhabitants of the country derive from the profits of stock ; a
    small profit upon a great capital generally affording a greater
    revenue than a great profit upon a small one. The monopoly raises
    the rate of profit, but it hinders the sum of profit from rising
    so high as it otherwise would do.

    All the original sources of revenue, the wages of labour, the
    rent of land, and the profits of stock, the monopoly renders much
    less abundant than they otherwise would be. To promote the little
    interest of one little order of men in one country, it hurts the
    interest of all other orders of men in that country, and of all
    the men in all other countries.

    It is solely by raising the ordinary rate of profit, that the
    monopoly either has proved, or could prove, advantageous to any
    one particular order of men. But besides all the bad effects
    to the country in general, which have already been mentioned as
    necessarily resulting from a higher rate of profit, there is one
    more fatal, perhaps, than all these put together, but which, if
    we may judge from experience, is inseparably connected with it.
    The high rate of profit seems everywhere to destroy that
    parsimony which, in other circumstances, is natural to the
    character of the merchant. When profits are high, that sober
    virtue seems to be superfluous, and expensive luxury to suit
    better the affluence of his situation. But the owners of the
    great mercantile capitals are necessarily the leaders and
    conductors of the whole industry of every nation; and their
    example has a much greater influence upon the manners of the
    whole industrious part of it than that of any other order of men.
    If his employer is attentive and parsimonious, the workman is
    very likely to be so too; but if the master is dissolute and
    disorderly, the servant, who shapes his work according to the
    pattern which his master prescribes to him, will shape his life,
    too, according to the example which he sets him. Accumulation is
    thus prevented in the hands of all those who are naturally the
    most disposed to accumulate; and the funds destined for the
    maintenance of productive labour, receive no augmentation from
    the revenue of those who ought naturally to augment them the
    most. The capital of the country, instead of increasing,
    gradually dwindles away, and the quantity of productive labour
    maintained in it grows every day less and less. Have the
    exorbitant profits of the merchants of Cadiz and Lisbon augmented
    the capital of Spain and Portugal ? Have they alleviated the
    poverty, have they promoted the industry, of those two beggarly
    countries? Such has been the tone of mercantile expense in those
    two trading cities, that those exorbitant profits, far from
    augmenting the general capital of the country, seem scarce to
    have been sufficient to keep up the capitals upon which they were
    made. Foreign capitals are every day intruding themselves, if I
    may say so, more and more into the trade of Cadiz and Lisbon. It
    is to expel those foreign capitals from a trade which their own
    grows every day more and more insufficient for carrying on, that
    the Spaniards and Portuguese endeavour every day to straiten more
    and more the galling bands of their absurd monopoly. Compare the
    mercantile manners of Cadiz and Lisbon with those of Amsterdam,
    and you will be sensible how differently the conduct and
    character of merchants are affected by the high and by the low
    profits of stock. The merchants of London, indeed, have not yet
    generally become such magnificent lords as those of Cadiz and
    Lisbon; but neither are they in general such attetitive and
    parsimonious burghers as those of Amsterdam. They are supposed,
    however, many of them, to be a good deal richer than the greater
    part of the former, and not quire so rich as many of the latter:
    but the rate of their profit is commonly much lower than that of
    the former, and a good deal higher than that of the latter. Light
    come, light go, says the proverb ; and the ordinary tone of
    expense seems everywhere to be regulated, not so much according
    to the real ability of spending, as to the supposed facility of
    getting money to spend.

    It is thus that the single advantage which the monopoly procures
    to a single order of men, is in many different ways hurtful to
    the general interest of the country.

    To found a great empire for the sole purpose of raising up a
    people of customers, may at first sight, appear a project fit
    only for a nation of shopkeepers. It is, however, a project
    altogether unfit for a nation of shopkeepers, but extremely fit
    for a nation whose government is influenced by shopkeepers. Such
    statesmen, and such statesmen only, are capable of fancying that
    they will find some advantage in employing the blood and treasure
    of their fellow-citizens, to found and maintain such an empire.
    Say to a shopkeeper, Buy me a good estate, and I shall always buy
    my clothes at your shop, even though I should pay somewhat dearer
    than what I can have them for at other shops ; and you will not
    find him very forward to embrace your proposal. But should
    any other person buy you such an estate, the shopkeeper will be
    much obliged to your benefactor if he would enjoin you to buy all
    your clothes at his shop. England purchased for some of her
    subjects, who found themselves uneasy at home, a great estate in
    a distant country. The price, indeed, was very small, and instead
    of thirty years purchase, the ordinary price of land in the
    present times, it amounted to little more than the expense of the
    different equipments which made the first discovery, reconoitered
    the coast, and took a fictitious possession of the country. The
    land was good, and of great extent; and the cultivators having
    plenty of good ground to work upon, and being for some time at
    liberty to sell their produce where they pleased, became, in the
    course of little more than thirty or forty years (between 1620
    and 1660), so numerous and thriving a people, that the
    shopkeepers and other traders of England wished to secure to
    themselves the monopoly of their custom. Without pretending,
    therefore, that they had paid any part, either of the original
    purchase money, or of the subsequent expense of improvement, they
    petitioned the parliament, that the cultivators of America might
    for the future be confined to their shop; first, for buying all
    the goods which they wanted from Europe; and, secondly, for
    selling all such parts of their own produce as those traders
    might find it convenient to buy. For they did not find it
    convenient to buy every part of it. Some parts of it imported
    into England, might have interfered with some of the trades which
    they themselves carried on at home. Those particular parts of it,
    therefore, they were willing that the colonists should sell where
    they could; the farther off the better; and upon that account
    proposed that their market should be confined to the countries
    south of Cape Finisterre. A clause in the famous act of
    navigation established this truly shopkeeper proposal into a law.

    The maintenance of this monopoly has hitherto been the principal,
    or more properly, perhaps, the sole end and purpose of the
    dominion which Great Britain assumes over her colonies. In the
    exclusive trade, it is supposed, consists the great advantage of
    provinces, which have never yet afforded either revenue or
    military force for the support of the civil government, or the
    defence of the mother country. The monopoly is the principal
    badge of their dependency, and it is the sole fruit which has
    hitherto been gathered from that dependency. Whatever expense
    Great Britain has hitherto laid out in maintaining this
    dependency, has really been laid out in order to support this
    monopoly. The expense of the ordinary peace establishment of the
    colonies amounted, before the commencement of the present
    disturbances to the pay of twenty regiments of foot ; to the
    expense of the artillery, stores, and extraordinary provisions,
    with which it was necessary to supply them ; and to the expense
    of a very considerable naval force, which was constantly kept up,
    in order to guard from the smuggling vessels of other nations,
    the immense coast of North America, and that of our West Indian
    islands. The whole expense of this peace establishment was a
    charge upon the revenue of Great Britain, and was, at the same
    time, the smallest part of what the dominion of the colonies has
    cost the mother country. If we would know the amount of the
    whole, we must add to the annual expense of this peace
    establishment, the interest of the sums which, in consequence of
    their considering her colonies as provinces subject to her
    dominion, Great Britain has, upon different occasions, laid out
    upon their defence. We must add to it, in particular, the whole
    expense of the late war, and a great part of that of the war
    which preceded it. The late war was altogether a colony quarrel ;
    and the whole expense of it, in whatever part of the world it
    might have been laid out, whether in Germany or the East Indies,
    ought justly to be stated to the account of the colonies. It
    amounted to more than ninety millions sterling, including not
    only the new debt which was contracted, but the two shillings in
    the pound additional land tax, and the sums which were every year
    borrowed from the sinking fund. The Spanish war which began in
    1739 was principally a colony quarrel. Its principal object was
    to prevent the search of the colony ships, which carried on a
    contraband trade with the Spanish Main. This whole expense is, in
    reality, a bounty which has been given in order to support a
    monopoly. The pretended purpose of it was to encourage the
    manufactures, and to increase the commerce of Great Britain. But
    its real effect has been to raise the rate of mercantile profit,
    and to enable our merchants to turn into a branch of trade, of
    which the returns are more slow and distant than those of the
    greater part of other trades, a greater proportion of their
    capital than they otherwise would have done; two events which, if
    a bounty could have prevented, it might perhaps have been very
    well worth while to give such a bounty.

    Under the present system of management, therefore, Great Britain
    derives nothing but loss from the dominion which she assumes over
    her colonies.

    To propose that Great Britain should voluntarily give up all
    authority over her colonies, and leave them to elect their own
    magistrates, to enact their own laws, and to make peace and war,
    as they might think proper, would be to propose such a measure as
    never was, and never will be, adopted by any nation in the world.
    No nation ever voluntarily gave up the dominion of any province,
    how troublesome soever it might be to govern it, and how small
    soever the revenue which it afforded might be in proportion to
    the expense which it occasioned. Such sacrifices, though they
    might frequently be agreeable to the interest, are always
    mortifying to the pride of every nation; and, what is perhaps of
    still greater consequence, they are always contrary to the
    private interest of the governing part of it, who would thereby
    be deprived of the disposal of many places of trust and profit,
    of many opportunities of acquiring wealth and distinction, which
    the possession of the most turbulent, and, to the great body of
    the people, the most unprofitable province, seldom fails to
    afford. The most visionary enthusiasts would scarce be capable of
    proposing such a measure, with any serious hopes at least of its
    ever being adopted. If it was adopted, however, Great Britain
    would not only be immediately freed from the whole annual expense
    of the peace establishment of the colonies, but might settle with
    them such a treaty of commerce as would effectually secure to her
    a free trade, more advantageous to the great body of the people,
    though less so to the merchants, than the monopoly which she at
    present enjoys. By thus parting good friends, the natural
    affection of the colonies to the mother country, which, perhaps,
    our late dissensions have well nigh extinguished, would quickly
    revive. It might dispose them not only to respect, for whole
    centuries together, that treaty of commerce which they had
    concluded with us at parting, but to favour us in war as well as
    in trade, and instead of turbulent and factious subjects, to
    become our most faithful, affectionate, and generous allies; and
    the same sort of parental affection on the one side, and filial
    respect on the other, might revive between Great Britain and her
    colonies, which used to subsist between those of ancient Greece
    and the mother city from which they descended.

    In order to render any province advantageous to the empire to
    which it belongs, it ought to afford, in time of peace, a revenue
    to the public, sufficient not only for defraying the whole
    expense of its own peace establishment, but for contributing its
    proportion to the support of the general government of the
    empire. Every province necessarily contributes, more or less, to
    increase the expense of that general government. If any
    particular province, therefore, does not contribute its share
    towards defraying this expense, an unequal burden must be thrown
    upon some other part of the empire. The extraordinary revenue,
    too, which every province affords to the public in time of war,
    ought, from parity of reason, to bear the same proportion to the
    extraordinary revenue of the whole empire, which its ordinary
    revenue does in time of peace. That neither the ordinary nor
    extraordinary revenue which Great Britain derives from her
    colonies, bears this proportion to the whole revenue of the
    British empire, will readily be allowed. The monopoly, it has
    been supposed, indeed, by increasing the private revenue of the
    people of Great Britain, and thereby enabling them to pay greater
    taxes, compensates the deficiency of the public revenue of the
    colonies. But this monopoly, I have endeavoured to show, though a
    very grievous tax upon the colonies, and though it may increase
    the revenue of a particular order of men in Great Britain,
    diminishes, instead of increasing, that of the great body of the
    people, and consequently diminishes, instead of increasing, the
    ability of the great body of the people to pay taxes. The men,
    too, whose revenue the monopoly increases, constitute a
    particular order, which it is both absolutely impossible to tax
    beyond the proportion of other orders, and extremely impolitic
    even to attempt to tax beyond that proportion, as I shall
    endeavour to show in the following book. No particular resource,
    therefore, can be drawn from this particular order.

    The colonies may be taxed either by their own assemblies, or by
    the parliament of Great Britain.

    That the colony assemblies can never be so managed as to levy
    upon their constituents a public revenue, sufficient, not only to
    maintain at all times their own civil and military establishment,
    but to pay their proper proportion of the expense of the general
    government of the British empire, seems not very probable. It was
    a long time before even the parliament of England, though placed
    immediately under the eye of the sovereign, could be brought
    under such a system of management, or could be rendered
    sufficiently liberal in their grants for supporting the civil and
    military establishments even of their own country. It was only by
    distributing among the particular members of parliament a great
    part either of the offices, or of the disposal of the offices
    arising from this civil and military establishment, that such a
    system of management could be established, even with regard to
    the parliament of England. But the distance of the colony
    assemblies from the eye of the sovereign, their number, their
    dispersed situation, and their various constitutions, would
    render it very difficult to manage them in the same manner, even
    though the sovereign had the same means of doing it; and those
    means are wanting. It would be absolutely impossible to
    distribute among all the leading members of all the colony
    assemblies such a share, either of the offices, or of the
    disposal of the offices, arising from the general government of
    the British empire, as to dispose them to give up their
    popularity at home, and to tax their constituents for the support
    of that general government, of which almost the whole emoluments
    were to be divided among people who were strangers to them. The
    unavoidable ignorance of administration, besides, concerning the
    relative importance of the different members of those different
    assemblies, the offences which must frequently be given, the
    blunders which must constantly be committed, in attempting to
    manage them in this manner, seems to render such a system of
    management altogether impracticable with regard to them.

    The colony assemblies, besides, cannot be supposed the proper
    judges of what is necessary for the defence and support of the
    whole empire. The care of that defence and support is not
    entrusted to them. It is not their business, and they have no
    regular means of information concerning it. The assembly of a
    province, like the vestry of a parish, may judge very properly
    concerning the affairs of its own particular district, but can
    have no proper means of judging concerning those of the whole
    empire. It cannot even judge properly concerning the proportion
    which its own province bears to the whole empire, or concerning
    the relative degree of its wealth and importance, compared with
    the other provinces; because those other provinces are not under
    the inspection and superintendency of the assembly of a
    particular province. What is necessary for the defence and
    support of the whole empire, and in what proportion each part
    ought to contribute, can be judged of only by that assembly which
    inspects and super-intends the affairs of the whole empire.

    It has been proposed, accordingly, that the colonies should be
    taxed by requisition, the parliament of Great Britain determining
    the sum which each colony ought to pay, and the provincial
    assembly assessing and levying it in the way that suited best the
    circumstances of the province. What concerned the whole empire
    would in this way be determined by the assembly which inspects
    and superintends the affairs of the whole empire ; and the
    provincial affairs of each colony might still be regulated by its
    own assembly. Though the colonies should, in this case, have no
    representatives in the British parliament, yet, if we may judge
    by experience, there is no probability that the parliamentary
    requisition would be unreasonable. The parliament of England has
    not, upon any occasion, shewn the smallest disposition to
    overburden those parts of the empire which are not represented in
    parliament. The islands of Guernsey and Jersey, without any means
    of resisting the authority of parliament, are more lightly taxed
    than any part of Great Britain. Parliament, in attempting to
    exercise its supposed right, whether well or ill grounded, of
    taxing the colonies, has never hitherto demanded of them anything
    which even approached to a just proportion to what was paid by
    their fellow subjects at home. If the contribution of the
    colonies, besides, was to rise or fall in proportion to the rise
    or fall of the land-tax, parliament could not tax them without
    taxing, at the same time, its own constituents, and the colonies
    might, in this case, be considered as virtually represented in

    Examples are not wanting of empires in which all the different
    provinces are not taxed, if I may be allowed the expression, in
    one mass ; but in which the sovereign regulates the sum which
    each province ought to pay, and in some provinces assesses and
    levies it as he thinks proper ; while in others he leaves it to
    be assessed and levied as the respective states of each province
    shall determine. In some provinces of France, the king not only
    imposes what taxes he thinks proper, but assesses and levies them
    in the way he thinks proper. From others he demands a certain
    sum, but leaves it to the states of each province to assess and
    levy that sum as they think proper. According to the scheme of
    taxing by requisition, the parliament of Great Britain would
    stand nearly in the same situation towards the colony assemblies,
    as the king of France does towards the states of those provinces
    which still enjoy the privilege of having states of their own,
    the provinces of France which are supposed to be the best

    But though, according to this scheme, the colonies could have no
    just reason to fear that their share of the public burdens should
    ever exceed the proper proportion to that of their
    fellow-citizens at home, Great Britain might have just reason to
    fear that it never would amount to that proper proportion. The
    parliament of Great Britain has not, for some time past, had the
    same established authority in the colonies, which the French king
    has in those provinces of France which still enjoy the privilege
    of having states of their own. The colony assemblies, if they
    were not very favourably disposed (and unless more skilfully
    managed than they ever have been hitherto, they are not very
    likely to be so), might still find many pretences for evading or
    rejecting the most reasonable requisitions of parliament. A
    French war breaks out, we shall suppose; ten millions must
    immediately be raised, in order to defend the seat of the empire.
    This sum must be borrowed upon the credit of some parliamentary
    fund mortgaged for paying the interest. Part of this fund
    parliament proposes to raise by a tax to be levied in Great
    Britain ; and part of it by a requisition to all the different
    colony assemblies of America and the West Indies. Would people
    readily advance their money upon the credit of a fund which
    partly depended upon the good humour of all those assemblies, far
    distant from the seat of the war, and sometimes, perhaps,
    thinking themselves not much concerned in the event of it ? Upon
    such a fund, no more money would probably be advanced than what
    the tax to be levied in Great Britain might be supposed to answer
    for. The whole burden of the debt contracted on account of the
    war would in this manner fall, as it always has done hitherto,
    upon Great Britain; upon a part of the empire, and not upon the
    whole empire. Great Britain is, perhaps, since the world began,
    the only state which, as it has extended its empire, has only
    increased its expense, without once augmenting its resources.
    Other states have generally disburdened themselves, upon their
    subject and subordinate provinces, of the most considerable part
    of the expense of defending the empire. Great Britain has
    hitherto suffered her subject and subordinate provinces to
    disburden themselves upon her of almost this whole expense. In
    order to put Great Britain upon a footing of equality with her
    own colonies, which the law has hitherto supposed to be subject
    and subordinate, it seems necessary, upon the scheme of taxing
    them by parliamentary requisition, that parliament should have
    some means of rendering its requisitions immediately effectual,
    in case the colony assemblies should attempt to evade or reject
    them; and what those means are, it is not very easy to conceive,
    and it has not yet been explained.

    Should the parliament of Great Britain, at the same time, be ever
    fully established in the right of taxing the colonies, even
    independent of the consent of their own assemblies, the
    importance of those assemblies would, from that moment, be at an
    end, and with it, that of all the leading men of British America.
    Men desire to have some share in the management of public
    affairs, chiefly on account of the importance which it gives
    them. Upon the power which the greater part of the leading men,
    the natural aristocracy of every country, have of preserving or
    defending their respective importance, depends the stability and
    duration of every system of free government. In the attacks which
    those leading men are continually making upon the importance of
    one another, and in the defence of their own, consists the whole
    play of domestic faction and ambition. The leading men of
    America, like those of all other countries, desire to preserve
    their own importance. They feel, or imagine, that if their
    assemblies, which they are fond of calling parliaments, and of
    considering as equal in authority to the parliament of Great
    Britain, should be so far degraded as to become the humble
    ministers and executive officers of that parliament, the greater
    part of their own importance would be at an end. They have
    rejected, therefore, the proposal of being taxed by parliamentary
    requisition, and, like other ambitious and high-spirited men,
    have rather chosen to draw the sword in defence of their own

    Towards the declension of the Roman republic, the allies of Rome,
    who had borne the principal burden of defending the state and
    extending the empire, demanded to be admitted to all the
    privileges of Roman citizens. Upon being refused, the social war
    broke out. During the course of that war, Rome granted those
    privileges to the greater part of them, one by one, and in
    proportion as they detached themselves from the general
    confederacy. The parliament of Great Britain insists upon taxing
    the colonies ; and they refuse to be taxed by a parliament in
    which they are not represented. If to each colony which should
    detach itself from the general confederacy, Great Britain should
    allow such a number of representatives as suited the proportion
    of what it contributed to the public revenue of the empire, in
    consequence of its being subjected to the same taxes. and in
    compensation admitted to the same freedom of trade with its
    fellow-subjects at home; the number of its representatives to be
    augmented as the proportion of its contribution might afterwards
    augment ; a new method of acquiring importance, a new and more
    dazzling object of ambition, would be presented to the leading
    men of each colony. Instead of piddling for the little prizes
    which are to be found in what may be called the paltry raffle of
    colony faction, they might then hope, from the presumption which
    men naturally have in their own ability and good fortune, to draw
    some of the great prizes which sometimes come from the wheel of
    the great state lottery of British politics. Unless this or some
    other method is fallen upon, and there seems to be none more
    ubvious than this, of preserving the importance and of gratifying
    the ambition of the leading men of America, it is not very
    probable that they will ever voluntarily submit to us; and we
    ought to consider, that the blood which must be shed in forcing
    them to do so, is, every drop of it, the blood either of those
    who are, or of those whom we wish to have for our fellow
    citizens. They are very weak who flatter themselves that, in the
    state to which things have come, our colonies will be easily
    conquered by force alone. The persons who now govern the
    resolutions of what they call their continental congress, feel in
    themselves at this moment a degree of importance which, perhaps,
    the greatest subjects in Europe scarce feel. From shopkeepers,
    trades men, and attorneys, they are become statesmen and
    legislators, and are employed in contriving a new form of
    government for an extensive empire, which, they flatter
    themselves, will become, and which, indeed, seems very likely to
    become, one of the greatest and most formidable that ever was in
    the world. Five hundred different people, perhaps, who, in
    different ways, act immediately under the continental congress,
    and five hundred thousand, perhaps, who act under those five
    hundred, all feel, in the same manner, a proportionable rise in
    their own importance. Almost every individual of the governing
    party in America fills, at present, in his own fancy, a station
    superior, not only to what he had ever filled before, but to what
    he had ever expected to fill; and unless some new object of
    ambition is presented either to him or to his leaders, if he has
    the ordinary spirit of a man, he will die in defence of that

    It is a remark of the President Heynaut, that we now read with
    pleasure the account of many little transactions of the Ligue,
    which, when they happened, were not, perhaps, considered as very
    important pieces of news. But everyman then, says he, fancied
    himself of some importance ; and the innumerable memoirs which
    have come down to us from those times, were the greater part of
    them written by people who took pleasure in recording and
    magnifying events, in which they flattered themselves they had
    been considerable actors. How obstinately the city of Paris, upon
    that occasion, defended itself, what a dreadful famine it
    supported, rather than submit to the best, and afterwards the
    most beloved of all the French kings, is well known. The greater
    part of the citizens, or those who governed the greater part of
    them, fought in defence of their own importance, which, they
    foresaw, was to be at an end whenever the ancient government
    should be re-established. Our colonies, unless they can be
    induced to consent to a union, are very likely to defend
    themselves, against the best of all mother countries, as
    obstinately as the city of Paris did against one of the best of

    The idea of representation was unknown in ancient times. When the
    people of one state were admitted to the right of citizenship in
    another, they had no other means of exercising that right, but by
    coming in a body to vote and deliberate with the people of that
    other state. The admission of the greater part of the inhabitants
    of Italy to the privileges of Roman citizens, completely ruined
    the Roman republic. It was no longer possible to distinguish
    between who was, and who was not, a Roman citizen. No tribe could
    know its own members. A rabble of any kind could be introduced
    into the assemblies of the people, could drive out the real
    citizens, and decide upon the affairs of the republic, as if they
    themselves had been such. But though America were to send fifty
    or sixty new representatives to parlimnent, the door-keeper of
    the house of commons could not find any great difficulty in
    distinguishing between who was and who was not a member. Though
    the Roman constitution, therefore, was necessarily ruined by the
    union of Rome with the allied states of Italy, there is not the
    least probability that the British constitution would be hurt by
    the union of Great Britain with her colonies. That
    constitution, on the contrary, would be completed by it, and
    seems to be imperfect without it. The assembly which deliberates
    and decides concerning the affairs of every part of the empire,
    in order to be properly informed, ought certainly to have
    representatives from every part of it. That this union, however,
    could be easily effectuated, or that difficulties, and great
    difficulties, might not occur in the execution, I do not pretend.
    I have yet heard of none, however, which appear insurmountable.
    The principal, perhaps, arise, not from the nature of things, but
    from the prejudices and opinions of the people, both on this and
    on the other side of the Atlantic.

    We on this side the water are afraid lest the multitude of
    American representatives should overturn the balance of the
    constitution, and increase too much either the influence of the
    crown on the one hand, or the force of the democracy on the
    other. But if the number of American representatives were to be
    in proportion to the produce of American taxation, the number of
    people to be managed would increase exactly in proportion to the
    means of managing them, and the means of managing to the number
    of people to be managed. The monarchical and democratical parts
    of the constitution would, after the union, stand exactly in the
    same degree of relative force with regard to one another as they
    had done before.

    The people on the other side of the water are afraid lest their
    distance from the seat of government might expose them to many
    oppressions ; but their representatives in parliament, of which
    the number ought from the first to be considerable, would easily
    be able to protect them from all oppression. The distance could
    not much weaken the dependency of the representative upon the
    constituent, and the former would still feel that he owed his
    seat in parliament, and all the consequence which he derived from
    it, to the good-will of the latter. It would be the interest of
    the former, therefore, to cultivate that good-will, by
    complaining, with all the authority of a member of the
    legislature, of every outrage which any civil or military officer
    might be guilty of in those remote parts of the empire. The
    distance of America from the seat of government, besides, the
    natives of that country might flatter themselves, with some
    appearance of reason too, would not be of very long continuance.
    Such has hitherto been the rapid progress of that country in
    wealth, population, and improvement, that in the course of little
    more than a century, perhaps, the produce of the American might
    exceed that of the British taxation. The seat of the empire would
    then naturally remove itself to that part of the empire which
    contributed most to the general defence and support of the whole.

    The discovery of America, and that of a passage to the East
    Indies by the Cape of Good Hope, are the two greatest and most
    important events recorded in the history of mankind. Their
    consequences have already been great; but, in the short period of
    between two and three centuries which has elapsed since these
    discoveries were made, it is impossible that the whole extent of
    their consequences can have been seen. What benefits or what
    misfortunes to mankind may hereafter result from those great
    events, no human wisdom can foresee. By uniting in some measure
    the most distant parts of the world, by enabling them to relieve
    one another's wants, to increase one another's enjoyments, and to
    encourage one another's industry, their general tendency would
    seem to be beneficial. To the natives, however, both of the East
    and West Indies, all the commercial benefits which can have
    resulted from those events have been sunk and lost in the
    dreadful misfortunes which they have occasioned. These
    misfortunes, however, seem to have arisen rather from accident
    than from any thing in the nature of those events themselves. At
    the particular time when these discoveries were made, the
    superiority of force happened to be so great on the side of the
    Europeans, that they were enabled to commit with impunity every
    sort of injustice in those remote countries. Hereafter, perhaps,
    the natives of those countries may grow stronger, or those of
    Europe may grow weaker ; and the inhabitants of all the different
    quarters of the world may arrive at that equality of courage and
    force which, by inspiring mutual fear, can alone overawe the
    injustice of independent nations into some sort of respect for
    the rights of one another. But nothing seems more likely to
    establish this equality of force, than that mutual communication
    of knowledge, and of all sorts of improvements, which an
    extensive commerce from all countries to all countries naturally,
    or rather necessarily, carries along with it.

    In the mean time, one of the principal effects of those
    discoveries has been, to raise the mercantile system to a degree
    of splendour and glory which it could never otherwise have
    attained to. It is the object of that system to enrich a great
    nation, rather by trade and manufactures than by the improvement
    and cultivation of land, rather by the industry of the towns than
    by that of the country. But in consequence of those discoveries,
    the commercial towns of Europe, instead of being the
    manufacturers and carriers for but a very small part of the world
    (that part of Europe which is washed by the Atlantic ocean, and
    the countries which lie round the Baltic and Mediterranean seas),
    have now become the manufacturers for the numerous and thriving
    cultivators of America, and the carriers, and in some respects
    the manufacturers too, for almost all the different nations of
    Asia, Africa, and America. Two new worlds have been opened to
    their industry, each of them much greater and more extensive than
    the old one, and the market of one of them growing still greater
    and greater every day.

    The countries which possess the colonies of America, and which
    trade directly to the East Indies, enjoy indeed the whole show
    and splendour of this great commerce. Other countries, however,
    notwithstanding all the invidious restraints by which it is meant
    to exclude them, frequently enjoy a greater share of the real
    benefit of it. The colonies of Spain and. Portugal, for example,
    give more real encouragement to the industry of other countries
    than to that of Spain and Portugal. In the single article of
    linen alone, the consumption of those colonies amounts, it is
    said (but I do not pretend to warrant the quantity ), to more
    than three millions sterling a-year. But this great consumption
    is almost entirely supplied by France, Flanders, Holland, and
    Germany. Spain and Portugal furnish but a small part of it. The
    capital which supplies the colonies with this great quantity of
    linen, is annually distributed among, and furnishes a revenue to,
    the inhabitants of those other countries. The profits of it only
    are spent in Spain and Portugal, where they help to support the
    sumptuous profusion of the merchants of Cadiz and Lisbon.

    Even the regulations by which each nation endeavours to secure to
    itself the exclusive trade of its own colonies, are frequently
    more hurtful to the countries in favour of which they are
    established, than to those against which they are established.
    The unjust oppression of the industry of other countries falls
    back, if I may say so, upon the heads of the oppressors, and
    crushes their industry more than it does that of those other
    countries. By those regulations, for example, the merchant of
    Hamburg must send the linen which he destines for the American
    market to London, and he must bring back from thence the tobacco
    which be destines for the German market; because he can neither
    send the one directly to America, nor bring the other directly
    from thence. By this restraint he is probably obliged to sell the
    one somewhat cheaper, and to buy the other somewhat dearer, than
    he otherwise might have done; and his profits are probably
    somewhat abridged by means of it. In this trade, however, between
    Hamburg and London, he certainly receives the returns of his
    capital much more quickly than he could possibly have done in the
    direct trade to America, even though we should suppose, what is
    by no means the case, that the payments of America were as
    punctual as those of London. In the trade, therefore, to
    which those regulations confine the merchant of Hamburg, his
    capital can keep in constant employment a much greater quantity
    of German industry than he possibly could have done in the trade
    from which he is excluded. Though the one employment, therefore,
    may to him perhaps be less profitable than the other, it cannot
    be less advantageous to his country. It is quite otherwise with
    the employment into which the monpoly naturally attracts, if I
    may say so, the capital of the London merchant. That employment
    may, perhaps, be more profitable to him than the greater part of
    other employments; but on account of the slowness of the returns,
    it cannot be more advantageous to his country.

    After all the unjust attempts, therefore, of every country in
    Europe to engross to itself the whole advantage of the trade of
    its own colonies, no country has yet been able to engross to
    itself any thing but the expense of supporting in time of peace,
    and of defending in time of war, the oppressive authority which
    it assumes over them. The inconveniencies resulting from the
    possession of its colonies, every country has engrossed to itself
    completely. The advantages resulting from their trade, it
    has been obliged to share with many other countries.

    At first sight, no doubt, the monopoly of the great commerce of
    America naturally seems to be an acquisition of the highest
    value. To the undiscerning eye of giddy ambition it naturally
    presents itself, amidst the confused scramble of politics and
    war, as a very dazzling object to fight for. The dazzling
    splendour of the object, however, the immense greatness of the
    commerce, is the very quality which renders the monopoly of it
    hurtful, or which makes one employment, in its own nature
    necessarily less advantageous to the country than the greater
    part of other employments, absorb a much greater proportion of
    the capital of the country than what would otherwise have gone to

    The mercantile stock of every country, it has been shown in the
    second book, naturally seeks, if one may say so, the employment
    most advantageous to that country. If it is employed in the
    carrying trade, the country to which it belongs becomes the
    emporium of the goods of all the countries whose trade that stock
    carries on. But the owner of that stock necessarily wishes to
    dispose of as great a part of those goods as he can at home. He
    thereby saves himself the trouble, risk, and expense of
    exportation ; and he will upon that account be glad to sell them
    at home, not only for a much smaller price, but with somewhat a
    smaller profit, than he might expect to make by sending them
    abroad. He naturally, therefore, endeavours as much as he can to
    turn his carrying trade into a foreign trade of consumption, If
    his stock, again, is employed in a foreign trade of consumption,
    he will, for the same reason, be glad to dispose of, at home, as
    great a part as he can of the home goods which he collects in
    order to export to some foreign market, and he will thus
    endeavour, as much as he can, to turn his foreign trade of
    consumption into a home trade. The mercantile stock of every
    country naturally courts in this manner the near, and shuns the
    distant employment : naturally courts the employment in which the
    returns are frequent, and shuns that in which they are distant
    and slow; naturally courts the employment in which it can
    maintain the greatest quantity of productive labour in the
    country to which it belongs, or in which its owner resides, and
    shuns that in which it can maintain there the smallest quantity.
    It naturally courts the employment which in ordinary cases is
    most advantageous, and shuns that which in ordinary cases is
    least advantageous to that country.

    But if, in any one of those distant employments, which in
    ordinary cases are less advantageous to the country, the profit
    should happen to rise somewhat higher than what is sufficient to
    balance the natural preference which is given to nearer
    employments, this superiority of profit will draw stock from
    those nearer employments, till the profits of all return to their
    proper level. This superiority of profit, however, is a proof
    that, in the actual circumstances of the society, those distant
    employments are somewhat understocked in proportion to other
    employments, and that the stock of the society is not distributed
    in the properest manner among all the different employments
    carried on in it. It is a proof that something is either bought
    cheaper or sold dearer than it ought to be, and that some
    particular class of citizens is more or less oppressed, either by
    paying more, or by getting less than what is suitable to that
    equality which ought to take place, and which naturally does take
    place, among all the different classes of them. Though the same
    capital never will maintain the same quantity of productive
    labour in a distant as in a near employment, yet a distant
    employment maybe as necessary for the welfare of the society as a
    near one; the goods which the distant employment deals in being
    necessary, perhaps, for carrying on many of the nearer
    employments. But if the profits of those who deal in such goods
    are above their proper level, those goods will be sold dearer
    than they ought to be, or somewhat above their natural price, and
    all those engaged in the nearer employments will be more or less
    oppressed by this high price. Their interest, therefore, in this
    case, requires, that some stock should be withdrawn from those
    nearer employments, and turned towards that distant one, in order
    to reduce its profits to their proper level, and the price of the
    goods which it deals in to their natural price. In this
    extraordinary case, the public interest requires that some stock
    should be withdrawn from those employments which, in ordinary
    cases, are more advantageous, and turned towards one which, in
    ordinary cases, is less advantageous to the public; and, in this
    extraordinary case, the natural interests and inclinations of men
    coincide as exactly with the public interests as in all other
    ordinary cases, and lead them to withdraw stock from the near,
    and to turn it towards the distant employments.

    It is thus that the private interests and passions of individuals
    naturally dispose them to turn their stock towards the
    employments which in ordinary cases, are most advantagenus to the
    society. But if from this natural preference they should turn too
    much of it towards those employments, the fall of profit in them,
    and the rise of it in all others, immediately dispose them to
    alter this faulty distribution. Without any intervention of law,
    therefore, the private interests and passions of men naturally
    lead them to divide and distribute the stock of every society
    among all the different employments carried on in it; as nearly
    as possible in the proportion which is most agreeable to the
    interest of the whole society.

    All the different regulations of the mercantile system
    necessarily derange more or less this natural and most
    advantageous distribution of stock. But those which concern the
    trade to America and the East Indies derange it, perhaps, more
    than any other ; because the trade to those two great continents
    absorbs a greater quantity of stock than any two other branches
    of trade. The regulations, however, by which this derangement is
    effected in those two different branches of trade, are not
    altogether the same. Monopoly is the great engine of both ; but
    it is a different sort of monopoly. Monopoly of one kind or
    another, indeed, seems to be the sole engine of the mercantile

    In the trade to America, every nation endeavours to engross as
    much as possible the whole market of its own colonies, by fairly
    excluding all other nations from any direct trade to them. During
    the greater part of the sixteenth century, the Portuguese
    endeavoured to manage the trade to the East Indies in the same
    manner, by claiming the sole right of sailing in the Indian seas,
    on account of the merit of having first found out the road to
    them. The Dutch still continue to exclude all other European
    nations from any direct trade to their spice islands. Monopolies
    of this kind are evidently established against all other European
    nations, who are thereby not only excluded from a trade to which
    it might be convenient for them to turn some part of their stock,
    but are obliged to buy the goods which that trade deals in,
    somewhat dearer than if they could import them themselves
    directly from the countries which produced them.

    But since the fall of the power of Portugal, no European nation
    has claimed the exclusive right of sailing in the Indian seas, of
    which the principal ports are now open to the ships of all
    European nations. Except in Portugal, however, and within these
    few years in France, the trade to the East Indies has, in every
    European country, been subjected to an exclusive company.
    Monopolies of this kind are properly established against the very
    nation which erects them. The greater part of that nation are
    thereby not only excluded from a trade to which it might be
    convenient for them to turn some part of their stock, but are
    obliged to buy the goods which that trade deals in somewhat
    dearer than if it was open and free to all their countrymen.
    Since the establishment of the English East India company, for
    example, the other inhabitants of England, over and above being
    excluded from the trade, must have paid, in the price of the East
    India goods which they have consumed, not only for all the
    extraordinary profits which the company may have made upon those
    goods in consequence of their monopoly, but for all the
    extraordinary waste which the fraud and abuse inseparable from
    the management of the affairs of so great a company must
    necessarily have occasioned. The absurdity of this second kind of
    monopoly, therefore, is much more manifest than that of the

    Both these kinds of monopolies derange more or less the natural
    distribution of the stock of the society ; but they do not always
    derange it in the same way.

    Monopolies of the first kind always attract to the particular
    trade in which they are established a greater proportion of the
    stock of the society than what would go to that trade of its own

    Monopolies of the second kind may sometimes attract stock towards
    the particular trade in which they are established, and sometimes
    repel it from that trade, according to different circumstances.
    In poor countries, they naturally attract towards that trade more
    stock than would otherwise go to it. In rich countries, they
    naturally repel from it a good deal of stock which would
    otherwise go to it.

    Such poor countries as Sweden and Denmark, for example, would
    probably have never sent a single ship to the East Indies, had
    not the trade been subjected to an exclusive company. The
    establishment of such a conpany necessarily encourages
    adventurers. Their monopoly secures them against all competitors
    in the home market, and they have the same chance for foreign
    markets with the traders of other nations. Their monopoly shows
    them the certainty of a great profit upon a considerable quantity
    of goods, and the chance of a considerable profit upon a great
    quantity. Without such extraordinary encouragement, the poor
    traders of such poor countries would probably never have thought
    of hazarding their small capitals in so very distant and
    uncertain an adventure as the trade to the East Indies must
    naturally have appeared to them.

    Such a rich country as Holland, on the contrary, would probably,
    in the case of a free trade, send many more ships to the East
    Indies than it actually does. The limited stock of the Dutch East
    India company probably repels from that trade many great
    mercantile capitals which would otherwise go to it. The
    mercantile capital of Holland is so great, that it is, as it
    were, continually overflowing, sometimes into the public funds of
    foreign countries, sometimes into loans to private traders and
    adventurers of foreign countries, sometimes into the most
    round-about foreign trades of consumption, and sometimes into the
    carrying trade. All near employments being completely filled up,
    all the capital which can be placed in them with any tolerable
    profit being already placed in them, the capital of Holland
    necessarily flows towards the most distant employments. The trade
    to the East Indies, if it were altogether free, would probably
    absorb the greater part of this redundant capital. The East
    Indies offer a market both for the manufactures of Europe, and
    for the gold and silver, as well as for the several other
    productions of America, greater and more extensive than both
    Europe and America put together.

    Every derangement of the natural distribution of stock is
    necessarily hurtful to the society in which it takes place;
    whether it be by repelling from a particular trade the stock
    which would otherwise go to it, or by attracting towards a
    particular trade that which would not otherwise come to it. If,
    without any exclusive company, the trade of Holland to the East
    Indies would be greater than it actually is, that country must
    suffer a considerable loss, by part of its capital being excluded
    from the employment most convenient for that port. And, in the
    same manner, if, without an exclusive company, the trade of
    Sweden and Denmark to the East Indies would be less than it
    actually is, or, what perhaps is more probable, would not exist
    at all, those two countries must likewise suffer a considerable
    loss, by part of their capital being drawn into an employment
    which must be more or less unsuitable to their present
    circumstances. Better for them, perhaps, in the present
    circumstances, to buy East India goods of other nations, even
    though they should pay somewhat dearer, than to turn so great a
    part of their small capital to so very distant a trade, in which
    the returns are so very slow, in which that capital can maintain
    so small a quantity of productive labour at home, where
    productive labour is so much wanted, where so little is done, and
    where so much is to do.

    Though without an exclusive company, therefore, a particular
    country should not be able to carry on any direct trade to the
    East Indies, it will not from thence follow, that such a company
    ought to be established there, but only that such a country ought
    not, in these circumstances, to trade directly to the East
    Indies. That such companies are not in general necessary for
    carrying on the East India trade, is sufficiently demonstrated by
    the experience of the Portuguese, who enjoyed almost the whole of
    it for more than a century together, without any exclusive

    No private merchant, it has been said, could well have capital
    sufficient to maintain factors and agents in the different ports
    of the East Indies, in order to provide goods for the ships which
    he might occasionally send thither; and yet, unless he was able
    to do this, the difficulty of finding a cargo might frequently
    make his ships lose the season for returning; and the expense of
    so long a delay would not only eat up the whole profit of the
    adventure, but frequently occasion a very considerable loss. This
    argument, however, if it proved any thing at all, would prove
    that no one great branch of trade could be carried on without an
    exclusive company, which is contrary to the experience of all
    nations. There is no great branch of trade, in which the capital
    of any one private merchant is sufficient for carrying on all the
    subordinate branches which must be carried on, in order to carry
    on the principal one. But when a nation is ripe for any great
    branch of trade, some merchants naturally turn their capitals
    towards the principal, and some towards the subordinate branches
    of it; and though all the different branches of it are in this
    manner carried on, yet it very seldom happens that they are all
    carried on by the capital of one private merchant. If a nation,
    therefore, is ripe for the East India trade, a certain portion of
    its capital will naturally divide itself among all the different
    branches of that trade. Some of its merchants will find it for
    their interest to reside in the East Indies, and to employ their
    capitals there in providing goods for the ships which are to be
    sent out by other merchants who reside in Europe. The settlements
    which different European nations have obtained in the East
    Indies, if they were taken from the exclusive companies to which
    they at present belong, and put under the immediate protection of
    the sovereign, would render this residence both safe and easy, at
    least to the merchants of the particular nations to whom those
    settlements belong. If, at any particular time, that part of the
    capital of any country which of its own accord tended and
    inclined, if I may say so, towards the East India trade, was not
    sufficient for carrying on all those different branches of it, it
    would be a proof that, at that particular time, that country was
    not ripe for that trade, and that it would do better to buy for
    some time, even at a higher price, from other European nations,
    the East India goods it had occasion for, than to import them
    itself directly from the East Indies. What it might lose by the
    high price of those goods, could seldom be equal to the loss
    which it would sustain by the distraction of a large portion of
    its capital from other employments more necessary, or more
    useful, or more suitable to its circumstances and situation, than
    a direct trade to the East Indies.

    Though the Europeans possess many considerable settlements both
    upon the coast of Africa and in the East Indies, they have not
    yet established, in either of those countries, such numerous and
    thriving colonies as those in the islands and continent of
    America. Africa, however, as well as several of the countries
    comprehended under the general name of the East Indies, is
    inhabited by barbarous nations. But those nations were by no
    means so weak and defenceless as the miserable and helpless
    Americans ; and in proportion to the natural fertility of the
    countries which they inhabited, they were, besides, much more
    populous. The most barbarous nations either of Africa or of the
    East Indies, were shepherds; even the Hottentots were so. But the
    natives of every part of America, except Mexico and Peru, were
    only hunters and the difference is very great between the number
    of shepherds and that of hunters whom the same extent of equally
    fertile territory can maintain. In Africa and the East Indies,
    therefore, it was more difficult to displace the natives, and to
    extend the European plantations over the greater part of the
    lands of the original inhabitants. The genius of exclusive
    companies, besides, is unfavourable, it has already been
    observed, to the growth of new colonies, and has probably been
    the principal cause of the little progress which they have made
    in the East Indies. The Portuguese carried on the trade both to
    Africa and the East Indies, without any exclusive companies; and
    their settlements at Congo, Angola, and Benguela, on the coast of
    Africa, and at Goa in the East Indies though much depressed by
    superstition and every sort of bad government, yet bear some
    resemblance to the colonies of America, and are partly inhabited
    by Portuguese who have been established there for several
    generations. The Dutch settlmnents at the Cape of Good Hope and
    at Batavia, are at present the most considerable colonies which
    the Europeans have established, either in Africa or in the East
    Indies; and both those settlements an peculiarly fortunate in
    their situation. The Cape of Good Hope was inhabited by a race of
    people almost as barbarous, and quite as incapable of defending
    themselves, as the natives of America. It is, besides, the
    half-way house, if one may say so, between Europe and the East
    Indies, at which almost every European ship makes some stay, both
    in going and returning. The supplying of those ships with every
    sort of fresh provisions, with fruit, and sometimes with wine,
    affords alone a very extensive market for the surplus produce of
    the colonies. What the Cape of Good Hope is between Europe and
    every part of the East Indies, Batavia is between the principal
    countries of the East Indies. It lies upon the most frequented
    road from Indostan to China and Japan, and is nearly about
    mid-way upon that road. Almost all the ships too, that sail
    between Europe and China, touch at Batavia; and it is, over and
    above all this, the centre and principal mart of what is called
    the country trade of the East Indies; not only of that part of it
    which is carried on by Europeans, but of that which is carried on
    by the native Indians; and vessels navigated by the inhabitants
    of China and Japan, of Tonquin, Malacca, Cochin-China, and the
    island of Celebes, are frequently to be seen in its port. Such
    advantageous situations have enabled those two colonies to
    surmount all the obstacles which the oppressive genius of an
    exclusive company may have occasionally opposed to their growth.
    They have enabled Batavia to surmount the additional disadvantage
    of perhaps the most unwholesome climate in the world.

    The English and Dutch companies, though they have established no
    considerable colonies, except the two above mentioned, have both
    made considerable conquests in the East Indies. But in the manner
    in which they both govern their new subjects, the natural genius
    of an exclusive company has shewn itself most distinctly. In the
    spice islands, the Dutch are said to burn all the spiceries which
    a fertile season produces, beyond what they expect to dispose of
    in Europe with such a profit as they think sufficient. In the
    islands where they have no settlements, they give a premium to
    those who collect the young blossoms and green leaves of the
    clove and nutmeg trees, which naturally grow there, but which
    this savage policy has now, it is said. almost completely
    extirpated. Even in the islands where they have settlements, they
    have very much reduced, it is said, the number of those trees. If
    the produce even of their own islands was much greater than what
    suited their market, the natives, they suspect, might find means
    to convey some part of it to other nations; and the best way,
    they imagine, to secure their own monopoly, is to take care that
    no more shall grow than what they themselves carry to market. By
    different arts of oppression, they have reduced the population of
    several of the Moluccas nearly to the number which is sufficient
    to supply with fresh provisions, and other necessaries of life,
    their own insignificant garrisons, and such of their ships as
    occasionally come there for a cargo of spices. Under the
    government even of the Portuguese, however, those islands are
    said to have been tolerably well inhabited. The English company
    have not yet had time to establish in Bengal so perfectly
    destructive a system. The plan of their government, however, has
    had exactly the same tendency. It has not been uncommon, I am
    well assured, for the chief, that is, the first clerk or a
    factory, to order a peasant to plough up a rich field of poppies,
    and sow it with rice, or some other grain. The pretence was, to
    prevent a scarcity of provisions; but the real reason, to give
    the chief an opportunity of selling at a better price a large
    quantity of opium which he happened then to have upon hand. Upon
    other occasions, the order has been reversed ; and a rich field
    of rice or other grain has been ploughed up, in order to make
    room for a plantation of poppies, when the chief foresaw that
    extraordinary profit was likely to be made by opium. The servants
    of the company have, upon several occasions, attempted to
    establish in their own favour the monopoly of some of the most
    important branches, not only of the foreign, but of the inland
    trade of the country. Had they been allowed to go on, it is
    impossible that they should not, at some time or another, have
    attempted to restrain the production of the particular articles
    of which they had thus usurped the monopoly, not only to the
    quantity which they themselves could purchase, but to that which
    they could expect to sell with such a profit as they might think
    sufficient. In the course of a century or two, the policy of the
    English company would, in this manner, have probably proved as
    completely destructive as that of the Dutch.

    Nothing, however, can be more directly contrary to the real
    interest of those companies, considered as the sovereigns of the
    countries which they have conquered, than this destructive plan.
    In almost all countries, the revenue of the sovereign is drawn
    from that of the people. The greater the revenue of the people,
    therefore, the greater the annual produce of their land and
    labour, the more they can afford to the sovereign. It is his
    interest, therefore, to increase as much as possible that annual
    produce. But if this is the interest of every sovereign, it is
    peculiarly so of one whose revenue, like that of the sovereign of
    Bengal, arises chiefly from a land-rent. That rent must
    necessarily be in proportion to the quantity and value of the
    produce; and both the one and the other must depend upon the
    extent of the market. The quantity will always be suited, with
    more or less exactness, to the consumption of those who can
    afford to pay for it; and the price which they will pay will
    always be in proportion to the eagerness of their competition. It
    is the interest of such a sovereign, therefore, to open the most
    extensive market for the produce of his country, to allow the
    most perfect freedom of commerce, in order to increase as much as
    possible the number and competition of buyers ; and upon this
    account to abolish, not only all monopolies, but all restraints
    upon the transportation of the home produce from one part of the
    country to mother, upon its exportation to foreign countries, or
    upon the importation of goods of' any kind for which it can be
    exchanged. He is in this manner most likely to increase both the
    quantity and value of that produce, and consequently of his own
    share of it, or of his own revenue.

    But a company of merchants, are, it seems, incapable of
    considering themselves as sovereigns, even after they have become
    such. Trade, or buying in order to sell again, they still
    consider as their principal business, and by a strange absurdity,
    regard the character of the sovereign as but an appendix to that
    of the merchant ; as something which ought to be made subservient
    to it, or by means of which they may be enabled to buy cheaper in
    India, and thereby to sell with a better profit in Europe. They
    endeavour, for this purpose, to keep out as much as possible all
    competitors from the market of the countries which are subject to
    their government, and consequently to reduce, at least, some part
    of the surplus produce of those countries to what is barely
    sufficient for supplying their own demand, or to what they can
    expect to sell in Europe, with such a profit as they may think
    reasonable. Their mercantile habits draw them in this manner,
    almost necessarily, though perhaps insensibly, to prefer, upon
    all ordinary occasions, the little and transitory profit of the
    monopolist to the great and permanent revenue of the sovereign;
    and would gradually lead them to treat the countries subject to
    their government nearly as the Dutch treat the Moluccas. It is
    the interest of the East India company, considered as sovereigns,
    that the European goods which are carried to their Indian
    dominions should be sold there as cheap as possible; and that the
    Indian goods which are brought from thence should bring there as
    good a price, or should be sold there as dear as possible. But
    the reverse of this is their interest as merchants. As
    sovereigns, their interest is exactly the same with that of the
    country which they govern. As merchants, their interest is
    directly opposite to that interest.

    But if the genius of such a government, even as to what concerns
    its direction in Earope, is in this manner essentially, and
    perhaps incurably faulty, that of its administration in India is
    still more so. That administration is necessarily composed of a
    council of merchants, a profession no doubt extremely
    respectable, but which in no country in the world carries along
    with it that sort of authority which naturally overawes the
    people, and without force commands their willing obedience. Such
    a council can command obedience only by the military force with
    which they are accompanied ; and their government is, therefore,
    necessarily military and despotical. Their proper business,
    however, is that of merchants. It is to sell, upon their master's
    account, the European goods consigned to them, and to buy, in
    return, Indian goods for the European market. It is to sell the
    one as dear, and to buy the other as cheap as possible, and
    consequently to exclude, as much as possible, all rivals from the
    particular market where they keep their shop. The genius of the
    administration, therefore, so far as concerns the trade of the
    company, is the same as that of the direction. It tends to make
    government subservient to the interest of monopoly, and
    consequently to stunt the natural growth of some parts, at least,
    of the surplus produce of the country, to what is barely
    sufficient for answering the demand of the company,

    All the members of the administration besides, trade more or less
    upon their own account; and it is in vain to prohibit them from
    doing so. Nothing can be more completely foolish than to expect
    that the clerk of a great counting-house, at ten thousand miles
    distance, and consequently almost quite out of sight, should,
    upon a simple order from their master, give up at once doing any
    sort of business upon their own account abandon for ever all
    hopes of making a fortune, of which they have the means in their
    hands; and content themselves with the moderate salaries which
    those masters allow them, and which, moderate as they are, can
    seldom be augmented, being commonly as large as the real profits
    of the company trade can afford. In such circumstances, to
    prohibit the servants of the company from trading upon their own
    account, can have scarce any other effect than to enable its
    superior servants, under pretence of executing their master's
    order, to oppress such of the inferior ones as have had the
    misfortune to fall under their displeasure. The servants
    naturally endeavour to establish the same monopoly in favour of
    their own private trade as of the public trade of the company. If
    they are suffered to act as they could wish, they will establish
    this monopoly openly and directly, by fairly prohibiting all
    other people from trading in the articles in which they choose to
    deal; and this, perhaps, is the best and least oppressive way of
    establishing it. But if, by an order from Europe, they are
    prohibited from doing this, they will, notwithstanding, endeavour
    to establish a monopoly of the same kind secretly and indirectly,
    in a way that is much more destructive to the country. They will
    employ the whole authority of government, and pervert the
    administration of Justice, in order to harass and ruin those who
    interfere with them in any branch of commerce, which by means of
    agents, either concealed, or at least not publicly avowed, they
    may choose to carry on. But the private trade of the servants
    will naturally extend to a much greater variety of articles than
    the public trade of the company. The public trade of the company
    extends no further than the trade with Europe, and comprehends a
    part only of the foreign trade of the country. But the private
    trade of the servants may extend to all the different branches
    both of its inland and foreign trade. The monopoly of the company
    can tend only to stunt the natural growth of that part of the
    surplus produce which, in the case of a free trade, would be
    exported to Europe. That of the servants tends to stunt the
    natural growth of every part of the produce in which they choose
    to deal; of what is destined for home consumption, as well as of
    what is destined for exportation; and consequently to degrade the
    cultivation of the whole country, and to reduce the number of its
    inhabitants. It tends to reduce the quantity of every sort of
    produce, even that of the necessaries of life, whenever the
    servants of the country choose to deal in them, to what those
    servants can both afford to buy and expect to sell with such a
    profit as pleases them.

    From the nature of their situation, too, the servants must be
    more disposed to support with rigourous severity their own
    interest, against that of the country which they govern, than
    their masters can be to support theirs. The country belongs to
    their masters, who cannot avoid having some regard for the
    interest of what belongs to them; but it does not belong to the
    servants. The real interest of their masters, if they were
    capable of understanding it, is the same with that of the
    country; {The interest of every proprietor of India stock,
    however, is by no means the same with that of the country in the
    government of which his vote gives him some influence. - See book
    v, chap. 1, part ii.}and it is from ignorance chiefly, and the
    meanness of mercantile prejudice, that they ever oppress it. But
    the real interest of the servants is by no means the same with
    that of the country, and the most perfect information would not
    necessarily put an end to their oppressions. The regulations,
    accordingly, which have been sent out from Europe, though they
    have been frequently weak, have upon most occasions been well
    meaning. More intelligence, and perhaps less good meaning, has
    sometimes appeared in those established by the servants in India.
    It is a very singular government in which every member of the
    administration wishes to get out of the country, and consequently
    to have done with the government, as soon as he can, and to whose
    interest, the day after he has left it, and carried his whole
    fortune with him, it is perfectly indifferent though the whole
    country was swallowed up by an earthquake.

    I mean not, however, by any thing which I have here said, to
    throw any odious imputation upon the general character of the
    servants of the East India company, and touch less upon that of
    any particular persons. It is the system of government, the
    situation in which they are placed, that I mean to censure, not
    the character of those who have acted in it. They acted as their
    situation naturally directed, and they who have clamoured the
    loudest against them would probably not have acted better
    themselves. In war and negotiation, the councils of Madras and
    Calcutta, have upon several occasions, conducted themselves with
    a resolution and decisive wisdom, which would have done honour to
    the senate of Rome in the best days of that republic. The members
    of those councils, however, had been bred to professions very
    different from war and politics. But their situation alone,
    without education, experience, or even example, seems to have
    formed in them all at once the great qualities which it required,
    and to have inspired them both with abilities and virtues which
    they themselves could not well know that they possessed. If upon
    some occasions, therefore, it has animated them to actions of
    magnanimity which could not well have been expected from them, we
    should not wonder if, upon others, it has prompted them to
    exploits of somewhat a different nature.

    Such exclusive companies, therefore, are nuisances in every
    respect; always more or less inconvenient to the countries in
    which they are established, and destructive to those which have
    the misfortune to fall under their government.
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