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AUGUST 1, 1810. [1 of Vol. 30.
As bong as those who write are ambitious of making converrs, and of giving their Opiołons a Maximum of
Jalaeuce and Celebrity, the most extensively circulated Miscellany will repay with ine Ereacell Eikea the Curiakty of those who read either for Amu femeat or Infsu Pion.JOHNSON,
ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS. For the Manthly Magazine, ed and separated from each other, might OBSERVATIONS on the PRESENT STATE of bave otherwise been withheld froui lhe the COTTON, COLONIES.
public eye. VE critical nature of the present, The misfortunes of the sugar-planter
the various parts of the empire should tracts that have been given to the world, have their interests so consolidated and ; by gentlemen fully competent to treat of identified, that universal satisfaction and such subjects. The colton-planter bas, concord may be the consequence. To however, had no advocate, though by no effect this, no scheine is more likely than : means exempted from the general cala. that which, by ascertaining the various mities. To point out particularly bis rights of the different parts of the com- sufferings and their causes, is the chief munity, enables the supreme authorities object of these pages. In order to have to apportion to all the proper share of precise notions on the subject, it is ne. thuse burthens which che exigencies of cessary to ascertain as clearly as circumthe times require.
stances permit, the real relations of the Generosity, the distinguishing charac. mother country and her colonies. The teristic of the British people, spurns at principles are, of necessity, general. the narrow policy of sacrificing the best A slight sketch will be afterwards interests of une part of the empire to given of the foriner and the present state that of any other. Partial calarnicy, , of, the cotion colonies; of the causes of therefore, must have been unknown, or, the existing pressure; and of those the general spirit of the nation would : means of alleviation which seem most have long since called loudly for, justice; feasible and practicable. and her cries would hare been rendered Politicians have so long agreed as to still more piercing by the paramount sugo, the general principle of the relations of gestions of interest.
the parent state and ber colonies, that it Amidst the general pressure of the may seem almost superfluous to enter war, the West India proprietors have upon it in this place. The motives, in suffered in a degree which the public , which the most vehement dissention orie would scarcely have credited, had not ginated, lave long been at rest; but if the facts been authenticated by unques. ever again called into aciion, there is tiquable docunients. Formerly they re- little, doubt of their resuming their inceived the fair reward of industry, and Auence on the discussions of those who of personal sacrifices: at present, they look no farther than to the object of imare not merely deprived of such requital, mediate interest. It will, therefore, be but are absolutely losing what they may well to take a few of the most important bare alrearly 'realized, or becoming so and obvious points into consideration, deeply involved as to be obliged to sure before a decided opinion is formed. reader their properties to creditors, wbo, One party contends that colonies are in furn, must yield to similar evils. Such mére dependencies; the other, that they a state of a great empire cannot long are integral parts of the empire. The exist without partial ruin and general latter opnion seems so i congenial to luss. To obviate both of these events every feeling of the human heart, that it must be the wish of every lover of his is dillicult to discover how liberal men country; but before they can be obvis could have been brought to oppose it ated they must be known. The author with the zeal and pertinacity that have of these observations undertakes that been displayed. task, from a solicitude to benefit bis fel- The arguments in its favour may be low citizens, by placing facts within their considered of three classes : varural, grasp, which, from being widely scatter analogical, and political. MONTHLY Mag. No. 202.
Colonies are well known to be esta- colonies as have formed no engagements, blishments remote from the seat of em- the arrangement depends on the option pire, that have been originally founded of the conquerors, regulated however by the nation to which they are attached, by the eternal principles of justice. In as by some others, from which the pos. those that have capitulated on the exsession has been obtained by conquest or press condition of enjoying the priviliges by cession.
of their conquerors, the case becomes The colonies, owing their existence to one of right, not of choice: those who the possessing power, must be considere surrender on such terms are entitled to ed integral parts of the empire; for in all the advantages and immunities of quirting their native shores, neither the their fellow colonists. first adventurers nor their successors re- The analogical arguments in favour of linquished their birth-right: they merely this side of the question, may be found transferred their habitations; being still in the bistory of every state in Europe. subject to the laws of that country which Our own country furnishes some striking gave them birth: they could not have examples. The very essence of every sacrificed any privileges, because no political compact, is the reciprocity of crime was imputed by law; they suffer- advantaye conferred and received by each ed the penalties of every crime commit. part of the united body. It is therefore ted abroad, and succeeded to estates and required only under ordinary ciicum. honours in the same way as if at home. stances, that each should govern and In short, they remained within the pale detend itself; when critical emergencies of their country's laws, except in those arise, all must concur in contriburing instances in which local circumstances succour, and each must contribute in rendered it impossible. The regulations the best and most etlicient manner that of each province of a state are adapted its means perunit. In Great Britain and to some peculiarities which do not exist I cland, the manufacturing ions are elsewhere: yet the aggregate of these the fruitful resources of the recruiting provinces constituie the empire.
service; the sea-ports man nur nary: It cannot be urged that a temporary yet it cannot be contended that these relinquishinent of privilege may take places alone detend the empire. The place; for it involves the gross absurdity oiher parts do their duty by paying, of surrendering a power to be resumed taxes, and promoting other objects of at pleasure, while no specific contract to national importance, which indirectly that etrect was ever made. The very conduce to the same point. The appliact of surrendering the advantages of cation of this position is sufficiently obany society, disqualifies a man for the vious. functions of a citizen. llis political ex- It is worthy of recollection, that there istence having ceased, he cannot pere is no political compact in which the dife form polirical acts. The whole commu- ferent members contribute in the same nity alone can enable him to resume bis way, or in the same proportion. This is rank among them : the moral diiiiculty very remarkable in the well-known in. in this case is very analogous to the plıy. Stance of the States of Holland, where sical impossibility of a dead man's rê. Goelderland, the first of the provinces in turning to lite by his own act.
point of rank, paid 5 per cent. of the No laws, however, have ever been en- whole taxes, and Holland, the second, acted to distranchise the British colonists 58 per cent. This is certainly anomaof their biril-rights: they are in the same lous; but it confirms the general position, situatiou with their countrymen on the that each part of the empire furnishes high scas; alike renoved tioun the iine the state with means, in proportion to mestiate superintendance of the govern- its ability. It will hereafter be shewn ment, but equally entitled to protec- that the West Indies do more than their tion.
duty in this respect; which authorises The application of this doctrine to the then tu expect and to enjoy protection original colomes, or those wbich owe in ordinary cases, and favour, when their their existence to the state in actual interests are opposed to those of foreignpossession, is unquestionable. It is worthy of enquiry, how far they extend
The political considerations which to captured colonies. This may be also have been alluded to are so numerous, deterinined on broad principles, depen• that it will be suficient to mention a few went on those alieady set forth. In such of the most striking. The West India
colonies defray the whole of their civil valuable work on-Colonial Policy, * esti. establishments; and in most, if not all of mates the revenue of West India prothem, a considerable surplus remains in prietors subject to taxation in this couniry the public fund for imperial uses. at several millions. It may be difficult
The sole expences, then, which Great to ascertain the precise amount, but it Britain incurs for her colonies, is con- may be fairly estimated from the net fined to small salaries of soine of the average of tour years, t at about two pablic officers, (who are moreover amply millions, which contributes in the same paid by the colonies themselves) and to way as any other revenue in this country. that of their military and naval establish. If this be the case, under the present ments.
grevious system, how much greater would Political writers have generally com- it be in more propitious times. The puted the value of the several parts of resources of those already in Britain an empire hy the number of men that would be augmented, and others would they furnish, and the support they al reside here, who at present are deterred ford to the public revenue.. To these by the difficulties they have to encounpoints the examination of the value of ter. the West Indies is now reduced. Their Nor is this the whole advantage in constitution precludes an increase of the point of revenue. Goods to the amount white population; it is therefore impos. of sixt millions of pounds are annually sible to raise troops for general service exported to the colonies; most of which from that class of inhabitants.
Several articles are taxed in some form or black regiments, however, have been other. raised, some at the sole expenceofthecolo- From these facts, it is clear that the nies in which they were formed. These West India colonies answer the great men form a very respectable military force. criterion of political utility, and ought In addition to this, there is no part of therefore to enjoy those benefits to which the empire in which the militia duty falls they have such powerful claims. so generally as in the West Indies. Although there has been
a pretty These local troops are self-supported, minute detail of those points which have and perform with fidelity all their duties. been selected by politicians, and the
In most of the colonies, a gratuitous importance of which is unquestionable, allowance is made to the British troops there are some others of great moment, that are stationed there; so that the aid, as promoting national objects in an emi. in point of men, though not so complete nent degree. as in some places, is far beyond some The quantity of industry called forth others. Let'us examine the test in its by any pursuit, and the real wealth proother bearings :-the West Iudia colonists duced by it, for the best criterion of contribute to the public revenue in an
its value. Mr. Bosanquets has well infinitely larger proportion than any shewn that the value of the imports from, other class of British subjects. In 1804-5, and exports to, the West India colonies, the value of the imports from the far exceeds that of any trade we have. British West Indies was above seventeen The monopoly Acts secure all the advanmillion of pounds sterling, which yielded tages to the mother country, by excluding above five millions of direct public every rival. The demand for British revenue. By various indirect means, Mr. produce, the want of which cannot be Lowet computes that an equal sum finds dispensed with, is so enormous as to call its way into the Treasury; making a total forth directly and indirectly the energies of ten millions of pounds of annual re. of every part of the empire. An immense venue to the state in general.
number of men are employed by the Besides the enormous revenue drawn manufacturers, who are thus supported: from the produce of the colonies, British merchants, ship-owners, insurance large sums are paid by those West India brokers, and others, are actually mainproprietors resident in Britain, who con- tamed by the West India colonies. tribute in a three-fold form to the state:
The materials for some very important 1. By the colonial taxes; 2. By those manufactures are furnished by them, on produce; and, 3. By those on reve
above one-third of the whole of the nie in Britain. Mr. Brougham, in his
# Vol. 1.
+ Young's W. Ind. p. 87. Young's West Ind.Com. Place Bock, p.86,
# Ibid. † Lowe's Inquiry into Scate, &c. p. 13. § Letter to W. Manning, esq. p. 41. &c. on