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Before presenting present conditions in the world's colonies it may not be improper to state in concise form the colonial conditions of the world at the beginning and close of the present century, the important changes which have occurred meantime, and to present therewith the views of distinguished writers of the world's principal nations as to the causes of those changes.

A study of the map of the world's colonies in 1800 and 1900, presented herewith, shows that Spain, which at the beginning of the century controlled all of South America except Brazil, all of Central America, a considerable share of the North American continent, and the most valuable of the West India islands, is scarcely represented upon the colonial map of the year 1900; that Portugal, which in the closing part of the eighteenth century controlled large areas in South America, Africa, and the Orient, and in 1800 was still in control of much of that territory, is now represented only by colonies upon the East and West coasts of Africa; that France, which at one time controlled large areas in the northern part of North America, the Mississippi Valley, and considerable areas in the Orient, had by 1800 already lost a considerable part of that territory, and by the close of the Napoleonic wars had almost disappeared from the colonial map of the world, but in 1834 began to acquire territory in the north of Africa, and in 1861 and 1862 gained a foothold in Indo-China, to which she added largely in 1884 and 1893, and since 1880 has also enormously increased her African possessions; that the Dutch, whose possessions at one time included territory in America, South Africa, India, Ceylon, Australia, and the East Indies, are now chiefly represented on the world's colonial map by their possessions in Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and adjacent islands; and that England, whose colonial possessions at the beginning of the century were chiefly in North America, the extreme south of Africa, a comparatively small area in India, and a mere foothold in Australia and certain of the West India islands, now has extended her control to all of India, all of Australia, a large share of East Africa, and considerable areas on the West Coast, and an increased number of islands in the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian oceans and the Mediterranean, until her colonial population is eight times as great and the colonial territory ninety times as great as that of the mother country. Meantime Germany has, in the closing quarter of the century, extended her possessions to Africa, the islands of the Pacific and the control of a certain area in China. Italy has recently attempted to enter the list of colonial powers, having a small area in northern Africa, and Belgium now successfully governs a large area in central Africa and the Kongo Free State.

As to the causes of these successes and failures, it may not be improper to here quote certain distinguished writers, including representatives of the various nations in question, in the hope of thus obtaining a consensus of opinion based upon long and careful study.


One of the most careful and successful students of colonial matters and methods throughout the world is Mr. Charles P. Lucas, C. B., formerly of Balliol College, Oxford, author of the Historical Geography of the British Colonies, issued in 1887, and of the highly prized introduction to the 1891 edition of Sir George Cornewall Lewis's Government of Dependencies, and who for many years has occupied an important position in the British Colonial Office, thus giving him exceptional facilities for studies of this character. In the introduction to his Historical Geography of the British Colonies Mr. Lucas says of the successes and failures of Spain:

“The history of Spain is the history of a power which rose quickly to a great height and then as quickly declined. The Spaniards were a fighting and conquering race, but they were not traders to any great extent, and they did not, in spite of redeeming points, succeed as governors. There was an absence among them of steady progress and development. There was no growth of liberty, no tendency to equality, no gradual expansion of view on the part of either the Government or the nation. They regarded the colonies as tributaries to the mother country; they did not train them to self-government. They lost them as suddenly as they gained them, and left them to be, as they are at the present day, a set of restless, unstable, and ill-organized communities. * The vast American dominions of Spain were the result of rapid conquest, not of gradually growing commercial settlement. In North America the English made slow way in a desolate land, among scattered savage tribes which could be exterminated, but not enslaved. The course of the Spaniards was widely different. In Mexico and Peru they conquered at a blow nations which were rich, powerful, and well organized, but which had long been broken in to despotism and when once subdued became the slaves of the conquerors. English colonization of North America was, from the first, colonization in its true sense. It consisted of settlements in which there was no native element to be found, and in spite of isolated instances of intermingling, the English and Indians lived entirely outside of each other. The Spanish-American colonies, on the other hand, were simply conquered dependencies, containing a large native population. The Spanish conquest was too rapid to produce sound and beneficial results. The conquerors lost their heads, plunged into cruelty and extravagance, glutted themselves with gold and silver, instead of quietly developing commerce and agriculture, and yielding to the temptations of their position and the enervating influence of the climate, in no long time degenerated in mind and body. The home Government might have checked the pace at which the work was carried on, but, if well-meaning, it was unwise. It instantly sanctioned fresh conquests and encouraged the colonization of the mainland before the colonies on the islands were well and healthily established. * * * When the first wave of Spanish conquest had spent itself, the interference of the home Government with the colonies became more and more pronounced. The Spanish rulers, like the Spanish adventurers, looked to America for direct returns of gold and silver more than for any revenue from indirect sources. They regarded their new possessions simply as producing so much tribute, and hence watched them very closely and kept them strictly under control. The elements of decay in the mother country were carefully imported into America--political depotism, the undue power of the Church, and social and commercial exclusiveness. The social distinctions between races and classes were carefully maintained, the official appointments were all held by natives of Spain, creoles being jealously excluded, the land was tied up by direct entails, and the system of commercial monopoly was carried to a greater extreme by Spain than by any other country of Europe, all foreigners being excluded from the Spanish Indies, and the trade with the colonies being, until the middle of the eighteenth century, confined to a certain number of ships each year and to the single Spanish port, first of Seville and subsequently Cadiz."


Mr. Henry C. Morris, of Chicago, in his History of Colonization, published in 1900, commenting upon the decline of Spanish colonization, says: “Two abiding characteristics of Spanish colonization, from the administrative point of view, are the attempt to reproduce European methods in the New World and the persistent suspicion and mistrust shown toward the colonists. A fully developed form of rule was introduced among a simple, untutored people. Favoritism was fostered and every man became a detective set over his neighbor. Multitudes of Spaniards invading these possessions regarded the masses as their legitimate prey. Their object was to accumulate wealth for their support in their retirement when they again returned home, for few if any of the officeholders established their permanent residence in America. Another evil factor was the priesthood, for little by little the primitive uprightness and honesty of the clergy were lost. Among the chief obstacles to the development of the country was the large extent of the landed estates which the Church gathered in its hands in perpetuity or main mort. In some provinces at the time of the insurrections it owned 80 per cent of the real property, and in several States the monasteries covered 75 per cent of the total area, while the number of monks was immense. * * * A detailed discussion of the reasons for the misfortunes suffered by the Spaniards in colonization is not necessary. In every epoch and region the subjects were soon to reap the whirlwind. To repeat the causes would be a long and monotonous undertaking—too centralized administration, utter lack of self-government, corrupt officials, avaricious greed for quick returns at the sacrifice of future prospects, a restrictive commercial system, trade monopoly, erroneous economic doctrines, the admission of the Church to an exaggerated share in public affairs, a general wastefulness of resources accompanied by enormous taxation are the elemental facts to which disaster was due. The Crown always clung to the maxim that it was the right of the parent State to draw all possible benefit and advantage to itself from the colonies, irrespective of the interests of the latter."


Prof. Frank W. Blackmar, in the August, 1900, issue of the publication of the American Economic Association, discussing Spanish colonial policy, points out that the trade of Spain with the colonies was made a monopoly in the hands of an organization known as the Casa de Contratación, which controlled absolutely the trade between Spain and the colonies; that commerce with the colonies was subjected to a duty of 33 per cent, which was afterwards advanced to 12 per cent; that the home Government forbade the colonists to raise any products that could be raised at home, and the universal principle adopted that whatever colonial occupation interfered with home industry was to be destroyed directly by law or taxed out of existence. “All the laws,” he says, “the control of trade, commerce, agriculture, finance, taxation, the foundation of municipalities, the management of the natives, and the regulation of religion were made in the mother country and sent to the colonies with the expectation that the latter would adapt themselves to the laws. Nor did the decrees of the Crown and its agencies stop here, but the home bureau organized the colonial government, local and central. The officers and rulers were natives of Spain sent out to rule these distant dependencies. During the Spanish domination in America nearly all the important offices of the state and church had been filled by Spaniards. The presidents and judges of the courts were from Spain. There were 18 Americans out of 672 viceroys, captains-general, and governors; and 105 native bishops out of 706 who ruled in the colonies. This system of officialism continued in all of the colonial possessions of Spain to the close of the present century. It was strongly marked in Cuba and Porto Rico at the time of the occupation of those islands by the United States. Thus the independent wealth of the colonies was destroyed and barriers against development were set up. It was really a strange attitude for a nation to assume—that of making the newly discovered territory a part of the royal domain, to extend over it the system of government practiced by the home Government, to supply its officers and courts, in fact, to make it a part and parcel of the nation and then turn against it to exploit and rob it as if it were an enemy of the nation. The establishment of central authority and the attempt to govern arbitrarily these Spanish colonies regardless of their interests proved a burden to the nation that improvised the system. The policy of promoting trade became a means of hindering and destroying it. It established commercial prices and controlled trade, but in doing so it prevented the development of wealth, and finally forced commerce into the hands of foreigners. * * The failure to develop vital and vigorous colonies with an independent life and wealth-creating power, and the repression of wholesome trade brought poverty instead of wealth to both parties. *

* * The whole system of pretended self-government was a farce, an imperialism extended to the remotest bounds of the colonial province. Viewed from one standpoint the colony was a part of the central Government controlled by hordes of royal officeholders. Viewed from another, it was a territory to be used, robbed, a matter of convenience, the rights and privileges of whose inhabitants the central Government was in no way bound to respect.”



Arthur A. Brandt, of Java, in a discussion of the “Evolution of colonial policy,” published in “Bertrage zur Kolonial Politik und Wirtschaft,” Berlin, 1900–1901, says: “Spanish and Portuguese seafarers crossed and conquered the world; Dutch and English followed suit. All these conquests, however, had as their purpose in the acquisition of territory only the gathering of riches. Europe of those days was so thinly populated that there was no necessity for emigration. Wherever there was a chance to abstract metallic treasure found in the hands of the natives, the latter were simply called for; in those cases where neither gold, silver, nor precious stones were procurable, but instead products of native growth, such as coffee, sugar, tea, spices, or other tropical products, the native population was tolerated to exist as a necessary evil. Their lives were spared, though extreme exploitation by the conquerors was resorted to.”



Prof. Herman Merivale, A. M., professor of political economy at Oxford University, in his lectures on colonization and colonies, in 1839, 1840, and 1841, says of the causes of failure of the Spanish colonial system: “The state of society in the American colonies early assumed the character of an oligarchy. The pure Spanish families were few in number. They were often possessed of considerable wealth, either from their agricultural possessions or from successful mining operations. * * It was this oligarchical character of society, together with the system of restrictions under which they lived which produced the habit of the Spanish Creoles to congregate in cities, contrary to what has already been observed of the general spirit of modern colonists. The bulk of the population of these cities was made up of the mixed classes—those which grew up from the intermixture of Spaniards with Indians, and of both with the negroes, who, in the course of time were imported into the continent. The Indians, where sufficiently numerous, tilled the soil or wrought the mines. Each capital city stood in a rich and well-cultivated district, separated from the rest of the world by deserts of ice and snow.

Thus each community dwelt apart, divided at once by natural and artificial barriers. The commercial policy of the Spanish Government toward its continental colonies exhibits the most perfect monument of systematic tyranny of which any age has furnished an example. The traffic with the mother country was confined, at first, to the single port of Seville; afterwards to that of Cadiz, and was under the control of a board termed the 'Casa de Contratación,' which was subjected to the direct government of the Crown. Two squadrons were annually dispatched. * It was the great amount of business, relatively speaking, carried on by those few vessels, and the sudden activity communicated to commerce during the brief transactions which supplied the wants of a whole continent—all the trade of the Empire collected as it were on one focus—which dazzled the eyes of European observers, and occasioned the most fallacious ideas respecting the amount of annual exchanges actually made. * * * Thus, while the Americans had to buy the goods of the mother country, or those which the importers had purchased from abroad, at a price far exceeding their values, the benefit of this monopoly was reserved to a small and privileged class alone. * * * The political treatment of the Spanish colonies was quite in keeping with their commercial administration. The system of government by viceroys, captains-general, audiencias, and councils, with their various relations to each other, has been truly described as a complicated contrivance to render every part of the government a check on every other. The best governors found it impossible to carry into effect any scheme for the amelioration of society; the worst found it easy enough to enrich themselves and aggrandize their favorites. The state of the church was perhaps the worst feature of all in the condition of these colonies.

* * *

The clergy, both religious and secular, were notoriously lazy and corrupt to a degree unknown in the mother country. The Inquisition, with all its appurtenances, was transferred across the Atlantic; education was for the most part sedulously discouraged, and Viceroy Gil de Lemos said to a deputation from the collegians of Lima, who sought some extension of their privileges, ‘Learn to read, write, and say your prayers, for this is as much as any American ought to know.""




Commenting upon the decline of the Portuguese colonies, Lucas says: “The Portuguese, like the Spaniards, were a conquering and crusading race, but there was more of the trader in the Portuguese than in the Spanish character. * * * Being traders, they did not attempt to do so much as the Spaniards in so short a time, and were content for the most part to plant stations on the coast without extending their dominion far inland. They emigrated in large numbers and colonized the outskirts of the East to a greater extent than the European nations which came in after them. Their rise and decline, however, like those of the Spanish power, were very rapid. They rose on the tide of chivalry, religious fanaticism, and adventurous search for riches, and, like the Spaniards, treated the natives with cruelty and carried into their dependencies religious and commercial oppression. The monopoly of trade in the Portuguese, as well as in the Spanish Empire, was reserved to the Crown, and no charter companies helped to build up the dominion and extend the trade of Portugal in the East. Nor was the policy of the home Government in the administration of their dependencies such as to hold together and consolidate an empire. The viceroy's were elected at intervals of three years, changes which were accompanied by a corresponding mutation in the subordinate offices. Their power was restricted by making them dependent upon councils of advice and control, and the single viceroyalty of the East Indies was broken up into independent governments. The King and his ministers regarded the officers whom they sent out with jealousy and suspicion, and were served in turn by a set of men who kept the authorities at home in the dark as to the true condition of their dependencies, who did not administer justice to the people, but only inquired what profit their predecessors derived from their administration, that they might obtain more. Lastly, in addition to the mistake which the Portuguese, in common with the older European nations, made of crippling their trade by a system of close monopolies, they further erred in not laying themselves out directly to supply the markets of Europe; they brought back the riches to Lisbon only, and left it to the Dutch to distribute them throughout European ports.'


* *


Morris, commenting upon the decline of Portuguese colonization and its causes, says: “In their desire to seize and retain the whole traffic of the regions within their empire, the Portuguese fell into the error which had misled their predecessors. They believed that force of arms was necessary to effect the ends of trade. Never was there a more fallacious proposition. * * * The Portuguese also proclaimed Lisbon the sole European port to which their ships might resort and at which they might discharge their cargoes. The transportation of the wealth of the Indies to other than the capital city was the only labor required of their mariners.

The administration of the Indies was intrusted to a viceroy, stationed at Goa, invested with supreme authority, both military and civil, but appointed for three years only, lest by a longer term he might become too powerful, and, consequently, insubordinate to the Crown. The result was that, almost universally, these governors, regardless of means and methods, improved their limited opportunity to amass wealth, and petty functionaries, no less than chief executives, devoted their period of service to their personal aggrandizement. Portuguese ships and traders paid as taxes, port dues, and customs collected in the Indies immense sums, which went directly into the coffers of the viceroys and their subalterns, the metropolis receiving a bare dribble of its revenues. The participation of officials in trade was the capstone of demoralization. From the highest to the lowest the representatives of the Government were unscrupulous, and the eastern colonial edifice of Portugal, when touched from within, collapsed, therefore, as if built on sand.”

No. 93


Italy's colonial experiences cover a comparatively short period and are not characterized by such success as to justify a detailed study, though they may warrant a brief examination of the history of her colonial work, if only with the purpose of avoiding errors.


Mr. Albert G. Kellar, in the August, 1900, number of the Yale Review, says: “Italy is a nation which by taking thought hoped to add unto her stature. Granted that England's greatness is emphasized and augmented by her colonial possessions, it is but a logical non sequitur to conclude that Italy, by. acquiring colonies and possessions, will thereby take her place among the powers. And yet the Italians seem to have believed it possible to substitute for the long and toilsome road from cause to effect a convenient short-cut from effect to cause. Colonies were not only to increase Italy's political importance; they were also to build up her trade, develop her merchant marine, and make her rich. Italy was not prepared to take her place among colonizing nations; she lacked the internal cohesion and organization necessary to the political unity that turns its arms to the outside world. She lacked capital and, in a certain sense, superfluous population for external colonization; what forces she had could better have been used for internal development, which in turn would have aided national organiza son and prosperity. She lacked the objective knowledge of lands and peoples which the great colonizing nations attained from the actual experience of their traders and navigators long before their colonial empires were even begun. She was unfit for colonization because she lacked those things which she hoped the possession of colonies would bring her. One more disqualification must be noted: The Italians, together with the other Latin nations, suffered from a race temperament unfortunate in colonizers. They are dominated too much by feeling and too little by judgment. They are attracted too much by abstract theory, military glory, and all that. They can not accept defeat with dignity, renounce a high-sounding ideal, and bide their time with patience. * * * With an eye ever upon England and Holland, the endeavor was made to construct a greater Italy. To these high ambitions, however, were joined the most absurd fears, an unsettled policy, a general weakness and indecision-qualities seldom exhibited in any degree by a people ripe for colonization. During the early days of the colonial agitation the Italian consul at Nice, one of those whose opinion concerning the new policy was officially asked, opposed such a movement, saying that for colonization capital, hands, and heads were needful, but that Italy possessed only the last of these requirements. * Considering the ground she has had to work on, Italy has certainly made a creditable showing, but it must not be imagined that her liberal administration cost nothing; deficits appear annually in the colonial budget. There have been repeated struggles to reduce the yearly expenses of the colonies to 9,000,000 or 8,000,000 lire, but no such scheme seems to have succeeded. The deficit has averaged considerably more than this figure, and during the latter period of colonial expansion up to 1896 the losses are estimated by Brunialti as 10,000 men and 500,000 lire. For a country whose debt was in the thousand millions, who, out of every 100 lire, pays 33 for interest on debt and 33 for maintenance of army and navy, this colonial policy was certainly what one of its opponents called it, a 'politique de luxe.' For a rich nation to expend great sums in the work of civilization or extermination may be wastefulness; for a poverty-stricken, debt-burdened nation full of internal strife and uproar it is almost suicide."




The French colonial system of the present day, which is largely the product of the last thirty years, can not be said to have as yet attained unquestioned success, at least as regarded from a financial standpoint. A large proportion of the colonial territory now held by France has been secured since the loss of a part of her own territory in the Franco-Prussian war, and necessarily the cost of creating and maintaining government in and developing this new territory draws heavily upon its revenues. In the older colonies, however, especially Algeria, which France has controlled since 1830, and which is treated as a province of France and not as a colony in the ordinary acceptance of that term, conditions are prosperous and the control of the territory is looked upon as advantageous to France in many ways. The receipts are sufficient for the ordinary expenses, its fields supply many of the wants of France, and of its imports in 1899, which amounted to 310,000,000 francs, 260,000,000 francs were drawn from France; while of the exports in 1899, valued at 325,000,000 francs, 271,000,000 francs were sent to France. French Indo-China, which includes Cochin China, Tonking, Anam, and Cambodia, with an area of 263,000 square miles, or considerably more than that of France, and a population of over 22,000,000, has also recently become self-supporting so far as the ordinary current expenses are concerned. The Annuaire Colonial, issued by the French Government in 1901, states that the budget general of 1899 showed an excess of receipts over expenditures of 8,000,000 francs, and that of 1900 an excess of receipts over expenditures of more than 7,000,000 francs, and adds: “The prosperity of the commerce is measured by the following facts. Before 1897 the commerce general of Indo-China was from 200,000,000 to 215,000,000 francs; in 1896, it was 215,000,000; in 1897, 257,000,000; in 1898, it was 298,000,000; in 1899, 357,000,000, and in 1900, 471,000,000. This is in four years an increase of 118 per cent.” Aside from these two colonies of Algeria and Cochin China, the French colonies have not as a rule reached the self-supporting condition, and the French budget for 1900 called for 106,000,000 francs for colonies and that of 1901 for 103,000,000 francs. No nation or people gives more careful study to the theory of colonization or to the methods of advancing colonial prosperity than the French. The public officials, the educational institutions, the economists, and the press follow with great care and discuss in much detail the condition of their colonies and the lessons to be drawn from present conditions and the experiences of the past.


One of the most careful and experienced students of colonial affairs is M. J. L. de Lanessan, the present Minister of Marine of the French Government, who spent many years in the English and French colonies, especially the latter, serving subsequently in the French Chamber of Deputies, where he gave special attention to colonial matters during the period of greatest colonial expansion of that Government in the nineteenth century, and subsequently serving as governor-general of French Indo-China during the most important period of its history. His views, therefore, upon colonial matters and methods are extremely valuable, and his discussion of the methods of his own Government in extending and developing its colonies especially important. “Generally speaking,” says M. de Lanessan in his work, Principes de Colonisation, “it may be said that in the French colonial possessions very little regard has been shown for the interests of the native people. Imbued with the spirit of the Roman jurisprudence, which lies at the basis of all institutions of the mother country, we (the French) have shown no greater regard than that of transferring to our colonial possessions the whole administrative and judiciary machinery of the mother country, without asking ourselves whether the natives for whose benefit we profess to work would not find in this machinery simply tools of oppression and exploitation. Not to mention the old colonies, where a new race formed by a mixture of black and white required political, administrative, and judicial institutions better adapted than ours to their special character, we have introduced in colonies such as Cochin China and Senégal, where the native population is altogether distinct from the European race by custom, religion, etc., an organization which seems to have been constructed in such a way as to crush and triturate the native so as to reduce him to a pasty mass fitting the taste of the Europeans. What else are the colonial councils of Senegal and Cochin China with the preponderance in them of European members and their considerable power as regards the assessment of fiscal charges and expenditures but an organization for the exploitation of the natives? What else are the introduction of our codes, our administration, our lawyers and our men of affairs but another means of turning over the natives to the exploitation of Europeans? I believe that to make these colonies prosperous and to acquire the sympathy and confidence of the people we ought to strive to protect them against the proclivities on the part of Europeans of exploiting them. Our laws and codes ought to be introduced as little as possible and each colony ought to have the right to adopt for itself a system of legislation adapted to the particular necessities of the country and the habits of the natives. If the people of the colonies are yet in a state of more or less distinct barbarism, the colonizing nation is obliged to take in its hands the direction of its administrative affairs, but in doing so should make as much use as possible of the chiefs and the heads of the more important families, in order to show its intention of not breaking with the local customs. But it should treat the customs, habits, religion, and even prejudices of the natives in such manner as to earn sympathies which might be utilized in order to introduce gradually progress and civilization. * * * The direction of affairs in the colony should never be intrusted to the military authorities, as by its education, personal interests, and surroundings the army is irresistibly led to the abusive use of force.





Commenting upon French colonial history and policy, Mr. Lucas says, in his introduction to the Historical Geography of Colonies: “The French have in many respects always been eminently suited for colonizing. They have never been found wanting in enterprise, in fighting qualities, or power of adapting themselves to new peoples and new countries. Their leaders showed a definite policy in dealing with the native races; they treated them with humanity and consideration; they organized them and gave them cohesion; they formed alliances and counter alliances, and carried the spirit of European politics into Asia and America. Their first connection with the New World was that of traders pure and simple. They went out not to conquer or to look for gold, but to follow up the fisheries of Newfoundland and the fur trade of Canada. Starting with commercial objects they steadily settled in Canada, took their way up the St. Lawrence and down the Ohio to join the settlement which La Salle placed at the mouth of the Mississippi. And, when finally conquered, they left the present Province of Quebec to be at all times an evidence of solid French civilization. Again, in the West Indian Islands the colonies were the result of individual enterprise, of the efforts of adventurers and buccaneers who played for their own hand, attacked the monopoly of the Spanish Main, and succeeded to such an extent that Santo Domingo, one of the points at which they established themselves, was prior to the French Revolution the most thriving of all the islands. What, then, were the failings of the government which in the end more than counterbalanced the aptitude of the people for colonization?

The errors which proved fatal were not commercial, but partly political and partly religious. Politically they made two mistakes—in the first place, they tried to do too much; in the second place, they wanted a settled and continuous and a reliable policy. Professor Seeley thought France had too many irons in the fire; that ‘she lost the New World because she was always divided between a policy of colonial extension and a policy of European conquest.' Professor Freeman shows also that while France conquered her neighbors on the Continent, she lost her dependencies abroad. It need hardly be added that the same fault of taking up too much at once has been conspicuous in French foreign policy in late years. The French Government also perpetually interfered with its chartered companies, instead of giving them a steady, consistent support. There were no fewer than six distinct East India companies, the first incorporated in 1604, the sixth in 1719. * * * Court favorites were appointed to high commands, corruption and peculation were rife among the subordinate officers, and even where there were capable men at the head of affairs, ruinous dissensions and jealousies sprang up and were fostered. The attitude in the matter of religion was even more fatal to the strength and permanence of the French colonial empire. * * The judgment of history is that France lost Canada through the policy of religious exclusiveness which her rulers pursued.

In spite, however, of the loss of her dependencies in the last century, the French at the present day fill a very different position among colonizing nations from that of the Spaniards or Portuguese. France is still a power, and a forward power in all parts of the globe, conquering rather than settling, and still, as of old, interfering in too many places at once."





Commenting upon the earlier failures and more recent successes of France as a colonizing power, Morris, in his History of Colonization, published in 1900, says: “The reasons why France was not able to retain her colonial power are so self-evident as not to require exemplification. The love of territorial conquest is everywhere the destruction of French rule. The aims of the representatives of French sovereignty were the exclusive control of the best regions of North America and the expulsion of England and Holland utterly and entirely from India and the Indian Ocean. The hope to consummate the Herculean task was as preposterous as it was unessential. Had the nation been willing to hold a few places, seriously to colonize and strongly to fortify them, the nucleus would have been formed for future healthy and vigorous development; but such a modest policy did not satisfy the visions of glorious achievement dreamed by France and her governors. The attenuated distribution of navy and army in distant parts of the world, thus imposed, in connection with the necessity of constant vigilance at home, swiftly enfeebled national resources. * * The one practical lesson to be drawn from the experience of France in this early period is that a colonial system can not be artificially created by the State. It must be a spontaneous manifestation of a popular desire. Mere territorial aggrandizement does not imply strength. In peopling and cultivating remote lands the prime element is the participation of the masses; adventurous lives, glorious deeds, large capital, nominal control, and titular sovereignty over millions of savages or untutored aborigines are not the essential mainstays. Rapid conquests do not imply enduring power. Slower, more plodding, but more prudent and more assiduous methods are required to insure success.”

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