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THE DUTCH FOLLOWED NATIVE CUSTOMS. When the Dutch had made good their footing in the island they made no attempt to undertake its government. So far as the natives were concerned they left them and their management entirely to their native rulers. Their policy was entirely commercial and avowedly selfish. They insisted on certain articles of commerce being kept close monopolies for themselves; they demanded from each district a forced contingent of rice, leaving the tumangungs (or regents) to levy it from the villages in what manner they pleased; they compelled the regents to supply whatever labor they required for their public works, and after they had started the coffee plantations they required the regents to see that every cultivator planted, nurtured, and plucked a certain number of coffee trees; they required that the services of 32,000 families should be placed at their disposal for the felling of timber in the government forests, and in other ways they endeavored to bleed the country for their own benefit without attempting to give it anything in return. During this period, therefore, the unhappy country had not only to endure the ills which were indigenous, but it had in addition to suffer the oppression consequent on the presence of a foreign power, which insisted on the native rulers extorting produce and forced services from the people for their white masters as well as for themselves.
Sir Stamford Raffles, who commanded in Java during British occupation, had not been long in Java before he determined on a complete change of system. The Dutch monopolies were abandoned; freedom of cultivation was established; the forced deliveries of rice was stopped; all tolls on inland trade were abolished, and taxes on coasting trade removed; the port dues were equalized and their collection taken out of the hands of the Chinese.
Raffles then proceeded to reform the land tenures by excluding, as much as possible, the higher class of natives from any connection with the soil, by leasing the lands direct to the cultivator. During the Dutch rule the native regents would farm out the land revenues i to demangs, and the demangs would sublet to bukals. Raffles forbade such leases, and reduced the regents and their subordinates to mere collectors of revenue. Village rent rolls were prepared, and the native collectors had to collect and account in accordance with these. The cultivators were given leases for three years, and it was clearly the intention of Raffles to introduce the ryotwari system of India, and to make the cultivators practically proprietors of their lands. To compensate native officials for their loss of income under these changes, Raffles provided them with handsome salaries and maintained their rank.
It was Raffles's intention, as soon as his temporary settlement had expired, to confer on the cultivators the full proprietary right in their holdings, involving the terribly doubtful privilege of alienating their fields and the disastrous liability to be sold up, either by their civil creditors or by the revenue authorities for default. By the return of the island to Dutch rule the Javans have escaped that fatal gift of absolute proprietary right which has been the ruin of so many tens of thousands of our peasantry in India, and with which, while striving to bless, we have so effectually cursed the soil of India.
**damnorarv settlement had expired, to conter un peretous liability
DUTCH METHODS IN JAVA COMPARED WITH ENGLISH METHODS IN INDIA.
It is not too much to say that the loss of all the many benefits which undoubtedly would have been conferred on Java bythe substitution of English for Dutch rule is not too high a price to have paid for escape from the many evils of unrestrained power to alienate landed property. Under their present government the Javans, according to our English ideas, ought to be the most miserable people. That they are not so, but that, on the contrary, they are the most prosperous of Oriental peasantry, is mainly due to one cause, the inability of the Javan to raise one single florin on the security of his fields, and the protection thus enjoyed by him against the money lender and against himself. Nature is bountiful in Java, and undoubtedly the abundant fertility of the soil enables the Javan to stand up under many ills to which he is subject. But were her fecundity doubled, were she to pour her gifts as from a cornucopia into his lap, nothing would ultimately save him from the money lender and from consequent eviction from his fields and his home if he were able to pledge the one or the other as security for an advance. * * *
From the slight sketch of Java and its institutions which has been given it will have been seen how different are the methods of government adopted by Holland and England in their administration of their Oriental possessions. We strive our very best to rule India in the interest of the native population. The Dutch do not profess to study the well-being of their Javan subjects, save as an object secondary to their own advantage. England expends the whole of her enormous revenue in India, and sends not a rupee westward, save for goods purchased, while Holland receives ordinarily from Java as pure tribute more than one-third of her colony's income. We lay ourselves out to give every Indian who cares to come forward for it what is practically a free education right up to the universities which we have established, and still continue to establish, all over India. Holland of set purpose keeps its Eastern subjects as stupid and ignorant as is possible. We are scrupulously exact in all our dealings with the natives, insisting on a full wage being paid for all work done and checking by all the means in our power the tendency on the part of all natives in authority to compel labor, while the Dutch have no hesitation in utilizing to the full this tendency, and practically draw from this source a large portion of their revenue. The English protect all rights in land, however shadowy they may be, and confer others. The Dutch admit no such rights, and studiously avoid the introduction of the proprietary principle. We persist in impressing on the native mind that the Western and the Oriental, the heir of Europe's civilization and successor to Eastern conservatism, are all equal and equally fitted for and capable of understanding and of profiting by those social institutions and forms of government to which we ourselves are so attached. The Dutch frankly deny the equality, and ridicule the notion that all the world should be ruled on the same principle.
To the Anglo-Indian visiting Java and viewing these great differences it is somewhat humiliating to feel that the Dutch have most unquestionably, in one point at any rate, succeeded where we have partially failed. Conscious of the absolutely upright intentions of his own Government, and convinced that it is the first wish of every English official connected with the administration that all classes should share in the blessings which should flow from its benevolent measures, he is startled to find the great mass of agriculturists in Java manifestly in a far better material condition than our own ryots. This is unquestionably the case, and the fact undoubtedly proves that our treatment of the great questions relating to land tenures, which a hundred years ago were partly similar to those which have from time to time arisen in Java, have not been dealt with in the manner best calculated to secure the happiness of the people. The denationalization of the land, which from the time of Lord Cornwallis till the present day has been more and more completely effected, has resulted in the aggrandizement of a class of wealthy landlords and middlemen at the expense of the cultivator of the soil, and we have surrendered that splendid position as owners of the land which enables the Dutch to appropriate for State purposes the whole rental of the country and to insure that that rental shall always be so moderate in amount as to enable the peasant to pass his days in comfort and without care. Doubtless Holland would do well to treat her rich dependency in a more generous, more unselfish spirit, and in many points she could undoubtedly take lessons from England; but the impartial student of the economics of the Eastern possessions of the two countries will certainly come also to the conclusion that India has much to learn from Java.
Regarding the system of the permanent retention of land ownership by the Government, it may be said that its retention in communities where the system has always prevailed is commended by many students of colonial methods, for two reasons: First, that it furnishes a simple and readily accepted method of raising revenue; second, that the experience of the British in those parts of India where the soil has been transferred to the native, with power of mortgage and transfer, is that the land, in a large proportion of cases, soon passes into the possession of the money lenders.
CONTROL OF THE LAND BY CHARTERED COMPANIES.
This system, as is shown elsewhere, is a revival in recent years of methods adopted, tested, and abandoned in the early part of last century. Under it great companies are given control of large undeveloped territories, the control extending to the right of development of lands, forests, mines, highways, the construction of roads and railways and canals, the sale or lease of lands, the establishment and administration of forms of government, the maintenance of a police force and even, if necessary, of an army (which, however, is in some degree under control of the home Government). These charters, and the governments established under them are, under modern methods, administered under the constant supervision of officials appointed by the home Government and located in the governed territory, and their assent to all the important acts of the governing company is necessary, including sales or leases of lands, the raising of revenue, taxation levied upon the occupants of the soil, etc. The details of this method of governing a country, and incidentally of the control or disposition of the land, are discussed under the head of “Chartered companies” and need not be repeated here.
OWNERSHIP OR LEASE OF LARGE ESTATES.
The system of control of large estates by individuals or corporations is in part a relic of slavery days, when large plantations, worked by groups of slaves, were possible; while in other cases they are still considered a necessity by reason of the fact that certain agricultural products can only be turned into marketable condition by the use of costly machinery, and that when such machinery and the accompanying plant are installed the control of a sufficient area of land to supply the natural product to be thus manufactured is a business necessity. Under these two systems, the one following the other, great estates have been established in many of the colonies, especially those in which sugar production forms the chief agricultural industry. In the West Indies and adjacent territory, where sugar cane was originally the most profitable crop, large estates were created, the cane being grown by slave labor, and considerable sums invested in the machinery of manufacture. After slavery ceased to exist, the owners of the estates found it difficult to obtain negro labor for continuing the production of the sugar cane, and in a number of cases, as has been described under the head of “Indentured labor," coolies from India, and in a few cases labor from other sources, were brought in under contract and put upon these plantations or estates and the production of cane for the manufacture of sugar continued. With the development of the present methods of sugar production, the use of extensive machinery and large plants requires a certainty of cane production, prompt handling, and a large producing area in the immediate vicinity of the plant to insure success, and for this work it is held that the control of large estates by lease or ownership and the employment, under such terms as will insure continuous labor, of a large force to operate the estates, especially during the critical period of cane ripening and grinding, is an absolute necessity. This view has led in the Dutch East Indies, since the abolition of the forced labor system, to large leases of land by the Government to great sugar manufacturing companies, and under the agrarian law of 1870 large tracts which were formerly waste lands have been leased to these companies on hereditary holdings for a seventy-five year term. In 1898 nearly 1,000,000 acres were thus ceded to 752 individuals and companies.
The system which is being now generally commended, aside from that operative in the two great territories where govermental control of the land has continued for generations, India and Netherlands, is that of the subdivision of the land into comparatively small boldings, while in the densely populated tropical colonies the tendency is in favor of decidedly small holdings. This has been already discussed under the head of “Diversification of industries,” where it is shown that especially in the densely populated colonies of the British West Indies careful inquiry has established, and experiments substantiated, the theory of small individual ownership of land, coupled with a diversification of industries. The application of this plan in a somewhat modified form to less densely populated sections, coupling it with the central factory system (under a plan by which the individual owners will grow cane or other agricultural products for the factory), is also recommended and in some degree being developed in certain colonial and tropical sections. In general terms it may be said that individual ownership prevails in a large proportion of the colonies where population and development are in an · advanced state, and that the disposition is to apply it in conjunction with the central factories necessary for the successful production of
the great staples. “The most prosperous of the colonial workingmen,” says Sir Charles Dilke in his Problems of Greater Britain, “are landholders in towns or suburbs, shareholders in companies owning factories and mines, and in fact capitalists and proprietors with the same feeling against the nationalization of the land as is found among landowners in the United States. Although the most extreme land reformers of Europe either care nothing for free transfer of land, or dislike it, the whole of the (British) colonies have adopted and maintained, with every sign of popular assent, an easy system of the transfer of real estate, and support it as steadily as they do universal education, manhood suffrage, and the other planks of the old colonial liberal programme now mostly carried into law. * * * The land systems of British North America are modeled upon the American freehold homestead plan. In Cape Colony there is a curious land system of Dutch origin, the greater portion of the land being held of the Crown on a quitrent tenure, and a good deal more held as leasehold, while a few of the large estates are upon a freehold tenure. Under an act of 1887 land is disposed of at public auction with payment by the purchaser of one-fifth of the price within a year, and mortgage of four-fifths at 4 per cent in favor of the government. The State is in Cape Colony, a large landowner and quitrents form a considerable item in the public revenue. In Natal the old Dutch farmers were allowed farms of from 2,000 to 6,000 acres, at an annual rental of a little over half a farthing an acre, redeemable at fifteen years' purchase. But from 1848 a homestead system was adopted, and since 1880 lands have been sold in freehold in lots of not over 2,000 acres, payable in twenty annual installments without interest. In the Australian colonies, when lands were let out to pastoral tenants at low rents it was only as a temporary arrangement, and within the colonies the agricultural land has passed gradually to free selectors of the working class. All the colonies except the Cape, and for a time New Zealand, have shown alacrity in getting rid of the freehold of their land for cash, though all of them have tried their hand at legislation intended to secure a preference to the poor man. In each of the colonies a small body of men, with distinguished leaders, have advocated the nationalization of the land; in none of them have their views found general favor, probably for the reason that too large a proportion of the population are interested as landowners in leaving matters as they are."
LANGUAGE IN THE COLONIES.
Little effort is made by the experienced colonizing countries to introduce their own language or customs among the natives of the colonized country, except in the few colonies which proved suitable for permanent habitation of the people of the mother country. In the English colonies, classed as “habitation colonies,”' in which a large part of the population is composed of the natives of the mother country or their descendants, the language is of course English, except in a certain section of Canada occupied by French, who have persistently maintained their own language and customs, and in some parts of South Africa, formerly controlled and settled by the Dutch, where the Dutch language is retained. In the British West Indies the use of the English language became general through the intercourse of the governing class with the negro population during slave days, and thus Euglish became the generally accepted language in those islands, while a similar condition prevails in the French West Indian colonies, where the language of the governing country is generally spoken.
NATIVE LANGUAGE RETAINED IN THE TROPICS.
In the great tropical communities, however, where large masses of people with a native language are governed by European nations, no effort is made to introduce the language of the governing country, except among the few with whom the officers from the home country necessarily come in contact, and through whom they distribute their instruction and government to the natives. Thus in India all natives desiring to enter the service of the Government and to serve in such capacity as will bring them in constant touch with the English officials there located, are required to learn the English language, and this they do with facility and great success; but, aside from this, the adoption of the English language is not urged upon the natives, though it is taught in the schools of the higher grades, and even in certain schools of the lower grades, to those who desire such instruction. In the Netherlands the adoption of the language of the mother country by the natives is distinctly discouraged. Officials sent from the Netherlands to the colonies are required to perfect themselves in the language of the natives, in part in the training schools and the college maintained in the Netherlands for their instruction, and afterwards in actual intercourse with the natives, and writers upon conditions in Java state that the disposition to discourage the introduction of the language of the governing country in the colony is carried to such an extent that officials, even if addressed by a native in the Dutch language, reply in the native tongue.
THE FRENCH, SPANISH, AND PORTUGUESE METHODS.
In the colonies governed by France the method followed is somewhat different, the use of the French language among the natives being encouraged wherever practicable, and the effect of this is seen in the fact that French continues to be the general language of the people in their older colonies and even in certain islands and communities which were formerly colonies of France, but are now otherwise governed. This is also true of the methods adopted by the Spanish and Portuguese colonizers—their language having outlived their control in the vast sections of South, Central, and North America, and the East and West Indies, formerly controlled by them. This fact, that the French Government is more inclined to give its language to the colonies than is the case with the other colonizing countries, and that the Spanish and Portuguese not only give their language to the countries which they govern, but in such indelible form that it has been maintained long after their control of the territory has disappeared, is apparently due, in part, at least, to two circumstances: First, that the French and Spanish made greater efforts in their official and personal relations to assimilate the natives to their own customs and methods; and second, the active work of the missionaries and machinery of the Church of Rome, which, in conjunction with and aided by the home Governments, permeated the native communities, introducing and establishing the language and more or less of the customs of the governing people.
VIEWS OF DISTINGUISHED STUDENTS AND ECONOMISTS.
On this subject of the introduction of the language of the governing country into the colonies or noncontiguous communities governed, Sir George Cornewall Lewis says: “If it be inexpedient for a government to change suddenly the laws of a dependency, it is still more inexpedient for the government to attempt to make a sudden change in its language. The acquisition of a new language is a slow and laborious process; and it implies an amount of diligence, leisure, and intelligence which can not be expected of an entire community of adults. The great mass of mankind never acquire a language by study; they only know the language which they imperceptibly imbibe during infancy and childhood. It is no more possible for a government, by the expression of its will and by offering rewards or threatening punishments, to change suddenly the language of its subjects than to add a cubit to their stature or to give them a sixth sense. A government may publish its laws and other acts in a foreign language, but it can not cause the people to understand them; it may prohibit advocates from pleading in their native tongue, but it can not enable them, however much they may desire it, to plead in an acquired language; it may declare that contracts and testaments made in the language of the country are invalid, but it can not enable parties to contracts or testators to comprehend the meaning of instruments drawn in a foreign tongue. Many examples might be given of the mischievous effects which have been produced by an attempt to force the language of a government upon the people. Thus, when Joseph II attempted to treat Hungary as a dependency, to incorporate it with Austria, and to reform its laws by his own authority, the people for a time submitted, unwillingly, to his useful though too hastily introduced reforms; but when he ordered St. Stephen's crown to be carried to Vienna and issued an edict making German the language of government throughout Hungary the people arose in insurrection against him. In like manner, the measures of the King of Holland for introducing the use of the Dutch language into Belgium in the place of the French language, which was spoken by the educated classes, created a general discontent throughout Belgium, and contributed materially to produce a Belgian revolution and the consequent separation of Belgium from Holland. Even if a dominant country should succeed in diffusing its own language among the people of a dependency, it might fail in creating the attachment to its government which was the end sought by the introduction of its language. And if by a forcible or overhasty introduction of its language it engendered discontent in the dependency, it would produce an effect the very opposite of that intended; since, instead of attaching the people of the dependency to itself, it would strengthen their aversion to its supremacy. It is obvious that the best mode of incorporating a body of people with the rest of the empire is to render them contented and happy, and that any measures which renders them discontented is likely to prevent that incorporation. * * * The self-partiality which leads the dominant country to introduce its own language into a dependency, without due regard to the circumstances of the latter, sometimes bringsevils upon the dependency itself by causing theappointment of people of the dominant country to offices in the dependency to the exclusion of natives from them, without sufficient reason for the preference. Inasmuch as the natives of a dependency do not aspire to offices in the dominant country, they reasonably expect to be appointed to those in their own little community. Not only, therefore, are their feelings wounded by their exclusion from these offices, but this injury to their feelings is aggravated by the incompetency of the natives of the dominant country who are appointed to them.”
A later view of this question is that of Mr. C. P. Lucas, who, in his introduction to the reprint of Mr. Lewis's work from which the above quotation is made, says: “Nowadays, it can hardly be said that Great Britain introduces or is likely to introduce into her colonial possessions her laws, language, and religion without due regard to the position and interests of the dependency. The French laws and language and the Roman Catholic religion are in no way tabooed in Lower Canada, for instance, or in Mauritius. The Roman Dutch law is still the basis of the legal system in the old Dutch colonies, the Cape Colony, and British Guiana.” To this statement may be added that the Dutch language introduced in South Africa by the settlers from the Netherlands, when the Cape of Good Hope was a Netherlands colony, is still retained among the people of Dutch descent with such tenacity that the British Government has found it advisable to permit its use in the schools and in the legislative body in which discussions are maintained in both the English and Dutch languages, and records of these discussions are kept in both languages.
HOW ARE HABITS OF INDUSTRY AND THRIFT INCULCATED AMONG THE NATIVES AND THE NECESSARY LABOR
SUPPLY OBTAINED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF INDUSTRIES WHICH SHALL RENDER THE COLONY SELFSUPPORTING AND ITS PEOPLE PROSPEROUS?
The question of the labor supply, especially in undeveloped territories, has been widely discussed by those interested in the management of colonies. This is especially true with reference to tropical territory, to which the immigration of citizens of the home country is usually small, and in which continuous and heavy labor can not be successfully performed by natives of the temperate zone. The opening of roads, the construction of railways and canals, the development of mines, the creation of great establishments for the
especially sugar and tobacco, have required large supplies of labor in the tropical territories controlled by governments of the temperate zone. In some of these territories great difficulty has been experienced in obtaining a satisfactory supply of such labor from the native population of the territory. The fact that conditions of soil and climate and ease of production in the Tropics enable the natives to produce sufficient for their daily requirements with very little labor adds to the difficulty of cultivating among them habits of industry and persistent labor necessary for the successful conduct of great enterprises similar to those which have brought success, prosperity, and great development to the countries of the temperate zone.
While it is not assumed in this discussion that these conditions prevail in the territory over which the United States now exercises control to such an extent that they can not be remedied by the application of conditions which produce industry among the native people of other communities, the difficulties which have arisen in this line in other communities similarly located seem to render it proper that the experience of other nations and peoples in this, as in all matters pertaining to colonization, be here presented.
Prior to the middle of the nineteenth century this problem was met with forced labor, slavery. Great industries were developed in the Tropics, especially in the West Indies, where sugar production flourished. Great plantations were established, largely owned by nonresidents and directed by their representatives in the islands, and the labor performed by slaves imported from Africa or their descendants. In the East Indies the use of absolute slave labor was not so extensive, the density of population in India and its readiness to accept employment furnishing a ready supply of labor. In Java a system of forced labor adopted by the Dutch, by which the entire population was required to give a certain number of days in each year to public works, while the land was cultivated under a rigid system established by that Government, furnished a temporary solution of the labor question in that island. With the abolition of slavery, which public opinion demanded in the middle of the century, and the abolition of forced labor in Java, which public sentiment also demanded a few years later, and the development of other tropical territories, new complications arose, and various experiments have been made and various solutions of the labor problem proposed and discussed.
SIX METHODS OF OBTAINING A LABOR SUPPLY IN COLONIES
Six distinct propositions for the development of the necessary labor supply in the Tropics have been offered: (a) Forced labor by the native population or imported slaves; (b) the importation of labor under contract; (c) convict labor from the mother country; (d) the sale of lands at a comparatively high price and the application of the proceeds to the payment of sufficiently high wages to induce immigration of labor; (e) the development of communication and transportation routes, by which industry in the colony may become profitable and therefore acceptable to the natives; and (f) the diversification of industries by which individual enterprises will be encouraged.
Under this head would naturally be included, first, slavery, which now happily has disappeared and which need not be discussed except as to the conditions which immediately followed its termination in the tropical colonies where it had furnished the chief labor supply; second, the use of convict labor in the colonies; and, third, the method under which the Dutch created a great system of roads and internal communications in Java, and, coincident with this development, a great agricultural prosperity, much of which has continued since the abolition of the forced-labor system.
The emancipation act, which became a law in England on August 28, 1833, provided that on August 1, 1834, all slaves in the British colonies should become apprenticed laborers, and that they should be absolutely free in 1840. Subsequently the date of complete emancipation was fixed for August 1, 1838. England paid £20,000,000 as compensation to the slave owners. The number of slaves who received their freedom on August 1, 1838, was 639,000. “Despite the confident predictions of the antislavery party,” says Ireland, “emancipation had a most disastrous effect on the West Indian colonies. Numbers of estates fell out of cultivation; plantations became a drug on the market; the cotton and coffee industries were, for the time being, destroyed. Looking back on the situation, it is readily perceived that no other result could have been looked for. It was slavery that had made the existence of the plantations possible; it was the yearly supply of slaves that kept them going. * * * After being condemned for years to hard daily toil, it was surely unreasonable to expect that negroes would not take advantage of their freedom to lead that life of leisure of which each of them had dreamed—and only dreamed.