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The relative size and importance of these colonies may be illustrated by the following table, in which the area, population, and trade of each are given from recent returns:

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A somewhat general opinion exists that the best soils in the West Indies have already been cleared and planted. How far this is borne out by actual facts will appear from the following table:

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Percentage of cultivated area to total area equals 2.18. Percentage of cultivated area to cultivable area equals 7.22.

According to returns placed before the commission the area now under cultivation is only a little over 2 per cent of the total area, and only a little over 7 per cent of the estimated cultivable area. Only about 1,500,000 acres are now under cultivation, while, after allowing for swamps, rocky and other useless lands, and for forest reservations, there are only 20,000,000 acres of land suitable for bearing crops. (This statement includes British Guiana, located on the mainland of South America. The figures for the island alone show that about one-half of the cultivable land is not occupied.)


[By Arthur A. Brandt, in Beiträge Zur Kolonialpolitik und Kolonialwirtschaft, No. 4, Berlin, 1900-1901.]


Colonization, i. e., the search, discovery, conquest, annexation, and cultivation to some extent of strange regions, was exercised in ancient times by the nations inhabiting the warmer zone, tending toward the colder regions rather than the Tropics. It was only during the Middle Ages that with increasing technical progress the superiority of the nations of the Temperate Zone over those of the Torrid Zone began to show itself. Owing to superior armament, better construction of ships, and higher organization in general, the first successes of the northern nations are gained.


Spanish and Portuguese seafarers cross and conquer the world; Dutch and English follow suit. All these conquests, however, had as their purpose not the acquisition of territory but the gathering of riches. Europe of those days was so thinly populated that there was no necessity for emigration. Whenever there was a chance to abstract metallic treasure found in the hands of the natives the latter were simply killed off. In those cases where neither gold, silver, nor precious stones were procurable, but, instead, products of native growth, such as coffee, cane 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.


The development of colonies has been different according to differences in the geographical position and constitution of the mother country and the characteristic peculiarities of the colonizing nation. All the colonies, however, may be conveniently grouped under the three following heads:

1. Those colonies in which the native dark-skinned (non white) population was exterminated and where the climate permitted the Europeans to perform industrial and agricultural pursuits. This solution is by far the happiest, and the United States, Canada, as well as the cultivated parts of Australia, present the most notable examples of this type.

2. Those colonies in which the greater part of the natives were likewise exterminated, but where in their place originated a mixed race, produced by the conquerors and the women of the conquered, which by far exceeds in number the pure full-blooded Europeans. These colonies are situated mainly in the Torrid Zone, and all the more important former Spanish and Portuguese colonies in America can be included in this group.

3. Those colonies in which the natives are preserved and are ruled by a relatively insignificant number of Europeans. British India and the Dutch East Indies are the foremost examples of this sort. The extermination of the native population was characterized above as the happiest solution. Such a view may be regarded brutal, but it was surely better for the native to have perished by a bullet than to undergo the terrors of oppression at the hands of the conqueror, without even a hope of bettering his condition. The only excuse for such treatment may be found in the fact that the peasant serf in Europe was in most cases not better off than the tortured slave in the colonies.

THE NATIVE REQUIRES GUIDANCE IN DEVELOPMENT OF INDUSTRIAL POWERS. The impossibility of educating primitive man within a few years to the state of a consuming and producing member of civilized society, was proven unmistakably by the failure of all efforts in that direction. The primitive man can be used advantageously as a laborer only when he has been a cultivator himself before or when the master possesses ways and means to compel him to work. The native always requires the management of the white man, unless the country is to sink back into the former primitive state. If left to himself he will work only when he is hungry. Clothing and housing are of small account, and just a trifle of the rudiments of agriculture about all the country can show.

The exclusive presence of whites, the independence from indolent natives, the favorable climate, and the rich mineral resources caused a rapid growth of industry in North America. The European settlers soon ceased to regard the colony as a temporary abode. They came to look on it as their new home. The number of native-born white people soon begins to grow and to exceed that of the immigrants, gaining at the same time more and more influence on the administration and government of the country. The interest in the mother country weakens more and more. A colony in this state no more needs any tutleage or sovereign endeavoring to extract money from it. Such a country with growing vigor and self-conscience wants to become free, to govern itself, without paying any tribute to the mother country.

The American war of independence thus became a necessity and resulted as a natural consequence of the development of the colonies. The loss of her most valuable colony taught a lesson to Great Britain. Canada and Australia obtained by stages, owing to pressure on the part of the colonists, an autonomous administration. Moreover, a change has taken place in political conditions and doctrines during the last century. Á broader view is taken now; it is seen that the combinations of smaller territorial units into a large State on a unitarian basis presents advantages over the system of petty States. The yearning for liberty and independence on the part of modern colonies receives a powerful damper in the consideration that in most cases it is more advantageous to remain a self-governing, autonomous colony rather than begin an independent economic existence as a small, insignificant State. Large amounts of capital are wanted for railway construction, waterworks, and other enterprises, which as a rule are lacking in the colony. A prudent mother country will not refuse its credit to its colony about whose stability it has no doubt, but will hesitate very much to extend its credit to a republic on an insecure basis. It is thus seen that even from a financial standpoint it is more advantageous for a colony to remain a colony, provided, of course, that the mother country grants self-government to it and does away with the old principle of exploitation.


The second group of colonies, according to our classification, shows more complicated features than the first. The one fact common to all countries of this group is that the descendants of mixed races at some period have deposed their European fathers as the ruling class and instituted a despotic, unstable, and changing misgovernment. Malevolence and envy dictate the laws, civil and neighboring wars ravage the countries, and the fluctuating money stocks keep the prudent European from lending them financial assistance.

The question of “half-casts,” i. e., of people of mixed race, is of sufficient importance to warrant a more detailed discussion. The sensual, exotic character of the Spaniards and Portuguese led at once to intermixture with the natives. This would have been socially good if the resulting stock had been a good one. But as is well known this is not the case. The half-caste of dark and white parentage possesses the faults of either race without inheriting their good parts as European. He is despotic, and given to alcohol consumption, and as inhabitant of the Tropics he is indolent, intellectually undeveloped, and lazy. Neither is the history of his origin very inspiring: The white father will not marry the colored mother at all, or only after she has borne children as a serving companion. Only the necessity or desire to give or transfer his name to the latter will cause him to make the unpleasant step of marriage. It goes without saying that under such circumstances the mestizo is not respected either by the full whites or the natives. For the same reason it becomes clear that the half-caste feels hatred against the whites. He claims to be the latter's equal by education, ability, and energy, and more entitled as a native born to occupy positions and well-paying offices; moreover, having grown up amidst the natives, he is superior to the European colonist by his knowledge of the language and proper treatment of the natives. As soon then as he feels himself strong enough he will drive out the hated parent, take hold of the government himself, and establish a régime which, apart from its other faults, will be even more oppressive to the natives than that of the European.

The history of the Central and South American republics shows that the just-mentioned mental characteristics make the mestizo or half-breed unfit to rule for the advantage and prosperity of the country. Cuba and the Philippines are examples of the above-described desire for freedom.

The half-breed, bearing no blame for his origin, is rather to be pitied than despised, and it must be the supreme duty of the colonizing

country to prevent the prevalence and spread of this sort of degeneracy. The conduct of the British in this regard is commendable. Cases of matrimony with non white women are exceedingly rare, if only for fear of being expelled from “society." The attitude of the Dutch seems to be different. While observing outward composure they are exceedingly sensual, and seem to seek the solution of the colonial problem in the greatest possible mixture with native elements. The so-called European population of the Dutch colonies is composed almost half of Malay half-breeds. High public offices are kept by the latter, and this perhaps accounts partly for the laxity of the colonial government. If the results of this faulty system have not been such as have been outlined above, it is due to the numerical preponderance of the natives over the Europeans. In Java there are 25,000,000 of natives as against 50,000 Europeans, and it is this strength of the native element which is the surest and most crushing dead weight on any possible enthusiasm for freedom; for in order to achieve the latter all the 25,000,000 Malays would have to be induced to rebel, which could not be done, of course, without the notice and interference of the Dutch Government.


The principles for the proper government of colonies to be deduced from a historical review of colonial activity between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries would be as follows:

1. A colony which has attained a high degree of culture and education, and which has developed within its territory mining and manufactures, is lost to the mother country unless the latter at the proper time grants the colony self-government and administration.

2. A colony which yields good results from the financial and economic point of view and which contains a relatively large number of half-castes, will in the long run rise against the mother country, since the half-castes will become determined to assume the government for themselves and to pocket for their own profit the sums which had hitherto been transferred to Europe. This change · does not, however, imply any advantage for the inhabitants.

3. The colonies which have not yet shared either of the above modes of evolution compel the mother country gradually to renounce the old rapacious system, and seemingly furnish the mother country smaller gains from year to year.

These results appear discouraging; the opponents of the colonial system point them out and preach that it is nonsense to acquire by sacrifices colonies which are bound to become lost after a number of years. Such a judgment is shortsighted, as it is incorrect. Conditions in Europe have changed during the last century to such an extent that criticism of the advantage of colonial possessions must be based on quite different considerations. The population of the European large countries has increased to such an extent that on the one hand there is not room in the country for all individuals, and on the other the land no more produces the entire food supply for its population. It becomes, therefore, necessary to obtain part of this supply from abroad, for which the equivalent in money must be furnished in form of industrial products. There must, therefore, be regions from which food may be imported, and other regions to which industrial products may be exported. A country which intends to continue to compete for the world trade requires, therefore, a merchant marine in order to take and ship goods. But in order to buy and sell on the most favorable terms, it requires countries subject to its influence, i. e., colonies whose ports will be open to its ships, no matter what the constellations on the political horizon are.

The advantages resulting from the possession of colonies are at present to be found no more in the fact that they turn into the mother country the greatest possible amount of wealth in a direct way (though indirectly they will continue to do so through commerce and other intercourse), but in the fact that they are likely to contribute toward the political stability of the mother country under all political conditions. The excess of citizens will preferably turn toward the colonies of the mother country. By the proper shaping of the tariff the imports may be restricted to the mother country (for example, the new tariff arrangement between Great Britain and Canada), while the mother country at the same time possesses in the colonies a source of supply for the lacking food stuffs. Thus, even in case the colony requires subsidies in addition to its direct revenues, in most cases it is only a question of time when it is to become a source of profit, for any tropical region requires a long time before the primeval forests and prairies are turned into plantations and fields.

From all that has been said it becomes clear that the State is under obligation to protect its merchant marine and colonies by an adequately strong navy.


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To sum up, the fundamental principles for the administration of colonies during the twentieth century should be as follows:

1. For the purpose of enabling the colony to receive immigration, furnish food stuffs and raw materials in exchange for the industrial products of the mother country, the colony should be opened and developed by agricultural improvements, the construction of roads and railways, subsidies to agricultural undertakings, and educating the people up to the wants of higher civilization.

2. With progressing development the forms of colonial government should be changed so as to turn over at a certain point of development the administration of the colony to the colonists themselves.

3. Protection of the merchant marine and the colonies by a strong navy.




The colonies, protectorates, and dependencies of the world number 140. They occupy two-fifths of the land surface of the globe, and their population is one-third of the entire people of the earth. Of the 500,000,000 people thus governed, over three-fourths live between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, or within what is known as the Torrid Zone, and all of the governing countries lie in the North Temperate Zone. Throughout the globe-encircling area known as the Torrid Zone no important independent government exists save upon the continent of America.

The total imports of the colonies and protectorates average more than $1,500,000,000 worth of goods annually, and of this vast sum more than 40 per cent is purchased from the mother countries. Of their exports, which considerably exceed their imports, 40 per cent goes to the mother countries. Large sums are annually expended in the construction of roads, canals, railways, telegraphs, postal service, schools, etc., but in most cases the present annual expenditures are derived from local revenues or are represented by local obligations. The revenues of the British colonies in 1899 were £126,000,000, and their expenditures £121,000,000. While the public debt in the more important and active of these communities aggregates a large sum, it is represented by canals, railways, public highways, harbors, irrigation, and other public improvements intended to stimulate commerce and production, the railroads in operation in the British colonies alone aggregating 55,000 miles.

The most acceptable, and therefore most successful of the colonial systems, are those in which the largest liberty of selfgovernment is given to the people. The British colonial system, which has by far outgrown that of any other nation, gives, wherever practicable, a large degree of self-government to the colonies. The governors are in all cases appointed by the Crown, but the law making and enforcing power, being left to legislative bodies which are elected by the people where practicable, in minor cases a portion being elected and a portion appointed, and in still others the appointments divided between the British Government and local municipal or trade organizations, the veto power being in all cases, however, retained by the home Government. The enforcement of the laws is intrusted to courts and subordinate organizations, whose members are in many cases residents or natives of the communities under their jurisdiction. In the French colonies less attention is given to law making and administration by local legislative bodies, the more important of the colonies being given members in the legislative bodies of the home Government. In the Netherlands colonies and in the less advanced communities under British control the laws and regulations are administered in conjunction with native functionaries.

Of the 140 colonies, protectorates, dependencies, and "spheres of influence” which make up the total list, two-fifths belong to Great Britain, their area being about one-half of the grand total and their population considerably more than one-half of the grand total. France is next in order in number, area, and population of colonies, etc., though the area controlled by France is but about one-third that belonging to Great Britain and the population of her colonies less than one-sixth of those of Great Britain.

In the more prosperous and progressive colonies the percentage of importations from the mother countries grows somewhat less as the business and prosperity increase. The chief British colonies in North America (Canada and Newfoundland), which in 1871 took 50 per cent of their importations from the home country, took in 1899 less than 25 per cent from the United Kingdom; those of South Africa (Cape Colony and Natal), which in 1871 took 83 per cent from the home country, took but 68.6 per cent in 1899; those of Australia and the adjacent islands, which in 1876 took 48 per cent from the home country, in 1899 took but 37 per cent.

{In the statements which follow the information has been con iled from the reports of the respective Governments where practicable, and from standard publications, including the Colonial Office List (British), the Statesman's Year-Book, Whitaker's Almanack, Almanach de Gotha, Statistican and Economist, Commercial Year-Book, American Annual Cyclopædia, etc.]


The method of government, population, area, revenues, expenditures, imports and exports, etc., in the principal colonies, protectorates, and dependencies of the British Empire are outlined in the following statements, which are arranged in alphabetical order under the grand divisions of the world to which they belong.

The British colonies proper form three classes: (1) The Crown colonies, which are entirely controlled by the home Government; (2) the representative colonies, in which the Crown retains the control of public officers, but leaves the lawmaking to legislative bodies, retaining, however, a veto on legislation; (3) those having responsible governments, in which the Crown, though appointing the governor, has no control over any public officer, the laws being made by legislative bodies, the Crown, however, 'retaining a veto on legislation.

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[Area, 2 square miles; population, 24,701, including garrison of 5,653 men.] A Crown colony in southern Spain, commanding the entrance to the Mediterranean. The governor, appointed by the Crown, is also commander in chief, exercising all the functions of government and legislation. Area, 2 square miles; population, 24,701. The revenue is obtained from port dues, excise, post-office, rent of Crown estate, etc. The legal currency is that of Spain--the peseta."

1899. Revenue

--pounds sterling..

59, 954 Expenditure...

59, 520. Total tonnage of vessels entered (1898)

..tons.. 4,328, 859 Total tonnage of British vessels entered (1898) 3,241, 492

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An island in the Mediterranean. Area, 117 square miles; population, 181,650. The governor, appointed by the Crown, is assisted by an executive council. Legislation is carried on by a council of government, 6 of which are appointed by the governor and 13 elected. Revenues are collected from customs, licenses, lands, rentals of Crown property, and postage.

1899. Revenue

-pounds sterling.. 354, 265 Expenditure. 351, 354 Imports 6,668,961 Exports 5,449, 501 Imports from United Kingdom 297, 830 Exports to United Kingdom...

919, 207 Total tonnage of vessels entered

..tons.. 3, 297,712 Total number of vessels entered.....

3,560 Total number of British vessels entered.

1,514 Public debt..

.. pounds sterling..

79, 168



[Area, 80 square miles; population, 41,910.) A peninsula on the Arabian coast. Area, 80 square miles (including Perim); population (1891), 41,910. The government is administered by a political resident, who is also commander of the troops. The government revenue is derived from a duty on liquor, opium, and salt. Local taxes go to the municipality. Aden is legally a portion of British India, and is also the center of a British protectorate over the neighboring Arab tribes, which are independent of Turkish rule and in subordinate treaty relations with the government of India. Imports of merchandise:

1899–1900. By sea

..rupees.. 38,099, 806
By land..... 2, 750, 444
Exports of merchandise:
By sea

.do.... 30, 460, 258
By land ......

.do... 1, 140, 755 Total tonnage of vessels entered

..tons.. 2, 467,665


[Area, 31,106 square miles; population, 175,000.]

A territory occupying the northern part of the island of Borneo, in the East Indies, midway between Hongkong and Port Darwin, Australia. Area, 31,106 square miles; population, 175,000. The government is administered by a governor in Borneo and a court of directors in London appointed under the charter. The governor is assisted by a treasurer-general and one resident each for the west coast, Labuan, and Duvel Bay, all appointed by the court of directors. The colony of Labuan is also under the government of the British North Borneo Company. The laws are based on the Indian penal, criminal, and civil procedure codes and local proclamations and ordinances. The military consists of a native force of 450 men under European officers with one machine and two mountain guns. The revenue is from stamp duty, licenses, import duties, royalties, land sales, opium tax, excise tax, etc.

1899. Revenue

..dollars.. 542, 919 Expenditure

410, 290 Iinports.. 2, 456, 998 Exports 3,439,560

1 Value of peseta, 19.3 cents.

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