« AnteriorContinuar »
COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION, 1800-1900,
The purpose of this study is to present a picture of present governmental conditions in the colonies of the world. It is not intended as an historical study, except so far as is necessary to present in concrete form the fundamental causes which have led to the adoption of the existing systems of government, in the world's principal-colonies, and which are the result of many years of experiment by many nations and among many classes of people. Careful studies of these subjects, by able and experienced men of all nations, have given to the public in concrete form a series of analyses of the causes of colonial failures and successes and the requirements for successfully and faithfully dealing with a people who are being governed in noncontiguous territory. These discussions, the result of many years of study and practical experience in colonization, have been freely drawn upon in this study in the hope of thus presenting in a single view what may be termed the world's best judgment of to-day's requirements in the government of a people differing in race characteristics and climatic environment from that of the governing people, and occupying noncontiguous territory. The feature of these studies which, for obvious reasons, most interests the people of the United States at the present moment, is that relating to tropical and subtropical countries and peoples rather than that of well-developed communities, composed chiefly of former residents of the mother country or their descendants. For this reason conditions in such advanced colonies as Canada, Australia, and South Africa are not presented in the detail which would be appropriate to a work of more general character.
In all of the discussions which follow, it should be remembered that the facilities for properly administering a government in noncontiguous territory are vastly better to-day than a century or half century ago. Communication between the home government and that of the colony, which formerly required weeks, is now instantaneous, and exchanges of the productions of one section for those of another, which then required months of time and heavy expense of transportation, are now accomplished with but a fraction of the time and cost, while the increased facilities by which the people of the country and colony may visit and become acquainted with each other favor a closer and more harmonious relationship than was possible under the conditions formerly existing.
AREA AND POPULATION OF THE WORLD'S COLONIES.
The colonies, so-called, of the world, including in this term all territory not contiguous to the country by whose Government it is controlled, occupy two-fifths of the land surface of the globe and contain one-third of the world's population, or about 500,000,000 people.
TWO GREAT CLASSES OF COLONIES.
Of this 500,000,000 of colonial population, only three small groups, numbering less than 15,000,000, or 3 per cent of the whole, are composed in any considerable degree of the people of the governing country or their descendants. The population of the "selfgoverning" English colonies of British North America, Australasia, and South Africa is less than 15,000,000, and when these have been considered we seek in vain for a colony of any importance among the remaining 485,000,000 people so classed whose population is in any considerable degree composed of the stock of the governing country. These 15,000,000 people of British stock who make up the self-governing colonies are located chiefly in the temperate zone, while most of the other 485,000,000, native to the so-called colonies, are located in a tropical or subtropical climate.
The methods of government which have been found best adapted to the colonies located in the Tropics and composed chiefly of people differing in race and customs from those of the governing country are, for obvious reasons, those which chiefly interest the people, the lawmakers, and the executive officers of the United States at the present moment.
The colonies containing the 485,000,000 people of stock differing from that of the governing country and located in the Tropics may be roughly divided into three great groups: (a) East Indian; (6) West Indian; (c) African.
This classification, while not including everyone of the 140 tropical and subtropical colonies of the world, or professing to be strictly accurate in ethnological grouping, brings into three distinct groups the three great masses of people, in as many parts of the world, who have respectively many similar characteristics of race, habits of life, occupation, climatic conditions, and government. In the East Indian or Oriental group may be included the British colonies of India, Ceylon, the Malayan Peninsula, Fiji and Borneo; the Dutch colonies of Java and Sumatra, and the French colony of Indo-China, all located comparatively near to the Philippines and having a population, climate, and conditions somewhat similar to those of the Philippines. This is especially true of the Malayan Peninsula, Java, and part of Indo-China, whose population is largely of the Malayan stock, which forms the bulk of the population of the Philippines and the original population of the Hawaiian Islands. The second group, the West Indian, brings together for general consideration the British, French, Dutch, and Danish West India Islands, having a population, climate, production, and government similar to each other in many particulars, and in a study of which we are, for obvious reasons, also interested. The third group would include the numerous colonies, dependencies, and protectorates of Africa, in which conditions do not parallel so closely those of the islands now under the control of the United States as do those of the East and West Indian groups.
OBJECT LESSONS IN THE EAST INDIES AND WEST INDIES.
For these reasons attention is chiefly given in this study to the two great groups of colonies in the East and West Indies and the methods of government which have been found most successful in the centuries of experiment and study which the European nations have devoted to them. The East Indian or Oriental group contains about 350,000,000 people, the West Indian group about 5,000,000.
The seven great nations which have in modern times experimented with the government of noncontiguous people, or “colonies,” so called, are England, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, and Spain, and their relative success may be considered as in about the order in which they are here named. The population of those of Great Britain is in round numbers 350,000,000; Netherlands, 35,000,000; France, 56,000,000; Belgium (Kongo Free State), 30,000,000; Germany, 15,000,000; Portugal, 9,000,000; and Spain, 135,000. Of England's 350,000,000, nearly 300,000,000 are in the East Indian group, and less than 3,000,000 in the West Indies. Netherlands has about 35,000,000 in the East Indian group and 50,000 in the West Indies, and France, 25,000,000 in the East Indian group and 300,000 in the West Indies.
CHANGES IN THE COLONIAL MAP OF THE WORLD AND THE CAUSES ASSIGNED.
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 seli-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