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EXCESSIVE RELIGIOUS ZEAL.
But if the political mistakes of the French Government were great, its attitude in the matter of religion was even more fatal to the strength and permanence of the French colonial empire. French colonization was in its origin in great measure the work of the Huguenots, who formed no small portion of the industrial classes of France, and who numbered in their ranks the sailors and merchants of the west coast. Yet, as we have seen, when the Huguenots in the sixteenth century settled in Brazil and Florida, they were neglected or betrayed by the French Government. In 1685 they were driven out of France by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes; and they were deliberately excluded from Canada, the one part of the world which, greatly through their instrumentality, bade fair to become in fact as in name New France. When in 1627 Richelieu incorporated the company of the 100 associates to carry on the colonization of Canada, one of the terms of the charter of incorporation was that no Huguenot should be allowed to settle there, and through the influence of the Jesuits this suicidal policy was steadily maintained as long as Canada remained a French possession. Persecuted creeds were sure to find a refuge in one or other of the English colonies; but the religious control of the Canadians was placed absolutely in the hands of Jesuit missionaries or of French priests, whose bigotry, in Acadia at least, was, by the testimony of their own countrymen, the main cause of the sufferings and misery of the settlers during the struggle between England and France. The judgment of history is that France lost Canada through the policy of religious exclusiveness which her rulers pursued. Nor can it be supposed that the effects of this policy ended here. Though the large majority of Frenchmen professed the Roman Catholic faith, measures of intolerance which drove from France her most industrious citizens and which blighted the progress and caused the loss of her most promising colony must necessarily have widened the gulf between the French Government and the French people, and made it clear, if evidence were wanted, that the policy of the court was opposed to the interests of the nation.
GOVERNMENT BY AN ARISTOCRACY.
The evils of a despotic government may be to some extent discounted if it reduces all classes of its subjects to the same political and social level, but this redeeming feature was wanting under the despotism of the Bourbons. The laws, the administration, and the social system of France during their reigns were such as to favor the aristocratic classes at the expense of the general community; and the inequalities which pressed so hardly upon the lower orders, and which finally gave birth to the French revolution, were not confined to the mother country, but were perpetuated in the colonies. The result was seen in Canada. Once conquered by the English, the Canadian people tasted better liberty and felt the benefit of more democratic institutions. They were given a just criminal law, and were allowed to retain their old civil rights and customs and their old religion. Though but sixteen years after the conquest of Canada the revolt of the United States gave them a most favorable opportunity for rising against their English masters, they showed no disposition to upset the new order of things. They rested contented with an alien rule, and practically gave out to the world that their own French Government-selfish, corrupt, and out of sympathy with national growth and progress—had shown itself unfitted to maintain and develop a great colonial system.
In spite, however, of the loss of their 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.
BRITISH COLONIAL METHODS.
The great success of the English at once in planting colonies and in retaining them when planted must be mainly attributed to the character of the country and the race.
Great Britain stands alone in Europe in being an island power. For over two hundred years she has had no part or lot in the continent of Europe; and the one geographical fact of being bounded on all sides by the sea accounts, as writers have time without number pointed out, for the special course taken by English history.
The insular position of England has made the English a race of sailors. It has given the country a temperate climate, far more favorable to systematic effort than the more intense heat and cold of inland countries in the same latitude. Most of all, it has kept the people from being perpetually entangled, like their French neighbors, in foreign troubles, leaving them free to develop and extend their commerce and empire in Europe and the East. * * *
In the early days of restless migration England was not left to herself, and many streams from many lands have combined to give her a mixed population. The English-speaking breed is one composed of various elements-English, Saxons, Jutes, Danes, Northmen, Flemings; while the Welsh, the Irish, the Manx, and the Northern Scotch are distinct offshoots of the Celtic stock. In short, there is no more sameness in the inhabitants of these islands than there is in the home which they inhabit. Differences of race, too, have been accompanied by varieties of religion; for the line is sharply drawn between the English Episcopalian, the Scotch Presbyterian, the Welsh Methodist, and the Irish Roman Catholic.
These diversities of geography, of breed, and religious thought give some clue to the history of the English as a colonizing nation. The sea bade them colonize, and as colonization takes men into various parts of the earth, and places them in very varying circumstances, it seems to follow that the inhabitants of a country which is a miniature world in itself will be more successful colonizers than those whose land and breed and thought are all of one uniform type. * * *
It has been said that the English come last in the list of colonizing peoples, and it is true that in founding settlements and acquiring territory beyond the seas they were at first outstripped by other European nations.
At the same time England was worthily represented in early maritime enterprise.
But, bold and energetic as were the English voyagers of the sixteenth century, their enterprise produced at the time no tangible result. For a century and more after the first discovery of the New World and the rounding of the Cape of Good Hope the English people were merely training themselves for the coming time. Spain and Portugal had made their colonial empires and were beginning to decay before our fathers had planted a single settlement or won a single colonial dependency. The Dutch secured a foothold in the East and posseesed themselves of the rich heritage of the Portuguese, while the English trading vessels were still slowly and painfully finding their way into the Indian seas. The French outpaced us in North America. It was only after long years of hard struggle that English colonization in the West, deriving its strength and solidity from independence of the home Government, proved its superiority
to the work of rival countries; and English merchants in the East Indies showed that private enterprise is surer if slower in its results than efforts directed by and relying on the state.
The sixteenth century, then, was the time of training, and with the seventeenth colonization began. There have thus been nearly three centuries during which the English have been engaged in colonizing, and a study of the manner in which the colonial possessions of Great Britain have been acquired will show that each century of colonization has had a distinct character of its own.
LESSONS TAUGIIT BY HER LOSSES.
There is one striking fact in the foreign and colonial history of England which should never be left out of sight. England has distinctly gained by her losses. Twice in her history she made a great effort and signally failed.
In the Middle Ages she tried to become mistress of France, but the battles of Crecy and Agincourt were fought and won in vain, and the Channel Islands have long been the only remnant of her Norman or French dominions. If she had succeeded in her attempt to become a continental power she would have lost the advantage of her insular position, and would in all probability have been even less successful than other European nations in the sphere of colonization, inasmuch as her front would have been more divided than that of purely continental countries, and she would have spent her energies in vainly trying to go two ways at once.
In the eighteenth century she mismanaged her North American colonies, and when they turned restive she tried to coerce them i and was utterly beaten.
If the proper aim of a nation is simply to own so many square miles of the earth's surface, there is no redeeming side to this failure. But if a people should look rather to leavening the world and to building up strong and wholesome communities then the loss of the United States was in a sense a gain. As far as can be judged, they have prospered in independence, at least as much as would have been the case if they had retained their allegiance to the English Crown, and as years have gone on they have shown some inclination to draw closer again to the mother country.
Their loss has set England free to work in other directions. She looked out for a new field of colonization and found it in Australia. So the net outcome of the war of independence has been that the British race has not lost America and has gained other parts of the world.
But a still greater result has followed from this defeat. England learned thereby the true mode of dealing with colonies. Her liberal colonial policy in the present century, which stands out in brilliant contrast to the systems of other times and other nations, is the direct fruit of her greatest mistake and her most striking failure.
* * *
STEAM AND ELECTRICITY HAVE MADE NEW COLONIAL CONDITIONS AND RELATIONS.
* * *
Though the nineteenth century has brought great additions to the English Empire, it has been still more notable for the changes which have taken place during its years in the internal condition of the colonies and in their relations to the mother country and to each other. Railways, steamers, and telegraphs have been introduced, great social reforms have been carried out, self-government has been granted to the larger colonies, and the confederation movement is still at work in its double form-colonial confederation on the one hand, imperial confederation on the other.
During the present century the mother country has by these means been brought into infinitely closer and more systematic communication with the colonies, the colonies with the mother country and each other, and the various districts of each great dependency one with another.
There is now no colony, however remote, which is not connected with the outer world by a regular line of steamers. Even the Falkland Islands are periodically visited by the ships of a Hamburg company on their way to and from the Pacific ports of South America. There are, further, very few colonies which do not enjoy the benefits of a submarine telegraph, Mauritius being perhaps the most notable exception.
The large colonies, too, have completed or are rapidly developing systems of railways and inland telegraphs throughout their territory. * *
England and her colonies, then, are now in daily correspondence by the telegraph. Every steamer takes out Englishmen to one or other of the colonies and brings back colonists to England. There are no long breaks of communication. If one ship is wrecked, two or three others arrivé safely within a few days. If a telegraph cable gives way there is probably another line still working, and the faulty cable is speedily repaired. Thus the great difficulty with which ancient states had to contend, that of keeping a hold on distant dependencies, is now in great measure surmounted, and steam and electricity go far to counteract the natural tendency of peoples who live at the other end of the earth to separate more and more from their original home.
It is interesting to speculate whether this latter tendency will in the long run prevail, or whether railways, steamers, and telegraphs will prove a stronger counteracting force. For instance, the older men among the Australians are mainly English born. Many of the colonists have gone out quite lately from this country, and England, to an Australian, is in great measure synonymous with home. But it would be foolish to disguise the fact that, as years go on, generations must spring up who in a sense know not Joseph; a race of men to whom England will be the land of their fathers, but not of themselves; who will find in Australia alone an ever-widening sphere for their ambitions and an ever-growing stimulus to their interests, and in whose minds the sentiment for what is past and for what is distant will be weakened by the ties and the realities of the present.
Meanwhile, however, steam and electricity will be at work in direct opposition to this centrifugal tendency, promoting unity of interest, multiplying intercourse between these two parts of the world, and strengthening the bonds of common race and common language. It would indeed be difficult to prophesy which force will prevail in the future.
The tropical dependencies of England have been already contrasted with her settlements, but one additional and important point of contrast may here be noticed in connection with the subject of steamers and railways. Englishmen have made their homes in Canada, Australia, or South Africa, and while the effect of steam is to produce a constant interchange of visits, the Canadian or Australian, for instance, goes back to his own colony after a while; or if he stays permanently in Great Britain, his place is more than filled up by fresh English emigrants. But in India, as has been seen, Englishmen do not make a lasting resting-place; consequently, while steamers and railways take out far more tourists to the East than would have traveled in old days, they also bring back Englishmen from the East at far shorter intervals than of yore. Where a man would stay twenty years in India without coming back to Europe, he now stays five or six, probably sending his wife and children back even sooner; consequently the East is even less of a home to English people than it ever was. The Anglo-Indian is more English and less Indian than he used to be. While still in India he gets ten English letters and newspapers to one he could have got in the old days, and his mind and heart are more than ever set on his own country. So modern inventions have had in this case two almost contradictory effects. Since steam and electricity have been brought into play, both tourists and stayers at home hear and see much more of India and the Indians than their fathers did; but, on the other hand, those whose calling lies in the East spend their lives there in a much less degree than was the case in the past.
The Government of the Empire, too, has been entirely revolutionized by science. Where there is governing to be done, it is done to a far greater extent from home and in a far more methodical and systematic way than in old times, while at the same time public opinion, both at home and in the colonies, is brought to bear on all foreign and colonial questions to a degree which was once unknown. So far as abuses are prevented by all the world knowing at once any important step taken by officials, and so far as a uniform system of administration is produced by regular correspondence, science has worked an unmixed good.
DOES COLONIZATION PAY THE GOVERNING COUNTRY AND THE COLONY?
The writer above quoted, Mr. C. P. Lucas, in his introduction to the 1890 edition of Sir G. C. Lewis's Government of Dependencies, discusses the practical side of colonial control from the standpoint of the governing country, as follows:
“Lewis devotes four chapters of his book to the advantages and disadvantages accruing to the dominant country from its supremacy over a dependency, and to a dependency from its dependence on the dominant country.
"Let us look at the credit side of the account, the advantages which arise from owning a colony, as enumerated by Sir George C. Lewis. The first is deriving tribute from it. Now, it is true that Great Britain does not derive ‘any direct tribute or revenue' froin her colonies; she does not regard them as feeding the Imperial exchequer, which is the view from which the Dutch have regarded their East Indian possessions; but, on the other hand, Lewis's dictum that 'the notion of deriving a tribute from dependencies, or even of making them defray all the expenses incurred by the supreme government on their account, is now generally abandoned, certainly does not hold good at the present day. The view that the colonies should refund, as far as possible, the expenses incurred by the mother country in their behalf is much more strongly held now than it was fifty years ago. While the whole cost of the India office in London is defrayed from Indian revenues, while India contributes to the cost of the British embassy in Persia and of the consular establishments in China, it is difficult to say that she pays no tribute to England; and when the Australians are beginning to contribute toward the naval strength of the Empire, the analogy of the confederacy of Delos under the headship of Athens is at once suggested. “The general policy of England,' says Lewis, ‘has been not to compel her dependencies to contribute to defraying the expense of the general government.' This should now be rewritten, as follows: "The general policy of England is to invite her self-governing colonies, and to compel her dependencies, to contribute to defraying the general expenses of the British Empire.'
AID IN TIME OF WAR.
“The second advantage is assistance of military or naval purposes furnished by the colony. This advantage, which it is difficult to distinguish from tribute, if tribute means more than simply the payment of so much money, certainly exists at the present time. The most striking instance is the contingent of troops so generously sent by Australia to the Sudan; while, following Lewis's illustrations under this head, readers may be reminded that Indian troops served in the Egyptian war, that they garrison Aden, and that several of the British dependencies, such as Gibraltar and Malta, are appropriated, in whole or part, as Imperial military or naval stations.
COMMERCE WITH THE COLONY.
“The third advantage is trade with colonies. This advantage partly exists, partly has disappeared. It exists in the sense that, if India, or Singapore, or Hongkong were owned by another European power, British trade would no doubt be seriously crippled by hostile tariffs. On the other hand, it is difficult to say that Great Britain derives any trade advantages from her connection with the self-governing colonies, seeing that those colonies treat her commerce no better and no worse than that of foreign nations. It is impossible to prove that “trade follows the flag.' It is equally idle to try to prove Lewis's thesis, that the trade between England and the United States is probably far more profitable to the mother country than it would have been if they had remained in a state of dependence upon her,' supposing, that is to say, that the dependence were only the nominal dependence of a self-governing colony; but it may be taken as generally true, that the best customer which a nation can have is a thriving and industrious community, whether it be dependent or independent.'
EMIGRATION OF SURPLUS POPULATION AND CAPITAL.
“The fourth advantage is the facilities offered by colonies to the dominant country for the emigration of its surplus population, and for advantageous employment of its capital. This advantage continues, but is not as marked as it was. In India, for instance, or the Malay Indies there is a field for the employment of Englishmen and English capital which would be much restricted if these territories did not belong to Great Britain; but, if we turn to the so-called fields of emigration, the self-governing colonies with their temperate climates, we find that the governments of those colonies are now nearly as chary of encouraging emigration as is the Government of the United States; that, in spite of restrictions imposed by their Government, the United States have proved infinitely more attractive to British emigrants than any British colony; and that the mother country now retains no power whatever of disposing of the waste lands of Canada or Australasia. Nor does there seem much, if any, greater inducement for the investment of British capital in British colonies than in stable foreign countries, except in the case of the Crown colonies. These latter colonies, being under Imperial control, are considered to be a specially secure field for investment; but it is difficult to suppose that, if they did not exist, British investors would not find other equally profitable, if somewhat less assured, fields of investment. It may be noted, in passing, that it has been sometimes considered a disadvantage, that the loans raised by the self-governing colonies are so largely held in Great Britain; for, if a financial crisis in one of these communities coincided with a time of friction between the colony and the mother country, the colony might be tempted to repudiate its debt simply by way of crippling the dominant country. Such a suggestion, however, is so utterly improbable, that it seems almost unfair to the colonies even to place it on paper.
“The fifth advantage is the employment of a colony as a place to which convicted criminals may be transported. This advantage, if it can be called an advantage, has disappeared; but it may be observed that it is a fallacy to regard transportation simply as a means of disposing of criminals. The history of the American and West India colonies, as well as that of Australia, shows that, in past times, it was at least as much a method of colonization, of finding settlers for a new country, and labor for colonist employers. The system was not ill suited to bygone days, and was not disadvantageous to colonies in their early stages. It has been given up in the British Empire as being no longer required, as out of harmony with the spirit of the time, and as having led to abuses; but it is a mistake to speak of it simply as an advantage to the mother country, for, to take only one instance, Russian transportation to Siberia has, with all its horrors, been a means of colonizing that country, and to some extent developing its resources. The system in this case has probably done no good to the dominant country, but it has not been without advantage to the dependency.
WEAK AND HELPLESS COLONIES MUST NOT BE DESERTED.
"It might be added that, in the great society of nations, honesty is the best policy, and that if it is immoral for a country to throw off a helpless dependency it can not be advantageous for it to do so. It would lose its national credit, and its subjects and foreign neighbors alike would cease to trust its word. This argument powerfully applies to the case of Great Britain. Many of her dependencies are helpless, in the sense of not being able to stand alone. Some are too small, some are too divided in race, or religion, or interest to do 80. If released from dependence on Great Britain, they would pass into the keeping of another power; they would not be gainers by the change, and the country which threw them off would lose not only in trade, but also in self-esteem and in the confidence of others. The people, which puts its hand to the plow and looks back, is not fit, and is not deemed fit, to hold its place among the Kingdoms of this world. *
TIE ADVANTAGES TO THE COLONY.
“Now let us ask what advantages, if any, the colonies derive from their connection with Great Britain.
“There is no British possession which does not reap some benefit from being under the protection of the most ubiquitous fleet in the world. Even the strongest of the colonies, such as Canada, would lose something if, as an independent country, it could no longer send out its ships to east or west under cover of the British flag, and if, when they touched at one or other of the many ocean strongholds of Great Britain, they could no longer have any right to be sheltered by its fortifications and relieved from its stores.
“The second advantage, that of pecuniary assistance, also still exists, as has already been seen, though it has also been shown that Great Britain now spends less money directly on her colonies and receives more tribute in one form or another from them than used to be the case. This result follows from the fact that the colonies, having become more developed in course of years, are therefore more able to pay the whole or part of their expenses, and stand less in need of pecuniary assistance from the dominant country. Cyprus and British Bechuanaland, which were instanced as receiving parliamentary grants, are comparatively new acquisitions; and as year by year goes on the grants made to them are likely to diminish in amount, and in course of time to disappear. It is interesting to note, in passing, the case, which arises in the British Empire, of one colony or dependency giving pecuniary assistance to a neighboring dependency, with a view to its own ultimate benefit. Thus the cost of the administration of British New Guinea has been, to the amount of £15,000 per annum, guaranteed by the colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria; while the government of the Straits Settlements has advanced sums to the protected Native States of the Malay Peninsula in order to enable them to make roads and develop their territories. In the former case it has been to the special advantage of the Australian colonies that New Guinea should be under British control, and in the latter it has been to the special advantage of Singapore and Penang to help in opening out the countries which are the feeders of their own trade.
“The commercial advantages which the British colonies derive from their connection with Great Britain, so far as they consist in the protection afforded to their trade by the dominant country against foreign aggression, come under the first head.
The goods of the colonies which are imported into the mother country are not now favored by any differential duties; on the other hand, the criticism that 'the interests of the dependency are, in its external commercial relations, usually sacrificed to those of the dominant State,' is wholly an anachronism as applied to the British Empire. The self-governing colonies, over and above the protection of their trade, probably derive little commercial advantage from their British connection, except so far as it may enable them to borrow more easily. On the other hand, the commerce of those weaker parts of the Empire, which, if not dependencies of Great Britain, would be dependencies of some other power, is beyond question greatly benefited by their being attached to a free-trading nation. If India belonged to Russia, it would no doubt be given a monopoly of the Russian market as against the imports of foreign countries; but, on the other hand, its ports would in all probability be in great measure barred against foreign trade, and its commerce would suffer incalculable damage in consequence.
THE CULTURE AND FORCED LABOR SYSTEMS IN JAVA.
DESCRIPTION BY DISTINGUISHED AMERICAN, ENGLISH, AND DUTCH WRITERS. The following series of discussions of the Dutch system of governmental control of production and forced labor on public works, which was practiced in Java for many years, presents the views of three distinguished writers of three nations upon a subject which has attracted the attention of the whole world. The first of the series is from a paper on this subject by Prof. Clive Day, of the United States, published in the Yale Review in February and May, 1900, and reproduced in part by consent of the publishers; the second is from the well-known work, A Visit to Java, written in 1893 by Mr. W. Basil Worsfold, formerly a British officer in India, and the third by M. H. Van Kol, a member of the Netherlands Parliament, being a paper read by him before the International Congress of Colonial Sociology at Paris in 1900. They thus present views on this important subject by representatives of three great nations and by men who have written after a close study and personal observation.
EXPERIENCE OF THE DUTCH WITH TROPICAL LABOR.
[Prof. Clive Day in the Yale Review.]
THE CULTURE SYSTEM.
As trade between tropical and temperate countries has grown in volume, and as the Tropics have gradually been drawn within the sphere of the political interests of civilized states, a problem has developed of fundamental importance, still pressing for a solution-the problem of tropical labor. Merchants, planters, and statesmen have for centuries been seeking some way to secure in hot countries the steady supply of efficient laborers on which production depends. In the Western Hemisphere the solution was sought in slavery, and the establishment of slavery was in many cases, so far as results can be measured in dollars and cents, a success. The institution was abolished from humanitarian motives. Some advocates of emancipation believed that production would increase under a system of free labor, but the outcome of the reform has not justified their expectations, and complaints coming from all parts of the world show how far from satisfying the needs of the modern economic organization are the natives of most tropical countries when they are free to be idle. The planters in many countries, impatient at the difficulties encountered, have taken to importing their laborers ready-made from India or China, and have solved one problem only by raising another; for cooly labor, though it is profitable in the short run, gives rise to many objections of a social and political kind like those once raised against slavery, and the employment of it will never be accepted as more than a makeshift until the impossibility of educating natives to work has been conclusively proved.
HOW IT WORKED AND WHY ABANDONED.
So great have been the trials and losses under the system of free labor that men have been tempted naturally to look back to the advantages enjoyed in the time of slavery, and it has become fashionable to emphasize the good sides of that institution and to hint at the possibility of applying compulsion in some modernized and improved form as a remedy for the ingrained inactivity or ineíficiency of free natives. When the suggestion takes concrete shape it becomes often an eulogy of the culture system that the Dutch applied in Java, and a wish that such system might be adapted to other countries. The purpose of this article is to present a description of that system, and to show how it worked and why it was given up. It will be necessary first to describe the native institutions of Java, the country which furnished the main field of its application, and the relations in which the Dutch stood to the natives before its adoption.
CONDITIONS WHEN THE SYSTEM WAS INAUGURATED,
Java presented at the beginning of this century an organization of society much like that which the English have found in India. By far the largest part of the people got their living directly from the soil, raising their own rice for food and supplying other needs by trade with the petty artisans in the village or at the near-by market. The villages (dessas) in which they lived were hamlets of a few hundred souls, and formed the units in the political organization. Each village had its officers, the headman being the chief and representing it in the outside world. Some villages were subject to the custom of periodical division of the agricultural lands. The country was cut up into a large number of native states, more or less connected by loose feudal ties, but the internal organization seems to have been practically the same in all. The sovereign was lord of all the land. From the dues coming from it in labor and in produce he paid his personal expenses, and by temporary grants of land he supported the expenses of state. The members of the royal household, officials of the administration, and the rank and file in the army, all were paid by assignments of villages from which they could collect the dues. * * The amount of dues varied probably in different localities. Pierson says that according to the old Javanese custom the cultivator owed two-fifths of the harvest and one day's work in seven.
The Dutch East India Company entered into relations with the representatives of the political rather than of the economic organization in Java, and most of its
income came to it as tribute to a higher military power. By treaties forced upon them the native princes were bound to deliver to the Dutch fixed amounts of goods desired for the European market-pepper, indigo, coffee, etc.-either for nothing (kontingenten) or for a nominal price (verpligte leverantien). The native tax system served as the means by which the the Dutch exploited the country; the princes were their agents in introducing new crops and forcing the cultivation of them on the people. The company was a parasite on the native states.
A LOGICAL SUCCESSOR OF THE OLD TRADING COMPANY.
In the Dutch, as in the British East Indies, reform has taken the same course since the abolition of the trading company. The home country has assumed the responsibility of governing the natives, not only in their external relations, but in their most private and domestic affairs. This is one side of the reform, the increase in the governing functions. The other side is the decrease in the trading functions; taxes are levied sufficient to pay the expenses of administration, but the chance of profit in industrial enterprises is left free to individuals under such limitations as may seem necessary for the permanent welfare of the community. The transition, which was accomplished with relative smoothness and celerity in the British possessions, has lasted through all this century in the Dutch Indies, and is still in process of completion. In its course one experiment was tried that will always rank as a type of one of the possible methods of organizing colonial production—the culture system as applied during the period from 1830 to 1860. While, as in British India, the Government tended to enter into direct contact with the individual natives in extending its political interests and powers, it assumed at the same time the commercial functions of the old East India Company instead of delegating them to private enterprise. The culture system was a reversion to the policy of the company rather than a direct continuation of it. * *
THE PLAN OF THE CULTURE SYSTEM. The plan of the culture system, as proposed by Van den Bosch in 1829, was in brief as follows: Instead of paying to the Government a certain proportion of their crops, the natives were to put at its disposal a certain proportion of their land and labor time. The revenue would then consist not in rice, which was almost universally cultivated and which was of comparatively little value to the Government, but in export products grown under the direction of Government contractors on the land set free by the remission of the former tax. According to the estimate, the natives would give up only one-fifth of their land and one-fifth of their time in place of two-fifths of their main crop. The Government promised to bear the loss from failure of crops if this was not directly due to the fault of the cultivators, and moreover promised to pay the natives a certain price for such amounts as they furnished. The Government proposed in this way to secure products suited for export to the European market, on which it expected to realize profits largely in excess of the prices paid to natives and contractors and of the costs of administration. To the natives it promised increased prosperity and a lighter burden of taxation, as a result of the fuller utilization of their chances under the far-sighted management of Europeans. The labor that before through carelessness and ignorance would have been wasted in idleness or in the cultivation of some cheap and superfluous crop was to supply a product of great value in the world market, and the natives were to share in the resulting profits.
The plan of the culture system is on its face attractive, and the system has been judged so often by the plan and professions of its founder rather than by its actual workings that it has been the object of pretty general and sometimes very extravagant praise. The worst offender in this respect was an English barrister, J. W. B. Money, whose book, Java, or How to Manage a Colony (London, 1861), is largely responsible for the favor which the culture system has enjoyed in English writings on colonial questions.
During the period of its operation the culture system was applied to the cultivation of a long list of products. The Government experimented with coffee, sugar, indigo, tea, tobacco, cinnamon, cochineal, pepper, silk, cotton, etc., and dropped from the list the products which after an extended trial gave no promise of returning a profit to itself. From the fiscal standpoint, coffee, sugar, and indigo were the only products that ever attained importance. The system was put in force in different islands of the archipelago, in northern Celebes, on the west coast of Sumatra, and in Java, but Java was always the chief field of its operation and a study of its workings can safely be restricted to that island. Even in Java, however, it was applied only in certain selected districts. * ***
DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED. In attempting to establish a new system of production at a stroke, instead of waiting for it to develop naturally, the government found factors of production which were not so easily coerced by orders and regulations as the native labor supply. Under the simple organization of society in Java there had been little trade or intercommunication, the roads had remained of a very primitive kind, and the population lived dispersed in small groups. The government experienced great difficulty in getting products from one part of the