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East India Company wholly in their power, whom they restored at the peace to their former possessions, that they may continue to export our silver.

Cape Breton therefore was restored, and the French were re-established in America, with equal power and greater spirit, having lost nothing by the war which they had before gained. To the general reputation of their arms, and that habitual superiority which they derive from it, they owe their power in America, rather than to any real strength or circumstances of advantage. Their numbers are yet not great; their trade, though daily improved, is not very extensive; their country is barren; their fortresses, though numerous, are weak, and rather shelters from wild beasts, or savage nations, than places built for defence against bombs or


Cape Breton has been found not to be impregnable; nor, if we consider the state of the places possessed by the two nations in America, is there any reason upon which the French should have presumed to molest us, but that they thought our spirit so broken that we durst not resist them; and in this opinion our long forbearance easily confirmed them.

We forgot, or rather avoided to think, that what we delayed to do must be done at last, and done with more difficulty as it was delayed longer; that while we were complaining, and they were eluding, or answering our complaints, fort was rising upon fort, and one invasion made a precedent for another.

This confidence of the French is exalted by some real advantages. If they possess in those countries less than we, they have more to gain and less to hazard; if they are less numerous, they are better united.

The French compose one body with one head. They have all the same interest, and agree to pursue it by the same means. They are subject to a governor commissioned by an absolute monarch, and participating the authority of his master. Designs are therefore formed without debate and executed without impediment. They have yet more martial than mercantile ambition, and seldom suffer their military schemes to be entangled with collateral projects of gain: they have no wish but for conquest, of which they justly consider riches as the consequence.

of the northern continent, we ought to consider with other thoughts; this favour we might have enjoyed if we had been careful to deserve it. The French by having these savage nations on their side, are always supplied with spies and guides, and with auxiliaries, like the Tartars to the Turks, or the Hussars to the Germans, of no great use against troops ranged in order of battle, but very well qualified to maintain a war among woods and rivulets, where much mischief may be done by unexpected onsets, and safety be obtained by quick retreats. They can waste a colony by sudden inroads, surprise the straggling planters, frighten the inhabitants into towns, hinder the cultivation of lands, and starve those whom they are not able to conquer.*





FROM THE LITERARY MAGAZINE, NO. 1. THE present system of English politics may properly be said to have taken rise in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. At this time, the protestant religion was established, which naturally allied us to the reformed state, and made all the popish powers our enemies.

We began in the same reign to extend our trade, by which we made it necessary to ourselves to watch the commercial progress of our neighbours; and if not to incommode and obstruct their traffic, to hinder them from impairing ours.

We then likewise settled colonies in America, which was become the great scene of European ambition; for, seeing with what treasures the Spaniards were annually enriched from Mexico and Peru, every nation imagined, that an American conquest or plantation would certainly fill the mother country with gold and silver. This produced a large extent of very distant dominions, of which we, at this time, neither knew nor foresaw the advantage or incumbrance; we seem to have snatched them into our hands, upon no very just principles of policy, only be cause every state, according to a prejudice of long continuance, concludes itself more power

Some advantages they will always have as invaders. They make war at the hazard of their enemies: the contest being carried on in our ter-ful as its territories become larger. ritories, we must lose more by a victory, than they will suffer by a defeat. They will subsist, while they stay, upon our plantations; and perhaps destroy them when they can stay no longer. If we pursue them, and carry the war into their dominions, our difficulties will increase every step as we advance, for we shall leave plenty behind us, and find nothing in Canada but lakes and forests barren and trackless; our enemies will shut themselves up in their forts, against which it is difficult to bring cannon through so rough a country, and which, if they are provided with good magazines, will soon starve those who besiege them.

The discoveries of new regions, which were then every day made the profit of remote traffic, and the necessity of long voyages, produced, in a few years, a great multiplication of shipping. The sea was considered as the wealthy element; and, by degrees, a new kind of sovereignty arose, called naval dominion.

All these are the natural effects of their government and situation; they are accidentally more formidable as they are less happy. But the favour of the Indians which they enjoy, with very few exceptions, among all the nations

As the chief trade of the world, so the chief maritime power was at first in the hands of the Portuguese and Spaniards, who, by a compact, to which the consent of other princes was not asked, had divided the newly discovered countries between them; but the crown of Portugal having fallen to the King of Spain, or been seized by him, he was master of the ships of the two

In the Magazine this article is promised "To be continued;" but the author was, by whatever means, diverted from it, and no continuation appears

nations, with which he kept all the coasts of Europe in alarm, till the Armada, which he had raised at a vast expense for the conquest of England, was destroyed, which put a stop, and almost an end, to the naval power of the Spaniards.

dissipated in youth, and languid in age, are em barrassed by competitors, or, without any exter nal reason, change their minds.

France was now no longer in dread of insults and invasions from England. She was not only able to maintain her own territories, but pre At this time the Dutch, who were oppressed pared, on all occasions, to invade others; and by the Spaniards, and feared yet greater evils we had now a neighbour whose interest it was than they felt, resolved no longer to endure the to be an enemy, and who has disturbed us, from insolence of their masters: they therefore revolt-that time to this, with open hostility or secret ed; and after a struggle, in which they were machinations. assisted by the money and forces of Elizabeth, erected an independent and powerful commonwealth.

When the inhabitants of the low countries had formed their system of government, and some remission of the war gave them leisure to form schemes of future prosperity, they easily perceived that, as their territories were narrow, and their numbers small, they could preserve themselves only by that power which is the consequence of wealth; and that, by a people whose country produced only the necessaries of life, wealth was not to be acquired, but from foreign dominions, and by the transportation of the products of one country into another.

From this necessity, thus justly estimated, arose a plan of commerce, which was for many years prosecuted with industry and success, perhaps never seen in the world before, and by which the poor tenants of mud-wall villages and impassable bogs erected themselves into high and mighty states, who put the greatest monarchs at defiance, whose alliance was courted by the proudest, and whose power was dreaded by the fiercest nation. By the establishment of this state there arose to England a new ally, and a new rival.

At this time, which seems to be the period destined for the change of the face of Europe, France began first to rise into power; and, from defending her own provinces with difficulty and fluctuating success, to threaten her neighbours with encroachments and devastations. Henry the Fourth having, after a long struggle, obtained the crown, found it easy to govern nobles exhausted and wearied with a long civil war, and having composed the disputes between the Protestants and Papists, so as to obtain at least a truce for both parties, was at leisure to accumulate treasure, and raise forces which he purposed to have employed in a design of settling for ever the balance of Europe. Of this great scheme he lived not to see the vanity, or to feel the disappointment; for he was murdered in the midst of his mighty preparations.

The French, however, were in this reign taught to know their own power; and the great designs of a king, whose wisdom they had so long experienced, even though they were not brought to actual experiment, disposed them to consider themselves as masters of the destiny of their neighbours; and, from that time, he that shall nicely examine their schemes and conduct, will, I believe, find that they began to take an air of superiority to which they had never pretended before; and that they had been always employed more or less openly upon schemes of dominion, though with frequent interruptions from domestic troubles, and with those intermissions which human counsels must always suffer, as men intrusted with great affairs are

Such was the state of England and its neigh bours, when Elizabeth left the crown to James of Scotland. It has not, I think, been frequently observed by historians at how critical a time the union of the two kingdoms happened. Had England and Scotland continued separate kingdoms, when France was established in the full possession of her natural power, the Scots, in continuance of the league, which it would now have been more than ever their interest to observe, would, upon every instigation of the French court, have raised an army with French money, and harassed us with an invasion, in which they would have thought themselves suc cessful, whatever numbers they might have left behind them. To a people warlike and indigent, an incursion into a rich country is never hurtful. The pay of France and the plunder of the northern countries, would always have tempted them to hazard their lives, and we should have been under the necessity of keeping a line of garrisons along our border.

This trouble, however, we escaped by the accession of King James; but it is uncertain, whether his natural disposition did not injure us more than this accidental condition happened to benefit us. He was a man of great theoretical knowledge, but of no practical wisdom: he was very well able to discern the true interest of himself, his kingdom, and his posterity, but sacrificed it, upon all occasions, to his present plea sure or his present ease; so conscious of his own knowledge and abilities, that he would not suffer a minister to govern, and so lax of attention, and timorous of opposition, that he was not able to govern for himself. With this character James quietly saw the Dutch invade our commerce; the French grew every day stronger and stronger; and the Protestant interest, of which he boasted himself the head, was oppressed on every side, while he writ, and hunted, and despatched ambassadors, who, when their master's weakness was once known, were treated in foreign courts with very little ceremony. James, however, took care to be flattered at home, and was neither angry nor ashamed at the appearance that he made in other countries.

Thus England grew weaker, or, what is in political estimation the same thing, saw her neighbours grow stronger, without receiving proportionable additions to her own power. Not that the mischief was so great as it is ge nerally conceived or represented; for, I believe, it may be made to appear, that the wealth of the nation was, in this reign, very much increased, though that of the crown was lessened. Our reputation for war was impaired: but com merce seems to have been carried on with great industry and vigour, and nothing was wanting, but that we should have defended ourselves from the encroachments of our neighbours.

The inclination to plant colonies in America | to provide a drain into which the waste of an still continued, and this being the only project exuberant nation might be thrown, a place in which men of adventure and enterprise could exert their qualities in a pacific reign, multitudes, who were discontented with their condition in their native country, and such multitudes there will always be, sought relief, or at least a change, in the western regions, where they settled in the northern part of the continent, at a distance from the Spaniards, at that time almost the only nation that had any power or will to obstruct us.

Such was the condition of this country when the unhappy Charles inherited the crown. He had seen the errors of his father, without being able to prevent them, and, when he began his reign, endeavoured to raise the nation to its former dignity. The French Papists had begun a new war upon the Protestants: Charles sent a fleet to invade Rhee and relieve Rochelle, but his attempts were defeated, and the Protestants were subdued. The Dutch, grown wealthy and strong, claimed the right of fishing in the British seas. this claim the king, who saw the increasing power of the states of Holland, resolved to contest. But for this end it was necessary to build a fleet, and a fleet could not be built without expense; he was advised to levy ship-money, which gave occasion to the civil war, of which the events and conclusion are too well known.

While the inhabitants of this island were embroiled among themselves, the power of France and Holland was every day increasing. The Dutch had overcome the difficulties of their infant commonwealth; and, as they still retained their vigour and industry, from rich grew continually richer, and from powerful more powerful. They extended their traffic, and had not yet admitted luxury: so that they had the means and the will to accumulate wealth without any incitement to spend it. The French, who wanted nothing to make them powerful, but a prudent regulation of their revenues, and a proper use of their natural advantages, by the successive care of skilful ministers, became every day stronger, and more conscious of their strength.

where those who could do no good might live without the power of doing mischief. Some new advantage they undoubtedly saw, or imagined themselves to see, and what more was necessary to the establishment of the colony was supplied by natural inclination to experiments, and that impatience of doing nothing, to which mankind perhaps owe much of what is imagined to be effected by more splendid motives.

In this region of desolate sterility they settled themselves, upon whatever principle; and as they have from that time had the happiness of a government by which no interest has been neglected, nor any part of their subjects overlooked, they have, by continual encouragement and assistance from France, been perpetually enlarging their bounds and increasing their numbers.

These were at first, like other nations who invaded America, inclined to consider the neighbourhood of the natives as troublesome and dangerous, and are charged with having destroyed great numbers: but they are now grown wiser, if not honester, and instead of endeavouring to frighten the Indians away, they invite them to intermarriage and cohabitation, and allure them by all practicable methods to become the subjects of the king of France.

If the Spaniards, when they first took possession of the newly-discovered world, instead of destroying the inhabitants by thousands, had either had the urbanity or the policy to have conciliated them by kind treatment, and to have united them gradually to their own people, such an accession might have been made to the power of the king of Spain, as would have made him far the greatest monarch that ever yet ruled in the globe; but the opportunity was lost by foolishness and cruelty, and now can never be recovered.

When the parliament had finally prevailed over our king, and the army over the parliament, the interest of the two commonwealths of England and Holland soon appeared to be opposite, and a new government declared war against the Dutch. In this contest was exerted About this time it was, that the French first the utmost power of the two nations, and the began to turn their thoughts to traffic and navi-Dutch were finally defeated, yet not with such gation, and to desire, like other nations, an Ame-evidence of superiority as left us much reason to rican territory. All the fruitful and valuable parts of the western world were already either occupied or claimed, and nothing remained for France but the leavings of other navigators, for she was not yet haughty enough to seize what the neighbouring powers had already appropriated.

The French therefore contented themselves with sending a colony to Canada, a cold uncomfortable uninviting region, from which nothing but furs and fish were to be had, and where the new inhabitants could only pass a laborious and necessitous life, in perpetual regret of the deliciousness and plenty of their native country.

boast our victory: they were obliged however to solicit peace, which was granted them on easy conditions: and Cromwell, who was now possessed of the supreme power, was left at leisure to pursue other designs.

The European powers had not yet ceased to look with envy on the Spanish acquisitions in America, and therefore Cromwell thought, that if he gained any part of these celebrated regions, he should exalt his own reputation, and enrich the country. He therefore quarrelled with the Spaniards upon some such subject of contention as he that is resolved upon hostility may always find, and sent Penn and Venables into the westNotwithstanding the opinion which our coun- ern seas. They first landed in Hispaniola, trymen have been taught to entertain of the whence they were driven off with no great repucomprehension and foresight of French politi- tation to themselves; and that they might not cians, I am not able to persuade myself, that return without having done something, they when this colony was first planted, it was thought afterwards invaded Jamaica, where they found of much value, even by those that encouraged it; less resistance, and obtained that island, which there was probably nothing more intended than I was afterwards consigned to us, being probably


of little value to the Spaniards, and continues to this day a place of great wealth and dreadful wickedness, a den of tyrants, and a dungeon of slaves.

Cromwell, who perhaps had not leisure to study foreign politics, was very fatally mistaken with regard to Spain and France. Spain had been the last power in Europe which had openly pretended to give law to other nations, and the memory of this terror remained when the real cause was at an end. We had more lately been frighted by Spain than by France, and though very few were then alive of the generation that had their sleep broken by the Armada, yet the name of the Spaniards was still terrible, and a war against them was pleasing to the people.

Our own troubles had left us very little desire to look out upon the continent, and inveterate prejudice hindered us from perceiving, that for more than half a century the power of France had been increasing, and that of Spain had been growing less; nor does it seem to have been remembered, which yet required no great depth of policy to discern, that of two monarchs, neither of which could be long our friends, it was our interest to have the weaker near us; or that if a war should happen, Spain, however wealthy or strong in herself, was by the dispersion of her territories more obnoxious to the attacks of a naval power, and consequently had more to fear from us, and had it less in her power to

hurt us.

sovereign of the narrow seas. They were re-
duced almost to extremities by an invasion from
France; but soon recovered from their conster-
nation, and, by the fluctuation of war, regained
their cities and provinces with the same speed
as they had lost them.

During the time of Charles the Second the
power of France was every day increasing; and
Charles, who never disturbed himself with re-
mote consequences, saw the progress of her arms,
He was indeed sometimes
and the extension of her dominions, with very
little uneasiness.
driven by the prevailing faction into confederacies
against her: but as he had, probably, a secret
partiality in her favour, he never persevered long
in acting against her, nor ever acted with much
vigour: so that by his feeble resistance, he rather
raised her confidence than hindered her designs.

About this time the French first began to perceive the advantage of commerce, and the importance of a naval force, and such encouragement was given to manufactures, and so eagerly was every project received by which trade could be advanced, that in a few years, the sea was filled with their ships, and all the ports of the world crowded with their merchants. There is, perhaps, no instance in human story of such a change produced in so short a time in the schemes and manners of a people, of so many new sources of wealth opened, and such numbers of artificers and merchants made to start out of the ground, as was seen in the ministry of Colbert.

Now it was that the power of France became All these considerations were overlooked by the wisdom of that age, and Cromwell assisted formidable to England. Her dominions were the French to drive the Spaniards out of Flan-large before, and her armies numerous; but her ders, at a time when it was our interest to have supported the Spaniards against France, as formerly the Hollanders against Spain, by which we might at least retard the growth of the French power, though, I think, it must have finally prevailed.

During this time our colonies, which were less disturbed by our commotions than the mother country, naturally increased; it is probable that many who were unhappy at home took shelter in those remote regions, where, for the sake of inviting greater numbers, every one was allowed to think and live his own way. The French settlement in the mean time went slowly forward, too inconsiderable to raise any jealousy, and too weak to attempt any encroachments.

When Cromwell died, the confusion that followed produced the restoration of monarchy, and some time was employed in repairing the ruins of our constitution, and restoring the nation to a state of peace. In every change there will be many that suffer real or imaginary grievances, and therefore many will be dissatisfied. This was, perhaps, the reason why several colonies had their beginning in the reign of Charles the Second. The Quakers willingly sought refuge in Pennsylvania; and it is not unlikely that Carolina owed its inhabitants to the remains of that restless disposition, which has given so much disturbance to our country, and had now no opportunity of acting at home.

The Dutch, still continuing to increase in wealth and power, either kindled the resentment of their neighbours by their insolence, or raised their envy by their prosperity. Charles made war upon them without much advantage; but they were obliged at last to confess him the

operations were necessarily confined to the continent. She had neither ships for the transportation of her troops, nor money for their support in distant expeditions. Colbert saw both these wants, and saw that commerce only would sup ply them. The fertility of their country furnishes the French with commodities; the poverty of the common people keeps the price of labour low. By the obvious practice of selling much and buying little, it was apparent that they would soon draw the wealth of other countries into their own; and by carrying out their merchandise in their own vessels, a numerous body of sailors would quickly be raised.

This was projected, and this was performed. The king of France was soon enabled to bribe those whom he could not conquer, and to terrify with his fleets those whom his armies could not have approached. The influence of France was suddenly diffused all over the globe; her arms were dreaded, and her pensions received in remote regions, and those were almost ready to She thunacknowledge her sovereignty, who, a few years before, had scarcely heard her name. dered on the coasts of Africa, and received ambassadors from Siam.

So much may be done by one wise man endeavouring with honesty the advantage of the public. But that we may not rashly condemu all ministers as wanting wisdom or integrity whose counsels have produced no such apparent benefits to their country, it must be considered, that Colbert had means of acting, which our government does not allow. He could enforce all his orders by the power of an absolute me narch; he could compel individuals to sacrifice their private profit to the general good; he could

make one understanding preside over many When the necessity of self-preservation had hands, and remove difficulties by quick and vio-impelled the subjects of James to drive him from lent expedients. Where no man thinks himself the throne, there came a time in which the pasunder any obligation to submit to another, and instead of co-operating in one great scheme, every one hastens through by-paths to private profit, no great change can suddenly be made; nor is superior knowledge of much effect, where every man resolves to use his own eyes and his own judgment, and every one applauds his own dexterity and diligence, in proportion as he becomes rich sooner than his neighbour.

Colonies are always the effects and causes of navigation. They who visit many countries, find some in which pleasure, profit, or safety invite them to settle; and these settlements, when they are once made, must keep a perpetual correspondence with the original country to which they are subject, and on which they depend for protection in danger, and supplies in necessity. So that a country once discovered and planted, must always find employment for shipping, more certainly than any foreign commerce, which depending on casualties, may be sometimes more and sometimes less, and which other nations may contract or suppress. A trade to colonies can never be much impaired, being, in reality, only an intercourse between distant provinces of the same empire, from which intruders are easily excluded; likewise the interest and affection of the correspondent parties, however distant, is the same.

On this reason all nations, whose power has been exerted on the ocean, have fixed colonies in remote parts of the world; and while those colonies subsisted, navigation, if it did not increase, was always preserved from total decay. With this policy the French were well acquainted, and therefore improved and augmented the settlements in America, and other regions, in proportion as they advanced their schemes of naval greatness.

sions, as well as interest, of the government, acted against the French, and in which it may perhaps be reasonably doubted, whether the desire of humbling France was not stronger than that of exalting England: of this, however, it is not necessary to inquire, since, though the intention may be different, the event will be the same. All mouths were now open to declare what every eye had observed before, that the arms of France were become dangerous to Europe; and that, if her encroachments were suffered a little longer, resistance would be too late.

It was now determined to re-assert the empire of the sea; but it was more easily determined than performed: the French made a vigorous defence against the united power of England and Holland, and were sometimes masters of the ocean, though the two maritime powers were united against them. At length, however, they were defeated at La Hogue; a great part of their fleet was destroyed, and they were reduced to carry on the war only with their privateers, from whom there was suffered much petty mischief, though there was no danger of conquest or invasion. They distressed our merchants, and obliged us to the continual expense of convoys and fleets of observation; and by skulking in little coves and shallow waters, escaped our pursuit.

In this reign began our confederacy with the Dutch, which mutual interest has now improved into a friendship, conceived by some to be inseparable; and from that time the States began to be termed, in the style of politicians, our faithful friends, the allies which nature has given us, our Protestant confederates, and by many other names of national endearment. We have, it is true, the same interest, as opposed to France, The exact time in which they made their ac- and some resemblance of religion, as opposed to quisitions in America, or other quarters of the popery; but we have such a rivalry, in respect globe, it is not necessary to collect. It is suffi- of commerce, as will always keep us from very cient to observe, that their trade and their colo- close adherence to each other. No mercantile nies increased together: and, if their naval ar- man, or mercantile nation, has any friendship maments were carried on, as they really were, in but for money, and alliance between them will greater proportion to their commerce than can last no longer than their common safety or com be practised in other countries, it must be attri- mon profit is endangered; no longer than they buted to the martial disposition at that time pre-have an enemy, who threatens to take from each vailing in the nation, to the frequent wars which Louis the Fourteenth made upon his neighbours, and to the extensive commerce of the English and Dutch, which afforded so much plunder to privateers, that war was more lucraLive than traffic.

Thus the naval power of France continued to increase during the reign of Charles the Second, who, between his fondness of ease and pleasure, the struggles of faction which he could not suppress, and his inclination to the friendship of absolute monarchy, had not much power or desire to repress it. And of James the Second, it could not be expected that he should act against his neighbours with great vigour, having the whole body of his subjects to oppose. He was not ignorant of the real interest of his country; he desired its power and its happiness, and thought rightly, that there is no happiness without religion; but he thought very erroneously and absurdly, that there is no religion without popery.

more than either can steal from the other.

We were both sufficiently interested in repressing the ambition, and obstructing the commerce of France; and therefore we concurred with as much fidelity and as regular co-operation as is commonly found. The Dutch were in immediate danger, the armies of their enemies hovered over their country, and therefore they were obliged to dismiss for a time their love of money, and their narrow projects of private profit, and to do what a trader does not willingly at any time believe necessary, to sacrifice a part for the preservation of the whole.

A peace was at length made, and the French, with their usual vigour and industry, rebuilt their fleets, restored their commerce, and became in a very few years able to contest again the dominion of the sea. Their ships were well built, and always very numerously manned; their commanders, having no hopes but from their bravery or their fortune, were resolute, and

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