The Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America - Vol. 1

By John Fiske | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER V.

"PRIVILEGES AND EXEMPTIONS."

FEW facts in history are more conspicuous than the preëminence of England in the work of founding colonies. The fact is often mentioned, and not unfrequently the question is asked, Why have the English been so much more successful than other people? Such questions never can be answered by a single sentence or paragraph, for there are too many factors concerned. A full discussion of the subject would involve a great many considerations. Some points, however, are so obvious as to need but brief mention. Of course the case of a colony in which a small group of invaders hold sway over a large subject population, as in Spanish Peru or British India, is very different from the case in which masses of civilized men move into the wilderness and organize themselves into new states, as with the English in North America and in Australasia. Properly speaking, it is only the latter that are really colonies; the former may be called dependencies, but only in a loose sense colonies. With regard to dependencies, like Peru and India, the advantage possessed by people accustomed to a free government is manifest enough. The sway of the English over India, which is one of the most

The English people as colonizers.

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