Government of Dependencies: An Essay; with Essay on Colonies by Adam Smith

Government of Dependencies: An Essay; with Essay on Colonies by Adam Smith

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Government of Dependencies: An Essay; with Essay on Colonies by Adam Smith

Government of Dependencies: An Essay; with Essay on Colonies by Adam Smith

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The war with Spain has devolved new responsibilities upon us and awakened new interests. With a kind of protectorate over Cuba and real sovereignty over Porto Rico and the Philippines, — a sovereignty now happily becoming every day more and more effective in the latter,— we are vitally concerned in the problem of governing foreign races and distant communities. The problem is not an easy one to solve; and thoughtful and patriotic men are already searching our libraries for guidance.

It is sixty years since the first publication of Lewis's "Essay on the Government of Dependencies." The work is characterized by copiousness and accuracy of information on the subject of which it treats, a forcible and admirably lucid style, a judicial habit of mind, a marked faculty for distinguishing the essential features of a case from its accidental and unimportant details, and a sure insight which, piercing to the very heart of the matter, reveals the essence of sovereign and dependent communities, and discloses at the same time a summary of the past and a forecast of the future experience of the relations between them. In virtue of its high qualities the book has not only lived, but it has remained a kind of classic, and the American reader who takes it up for the first time will find it as instructive and almost as fresh as the Englishmen to whom it was addressed in I84I.

I say "almost" as fresh, for of course it lacks the illustrations which the history of the last two generations affords. Nevertheless, the argument of the work is based so largely on the ideas of sovereignty and dependence, it is so completely surcharged with thought, it is so profoundly rooted in human nature, that like the ideas of . . .

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