The Spanish Colonial System

The Spanish Colonial System

The Spanish Colonial System

The Spanish Colonial System

Excerpt

The secular rivalry and conflict between the colonial interests of England and Spain which the United States inherited, the many points at which our history touches that of the former Spanish colonies, and the earlier and later absorption of Spanish possessions within our national boundaries make an intelligent appreciation of the work of Spain as a colonizing power an important object in the study of American history. Such a knowledge of the aims and work of Spain is no less necessary an adjunct to the understanding of the political problems of to-day in the West Indies and in the Philippines. The treatments of the subject in our ordinary text-books and in the popular narrative histories are at best inadequate and too often misleading through the prejudices or lack of knowledge of their authors. What is needed is a broad historical and comparative treatment of the subject such as will be found in the chapter here presented in English from Roscher Kolonien, Kolonialpolitik und Auswanderung (Third Edition, Leipzig, 1885).

The great profit I have derived from the study of this admirable work has long made me wish it were available for class use and for collateral reading, and it is in the hope of making a useful addition to the materials for the study of our colonial history or the history of colonization in general that I have undertaken an English edition of this chapter which is complete in itself.

The translation is principally the work of Dr. Ernest H. Baldwin, but I have carefully revised it and am alone responsible for it in its present shape. To facilitate the consultation of Roscher's authorities for further reading or investigation short bibliographical notes have been added where they seemed likely to be useful.

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