A History of England in the Eighteenth Century - Vol. II

A History of England in the Eighteenth Century - Vol. II

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A History of England in the Eighteenth Century - Vol. II

A History of England in the Eighteenth Century - Vol. II

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Among the British dependencies in the middle of the eighteenth century, the first place must be given to the colonies in North America. It was a signal proof of the wisdom of the English legislators of the seventeenth century that they conceded to these colonies, charters which secured them an almost absolute self-government; while the number of the American provinces, and the diversity of the religious of the colonists, led to a much larger measure of religious liberty than existed in Europe. To these two inestimable advantages must be added a country of almost unlimited resources, and a people who, in energy, moral excellence, and practical wisdom, were probably unsurpassed upon the earth. In the present century the immigration of a large foreign population is seldom favourable to the moral condition of a nation. Emigration has become so easy and so familiar that it is the resource of multitudes but little removed from simple pauperism. Men of ordinary characters usually deteriorate when severed from the ties of home traditions, associations, and opinions; and they seldom feel any strong attachment for a country which was not that of their childhood. But in the seventeenth century the conditions of emigration were essentially different. The difficulties of the enterprise were such that those who encountered them were . . .

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