Colonization: A Study of the Founding of New Societies

Colonization: A Study of the Founding of New Societies

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Colonization: A Study of the Founding of New Societies

Colonization: A Study of the Founding of New Societies

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The main motive in writing this volume has been to provide a text-book for the study of colonization. It does not take one who essays to teach the subject long to see the futility of dilating upon this or that aspect of colonization when his students are not yet in possession of an adequate historical background; but this they seldom have. Their historical studies have generally been circumscribed, and envisaged from different standpoints; while colonization, if approached by the comparative method, must call for a wealth of historical allusion, widespread both as to place and time. In the absence of text-books, at least in English, of any adequate character, the instructor in colonization is therefore confronted by an ever-present dilemma: the assignment of widely scattered and disconnected collateral readings, or the devotion of a large part of his lectures to historical detail. The former alternative is, for practical reasons, next to impossible for classes of any size; and it is rendered in a higher degree impracticable, so far as comprehensiveness goes, by reason of the linguistic training which it must involve. In the field of colonial history, translations, especially from the less well-known foreign languages, are but few; and it is only by the rarest exception that even a German or French treatise can be utilized; for the undergraduate who ventures upon the actual use of even those languages upon which he has spent a good deal of time is commonly a prey to faint-heartedness and sore misgiving. Thus, at best, assigned readings must be of narrow scope. And as for the other alternative, in so far as he is obliged to introduce into lectures that from which a text-book ought to secure freedom, the instructor is compelled to exclude what he regards as more worth while and to sacrifice the continuity and logic of his exposition.

To meet such a need, felt personally, the following sketches of colonial history have been written. They have been condensed so far as their purpose seemed to allow, and include very little that appeared at the time of writing reasonably easy of access to serious . . .

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