The English Empire more easily formed than preserved-Parliamentary party government--Policy of disintegration short-sighted and destructive--Probable effect of separation on the colonies--Rejected by opinion in England--Democracy--Power and tendency of it-- The British race--Forces likely to produce union--Natural forces to be trusted--Unnatural to be distrusted--If England is true to herself the colonies will be true to England.
A COMMERCIAL company established our Indian empire; if India is ever lost to us, there is a common saying that it will be lost through Parliament. Companies of adventurers founded our North American colonies. Those colonies did not wish to leave us. The Parliament which ruled England in the last century, alienated them and drove them into revolt. The English people founded new colonies, richer and more varied than the last. The politicians who succeeded to power when the aristocracy was dethroned by the Reform Bill, discovered that the colonies were of no use to us, and that we should be better off and stronger without them. It would seem as if there was some unfitness in the mode in which our affairs are managed for holding an empire together. Aristotle would explain it by saying that states grow and thrive through ἀρετή, or virtue; that ἀρετή, like other excellent things, can only be obtained by effort; and that under popuular government virtue is taken too much for granted. It is assumed that where there is liberty virtue will follow, and it is found, as a fact, that it does not always follow. This, though true, is abstract: one may say more particularly that popular government is a government by parties and classes;