Growth of the British Colonial Conception

PROFESSOR SEELEY has pointed out, in his work on The Expansion of England, the prevailing tendency to look upon those conditions which we observe around us as having always existed, and to consider them part of a permanent and necessary order of things. This is strikingly true of the sentiment regarding colonization. It is difficult to find in the mass of colonial discussion which has appeared during the past year in the LTnited States any indication that the writers have realized how new a thing is the present conception of the relationship between a sovereign state and its colonies. In England, whose vast colonial empire affords the best field for the study of colonization, the prevailing conception of the value of colonies and of the mutual responsibilities of the mother country and its dependencies represents a third stage in the evolution of a great national idea.

The first stage is perfectly well defined, both as to the period of its duration and as to the nature of the public sentiment which found its expression in the national policy. It began with the acquisition of colonies by England at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and closed with the revolt of the American colonies at the end of the eighteenth century. The term “ the old colonial system” is very generally used to label the policy which marked this period. The old colonial system may be said to have assumed definite shape under the Commonwealth, and the Navigation Act of 1651 is the first of that long series of oppressive restrictions which unwise statesmen placed on the trade of the colonies. These commercial restrictions fell under five different heads : restrictions on the exportation of produce from the colony, on the importation of goods into the colony, and on the carrying trade to and from the colonies: on the manufacture of colonial produce in the colonies, and on the importation into England from foreign countries or colonies of those commodities which the British colonies produced. Under four of these restrictions the colonies suffered, under one of them the mother country. As Professor Merivale has put it: “ States have feared to encourage their colonists to seek their independence, or to range themselves under the banner of hostile nations. Hence, as the producers of the mother country have never been willing to let go their own monopoly, it has been found necessary to make to the colonists a compensation at the expense of the consumers.” It will be shown, later, that the concessions were made not so much with the intention of keeping the colonies to their allegiance as with a view to retain their friendship in the event of their becoming independent. In a word, the general sentiment in regard to colonies, during the period of the old colonial system, was that they existed merely for the benefit of the sovereign state ; that they were a national asset which should be made to yield as much profit as possible to the mother country.

The old colonial system worked well enough for a time, and might have continued to do so for a much longer period in those colonies where the white population was numerically insignificant; but the revolt of the American colonies struck the death knell of the system, and taught Englishmen a lesson which slowly, but surely, carried the nation into the second stage of the colonial idea. The development of the colonial idea during the second stage was spasmodic. Free trade and parliamentary reform became vital political issues at home, and in the excitement attending these changes in the national policy colonial affairs ceased to attract attention. The deluge of petitions and reports which poured into the House of Commons during the period immediately preceding and following the abolition of slavery in 1838 served, it is true, to keep the colonies before the government ; but the people at large were too much occupied with their home concerns to give much attention to the affairs of outlying dependencies, which were destined, in the opinion of many, to achieve their independence at no distant date. The success of the revolt of the American colonies was a rude shock to the national pride ; and although the war had been unpopular amongst the people, it is not surprising that, in the general desire to avoid humiliation in the future, public opinion should so easily have taken the line of looking on independence as the natural sequel to colonization. — the fact being overlooked that the fault lay, not in the idea of extensive and far-distant dependencies, but in the assumption that such dependencies were to be governed entirely for the benefit of the sovereign state.

Successive governments, in the early part of the present century, perceived that the colonial policy of England was destined to undergo important modifications, and we observe a curious conflict of ideas amongst those at the head of affairs, due, doubtless, to the feeling that the time had not yet come when, on the one hand, the colonies might be cast off, or, on the other hand, their rights to selfgovernment under the crown might be fully recognized. Thus, we find the imperial government increasing its supervision over the internal life of the colonies in order to stifle any incipient attempt at revolt, and at the same time granting modifications of the commercial relations in favor of the colonists, and removing irksome taxes levied in the colonies for the exclusive benefit of the Crown.1 In 1838, for example, the imperial Parliament repealed the act of 1663 imposing an export duty of four and a half per cent on all agricultural produce of Barbados and the Leeward Islands, to be paid “ to our Sovereign Lord the King, his heirs and successors forever.” and in 1839 passed the West India Prisons Act, which transferred the control of the jails in the West Indies from the local to the imperial authorities.

In the meanwhile public opinion was slowly moving in the direction of giving up the colonies. In 1779 Adam Smith had written : “ After all the unjust attempts of every country in Europe to engross to itself the advantages of the trade of its own colonies, no country has yet been able to engross to itself anything but the expense of supporting in time of peace, and defending in time of war, the oppressive authority which it assumes over them. The inconveniences resulting from the possession of its colonies every country has engrossed to itself completely.” 2 These words were remembered after the war of American independence; and the Canadian rebellion of 1837 served to foster still farther the idea of separation. The revolt of the Spanish-American colonies, with the consequent collapse of the Spanish colonial empire, lent additional force to the arguments of those who saw in the American war of independence the first act of a tragedy which was to end in the death of England’s larger nationality. In fact, we find, during the first eighty years of the nineteenth century, a considerable body of sentiment in England in favor of casting off the colonies. It is true that this sentiment was not as clearly discernible during some years as during others, but at no time did it die out, and it was probably as strong in 1886 as in 1786. I wish to make this point clear,— that the second stage in the development of the colonial idea in England, the period during which it was uncertain whether the historians of the nineteenth century would have to describe a Great Britain or a Greater Britain, comes down to within fifteen years of the present time ; and in order to do so, I quote from various writings and speeches which were published prior to 1887.

Lord Durham, in his report on the condition and prospects of Canada, which was laid before Parliament in 1839, finds it necessary to say: “ I cannot participate in the notion that it is the part either of prudence or of honor to abandon our countrymen.”

Eleven years later, we find that the ideas from which Lord Durham expressed his dissent were still held by a number of men in public, life; for Lord John Russell, speaking in the House of Commons on February 8, 1850, says : “ I come now to a question which has been much agitated, and which has found supporters of very considerable ability, namely, that we should no longer think it worth our while to maintain our colonial empire.” And even he could not foresee a Greater Britain, for he said in the same speech : “ I do anticipate with others that some of the colonies may so grow in population and wealth that they may say, ' Our strength is sufficient to enable us to be independent of England.’

. . . I do not think that that time is yet approaching.”

Commenting on the speech I have just quoted, the London Times, in its issue of February 11, 1850, said : “ On the most delicate part of the question [the future colonial policy of England] Lord John Russell has spoken as plainly as we could desire. He does not shrink from contemplating the eventual independence of our colonies, and proposes to prepare them for it by free institutions. For our own part, we think it the merest prudery to blink that inevitable event.”

Twenty years later, James Anthony Froude raised his voice against the colonial policy of the first administration of Mr. Gladstone. “It is even argued,” he says, in an article in Fraser’s Magazine for January, 1870, “ that our colonies are a burden to us, and that the sooner they are cut adrift from us the better. They are, or have been, demonstratively loyal. They are proud of their origin, conscious of the value to themselves of being part of a great empire, and willing and eager to find a home for every industrious family that we can spare. We answer impatiently that they are welcome to our people, if our people choose to go to them ; but whether they go to them or to America, whether the colonies themselves remain under our flag or proclaim their independence or attach themselves to some other power, is a matter which concerns themselves entirely, and to us of profound indifference.” Again, writing in Fraser’s Magazine for August, 1870, Mr. Froude expresses his fear that the government contemplates an early dismemberment of the empire. “ But whereas there are two possible colonial policies.” he says, “ one to regard them [the colonies] as integral parts of the empire, . . . the other to concentrate ourselves in these islands, to educate the colonies in self-dependence, that at the earliest moment they may themselves sever the links which bind them to us, — of these two policies, it is believed that the government deliberately prefer the second, and nothing that Lord Granville [Secretary of State for the Colonies] or any other member of the Cabinet has said upon the subject leads ns to suppose that the belief is unfounded. A few words would have sufficed to remove the uneasiness, but those words have not been spoken.”

Between the years 1870 and 1890 many events occurred which had a profound effect on the colonial policy of the United Kingdom; and although I consider that the third stage in the development of the colonial idea was not reached until 1897, there is abundant evidence that from about the year 1880 onward the separationist sentiment in England has been gradually losing ground. Let us glance for a moment at the changes which took place between 1870 and 1890, and endeavor to appreciate their bearing on colonial matters. First, then, in regard to trade and population. In 1870 the tonnage of steam vessels belonging to the British Empire was 1,203,000 ; in 1890 it had grown to 5,413,706. During the same period the trade between the United Kingdom and the British colonies increased from 6,044,028 tons to 10,467,563 tons, whilst, the total trade between the United Kingdom and the whole world mounted from 36,640,182 tons to 74,283,869 tons. In 1870 Great Britain exported to its colonies merchandise to the value of $276,000,000, and imported from them colonial products worth $324.000,000 ; in 1890 the figures had risen to $472,000,000 and $480,000,000 respectively. This great development in trade tended to strengthen the bonds between Great Britain and her dependencies, but there was a more powerful influence at work. During the twenty years which we now have under consideration more than 1,250,000 people emigrated from the British Isles to the British colonies, with the result that communication between the mother country and the dependencies became more frequent, and the sum of knowledge about the colonies rapidly increased.

Before passing to the consideration of the political changes which took place in Europe after the Franco-Prussian war, and which powerfully affected the British colonial policy, it is important to note another movement of population from the British Isles, — the emigration to the United States. Mr. Froude pointed out, in the essays from which I have quoted, the indifference which appeared to exist in England at the time he wrote as to whether English emigrants went to British colonies or to foreign countries. He said : “ During the last quarter of a century nearly four million British subjects — English, Irish, and Scots —have become citizens, more or less prosperous, of the United States of America. We have no present quarrel with the Americans ; we trust most heartily that we may never be involved in any quarrel with them ; but undoubtedly, from the day that they became independent of us, they became our rivals. . . . The United States have been made stronger, the English Empire weaker, to the extent of those millions and the children growing of them. . . . England at the same time possesses dependencies of her own, not less extensive than the United States, not less rich in natural resources, not less able to provide for these expatriated swarms, where they would remain attached to her crown, where their wellbeing would be our well-being, their brains and arms our brains and arms, every acre which they could reclaim from the wilderness so much added to English soil, and themselves and their families fresh additions to our national stability.” Between 1870 and 1890 three million more British subjects passed over to the United States.

In the years following the close of the Franco-Prussian war a great change was observable in the colonial policy of the Continental Powers, and the African “scramble ” of 1884 showed English statesmen that whilst they had been debating the question of throwing off the British colonies, Continental statesmen were staking the future greatness of their respective countries on a policy of colonial expansion. In the early eighties the French people became animated with the old colonial spirit which had made France great in the seventeenth century ; which had produced such men as Colbert, Dupleix, and Coligny. The newspapers filled their columns with brilliant predictions for “la Plus Grande France,” and in the serious literature of the period we find the same urgent demand for a firm colonial policy. Thus, the eminent political economist Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, writing in 1882, protests against the mistaken policy of France in recent years. He urges Frenchmen to turn their attention to the development of the French colonies. “ From now on,” he says,"our colonial expansion must occupy the first place in our national consciousness. . . . We must found a great French Empire in Africa and in Asia; else of the great rôle which France has played in the past there will remain nothing but the memory, and that dying out as the days pass.

. . . Colonization is a question of life or death for France. Either we must found an African Empire, or in a hundred years we shall have sunk to the level of a second-rate power.”Louis Vignon, in his L 'Expansion de la France, writes in the same strain, and a score of other writers might be named who supported the views I have quoted. But it is not in France alone that we find colonial activity in the early eighties; Italy, Belgium, Portugal, and Germany were vigorously pushing forward their African schemes at that time, and were all represented at the Berlin Conference of 188485.

In order to show how the British colonial policy was affected by the ambitions of the Continental Powers in the direction of colonization, it is only necessary to add to what I have said about France a few facts in regard to German expansion. Although German colonial expansion dates actually from 1884, the idea of a German colonial empire had existed twenty years earlier. The German explorer Karl von der Decken wrote from the Juba River in Northeast Africa in 1864: I am persuaded that in a short time a colony established here would be most successful, and after two or three years would be self-supporting. ... It is unfortunate that we Germans allow such opportunities of acquiring colonies to slip, especially at a time when it would be of importance to the navy.” Von der Decken also suggested that Germany should buy Mombasa from the Sultan. Nothing of importance was done, however, till after the Franco-Prussian war. Germany was then placed in a new position. Distrustful of Russia on the east, of France on the west; disturbed by the dismemberment of Poland, and uncertain as to the future of the Austro-Hungarian Ausgleich, Germany decided that in the founding of a powerful colonial empire alone lay safety. The idea became popular, and the publication in 1879 of the theologian Fabri’s Bedarf Deutschland der Colonien ? acted as a powerful stimulant. Bismarck had long foreseen the time when Germany would enter the field of colonial enterprise, and had waited only for the development of public sentiment in that direction. His day had now come, and between 1884 and 1886 he was instrumental in founding the German colonies of Togo, the Cameroons, German Southwest Africa, German East Africa, in the Old World ; and Kaiser Wilhelm Land, the Bismarck Archipelago, the Solomon Islands, and the Marshall Islands, in the New.

Let us return now to the development of the colonial idea in England. We have seen that as late as 1870 the question of a Greater Britain still hung in the balance, and I think it may be shown that it was not until 1887 that the first indications of the larger idea began to appear. The Colonial Conference was opened in London, on April 4, 1887, and at the first meeting Lord Salisbury made a speech, in which he said : “ The desire for colonial and foreign possessions is increasing among the nations of Europe. The power of concentrating military and naval forces is increasing under the influence of scientific progress. Put all these things together, and you will see that the colonies have a very real and genuine interest in the shield which their imperial connection throws over them, and that they have a ground for joining us in making the defenses of the empire secure.” These remarks are interesting, because we see a great English statesman speaking on a great national occasion to a body of men representing all parts of the British Empire, and taking the ground that the colonies are the parties who benefit under the imperial compact. There is no evidence in Lord Salisbury’s speech that he foresaw the day when the tables would be turned, — when England would hold her high place amongst the nations because of, not in spite of, her colonies.

The London Times, however, talks no longer of the prudery of blinking inevitable events. The cry now is, “ The real unity of the empire.” In a leading article on the Colonial Conference, in its issue of April 4, 1887, we find : “Of all the events of the Jubilee year, none are likely to be more interesting and memorable than the approaching Conference. It is the expression of some of the best influences of her Majesty’s reign. It has in it the promise of great things to come. Her colonial subjects have been quick to appreciate the advantages of such a Conference, which touches the pride, raises the hopes, and accords with the aspirations of every good citizen.”

On April 21, 1887, the Times, in a leading article, expresses exactly the idea which I wish to make clear: “In these communities [the colonies], as we are all beginning to feel, there is a great reserve of strength for the mother country.” Englishmen then were beginning to feel in 1887 that in the colonies lay the future greatness of England.

It is at this point that I see the birth of the great national idea which found such extraordinary expression in the occurrences surrounding the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. But for the sake of clearness I wish to trace its development a little more closely, and also that I may show how curiously various influences have combined to bring about the unification of the British Empire. From whatever standpoint we look at the United Kingdom, we see at once that the conditions there are much more favorable for the growth of a united public sentiment than in the United States. Its area is considerably less than that of the state of California, whilst its population is more than half that of the whole of the United States. Taking fourteen states — New York, Pennsylvania. Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, California, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia — for the sake of comparison, we find that their population in 1890 was about equal to that of the United Kingdom in 1891, but that it was spread over an area of 962,000 square miles, whilst that of the United Kingdom was compressed into 121,000. This circumstance in itself brings the people of the United Kingdom more closely into touch with one another. But the limited area of England produces another factor which powerfully affects public sentiment. There is no great diversity of interests between one part of the country and another, such as one observes in the United States, and thus the whole country responds more uniformly to any influence which may be brought to bear on it than can be the case in a nation whose shores are washed by the Pacific on one side and the Atlantic on the other, and whose territory extends from the Arctic Circle to the Tropic of Cancer. Owing to the centralization of the governing power, the debates at Westminster play a much greater part in the formation of public sentiment than the debates at Washington ; for in the one case the affairs of the several parts of the kingdom, as well as of the whole empire, are discussed, and in the other there is a distinct line between national and state interests. In a small country, also, individual influence is more easily established than in a large country, and a speech by Lord Salisbury or Mr. Chamberlain may conceivably produce effects which could not be looked for by any speaker in the United States, whatever his ability and strength of character. It has frequently been remarked that in England after-dinner speeches are extremely popular with “ the man in the street ; ” and it would be difficult, I think, to overestimate the influence which such utterances exert on the public mind. Finally, although the interest which Englishmen take in politics is probably less intense than that shown by Americans, it is of a different kind, and can be more easily utilized for national purposes than would be the case if party lines were more rigid than they are.

Of the hundreds of men in all parts of the British Empire who, in recent years, by their writings, speeches, and works, have educated the English people to a true realization of the value of the colonies, I would name here five who seem to me to stand in the front rank of those who have brought about this national awakening. They are Professor Sir J. R. Seeley, Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, James Anthony Froude, Mr. Rudyard Kipling, and Mr. Cecil Rhodes. Probably no single book has ever exerted a more powerful influence in the direction of the appreciation of English colonial enterprise than Professor Seeley’s Expansion of England. In this extraordinary work, the author succeeds in unraveling from the tangled skein of European history during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the thread of England’s development. Other historians had failed to see any continuous movement in one direction, because they were confronted at one time with the spectacle of Protestant Europe in arms against Catholic Europe, at another time with that of the allied forces of a Catholic and a Protestant power at war with a Protestant nation ; and because they found the questions of the Austrian Succession and the Spanish Succession large enough, when placed close to the eye, to hide the causes which lay beyond in the wars incident to these disputes. But Professor Seeley approached his subject in a new spirit, and threw a light on English history which enabled Englishmen to look back over the path which their ancestors had trod, and perceive among all its windings that it tended ever in one general direction. Between 1688 and 1815 England was engaged in seven wars.3 It was drawn into the first of these when William of Orange, who as king of the Netherlands was at war with France and Spain, became William III. of England. This war was terminated by the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, and the Treaty of Rastadt in 1714, Through this war England obtained Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and the Hudson’s Bay Territory from France, and Gibraltar and Minorca from Spain, together with the right to supply the Spanish-American colonies with slaves, and the privilege of sending one ship a year to Portobello, on the Isthmus of Panama. The second war has been called the War of Jenkins’s Ear. It arose through the pretensions of Spain to control the navigation of the West Indies and South America, and her claim to the right of search of all vessels in West Indian waters. War was declared against Spain in 1739, and in 1744 France, taking advantage of the situation, declared war against England. This war was terminated by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, by the terms of which England and France mutually restored all conquered territory. But although peace was declared in Europe, fighting still went on in other parts of the world. " The peace which had been concluded between England and France in 1748,” wrote Lord Macaulay, “ had been no more than an armistice, and had not even been an armistice in the other quarters of the globe.” Thus, although the two nations were at peace, we find Colonel George Washington defeating de Jumonville in the valley of the Ohio, and Clive destroying French influence in India by the defense of Arcot and the battle of Plassey. Then followed the Seven Years’ War, in which we see England and France fighting all over the world, nominally over the question of who should own Silesia, but with the great colonial issue in the background. The war ended in 1763 with the Treaty of Paris. It left France in a pitiable condition,— her commerce destroyed, her colonial power broken. The fifth war was with the American colonies in the beginning, but by the year 1778 France was again in the fight, joined later by Holland and Spain. Although this war resulted in the loss of the American colonies. England had little reason to complain of its effects elsewhere, when it is reflected that she was at war with practically the whole of Europe. The sixth and seventh wars were also with France. By the former England obtained Trinidad and Ceylon, by the latter Mauritius.

As far as I am aware, Professor Seeley was the first historian to point out the true significance of this continual struggle with France. He says: “The expansion of England in the New World and in Asia is the formula which sums up for England the history of the eighteenth century. I point out now that the great triple war of the middle of that century is neither more nor less than the great decisive duel between England and France for the possession of the New World. It was perhaps scarcely perceived at the time, as it has been seldom remarked since ; but the explanation of that second Hundred Years’ War between England and France which fills the eighteenth century is this, that they were rival candidates for the possession of the New World ; and the triple war which fills the middle of the century is, as it were, the decisive campaign in that great world-struggle.” But it is not only in this direction that Professor Seeley’s book made the course of England’s development clear to every reader; from the first page to the last, The Expansion of England is a convincing argument in favor of England’s territorial expansion across the seas.

The quotations which I have made from the writings of James Anthony Froude render it unnecessary to dilate at any length on the influence his books exerted on public sentiment in England. The publication in I887 of The English in the West Indies served to awaken a considerable interest in the islands, and resulted in the emigration from England of a number of young men who wished to try their fortunes in these forgotten possessions so charmingly described by Mr. Froude. The severe but just criticisms of England’s policy toward the West Indian colonies had a much wider effect. Statesmen were brought to see that a great injustice had been done ; and although remedial measures have been slow incoming, they are now being adopted, following the recommendations of a Royal Commission of Enquiry.

I turn now to Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, the present Secretary of State for the Colonies. We have it on the authority of the editor of Mr. Chamberlain’s Foreign and Colonial Speeches that, “ whether as a youth in the Birmingham and Egbaston Debating Society, in Parliament or outside, Mr. Chamberlain has given evidence of his strong sense both of the advantages and the obligations of empire ; ” and we have it on his own authority that he has “ long believed that the future of the colonies and the future of this country [England] were interdependent.5’4 In all his speeches we find this idea, the unity of the empire, strongly emphasized. Thus, speaking at the annual dinner of the Toronto Board of Trade in 1887, he said: “It may well be that the Confederation of Canada may be the lamp to light our pathway to the Confederation of the British Empire. That idea may only exist at present in the imagination of the enthusiast; but it is a grand idea. It is one to stimulate the patriotism of every man who loves his country ; and whether or not it should ever prove capable of practical realization, let us all cherish the sentiment which it inspires ; let us do all in our power to promote the closer relations, the kindly feelings, which ought always to exist between the sons of England throughout the world and the old folks at home.” Ten years later, March 31, 1897, speaking at the Royal Colonial Institute dinner, he said : “ We have now reached . . . the true conception of our empire. What is that conception ? As regards the self-governing colonies, we no longer talk of them as dependencies. The sense of possession has given place to the sentiment of kinship. We think and speak of them as part of ourselves, — as part of the British Empire, united to us, although they may be dispersed throughout the world, by ties of kindred, of religion, of history, and of language, and joined to us by the seas that formerly seemed to divide us.” It is not only in his speeches that Mr. Chamberlain has shown his interest in the colonies. Since he accepted his present office, in 1895, he has devoted all his energies to the advancement of colonial interests, and it was entirely due to the firm stand he made in the matter that the West India Royal Commission was appointed in 1896. It may be said that no very great results have followed the report of this commission; but it must be remembered that a change of policy concerning a large and important group of colonies cannot be effected in a day, and that many conflicting interests have to be considered before a definite line of action can be determined on.

In writing of the influence which Mr. Cecil Rhodes has exerted on public opinion in England relative to the colonies, I refrain from discussing those events which have occurred during the past few years in South Africa, and which are so intimately associated with his name. Whereas there may be two opinions as to the vigorous policy adopted by the Cape Parliament since Mr. Rhodes became a member of that body, about sixteen years ago, there can be but one sentiment in regard to the effect which that policy has had upon the masses of the people in England. Ever since the tragedy of Majouba Hill, in 1881, when Sir George Colley was killed and his small body of English troops almost annihilated by an overwhelming force of Boers, there has existed a very sore feeling in England respecting the cowardly and short-sighted policy adopted by Mr. Gladstone at that time, and every fresh evidence of Mr. Rhodes’s activity in Bechuanaland, Mashonaland, and Matabeleland has been hailed with delight by a vast majority of Englishmen. But a climax was reached when news arrived in England of the Jamieson raid of December 28, 1895. I make no comment on the raid or on the circumstances which led up to it ; my concern at present is with public opinion in England. Whatever may have been the judgment of wise heads on the affair, the people of England went wild with enthusiasm. Night after night, throughout the whole land, the performances at the theatres had to be interrupted in order that the audiences might sing songs about the raid, and scenes of indescribable excitement were to be witnessed wherever a handful of men got together. Finally, when Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Jamieson returned to England, they were accorded receptions, not officially, but by the people, scarcely equaled by that given to Lord Kitchener on his return from Egypt, after the battle of Omdurman. The effect of all this was to stimulate the spirit of empire enormously.

I do not claim for a moment that there was anything in the Jamieson raid or in Mr. Rhodes’s Cape policy which materially altered the facts of English colonization in such a way as to make colonial enthusiasm amongst the English people more reasonable than it would have been previously; but the purely emotional effect of the events to which I have referred tended in no small degree to bring about a truer conception of the vital importance of the colonies to the future of England.

I pass now to Mr. Kipling; and I am inclined to think that if his influence on English thought in regard to the empire has not been greater than that of the men I have named above, it has been of a kind that appeals to a somewhat higher set of emotions. We see the others awakening the lust of empire, stimulating the admiration for brave fighting, urging on the spirit of commercial enterprise, administering to that love of adventure which has always characterized the English people : in Mr. Kipling’s work we find something higher than all this. If I read Mr. Kipling’s work, and especially his later work, aright, there is one dominating idea to be traced in it,— the capacity, the duty, of the men of the Anglo-Saxon race to do thoroughly the task laid on their shoulders, not for love of gain, not for hope of praise, but for the very joy of the accomplished thing. It seems to me that in these latter years of the century we have become peculiarly sensitive to emotional stimulus, more apt than ever before to be controlled for good or evil by sentimental considerations. It is to this quality in us that Mr. Kipling appeals. It is, of course, extremely difficult to gauge the influence which is exerted by such a writer, but my own experience of Englishmen in many lands — and I can scarcely think it exceptional — has shown me that his books have contributed more than those of any other writer to bring about a realization and an appreciation of the magnificent work which is being done by the silent thousands who are quietly, but earnestly, building up the British Empire. The creed he would have us learn is a simple one: —

“ Go to your work and be strong, halting not in your ways,
Baulking the end half-won for an instant dole of praise.
Stand to your work and be wise — certain of sword and pen,
Who are neither children nor Gods, but men in a world of men.”

We have seen how the sentiment in regard to colonization has passed through two distinct phases in England, and is now in a third. The first phase was that of the old colonial system ; the second may be called the period of laissez aller ; and the third, which dawned with the Queen’s Jubilee in 1887, may be appropriately named the era of Greater Britain. As I have shown, many influences have been at work to produce the present state of feeling ; there remains one which has intensified all the others, and marvelously strengthened the bonds which hold the British Empire together, — the character and duration of the reign of Queen Victoria. How great this influence has been cannot be told : it can only be felt. Those who attended the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, who saw that unparalleled demonstration of June 22, who witnessed the frenzied loyalty of four millions of her Majesty’s subjects gathered from the corners of the world to do her homage, may understand something of it; but it is those who have seen her name honored and loved in the waste places of the earth, who have found that same loyalty beneath the palm and the pine, in the gold digger’s camp and the shepherd’s hut, who may know how large an element of England’s greatness has been the personal devotion of the people to the sovereign.

W. Alleyne Ireland.

  1. C. P. Lucas, A Historical Geography of the British Colonies, vol. ii. p. 410.
  2. Wealth of Nations, bk. iv. chap. vii. pt. iii.
  3. Exclusive of the war of 1812.
  4. Speech at the complimentary banquet to Lord Lammington, Hotel Meéropole, London, January 21, 1896.