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tends to diminish the families that indulge in it, who are few. The greater the common fashionable expense of any rank of people, the more cautious they are of mar. riage. Therefore luxury should never be suffered to become common.
19. The great increase of offspring in particular families is not always owing to greater fecundity of nature, but sometimes to examples of industry in the heads, and industrious education ; by which the children are enabled to provide better for themselves, and their marrying early is encouraged from the prospect of good subsistence.
20. If there be a sect, therefore, in our nation, that regard frugality and industry as religious duties, and educate their children therein, more than others commonly do; such sect must consequently increase more by natural generation, than any other sect in Britain.
21. The importation of foreigners into a country, that has as many inhabitants as the present employments and provisions for subsistence will bear, will be in the end no increase of people, unless the new comers have more industry and frugality than the natives, and then they will provide more subsistence, and increase in the country; but they will gradually eat the natives out. Nor is it necessary to bring in foreigners to fill up any occasional vacancy in a country; for such vacancy (if the laws are good, sec. 14, 16,) will soon be filled by natural generation. Who can now find the vacancy made in Sweden, France, or other warlike nations, by the plague of heroism, forty years ago; in France, by the expulsion of the Protestants; in England, by the settlement of her colonies; or in Guinea, by one hundred years' exportation of slaves, that has blackened half America ? The thinness of inhabitants in Spain is owing to national pride and idleness, and other causes, rather than to the expulsion of the Moors, or to the making of new settlements.
22. There is, in short, no bound to the prolific nature of plants or animals, but what is made by their crowding and interfering with each other's means of subsistence. Was the face of the earth vacant of other plants, it might be gradually sowed and overspread with one kind only, as, for instance, with fennel; and, were it empty of other inhabitants, it might in a few ages be replenished from one nation only, as, for instance, with Englishmen. Thus, there are supposed to be now upwards of one million English souls in North America, (though it is thought scarce eighty thousand has been brought over sea,) and yet perhaps there is not one the fewer in Britain, but rather many more, on account of the employment the colonies afford to manufacturers at home. This million doubling, suppose but once in twenty-five years, * will, in another century, be more than the people of England, and the greatest number of Englishmen will be on this side the water. What an accession of power to the British empire by sea as well as land ! What increase of trade and navigation ! What numbers of ships and seamen! We have been here but little more than one hundred years, and yet the force of our privateers in the late war, united, was greater, both in men and guns, than that of the whole British navy in Queen Elizabeth's time. How important an affair then to Britain is the present treaty for settling the bounds between her colonies and the French, and how careful should she be to secure room enough, since on the room depends so much the increase of her people.
* This was a singularly just estimate of the period for doubling the population, and has proved to be substantially correct, since periodical enumerations have been made, from 1790 down to the present time (1835); the rate of increase, shown by these censuses, being the same as it was estimated in 1751, that it would be. The prediction in the text, as to the probable number of inhabitants, is therefore likely to be fully verified. W. PHILLIPS.
23. In fine, a nation well regulated is like a polypus; take away a limb, its place is soon supplied; cut it in two, and each deficient part shall speedily grow out of the part remaining. Thus, if you have room and subsistence enough, as you may, by dividing, make ten polypuses out of one, you may of one make ten nations, equally populous and powerful; or rather increase a nation ten fold in numbers and strength.
And since detachments of English from Britain, sent to America, will have their places at home so soon supplied and increase so largely here; why should the Palatine boors be suffered to swarm into our settlements, and, by herding together, establish their language and manners, to the exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a colony of aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our language or customs any more than they can acquire our complexion?
24. Which leads me to add one remark, that the number of purely white people in the world is proportionably very small. All Africa is black or tawny; Asia chiefly tawny; America (exclusive of the new comers) wholly so. And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians, and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy complexion ; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who, with the English, make the principal body of white people on the face of the earth. I could wish their numbers were increased. And while we are, as I may call it, scouring our planet, by clearing America of woods, and so making this side of our globe reflect a brighter light to the eyes of inhabitants in Mars or Venus, why should we, in the sight of superior beings, darken its people ? Why increase the sons of Africa, by planting them in America, where we have so fair an opportunity, by excluding all blacks and tawnys, of increasing the lovely white and red? But perhaps I am partial to the complexion of my country, for such kind of partiality is natural to mankind.
In a Letter from Richard Jackson of London to the Author.
DEAR SIR, It is now near three years since I received your excellent Observations on the Increase of Mankind, in which
have with so much sagacity and accuracy shown in what manner, and by what causes, that principal means of political grandeur is best promoted; and have so well supported those just inferences you have occasionally drawn, concerning the general state of our American colonies, and the views and conduct of some of the inhabitants of Great Britain.
You have abundantly proved, that natural fecundity is hardly to be considered, because the vis generandi, as far as we know, is unlimited, and because experience shows, that the numbers of nations are altogether governed by collateral causes, and among these none of so much force as the quantity of subsistence, whether arising from climate, soil, improvement of tillage, trade, fisheries, secure property, conquest of new countries, or other favorable circumstances.
As I perfectly concurred with you in your sentiments on these heads, I have been very desirous of building somewhat on the foundation you have there laid ; and was induced, by your hints in the twenty-first section, to trouble you with some thoughts on the influence manners have always had, and are always likely to have, on the numbers of a people, and their political prosperity in general.
The end of every individual is its own private good. The rules it observes in the pursuit of this good are a system of propositions, almost every one founded in authority, that is, derive their weight from the credit given to one or more persons, and not from demonstration.
And this, in the most important as well as the other affairs of life, is the case even of the wisest and philosophical part of the human species; and that it should be so is the less strange, when we consider, that it is perhaps impossible to prove, that being, or life itself, has any other value than what is set on it by authority.
A confirmation of this may be derived from the observation, that, in every country in the universe, happiness is sought upon a different plan; and, even in the same country, we see it placed by different ages, pro fessions, and ranks of men, in the attainment of enjoyments utterly unlike.
These propositions, as well as others framed upon them, become habitual by degrees, and, as they govern the determination of the will, I call them moral habits.
There are another set of habits, that have the direction of the members of the body, that I call therefore mechanical habits. These compose what we commonly call the arts, which are more or less liberal or mechanical, as they more or less partake of assistance from the operations of the mind.