« ZurückWeiter »
labour of the conquered, as will maintain them in their new establishment; and this diminishing the subsistence of the natires, discourages their imara riages, and so gradually diminishes them, while the foreigners increase. 2. Loss of territory. Thus the · Britons, being driven into Wales, and crowded together in a barren country, insufficient to support such great numbers, diminished, till the people bore a. proportion to the produce; while the Saxons in-: creased on their abandoned lands, till the island became full of English; and were the English now driven into Wales by some foreign nation, there would, in a few years, be no more Englishmen in Britain than there are now people in Wales. 3. Loss of trade. Manufactures, exported, draw subsistence from foreign countries for numbers, who are thereby enabled to marry and raise families. If the nation be deprived of any branch of trade, and no new employment is found for the people occupied in that bránch, it will soon be deprived of so many people. 4. Loss of food. Suppose. a nation has a fishery, which not only employs great numbers, but makes the food and subsistence of the people cheaper : if another nation becomes master of the seas, and prevents the fishery, the people will diminish in proportion as the loss of employ and dearness of provision makes it more difficult to subsist a family. 5. Bad government and insecure property. People not only leave such a country, and, settling abroad, incorporate with other nations, lose their native language, and become foreigners; but the industry of those that remain being discouraged, the quantity of subsistence in the country is lessened, and the support of a family becomes more difficult. So heavy taxes' tend to di: winish a people. 6. The introduction of slaves. The negroes, brought into the English sugar islands, bare greatly diminished the whites there ; the poor are by this means deprived of employment, while a: few families acquire vast estates, which they spend ou foreign luxuries; and, educating their children in the habit of those luxuries, the same income is needed for the support of one that might have maintained one hundred. The whites, who hare slares, not labouring, are enfeebled, and therefore not so generally prolific; the slaves being worked too hard and ill fed, their constitutions are broken, and the deaths among them are more than the births ; so that a continual supply is needed from Africa. The northern colonies having few slaves, increase in whites. Slaves also pejorate the fami. lies that use them; the white children become proud, disgusted with labour, and, being educated in idleness, are rendered upfit to get a living by industry.
14. Hence the prince that acquires uew terri. tory, if he finds it vacant, or removes the natives to give his own people room ;- the legislator that makes effectual laws for promoting of trade, increasing employment, improving land by more or better tillage, providing more food by fisheries, se. curing property, &c.and the man that invents new trades, arts, or manufactures, or vew improvements in husbandry, may be properly called fathers of their nation, as they are the cause of the generation of multitudes, by the encouragement they afford to marriage.
15. As to privileges granted to the married, (such
as the jus trium liberorum among the Romans) they may hasten the filling of a country, that has been thinned by war or pestilence, or that has otherwise vacant territory, but cannot increase a people beyond the means provided for their subsistence.
16. Foreigu luxuries, and needless manufactures, imported and used in a nation, do, by the same rea. soning, increase the people of the nation that fur nishes them, and diminish the people of the nation that uses them. Laws, therefore, that prevent such importations, and, on the contrary, promote the exportation of manufactures to be consumed in foreign countries, may be called (with respect to the people that make them) generative laws, as, by increasing subsistence, they encourage marriage. Such laws likewise strengthen a country doubly, by increasing its own people, and diminishing its neighbours.
17. Some European nations prudently refuse to consume the manufactures of East India :--they should likewise forbid them to their colonies ; for the gain to the merchant is not to be compared with the loss, by this means, of people to the nation.
18. Home luxury in the great increases the nation's manufacturers employed by it, who are many, and only 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 marriage. 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 themselses, 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 thari others commonly do, such sect must consequently increase more by natural generation than any other sect in Britain., 121. The importation of foreigpers into a country, that has as many inhabitants as the present employ, ments 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, § 14, 16) will soon be filled by natural generation, Who can now fiud the vacancy made in Sweden, France, or other warlike nations, by the plague of heroism 40 years ago; in France, by the expulsion of the protestants; in England, by the settlement of her colonies; or in Guinea, by a hundred years' exportation of slaves, that has blackened half America ? The thinness of the iuhabitants in Spain is owing to national pride, and idleness, and other causes, rather than to the expulsion of the Moors, or to the makivg 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 aud 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 ovly, as for instance, with fennel; and were it empty of other inhabita ants, 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 of English souls in North America (though it is thought scarce 60,000 have 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 num. ber of Englishmen will be on this side the water. What an accession of power to the British empire by sea as well as land! Wbat increase of trade and navigation! What numbers of ships and seainen! We have been here but little more than a 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 nary.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 rooin depends so much the increase of her people ! · 23. In fine, a nation well regulated is like a polypus:t take away a limb, its place is soon supplied ; cut it in two, and each deficient part shall speedily
.. In 1751.
t A water insect, well known to naturalists.