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PART II.

MODERN COLONIZATION.

(1) IN AMERICA, AFRICA AND ASIA.

SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE COLONIES.—It was a great day in the world's history when Christopher Columbus, a Genoese pilot, set sail from Spain with a small fleet of three vessels bound on that memorable voyage which resulted in the discovery of America, and in the opening of new regions for the industrial activity and enterprise of civilized man. After years of endeavour he had convinced Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain that the realms of Indian wealth and treasure could be reached by sailing in the direction of the setting sun; that, the earth being round, the countries of the east could be attained by sailing to the west, so that communication could be established over the whole world across the sublime highway of the ocean. Bold mariner was he, indeed, in that age, when the lamp of science burnt dimly, to gaze across the wild waves of the Atlantic, and, beyond its primeval darkness, to see the light of promise with its glimmering rays leading on to modern civilization. How transported with delight he was when, after tossing about in strange seas for twenty-one days, without sight of land, he saw grass floating on the waves, and birds appeared on the western horizon as the gentle messengers of a harbour of safety. It was on the night of the 12th October, 1492, that Columbus from the deck of his vessel descried a dim light flickering across the waves; and at 2 o'clock in the morning a cannon shot from the Pinta announced that a sailor had discovered land.

That light was a spark that has since illuminated the whole world, and the cannon shot will be heard echoing through all time. To Christopher Columbus is due the immortal honour of having discovered the continent of America. He was the first of a long line of maritime pioneers and discoverers who lifted the curtain of the trackless deepwho ploughed their way from sea to sea, from ocean to ocean, from continent to continent, until the great work of circumnavigating the globe, so daringiy begun, was duly accomplished.

The second great voyage which largely assisted to expand the dominion of European civilization was that performed six years after the discovery of America, by Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese navigator. To that distinguished man was entrusted the execution of the project of sailing from Portugal to India round the continent of Africa. It may seem strange that both the expedition of Columbus and that of Vasco da Gama were launched for the purpose of reaching India. But the fact is that the nearest and safest route to the riches of Cathay and the trade of India was, to the commercial nations of the southwest of Europe, a problem of vital importance; they wished to compete with Venice and Genoa, which long enjoyed the monopoly of that trade by way of eastern caravan routes. Hence it was that the Portuguese were endeavouring to explore the western coast of Africa, with a view to reaching India by passing round its most southern promontory, many years before Columbus conceived the daring idea of sailing westward to India, in essaying which he was stopped by the Isthmus of Panama.

The Cape of Good Hope was discovered by Bartholomew Diaz in 1486. It was doubled by Vasco da Gama's fleet in November, 1497, and subsequently he arrived at Calicut, on the Malabar coast of India, the goal of his enterprise, where he established a trading station which marked the beginning of the European conquest of India. In comparing the achievements of Columbus and Da Gama as pioneers of oceanic exploration, it may be noted that whilst Columbus crossed a wild waste of waters, upon which man had never previously ventured, Da Gama, in circumnavigating Africa, followed the track of Pharoah Necho, an Egyptian king, whose ships had sailed round Africa more than 2,000 years before. But, for supreme grandeur, no exploit in the history of the human race is equal to the voyage of Fernando Magellan, a Portuguese mariner, who inaugurated an expedition which first sailed round the world, demonstrating beyond all doubt the rotundity of our planet, and leading the way to the discovery of new islands and a new continent in the Southern Hemisphere. In September of the year 1519 Magellan was entrusted by Charles V. of Spain with the command of a fleet of five ships fitted out for the purpose of exploring the southern seas. Nagellan succeeded in discovering the famous straits which bear his name, running between the southern headland of South America and Terradel-Fuego; thence he passed into the broad expanse of the Pacific Ocean, to which he gave its present name. Continuing his voyage, he sailed on, and on, month after month, undergoing privations and encountering perils, until at last, in the year 1521, he arrived at the Philippine Islands, north of Australia, where he was killed in a skirmish with the natives. His vessel, conveying his records, charts and observations, was brought back to Spain by way of the Cape of Good Hope. The circumnavigation of the globe was thus completed after a three years' voyage of unparalleled difficulty and danger; the saddest event of the expedition being the loss of its intrepid commander before he had seen the accomplishment of his world-wide enterprise. It must be admitted that this voyage was the most triumphant in the whole record of navigation, ancient or modern. It was Magellan who burst through the gates of the American continent; it was he who first navigated the majestic Pacific, with its numerous islands and its mighty highway from America to the Indian Ocean, preparing the way for much that was to follow in the fulness of time. Well has Dr. Draper written of Magellan—“He impressed his name on earth and sky; on the straits connecting two oceans, and on clouds of starry worlds seen in the southern sky.”—The Intellectual Development of Europe, Vol. II., p. 169.

Pioneers OF MODERN COLONIZATION.—Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Fernando Magellan were the first great pioneers of modern colonization to whom reference must necessarily be made in any account of the beginning and expansion of England's empire

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beyond the seas ; for, although their expeditions and discoveries were conducted in the interests and at the expense and direction of Spain and Portugal, the time came when England obtained possession of most of the countries which they added to the inheritance of civilized man. They prepared the way for Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the earth in 1578, and for James Cook's voyage in 1769-70. The nation and the generation who sow the seed of progress do not always gather in the harvest, but sooner or later the human race, as a whole, enjoys and profits by what has been planted “with the blood and tears of a few." So it was in the case of those renowned navigators. Where now is the colonial empire of Spain ? Nothing remains; her provinces were lost in the hurricane of revolution and conquest. Where is now the colonial empire of Portugal ? island of any consequence remains to speak of departed fame.

To England fell the greatest and richest share of the glorious result of those three great voyages which “broke the night of ages; which ushered in modern times with all their bustling activity ; which directed the course of civilization from the east to the west-from rivers such as the Nile, the Tiber, the Euphrates, the Danube and the Rhine, and from inland seas, such as the Black, the Baltic and the Mediterranean, to the broad Atlantic and the far-reaching stretches of the Pacific Ocean. From that time the nations of the Mediterranean were destined no longer to monopolize the commerce of the world. Egypt ceased to be the avenue to India ; Europe was startled by the intelligence brought in quick succession from the new world, and an impetus of an unprecedented character was given to the spirit of adventure and discovery. Then began the mighty race for slices of the new world. England, of the sixteenth century, was not behindhand; she now began to lead the vanguard of nations in that grand struggle. See Seeley's “Growth of British Policy."

In many respects the English at that time were peculiarly qualified for the work to be done. For over a thousand years the people of the island had been going through various stages of preparation and apprenticeship calculated to fit them for the arts of navigation and colonization. In the first place, England itself had been for many centuries a colony belonging to different and successive nations. The Phænicians, the Romans, the Danes, the Saxons and the Normans, had, in successive periods, planted colonies in British soil, which left enduring traces in the country and in the character of the inhabitants. Then, again, the main element of the amalgamated population of Britain was composed of a sea-faring people, having habits and instincts which attached them to the sea and its associations. Under these circumstances it is hardly surprising to see the English come to the front in this remarkable epoch of geographical discovery and maritime enterprise.

North AMERICAN DISCOVERIES.-Four years after Columbus had discovered America, and whilst Vasco da Gama was preparing to circumnavigate Africa, John Cabot, a Venetian pilot, with his son, Sebastian, a native of Bristol, obtained from King Henry VII. letters patent authorizing them to proceed on a voyage of exploration towards the north-west, in order, if possible, to find, conquer and

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settle unknown lands for the English crown. The King supplied one ship, and the merchants of Bristol and London placed a few smaller ones at their disposal, and with this meagre feet the Cabots, father and

son, sailed forth on their dangerous enterprise. The result of this and succeeding voyages made by John and Sebastian Cabot were most momentous; they laid the foundation of England's trans-Atlantic colonial empire. In June, 1497, they reached the coast of Newfoundland, or, as some think, of Labrador. Afterwards they sailed southwards along the eastern coast of the American continent as far as Cape Florida, near the Gulf of Mexico. They were the first Europeans who sighted and surveyed the coastline of the vast territory which was subsequently occupied by the thirteen original colonies, and which now belongs to the United States Republic. The discoveries of the Cabots gave England an international claim to the whole of North America, and that claim, although allowed to remain dormant for nearly a century, was eventually asserted in an emphatic and practical manner.

The Spanish devoted their energies and resources to the conquest of Central America, and a part of South America, together with the adjacent islands known as the West Indies, whilst the Portuguese took possession of Brazil; but neither of these nations explored or asserted a right to North America. Whilst the Spaniards and Portuguese were plundering and enslaving the defenceless natives of the south, committing unspeakable outrages, and spreading unutterable ruin wherever the lust of gold induced them to extend their devastating sway, the English by slow and cautious steps explored the apparently poor and inhospitable coast of North America. Many disasters and failures delayed the work of settlement. For many years after the Cabots, expeditions were sent across the Atlantic by English enterprise, for the purpose of finding what Columbus failed to discover-a north-west passage to India. At last these attempts irere for the time given up; the route of Vasco da Gama round the Cape of Good Hope was resorted to, and trading factories were established on the shores of the Indian Peninsula, which were the feeble beginnings of our Indian empire.

First English COLONIES IN AMERICA.-After John and Sebastian Cabot, Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Walter Raleigh were two of the most famous pioneers of English colonization in North America. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, an English navigator and maritime discoverer, obtained from Queen Elizabeth, in 1578, a patent empowering him to discover and colonize any unsettled lands which he might reach. This was the first charter granted by an English monarch to found colonies. Two expressions from this remarkable instrument may be quoted : He was to take possession of “all remote and barbarous lands” and to govern them, subject to the proviso that “all who settled there should have and enjoy all the privileges of free citizens and natives of England." In his first voyage, in pursuance of this authority, he sailed for Newfoundland, but returned home unsuccessful. He sailed again in 1583, landed on the shores of Newfoundland, took possession of the harbour of St. Johns, and shortly afterwards lost his life in a storm whilst exploring the coast. In 1585 Sir Walter

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Raleigh, one of the most brilliant figures in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, promulgated a scheme for the settlement of those parts of North America not appropriated by Christian powers. Through his great influence with the Queen he obtained an extensive patent for that purpose, and by the assistance of wealthy friends and relatives two ships were fitted out for the expedition. It is interesting to observe that one of the clauses of Raleigh's first patent, like that of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, provided that the English subjects who accompanied him should have a guarantee of the “continuance and enjoyment of all the rights which they enjoyed at home.” It was a maxim of the common law that, if an uninhabited country were discovered and peopled by English subjects, they were supposed to possess themselves of it for the benefit of their sovereign, and that such of the laws of England as were applicable and necessary to their situation and the conditions of an infant colony were immediately in force; that wherever an Englishman went he carried with him as much of English law and liberty as the nature of his circumstances required.-Petersdorff's Abridgment, vol. V., p. 540. Thus early was it recognised that Englishmen carried their political birthright with them over the broad surface of the earth; that the charters of freedom for which their ancestors fought were not left behind, but accompanied them to their new homes beyond the sea. This was the fundamental principle of English colonization, and it presents a marked contrast to the colonizing systems of Spain, Portugal and France.

In this expedition Sir Walter Raleigh founded a settlement on Roanoke Island, in what is now North Carolina. A few years previously a party of French Huguenots had settled at Port Royal, in what is now South Carolina, and had built a fort which they called “ Arx Carolina” in honour of Charles IX. of France. They had, however, been murdered by the Spaniards from the adjoining territory of Florida. Raleigh's settlement was not successful and was soon broken up. His vessels brought to England some natural productions which proved the great value of the resources of the country, and another expedition was sent out under the command of Sir Richard Grenville, a kinsman of Sir Walter Raleigh. This was more successful, and resulted in the foundation of the colony of Virginia, so named in honour of the Virgin Queen Elizabeth. It was the first and greatest of the thirteen colonies established under the protection of the English flag. It is said that to Sir Walter Raleigh's expedition is due the introduction of the potato and tobacco plant into Europe. In these early attempts at colonization failure and success blended together, and it was not until about the year 1606, in the reign of James I., that anything like safe and permanent settlement was effected in these strange and distant regions.

England's struggle with Spain had been long and deadly, but it ended with the defeat of the Spanish Armada in the year 1588. England became mistress of the sea, having only the Dutch as powerful rivals; and thus there were no longer serious dangers in the way of maritime discovery and adventure.

The reign of the Stuarts, disastrous as it was to themselves,

were

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