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THE BIRTH OF NEW NATIONS DURING THE

VICTORIAN REIGN.

BY JOHN MURRAY MOORE, M.D., M.R.C.S., F.R.G.S.,

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PRESIDENT.

“We are a Nation," I heard the orator of Canada, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, say at the impressive climax of an eloquent speech at the Banquet to the Colonial Premiers, given in our Philharmonic Hall, in June, 1897. This utterance sank deep into my mind, and has given me the text upon which I have founded the title of this address which I have had to compose at rather short notice, owing to the sudden illness of my much respected predecessor in the chair.

During the century now drawing to its close, the notable features and events which have made for the progress—the true progress of humanity, have been the wonderful discoveries of science and inventions of mechanism; the improved methods of preserving public health and checking epidemics; the resuscitation of small nations; the spread of liberty and fraternity in civil, political, and religious life; the increased intercourse of nations by international exhibitions; the modification of monarchical and imperial governments by democracy; the federation of British Colonies; and last, and most striking of all, as it seems to me, the enormous and stillcontinuing expansion of the British race.

The vastness, variety, loyalty, and unity of the glorious heritage of the modern Briton are worthy of our special attention. How is it that we, a mixed race of AngloSaxons, Normans, Danes, French, Kelts, and Teutons, living on two small islands, with the sea for our highway, have utilised..for trade and settlement the discoveries of Columbus, Vasco da Gama, and Tasman, and have firmly established ourselves in every part of the globe, while the countries which gave birth to these illustrious men have renained insignificant or dwindled into decay ? It is because Providence has endowed us with the best qualities for colonizing of any nation. We ought gratefully to say, as we look upon the parts of the map of the world painted red, in the words of our City of Liverpool motto:

Deus nobis hæc otia fecit.

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Though our expansion—latterly, indeed, the necessary consequence of an overflow of population, which is the primitive cause and origin of most colonies-has excited the jealousy and dislike of the European powers, we are not a military nation, with a huge standing army always eager to take the field and extend its sovereign's frontier ; nor are we pirates, filibusters, or land-grabbers, as our French neighbours accuse us of being. For history shows that, on good cause shown, Britain can restore legitimately-gained territory as gracefully, as she can hold it firmly. During the last two centuries we have relinquished Minorca, Tangiers, the Ionian Islands, Manilla, Java, Heligoland, and, at various times, all the West Indian Islands now held by other powers. Our governments have refused to accept Hawaii, Samoa, the Transvaal, Delagoa Bay, and other places. Yet it is not a boast, but an actual fact, that we can Anglicise any part of the world—arctic, temperate, or tropical, by settlement-with both immediate and lasting benefit to its original inhabitants.

From the planting of our very earliest colony, in Newfoundland, by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, in 1583, down to the present year of grace, 1900, when we add 170,000 square miles to Greater Britain by the annexation of the two

Boer Republics, her expansion has been so continuous and so great, that few of us can realise that to-day our empire outranks, both in area and population, even Russia, the “ Colossus of the North When Queen Victoria acceded to the throne, in 1837, she reigned over 2,621,000 square miles of territory, peopled by 130 millions, of whom the Metropolis contributed a million and a half. Sixty years passed, and the Diamond Jubilee of this same beloved sovereign, more deeply enshrined than ever in the hearts of her subjects, was enthusiastically celebrated by many nationalities, in number (according to Sir Robert Giffen) 407 millions of souls, occupying twelve million square miles of land. London had grown into a gigantic city of five million inhabitants; and the total trade of the British empire was valued at £750,000,000 per annum. The unity and loyalty of our ten million kinsmen across the seas have been elicited in a most unexpected and remarkable way by the deplorable but inevitable war in South Africa. Take one striking fact as an illustration before passing on.

Far-off New Zealand, a most peaceful and unmilitary colony, leaped to arms at the appeal of its Premier, and has sent out to the Cape two thousand of its finest youth, well-equipped, mounted, and disciplined. This contingent is in the proportion of one in 326 of the total population of the colony. A similarly proportionate force in Great Britain would amount to a body of 117,000 soldiers ! Not without many lesser wars has our empire attained this stupendous development. But this we can assert, that in Europe we have never shed blood for the extension of territory, and to this day, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, Portugal and the Low countries have never repaid us for putting down Napoleon, the Attila of Europe, nor has Turkey in the slightest degree compensated us for the Crimean war.

During the 19th century British statesmen have made many useful and generally successful experiments in different ways of governing our distant possessions. With a success which excites the wonder of the foreigner and the admiration of the American, our administrators have solved most difficult problems,—of maintaining the peace between alien and hostile races in the same country; of controlling turbulent adventurers; of enforcing respect for life and property; and of uniting under one government many widely-scattered settlements. Not always has the success of these governmental experiments been due to the Ministers of State. More often the ability, sagacity, courage, and promptitude of our pioneer governors and colonists, ignoring the ignorance and ineptitude of Downing Street, have scored these victories of peace. The striking success of Sir Stamford Raffles, cousin of the erstwhile venerable minister of Great George Street Chapel, as Governor of Java, which was becoming a British colony of great value, when it was abruptly retroceded to Holland, in 1814, and his clever selection of Singapore, now the most flourishing seaport of the East, were not honoured or rewarded when he retired from office. Another great empire-builder, Sir George Grey, of New Zealand, was continually at variance with the Colonial office. Yet his masterly constitution of New Zealand, in 1852, was the first complete scheme of representative and responsible self-government actually put into operation. And in 1858 he drew up a scheme of government for a United South Africa, the adoption of which would have spared us the sad wars and rebellions that have since followed.

Without dwelling on the history of colonial expansion, which has been admirably summed up by Professor W. H. Woodward of this city in his well-known Manual, I will

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