Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/464

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AMERICA 414 AMERICA Spain, on the other side to Portugal. The papal Bulls from 1493, while issued, according to the time, in the form of grants by Divine rights, are in fact, acts of arbitration. The Pope (Alexander VI) had not sought, but iBerely accepted by request of the parties, the office of umpire, and his decisions were modified several times before both claimants declared them- selves satisfied. The methods of colonization pur- sued by the Portuguese were in the main similar to those of Spain, with the difference that the Portuguese inclined more to utilitarianism and to commercial pursuits. Again, the territory discovered and occu- Cied (Brazil) was dilficult uniformly of access, eing mostly covered by vast forests and furrowed by gigantic watercourses, not always favourable to the penetration of the interior. Therefore the Portu- guese reached the interior much less rapidly than the Spaniards, and confined their settlements mostly to the coast. The Indian population, thinly scattered and on a much lower level of culture than the seden- tary natives in parts of Spanish America, was of little service for the exploitation of the vast and almost impenetrable land. In the beginning of the seventeentli century, Brazil became Spanish, only to be conquered by the Dutch. The domination of the latter left no permanent stamp on the country, as it was brouglit to a close th.irty years after its begin- ning. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Portuguese were the most dangerous neighbours of the Jesuit missions, in the Amazonian Basin as well as in Paraguay. Tlieir policy of en- slaving the Indians caused the ruin of more than one mission, and it was only with great effort that the little Jesuit state of Paraguay, so beneficial to the aborigines, for a time held its own. The separation of Brazil from Portugal was due more to political disturbances in the latter country than to other causes. An empire was created, with a scion of the royal house of Portugal at its head. It is chiefly to the last Emperor, Pedro II, that Brazil owes its interior development, and to him was due the eman- cipation of the slaves. The Federal Republic since created has had to contend against many difficulties. III. French. — The French occupied three regions of the New World: (1) Eastern Canada, (2) Louisiana and the Mississippi Valley, (3) some of the Lesser Antilles and Guiana in eastern South America. The Antilles (Hayti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, etc.), became French in the course of the incessant piratical warfare carried on against Spain from the sixteenth century. Guiana as a French possession was the fruit of European wars and treaties. Neither of the last two French colonies have exerted any marked influence on American civilization. The French occupation of a part of Hayti had more serious conse- quences. _ The uprising of the negroes on that island resulted in the establishment of a negro republic, an isolated phenomenon in the annals of American his- tory. The French occupation of Canada lasted two centuries, that of the Valley of the Mississippi a little more tlian one, and was of the highest importance in the exploration of the North American Continent. It is to the French wo owe the earliest acquaintance with tliese regions. French colonization was different from Spanisli, inasmuch as it was attempted on a smaller scale and witli less dependence on the home Government. Like Spanisli and Portuguese coloni- zation, however, it was essentially Catholic. The attempts to found French Huguenot settlements in Brazil, I'lorida, and Georgia in the sixteenth century all failed; in Brazil becau.se of mismanagement; in the latter countries because of the Spanisli conquest. French colonization began on the tiaiiks and near the mouth of the Saint Lawrence. The first colonizers were venturesome mariners who afterwards applied to the crown for authority as well as for aid and military assistance. But it was personal initiative that laid the foundation. Strange as it may seem, Catherine de Medicis gave more support to Protestant than to Catholic undertakings. Political rea-sons on her part, chiefly the desire to supplant Spain in its American possessions, dictated this anomalous policy. The French settlements remained comparatively few, and hugged the shores of the Saint Lawrence, occupying points of the Lake basin and i.solated posts among the Indians and on the seaboard. The necessity of military protection and the limited immigration led to a governmental organization of the colony controlled by the crown, but for the most part indifferently supported. The French people had little confidence in the future of a domain that promised only furs and wood, showed no traces of precious metals, and where the climate was as for- bidding as its Indian inhabitants. It is likely that, owing to the antipathy against the Canadian enter- prise prevailing at court, Canada would have been abandoned had not two pertinent reasons preailed: one, the secret hope of checking the growing influence of England on the new continent, and of eentually annexing the English colonies in North America; the other, the missionary labour of the Jesuits. Both went hand in liand, for while the Jesuits were true to their religious mission, they were none the less Frenchmen and patriotic. They soon discovered that the key to the political and military situation was in the hands of the Iroquois Indians, or Six Nations, and that the European power that gained their permanent friendship would eventually secure the balance of power. To induce the Iroquois to become Christians and thereby allies of France, the Jesuits spared no sacrifice, no martyrdom, no efforts. Had the rulers of France been as sagacious as those of Spain in their appreciation of the Jesuit missions, and had they adequately supported them, the out- come might have been favourable. But, while both countries were equally autocratic, the French govern- ment was as unsystematic and careless in Canada as the Spanish was careful and methodical in ad- ministering its American possessions. The few governors, like Frontenac, capable of controlling the situation were poorly assisted by the mother- country, and inefficiency too often alternated itli good administration. Even military aid was sparingly granted at the most critical periods. It is true, however, that the moral and material decay of France, and her exhausting wars, may be urged in excuse of this neglect. The result was the establishment in the French possessions of a sparse population, scattered over so vast a territory that communication was frequently interrupted. That population, with the exception of the inhabitants of the official centres at Quebec and Montreal, where social conditions were partly modelled on those of the motherland, was rude and uneducated by reason of its isolation, though individually hardy and energetic, and their dispersion throughout such a vast territory pre- vented joint effort. The missionaries had their hands too full, in attending to the Indian missions, to serve adequately the wants of the colonists, who, moreover, from the nature of their occupations, were often compelled to lead an almost migratory life. Thanks to the efforts of a trader and of a Jesuit, the connection between the Lakes and the Mississippi was established in the latter )jart of the seventeenth century. After the establishment of French settlements in Louisiana and Illinois, the English colonies were encompas.scd by a semi-circle of French possessions. La balle did for the mouth of the Mississijnii Kivcr and part of Texas what Champlain had clone for the mouth of the Saint Law- rence. Individual cntcrpri.se began to make sig- nificant approaches to the Spanish outposts in northern Mexico, The conduct of France in its North American dominions towards other European