Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/70

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
62
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

an impartiality and inexpensiveness that will insure to every citizen the enjoyment of the most elementary of all rights—the right to justice.

Side by side with the process of differentiation within colonies rose up an integration of colonies with one another, which also repeats the history of the mother country. The same principles of authority and consent, again in unequal proportions, are blended here. It was by conquest that the seven old English kingdoms were welded into a united England, Strathclyde incorporated, Ireland annexed. By force disguised as bribery, aided by the patriotic or interested efforts of a few nobles and placemen and in opposition to the will of the inhabitants, Scotland and Ireland were joined to England. Some four or five groups of British colonies have reduplicated, or are now reduplicating, a parallel development. In North America it was preceded and accompanied by altercations among the different colonies. Boundary disputes repeat old English intertribal struggles. Tariff wars are now waged, and commercial reciprocity treaties contracted, between contemporary colonies. New Haven and Connecticut, which consisted of towns federated by consent, were united by force. Voluntary alliances against the Indians or to conquer Canada, or involuntary unions under despotic rulers, associated larger or smaller North American groups from Maine to Maryland. The loose confederation of 1781 was too voluntary to last. The final federation that superseded it had a large element of latent force mixed with consent. It was hardly less a conquest of the North by the South than that of the Heptarchy by Wessex. The Constitution is a monument of Southern ascendency. So it was that, for seventy years off and on, the United States was governed by a Southern oligarchy, whether under the hegemony of Virginia or of South Carolina. The dominion of Canada means (even under a French premier) the dominion of Ontario, with Quebec bribed, and Newfoundland not bribed enough, to enter. In 1876 the ten New Zealand provinces were amalgamated under a central Government which for many years remained that of the earlier-settled North Island. A federation of the Australian colonies planned seven years ago under the auspices of protectionist Victoria, is likely to succeed under the leadership of free-trading New South Wales. Mr. Rhodes is advising the federation of the British colonies of South Africa; forty years ago a federation of all the South African states was designed by Sir George Grey, then high commissioner, but with little patriotism and still less wisdom, for at that time it necessarily implied the dominance of the Dutch element. In 1846 that far-seeing statesman had projected a union of the South Sea Islands with New Zealand. Only four years ago the same aged prophet of federation,