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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/153

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COLONIES AND THE MOTHER COUNTRY.

quest. It surrendered, in 1854, its sovereignty over the Boers of the Orange River. That surrender was condemned by British governors, is still condemned by historians, and was disliked by the wealthier and more intelligent Boers; how wise and just it was is shown by the jealousy with which the republic has since watched over its independence. To its eternal honor—or rather to that of Gladstone—it nobly gave back the Transvaal to its stalwart farmers. France long relinquished Algeria and Madagascar, which her missions and commercial stations in the seventeenth century gave her a prescriptive right to occupy two centuries later. It refused to support De La Tours, and abandoned Labourdonnais and Dupleix. Through mere inertia Portugal has let slip from her hands a grand inheritance. The Dutch repressed the extension of their colony at the Cape. Java flourishes, but Dutch New Guinea lies rotting.

A species, extending beyond its original habitat, has often to battle with lower species already in possession of that portion of the earth or water. So, except in rare cases, occupation means the necessity of conquest. The Puritans, as they advanced into the interior, had to fight for the possession of New England. The nomadic Australian blacks offered no resistance to the earliest settlers, but as they were driven inward they disputed, and are still fiercely disputing, every foot of territory. As the indigenes rise in the scale, have clearings and cultivate the soil, the resistance increases. No savage peoples have cost the invaders so much in disturbance, blood and treasure as the Indians, Maoris, Kaffirs and Algerian Arabs. Mashonaland was occupied by the Chartered Company without firing a shot or losing a life, but it had soon to fight for possession. The incessant turmoil, though the waves of it spread to the remote mother country, affects the settlers mainly. The blood shed is both colonial and metropolitan. The North American settlers fought their own hard battles; though British troops engaged, to their cost, with the Indians, it was against these as allies of the French; in recent years the British garrison in Canada has been employed against the half-castes. In New Zealand colonial volunteers joined with the regular troops to defeat the Maoris, and 'the former were sometimes found the more efficient.

The most picturesque conquests in history were effected by private enterprise. Mexico was conquered by local recruits. Pizarro was authorized to conquer Peru in the name of the Spanish crown, and, besides various other encouragements, he received a modest sum from the Spanish treasury. But it was again by local recruits, not one of them furnished by the Spanish Government, that the conquest was made and maintained. Algeria has a very different story to tell. The troops employed in effecting a difficult conquest spread over thirty years were French from first to last. In general, it may be said that where there