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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/156

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the former contribute immediately practicable proposals. Russia, Germany, France, and Great Britain—the four grasping powers—along with Italy and Belgium, are now, after a digestive interval of thirty years, carrying out a suggestion made by Kenan in 1871. The Chinese, who threw off the yoke of the conquering Mongols, belong (it appears) by ordination of Nature to the subject races. The people that produced Confucius and Lao-tze consist of laboring men who need direction and organization. China, therefore, calls for conquest. The powers have obeyed the call, and that vast and peaceful land is now undergoing dismemberment, with a view to final wholesale partition. It is a parallel to the conquest of Peru by the Spaniards. In both countries a more perfect civilization of a lower type was or will be superseded by a less perfect civilization of a higher type. In this alone lies its assumed justification. Evidently the argument may be carried far. It would justify Russia in occupying Turkey, the United States in conquering not only Spanish colonies but Spain itself. It was the moral justification of the Gothic invasions of the early Christian centuries. It is a sentence of death or (it may be) of new life to all moribund nationalities.

Other modes of acquiring colonies are by cession and by purchase. The former is often disguised conquest, like that of the Cape to England. The latter may be so as well, like that of the African diamond fields by England. Colbert bought, for less than a million francs, certain of the West India Islands and the Antilles. The United States has bought her last colonies from dying Spain for four million pounds. At no distant time the Australian colonies will probably buy France and Germany out of the Pacific, and Holland and Germany out of New Guinea. It will be none the less a moral conquest. The right of the stronger, or the more fit to colonize, will still be, as it ever has been, the sole title to possess.

By these various means habitats have been found for future colonies, spheres for future colonial expansion.

 

[To be continued.]