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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/402

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

recruits, stopped supplies and sequestered the property" Cortez sent to Spain. The conqueror bitterly complained that he "had found it harder to contend against his own countrymen than against the Aztecs." The story of Spain's South American colonies is one of injustice, oppression and downright robbery. The natives naturally suffered most. They were condemned to forced labor in the mines under circumstances of extreme barbarity, in order that large sums of money might be sent annually to Spain. This insatiable demand neutralized all the efforts of the best-intentioned viceroys and rendered all attempts at good government nugatory. The Indians had further to submit to grinding oppression by the local officials and to the exactions and tyranny of the priests. The Spanish colonists had their own grievances. Articles of commerce were excluded, or had their prices heightened by the monopoly of the Cadiz merchants. They were oppressed by the military despotism of the government. The political development of the colonies was made impossible by the continued use of them for the purposes of the mother country. What Spain was for three centuries, that was she till the other day in her few remaining colonies. Lord Brassey writes of Cuba: "The casual visitor can not fail to be impressed with the evidences of inefficient administration. The fiscal policy is intensely exclusive. The taxation is heavy, and the government absolutely despotic. The police maintain a system of intolerable espionage. Every salaried servant of the local government is a Spaniard, who regards Cuba as a vassal state, over which Spain has unlimited rights, without reciprocal duties or obligations. The system has already severed all her noble settlements in South America from the mother country. In time it must involve the loss of Cuba."

If it were the case that the genesis and growth of the myriad buds formed round a prolific hydroid were accelerated by magnetic shoots (so to speak) from the parent zoöphyte, and 'persons' were thus differentiated, we should have a true analogue to a kind of action exercised by the mother country on its colonies. For it long supplies them with the greater part of their brain power, governing force, culture, science and experience of all sorts, and when these have done their work a new political, intellectual and moral center is created, which is henceforth self-subsistent; the colony has received a soul, a mind, a heart. First, the governor is usually sent out by the metropolis. Of six hundred and seventy-two rulers of South America, from its conquest to its independence, only eighteen were Americans. In French and Dutch colonies there are possibly no exceptions. Many of the charter and proprietary colonies of North America elected their own governors, and the insurrectionary governor of a Crown colony, New York, was popularly elected. The lieutenant-governors of the provinces of the Canadian Dominion are locally appointed. With these and one or two other exceptions,