Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/400

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390
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

COLONIES AND THE MOTHER COUNTRY (III).
By JAMES COLLIER

THE relations between a great state and its subject peoples will vary according to the status of these, as the relations between father and son differ according as the latter is self-supporting or still under tutelage. Roman provinces under the empire were classed as imperial when they were directly controlled by the Emperor, or senatorial when they were governed by the Senate and possessed a simulacrum of self-government. The dual status in this mother country of nearly the whole world foreshadows all subsequent relationships between a mother country and its dependencies. Spain and Portugal governed their colonies imperially, appointing all officers, immediately or through their representative mediately enacting all laws, and leaving almost as little freedom to their own countrymen as to the down-trodden indigenes. More humanely, indeed, but in spite of conceded French citizenship and theoretical equality, the French have ruled their scattered dependencies with as little of the reality of public life. The Dutch colonies are similarly controlled. The British Empire presents a variegated picture where every color is blended and every form of policy known among men is displayed. From it alone an Aristotle might delineate the metaphysics of government or a Spencer construct its physics. In Egypt and Crete, with practical possession, imperial England is vassal to the Sultan, and she now holds the conquered Soudan jointly with Egypt, but acknowledges no suzerainty. She is herself suzerain of the two South African Boer republics and regent of Zanzibar. In her magnificent dependency of India, 692 sovereignties and chiefships form a 'protected' girdle around her own possessions, or interlace or approach them. Between these beneficent despotisms and the free states of Australia, South Africa or North America there seems to be every possible variety of mingled absolutism and self-government. Certain territories are governed by chartered companies; one (Rhodesia) by a chartered company under the control of the Crown. Three native territories are governed by officers under the High Commissioner of South Africa; four others by the officers of Cape Colony. The status of Crown colonies administered more or less directly by the Imperial Government is almost as various. One colony may be dependent on another, as Natal was for years on Cape Colony. Others exhibit in an ascending scale the acquisition of the attributes of self-government. The governor rules at first alone despotically, then with an executive council, next