the islands of the Ægean sea, of which the 
inhabitants seem at that time to have been 
pretty much in the same state as those of Sicily 
and Italy. The mother city, though she 
considered the colony as a child, at all times 
entitled to great favour and assistance, and 
owing in return much gratitude and respect
yet considered it as an emancipated child
over whom she pretended to claim no direct 
authority or jurisdiction. The colony settled 
its own form of government, enacted its own 
laws, elected its own magistrates, and made 
peace or war with its neighbours, as an independent 
state, which had no occasion to wait 
for the approbation or consent of the mother 
city. Nothing can be more plain and distinct 
than the interest which directed every such 
Rome, like most of the other ancient republics
was originally founded upon an agrarian 
law, which divided the public territory, 
in a certain proportion, among the different 
citizens who composed the state. The course 
of human affairs, by marriage, by succession
and by alienation, necessarily deranged this 
original division, and frequently threw the 
lands which had been allotted for the maintenance 
of many different families, into the 
possession of a single person. To remedy 
this disorder, for such it was supposed to be, 
a law was made, restricting the quantity of 
land which any citizen could possess to five 
hundred jugera, about 350 English acres
This law, however, though we read of its 
having been executed upon one or two occasions
was either neglected or evaded, and the 
inequality of fortunes went on continually increasing. 
The greater part of the citizens 
had no land; and without it the manners and 
customs of those times rendered it difficult for 
a freeman to maintain his independency. In 
the present times, though a poor man has no 
land of his own, if he has a little stock, he 
may either farm the lands of another, or he 
may carry on some little retail trade; and if 
he has no stock, he may find employment 
either as a country labourer, or as an artificer. 
But among the ancient Romans, the lands of 
the rich were all cultivated by slaves, who 
wrought under an overseer, who was likewise 
a slave; so that a poor freeman had little 
chance of being employed either as a farmer 
or as a labourer. All trades and manufactures, 
too, even the retail trade, were carried 
on by the slaves of the rich for the benefit of 
their masters, whose wealth, authority, and 
protection, made it difficult for a poor freeman 
to maintain the competition against them. 
The citizens, therefore, who had no land, had 
scarce any other means of subsistence but the 
bounties of the candidates at the annual elections. 
The tribunes, when they had a mind 
to animate the people against the rich and the 
great, put them in mind of the ancient divisions 
of lands, and represented that law which 
restricted this sort of private property as the 
fundamental law of the republic. The people 
became clamorous to get land, and the rich 
and the great, we may believe, were perfectly 
determined not to give them any part of theirs. 
To satisfy them in some measure, therefore, 
they frequently proposed to send out a new 
colony. But conquering Rome was, even 
upon such occasions, under no necessity of 
turning out her citizens to seek their fortune
if one may so, through the wide world, without 
knowing where they were to settle. She 
assigned them lands generally in the conquered 
provinces of Italy, where, being within the 
dominions of the republic, they could never 
form any independent state, but were at best 
but a sort of corporation, which, though it had 
the power of enacting bye-laws for its own 
government, was at all times subject to the 
correction, jurisdiction, and legislative authority 
of the mother city. The sending out a 
colony of this kind not only gave some satisfaction 
to the people, but often established
sort of garrison, too, in a newly conquered 
province, of which the obedience might otherwise 
have been doubtful. A Roman colony
therefore, whether we consider the nature of 
the establishment itself, or the motives for 
making it, was altogether different from a 
Greek one. The words, accordingly, which 
in the original languages denote those different 
establishments, have very different meanings
The Latin word (colonia) signifies simply 
a plantation. The Greek word (αποικια), 
on the contrary, signifies a separation of dwelling, 
a departure from home, a going out of 
the house. But though the Roman colonies 
were, in many respects, different from the 
Greek ones, the interest which prompted to 
establish them was equally plain and distinct
Both institutions derived their origin, either 
from irresistible necessity, or from clear and 
evident utility
The establishment of the European colonies 
in America and the West Indies arose 
from no necessity; and though the utility 
which has resulted from them has been very 
great, it is not altogether so clear and evident
It was not understood at their first establishment
and was not the motive, either of that 
establishment, or of the discoveries which gave 
occasion to it; and the nature, extent, and limits 
of that utility, are not, perhaps, well understood 
at this day. 
The Venetians, during the fourteenth and 
fifteenth centuries, carried on a very advantageous 
commerce in spiceries and other East 
India goods, which they distributed among 
the other nations of Europe. They purchased 
them chiefly in Egypt, at that time under the 
dominion of the Mamelukes, the enemies of 
the Turks, of whom the Venetians were the 
enemies: and this union of interest, assisted by