the English, French, Dutch, Danes, and 
Swedes, all the great nations who had any 
ports upon the ocean, attempted to make some 
settlements in the new world. 
The Swedes established themselves in New 
Jersey; and the number of Swedish families 
still to be found there sufficiently demonstrates, 
that this colony was very likely to prosper
had it been protected by the mother country
But being neglected by Sweden, it was soon 
swallowed up by the Dutch colony of New 
York, which again, in 1674, fell under the 
dominion of the English
The small islands of St. Thomas and Santa 
Cruz, are the only countries in the new world 
that have been possessed by the Danes
These little settlements, too, were under the 
government of an exclusive company, which 
had the sole right, both of purchasing the surplus 
produce of the colonies, and of supplying 
them with such goods of other countries as 
they wanted, and which, therefore, both in its 
purchases and sales, had not only the power 
of oppressing them, but the greatest temptation 
to do so. The government of an exclusive 
company of merchants is, perhaps, the 
worst of all governments for any country whatever. 
It was not, however, able to stop altogether 
the progress of these colonies, though it 
rendered it more slow and languid. The late 
king of Denmark dissolved this company, and 
since that time the prosperity of these colonies 
has been very great
The Dutch settlements in the West, as well 
as those in the East Indies, were originally 
put under the government of an exclusive 
company. The progress of some of them, 
therefore, though it has been considerable in 
comparison with that of almost any country 
that has been long peopled and established
has been languid and slow in comparison with 
that of the greater part of new colonies. The 
colony of Surinam, though very considerable
is still inferior to the greater part of the sugar 
colonies of the other European nations. The 
colony of Nova Belgia, now divided into the 
two provinces of New York and New Jersey
would probably have soon become considerable 
too, even though it had remained under 
the government of the Dutch. The plenty 
and cheapness of good land are such powerful 
causes of prosperity, that the very worst government 
is scarce capable of checking altogether 
the efficacy of their operation. The great 
distance, too, from the mother country, would 
enable the colonists to evade more or less, by 
smuggling, the monopoly which the company 
enjoyed against them. At present, the company 
allows all Dutch ships to trade to Surinam
upon paying two and a-half per cent
upon the value of their cargo for a license
and only reserves to itself exclusively, the direct 
trade from Africa to America, which consists 
almost entirely in the slave trade. This 
relaxation in the exclusive privileges of the 
company, is probably the principal cause of 
that degree of prosperity which that colony at 
present enjoys. CuraƧoa and Eustatia, the 
two principal islands belonging to the Dutch
are free ports, open to the ships of all nations
and this freedom, in the midst of better colonies
whose ports are open to those of one nation 
only, has been the great cause of the prosperity 
of those two barren islands
The French colony of Canada was, during 
the greater part of the last century, and some 
part of the present, under the government of 
an exclusive company. Under so unfavourable 
administration, its progress was necessarily 
very slow, in comparison with that of 
other new colonies; but it became much more 
rapid when this company was dissolved, after 
the fall of what is called the Mississippi scheme. 
When the English got possession of this country
they found in it near double the number 
of inhabitants which father Charlevoix had assigned 
to it between twenty and thirty years 
before. That jesuit had travelled over the 
whole country, and had no inclination to represent 
it as less inconsiderable than it really 
The French colony of St. Domingo was 
established by pirates and freebooters, who, 
for a long time, neither required the protection
nor acknowledged the authority of 
France; and when that race of banditti became 
so far citizens as to acknowledge this 
authority, it was for a long time necessary to 
exercise it with very great gentleness. During 
this period, the population and improvement 
of this colony increased very fast. Even 
the oppression of the exclusive company, to 
which it was for some time subjected with all 
the other colonies of France, though it no 
doubt retarded, had not been able to stop its 
progress altogether. The course of its prosperity 
returned as soon as it was relieved from 
that oppression. It is now the most important 
of the sugar colonies of the West Indies, and 
its produce is said to be greater than that of 
all the English sugar colonies put together. 
The other sugar colonies of France are in general 
all very thriving
But there are no colonies of which the progress 
has been more rapid than that of the 
English in North America
Plenty of good land, and liberty to manage 
their own affairs their own way, seem to be 
the two great causes of the prosperity of all 
new colonies
In the plenty of good land, the English colonies 
of North America, though no doubt 
very abundantly provided, are, however, inferior 
to those of the Spaniards and Portuguese
and not superior to some of those possessed 
by the French before the last war. But the 
political institutions of the English colonies 
have been more favourable to the improvement 
and cultivation of this land, than those 
of the other three nations