the people. The power of Spain and Portugal
on the contrary, derives some support 
from the taxes levied upon their colonies
France, indeed, has never drawn any considerable 
revenue from its colonies, the taxes 
which it levies upon them being generally 
spent among them. But the colony government 
of all these three nations is conducted 
upon a much more extensive plan, and is accompanied 
with a much more expensive ceremonial
The sums spent upon the reception 
of a new viceroy of Peru, for example, have 
frequently been enormous. Such ceremonials 
are not only real taxes paid by the rich colonists 
upon those particular occasions, but they 
serve to introduce among them the habit of 
vanity and expense upon all other occasions. 
They are not only very grievous occasional 
taxes, but they contribute to establish perpetual 
taxes, of the same kind, still more grievous
the ruinous taxes of private luxury and 
extravagance. In the colonies of all those 
three nations, too, the ecclesiastical government 
is extremely oppressive. Tithes take 
place in all of them, and are levied with the 
utmost rigour in those of Spain and Portugal
All of them, besides, are oppressed with numerous 
race of mendicant friars, whose beggary 
being not only licensed but consecrated 
by religion, is a most grievous tax upon the 
poor people, who are most carefully taught 
that it is a duty to give, and a very great sin 
to refuse them their charity. Over and above 
all this, the clergy are, in all of them, the 
greatest engrossers of land. 
Fourthly, In the disposal of their surplus 
produce, or of what is over and above their 
own consumption, the English colonies have 
been more favoured, and have been allowed
more extensive market, than those of any 
other European nation. Every European nation 
has endeavoured, more or less, to monopolize 
to itself the commerce of its colonies
and, upon that account, has prohibited the 
ships of foreign nations from trading to them, 
and has prohibited them from importing European 
goods from any foreign nation. But 
the manner in which this monopoly has been 
exercised in different nations, has been very 
Some nations have given up the whole commerce 
of their colonies to an exclusive company
of whom the colonists were obliged to 
buy all such European goods as they wanted, 
and to whom they were obliged to sell the 
whole of their surplus produce. It was the 
interest of the company, therefore, not only 
to sell the former as dear, and to buy the latter 
as cheap as possible, but to buy no more 
of the latter, even at this low price, than what 
they could dispose of for a very high price in 
Europe. It was their interest not only to degrade 
in all cases the value of the surplus produce 
of the colony, but in many cases to discourage 
and keep down the natural increase 
of its quantity. Of all the expedients that 
can well be contrived to stunt the natural 
growth of a new colony, that of an exclusive 
company is undoubtedly the most effectual
This, however, has been the policy of Holland, 
though their company, in the course of 
the present century, has given up in many respects 
the exertion of their exclusive privilege
This, too, was the policy of Denmark, till the 
reign of the late king. It has occasionally 
been the policy of France; and of late, since 
1755, after it had been abandoned by all other 
nations on account of its absurdity, it has become 
the policy of Portugal, with regard at 
least to two of the principal provinces of Brazil
Pernambucco, and Marannon
Other nations, without establishing an exclusive 
company, have confined the whole 
commerce of their colonies to a particular port 
of the mother country, from whence no ship 
was allowed to sail, but either in a fleet and 
at a particular season, or, if single, in consequence 
of a particular license, which in most 
cases was very well paid for. This policy opened
indeed, the trade of the colonies to all the 
natives of the mother country, provided they 
traded from the proper port, at the proper season, 
and in the proper vessels. But as all the 
different merchants, who joined their stocks in 
order to fit out those licensed vessels, would 
find it for their interest to act in concert, the 
trade which was carried on in this manner 
would necessarily be conducted very nearly 
upon the same principles as that of an exclusive 
company. The profit of those merchants 
would be almost equally exorbitant and oppressive. 
The colonies would be ill supplied, 
and would be obliged both to buy very dear, 
and to sell very cheap. This, however, till 
within these few years, had always been the 
policy of Spain; and the price of all European 
goods, accordingly, is said to have been enormous 
in the Spanish West Indies. At Quito
we are told by Ulloa, a pound of iron sold 
for about 4s. 6d., and a pound of steel for 
about 6s. 9d. sterling. But it is chiefly in order 
to purchase European goods that the colonies 
part with their own produce. The more, 
therefore, they pay for the one, the less they 
really get for the other, and the dearness of 
the one is the same thing with the cheapness 
of the other. The policy of Portugal is, in 
this respect, the same as the ancient policy of 
Spain, with regard to all its colonies, except 
Pernambucco and Marannon; and with regard 
to these it has lately adopted a still worse. 
Other nations leave the trade of their colonies 
free to all their subjects, who may carry 
it on from all the different ports of the mother 
country, and who have occasion for no other 
license than the common despatches of the 
custom-house. In this case the number and 
dispersed situation of the different traders renders 
it impossible for them to enter into any 
general combination, and their competition is