and their governments, those of 
three of the provinces of New England in 
particular, have hitherto been more republican 
The absolute governments of Spain, Portugal, 
and France, on the contrary, take place 
in their colonies; and the discretionary powers 
which such governments commonly delegate 
to all their inferior officers are, on account 
of the great distance, naturally exercised 
there with more than ordinary violence
Under all absolute governments, there is more 
liberty in the capital than in any other part of 
the country. The sovereign himself can never 
have either interest or inclination to pervert 
the order of justice, or to oppress the great 
body of the people. In the capital, his presence 
overawes, more or less, all his inferior 
officers, who, in the remoter provinces, from 
whence the complaints of the people are less 
likely to reach him, can exercise their tyranny 
with much more safety. But the European 
colonies in America are more remote than 
the most distant provinces of the greatest empires 
which had ever been known before. The 
government of the English colonies is, perhaps, 
the only one which, since the world began
could give perfect security to the inhabitants 
of so very distant a province. The 
administration of the French colonies, however, 
has always been conducted with much 
more gentleness and moderation than that of 
the Spanish and Portuguese. This superiority 
of conduct is suitable both to the character 
of the French nation, and to what forms 
the character of every nation, the nature of 
their government, which, though arbitrary and 
violent in comparison with that of Great Britain
is legal and free in comparison with 
those of Spain and Portugal. 
It is in the progress of the North American 
colonies, however, that the superiority of 
the English policy chiefly appears. The progress 
of the sugar colonies of France has been 
at least equal, perhaps superior, to that of the 
greater part of those of England; and yet 
the sugar colonies of England enjoy a free 
government, nearly of the same kind with that 
which takes place in her colonies of North 
America. But the sugar colonies of France 
are not discouraged, like those of England
from refining their own sugar; and what is 
still of greater importance, the genius of their 
government naturally introduces a better management 
of their negro slaves
In all European colonies, the culture of 
the sugar-cane is carried on by negro slaves
The constitution of those who have been born 
in the temperate climate of Europe could 
not, it is supposed, support the labour of digging 
the ground under the burning sun of 
the West Indies; and the culture of the sugar-cane
as it is managed at present, is all 
hand labour; though, in the opinion of many, 
the drill plough might be introduced into it 
with great advantage. But, as the profit and 
success of the cultivation which is carried on 
by means of cattle, depend very much upon 
the good management of those cattle; so the 
profit and success of that which is carried on 
by slaves must depend equally upon the good 
management of those slaves; and in the good 
management of their slaves the French planters
I think it is generally allowed, are superior 
to the English. The law, so far as it 
gives some weak protection to the slave against 
the violence of his master, is likely to be better 
executed in a colony where the government 
is in a great measure arbitrary, than in 
one where it is altogether free. In every country 
where the unfortunate law of slavery is established
the magistrate, when he protects 
the slave, intermeddles in some measure in 
the management of the private property of 
the master; and, in a free country, where the 
master is, perhaps, either a member of the colony 
assembly, or an elector of such a member
he dares not do this but with the greatest 
caution and circumspection. The respect 
which he is obliged to pay to the master, renders 
it more difficult for him to protect the 
slave. But in a country where the government 
is in a great measure arbitrary, where it 
is usual for the magistrate to intermeddle even 
in the management of the private property of 
individuals, and to send them, perhaps, a lettre 
de cachet, if they do not manage it according 
to his liking, it is much easier for him to 
give some protection to the slave; and common 
humanity naturally disposes him to do 
so. The protection of the magistrate renders 
the slave less contemptible in the eyes of his 
master, who is thereby induced to consider 
him with more regard, and to treat him with 
more gentleness. Gentle usage renders the 
slave not only more faithful, but more intelligent, 
and, therefore, upon a double account
more useful. He approaches more to the condition 
of a free servant, and may possess some 
degree of integrity and attachment to his master's 
interest; virtues which frequently belong 
to free servants, but which never can belong 
to a slave, who is treated as slaves commonly 
are in countries where the master is perfectly 
free and secure
That the condition of a slave is better under 
an arbitrary than under a free government, is, 
I believe, supported by the history of all ages 
and nations. In the Roman history, the first 
time we read of the magistrate interposing to 
protect the slave from the violence of his 
master, is under the emperors. When Vidius 
Pollio, in the presence of Augustus, ordered 
one of his slaves, who had committed a slight 
fault, to be cut into pieces and thrown into 
his fish-pond, in order to feed his fishes, the 
emperor commanded him, with indignation
to emancipate immediately, not only that 
slave, but all the others that belonged to him. 
Under the republic no magistrate could have