Full text: Religion, colonising & trade

on the coasts of England and Scotland employs above 
8ooo Dutch ships or vessels, 20,000 of their seamen and 
fishers.” t ‘The fishing trade was the © principal gold- 
mine of the United Provinces’ in virtue of its double 
aspect. It was at once in itself a most lucrative 
kind of industry and commerce, especially to the 
Dutch, whose narrow borders on land obliged them 
to look for riches to the sea ; and it was a calling of the 
utmost importance for purposes of defence, a prolific 
nursery of ships and sailors. The interdependence of 
trade and sea power was well illustrated in the case of 
the Dutch in the seventeenth century, but their fishing 
industry was practically confined to European waters ; 
they were not in evidence as fishers on the other side 
of the Atlantic and on the Banks of Newfoundland.? 
Here was the English nursery for ships and sailors, and 
the opposition in England to permanent colonisation 
of Newfoundland which, after the first few years of 
spasmodic infant settlements, was strong and bitter, 
was all in the direction of making the coasts and seas 
of that island subordinate to considerations of English 
sea power. But the controversy had not matured when 
Mun wrote his treatise : there is no contrast between 
permanent settlement and seasonal fishing in the fol- 
lowing words. ‘Out fishing plantation likewise in 
New England, Virginia, Greenland, the Summer 
Islands, and the Newfoundland, are of the like nature, 
affording much wealth and employments to maintain 
\ Britannia Languens, or A Discourse of Trade, ete. (1680), p. 31. 
* In Britannia Languens, however, pp. 168-9, there is mention of the 
Dutch having beaten the English out of the Iceland. Newfoundland 
and Greenland fishing.

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