Full text: Religion, colonising & trade

of agents, became a standing evil. They were an evil 
both to the colonies to which they owed but did not 
discharge responsibilities, and to England where a 
West India interest was created, as powerful as the 
Nabobs, probably more so, and still more tainted 
inasmuch as the basis of West Indian wealth and 
influence was slavery and the slave trade. The three 
great cities of London, Liverpool and Bristol profited 
by and supported the slave trade, and therefore backed 
up the West India interest, which was bound up with 
it. ‘The treaty of Utrecht in 1713, which gave to 
Great Britain the contract, the Assiento, for supplying 
Spanish America with slaves, confirmed her as a leader 
in this wicked traffic, and it would be idle to look on 
the West Indian colonies between 1713 and 1783 as 
other than a sphete of trade, closely linked to West 
Africa, a sphere of trade in its worst and grossest form. 
In the beginning these West Indian islands had been 
as much colonies as was New England : they were now 
in strong contrast to the New England colonies ; and 
meanwhile, through the perverse stupidity of the 
British Government or owing to the criminal selfish- 
ness of the merchants in the Mother Country, trade in 
the case of the mainland North American colonies was 
largely traffic contrary to the law. The navigation 
acts, defensible during the infancy of the colonies, 
became more and more indefensible when the colonies 
had become adult communities, conscious of their con- 
stantly growing strength and of what was due to them 
as British citizens. Yet the more they grew, the more 
the commercial restrictions imposed upon them by the 
Mother Country were tightened, were resented, and 

Note to user

Dear user,

In response to current developments in the web technology used by the Goobi viewer, the software no longer supports your browser.

Please use one of the following browsers to display this page correctly.

Thank you.