Full text: Religion, colonising & trade

-he Empire asunder, on one point and another there 
were many and strong excuses to be made for Great 
Britain ; but at the back of it all was the fundamental 
mischief that the outlook on the Empire had been 
distorted by trade; that trade carried to hideous 
lengths had caused the English genius for making new 
homes and carrying liberties across the sea to be held 
suspect, and had deadened the call of religion. 
The Old Empire fell, and deserved to fall. Its fall 
was finally proclaimed in the treaty of 1783, which 
recognised the independence of the North American 
colonies. But even before 1790 was reached, there 
were already signs that a better time was at hand. The 
first British settlers in Australia were planted on the 
shore of Sydney Harbour in January 1788. Itis true 
that in origin this was a convict settlement, but none 
the less it made 2 new beginning of British colonisation 
which won a continent for our race. A few months 
earlier, in May 1787, a colony for freed slaves had been 
planted at Sierra Leone on the West Coast of Africa. 
Again, this was an effort at colonisation on British 
initiative, though for coloured men. Moreover, the 
enterprise had been dictated by religion or by philan- 
thropy inspired by religion, it raised the flag of freedom 
at what had been the earliest centre of British slave 
trading and while slave traders were still busy on the 
spot, and it was a notable step forward in the direction 
of antagonism to the worst traffic in the world. 
We have seen that, as long as the Old Empire lasted, 
little answer could be given to the charge, which 
had so troubled Richard Hakluyt, that Protestants had 
done little or nothing towards converting the heathen.

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