Full text: Religion, colonising & trade

In the foregoing pages the three main motives of 
forces which made or marred the Old Empire have 
been taken to be trade, colonising or making new 
homes, and religion. Trade carried to an extreme and 
allied to attempted uniformity has been set down as 
the fundamental evil which wrecked the Old Empire. 
Trade in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has 
developed to an amazing degree both in bulk and in 
variety, and no bounds can be set to the possibilities of 
scientific invention, which was beginning to make 
itself felt before the Old Empire ended. But whereas 
in the Old Empire trade, in the form of the trading 
interests of the Mother Country, came to be the enemy 
of overseas liberties, in the middle of the nineteenth 
century, in the hands of Sir Robert Peel, preceded by 
Huskisson and followed by Gladstone, it came, as free 
trade, to be the promoter of those liberties almost to 
the extent of what the overseas peoples themselves 
considered to be indifference to the tie of Empire. 
As has been seen, Gladstone valued colonies in the 
sense that he valued reproductions of England and 
1 See above, pp. 36-7.

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