Full text: Religion, colonising & trade

By ‘ The Expansion of England,” by the name as well 
as by the substance of his famous book, Sir John 
Seeley, nearly half a century ago, gave a notable lead 
to correct understanding of the British Empire. The 
lesson by this time has been fully learnt that our 
singular British Commonwealth is the outcome of 
growth ; that the Empire, with all its endless diversities, 
1s an immensely enlarged version of an island in which 
all the elements of diversity were, and are still, to be 
found. Early in the book are the often quoted words 
that we seem, as it were, to have conquered and 
peopled half the wotld in a fit of absence of mind.’ 
Perhaps it would be more strictly accurate to say that 
we did what we did by instinct, the instinct of growth 
and self-defence ; but, at any rate, premeditated design 
was wholly wanting. Yet, in the making of the 
Empire, as in the making of everything human, 
individual men and women have been concerned, and

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