Full text: Religion, colonising & trade

curiously misread history when he pitched upon the 
reign of Charles II as a golden age for planting English 
freedom overseas. There were some too who, with 
no love for the navigation acts, and with strong 
leanings to free trade, nevertheless contended that 
plantations cartied off Englishmen who were wanted 
for trade. Roger Coke held that * the trade of England, 
and the fishing trade, are so much diminished by how 
much they might have been supplied by those men 
who ate diverted in our American plantations’; that 
the peopling of the plantations and the tepeopling of 
Ireland had drained England, and that attempts at 
further discovery of new plantations were to be 
deprecated as well as the project of peopling Carolina.l 
The verdict of ¢ Britannia Languens ’ on the subject in 
1680 was a very wholesale condemnation of colonisa- 
tion. ‘These plantations may be considered as the 
true grounds and causes of all our present mischiefs ; 
for, had our fishers been put on no other employment, 
had those millions of people which we have lost or 
been prevented of by the plantations continued in 
England, the government would long since have 
been under a necessity of easing and regulating our 
trade.” 2 
Opposed to this docttine that the colonies had 
disastrously drained England of her population was a 
treatise on ‘ The Benefit of Plantations or Colonies,’ 
by William Penn. ¢ Colonies,” he wrote, ‘are the 
seeds of nations, begun and nourished by the cate of 
1 Roger Coke, u? sup. : A Discourse of Trade, in Two Parts (London, 
1670) : Reasons of the Decay of the English Trade, pp. 7 and 10. 
% Britannia Languens, ut sup., p. 176.

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