Excerpt from Lectures on Colonization and Colonies: Delivered Before the University of Oxford, 1839, 1840,& 1841
These Lectures were composed and originally published at a time when public attention had been rather suddenly and strongly directed to the subjects which they embrace. During the continental war, and for many subsequent years, our colonial empire had been administered after no very regular pattern, but in accordance with certain received usages. While most of our colonies had free legislatures, their executive government was jealously retained within the control of the mother country. Their trade was fettered by the highly artificial restrictions of the so-called colonial system. Slavery, though assailed with great pertinacity, was maintained in a large proportion of them; together with the peculiar condition of political society which it engendered. The penal colonies - the most remarkable modern accessions to that empire - were regarded as mere conveniences for the execution of justice at home, and excited no farther interest in the minds of statesmen.
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