The Gospel of Wealth
And Other Timely Essays
by Andrew Carnegie

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--- Page 211. The Gospel of Wealth - XII Imperial Federation


Imperial Federation

1. THE time seems opportune for acting upon the suggestion of the editor of this review, that I should elaborate an idea expressed in a previous article touching the unity of the English-speaking race, and the relations which the parts thereof are to bear to each other; for the "Imperial Federation" and the "United Empire Trade League" are prominently upon the stage, and the monthly magazines and daily press freely discuss the subject. Each of the two societies named has recently been granted an interview with the Prime Minister, and each has been advised by him in turn to take the first forward step and furnish at least rough outlines of its

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plans. It is a fact of much significance that so antagonistic are the views held by these two organizations that the second to be heard by Lord Salisbury thought necessary, previous to its interview, to request that he should not commit himself to the ideas of the first -- evidence of an anxiety which seems to have been wholly unnecessary, as it is evident from Lord Salisbury's reply that neither of the societies, so far, has been able to lay before him anything requiring consideration. He has wisely called for a bill of particulars, having had enough of glittering generalities. This is a challenge which admits of no denial if these societies are to justify their continued existence. If they cannot formulate a plan, surely they will retire.

Baha'i Comment

2. Before the permanent relations of the parts of the race to each other can be properly considered, however, we must pay some attention to the two phases of the "federation idea" represented by them.

Baha'i Comment

3. The United Empire Trade League attends strictly to business; there is no sentiment about it - trade all over, and nothing but trade. We have, therefore, only to consider, as far as it is concerned, whether Britain and her colonies would make good bargains by banding together against the outside world, and giving to each other more favorable terms than to outsiders. Reduced to this, it becomes simply a matter of figures. The Zollverein idea is here, but the Kriegsverein absent.

    (2) In the first part of the nineteenth century various German states under the leadership of Prussia formed the customs union known as the Zollverein. Kriegsverein, to employ the Carnegie vernacular, went beyond trade to joint action in time of war.

Let us, therefore, first consider how Britain would fare under the proposed new departure. She exports about 250,000,000 of her products yearly. Of these, the English-speaking self-governing colonies take 31,000,000, or one eighth; India takes about the same amount; all the other British possessions 20,000,000; in all, about 82,000,000, leaving fully double that amount taken by other countries. It is proposed to discriminate against the customers

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who consume 166,000,000 in favor of those who consume half that amount. With British imports it is just the same, for in 1889 imports and exports to colonies, etc., were only 187,000,000 out of a total of 554,000,000 - one third to the dependencies against two thirds to the foreigners. If there were a prospect of the former trade growing more rapidly than the other, it might be held that the future would justify the sacrifice, but there is nothing to encourage this view; on the contrary, colonial and Indian trade both tend to decline, while that with foreign nations increases. The reason is clear; the older nations have developed their resources, and trade with them is now practically upon its final basis; the colonies have only recently begun to supply their own wants, and are yet to extend their capacity greatly in this direction. It is scarcely to be expected that with double their present population their demands upon Britain will be much increased. Indeed, the present tendency to decline may continue for a time.

Baha'i Comment

4. The important question is, What response would the nations of the world make to a declaration of industrial war against them? Had Britain and her colonies remained a compact free-trade Empire, like the forty-four States of the Republic, which furnish the world with the best proof of the blessings of free trade, other nations would have no right to object. It is quite a different matter, however, if, when their trade has been established and business built upon the other basis, change and disaster should now be visited upon them. A change in the policy of Britain toward other nations, I submit, must now be followed by a change of their policy toward Britain. Discrimination must produce discrimination. The Republic of the United States, for instance, is Britain's greatest customer, taking more of British products than all the English-speaking colonies combined, and more and more every year, while the trade with the colonies is, at best, stationary, notwithstanding their increase of population. It has slightly declined during the past five years. What the

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Republic would do if she were discriminated against needs no guess, for she has recently lodged in the President power to go so far as to prohibit entirely the products of any country that does so.

    (3) Carnegie is manipulating a "paper dragon." The McKinley Tariff of 1890 threatened a prohibition of trade as a means of securing reciprocity; the device was directed against certain products and certain nations, for example Latin America, rather than against Great Britain. The trade in fresh beef to Great Britain took the form of exports of live animals and, after the application of refrigeration to transportation, of chilled or frozen meat. Both of these trades threatened beef producers in Great Britain, but their powerful interest was never able to induce the government to embargo or discriminate by tariff against the American product. Occasionally the British government, alarmed by Texas fever or the "lung plague," pleuropneumonia, clapped on quarantines or enforced them more strictly. A minor dust-up on this score occurred in 1891. In spite of such episodes the fresh beef trade to Great Britain expanded enormously from the seventies on.

Britain is called upon to justify her discrimination against American cattle, for instance, and nothing is surer than that the American people will have to be entirely satisfied that there is good cause for it, or the President will be forced by public sentiment to exercise this power, conservative, patient, and most peace-loving though he be. There would not be two parties upon this issue.

Baha'i Comment

5. How about Germany? She takes from Britain every year products to the amount of about 18,000,000, twice that taken by the whole of British North America, and not far from that taken by the whole of Australasia (22,000,000). She sends Britain about 3,000,000 per year of flour and cereals, of butter and eggs 1,500,000, of timber 1,500,000. What is to be the answer of the irrepressible Emperor if the products of his country are discriminated against in favor of the food products and timber of Canada and Australia? Italy, again, takes about as much of British products as the whole of British North America, 7,000,000, and she finds here each year a market to the extent of 3,000,000 for her hemp, fruits, etc. The Argentine Republic takes from 10,000,000 to 11,000,000 per annum from Britain; the whole of British North America only 8,000,000. What is to be the return shot fired by her if her mutton, wool, and grain which

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she sends here are to be discriminated against? But why continue the list? It is the same story everywhere.

Baha'i Comment

6. Britain has the foreign trade of all her colonies almost exclusively already, except that of Canada, of which she has nearly one half, the United States possessing rather more. All the other colonies deal with foreign nations only to the extent of from five to ten per cent for articles which Britain does not produce. The parent-land, therefore, has nothing to gain by any change in fiscal relations between herself and the colonies; her colonial trade, except perhaps to a small extent with Canada, could not be increased thereby. Why, then, should she jeopardize the control of the markets of the world to the extent of two thirds of her total exports, for nothing'? The fabled dog which dropped the bird from his mouth had for excuse that its shadow in the stream seemed infinitely larger. The Imperial Trade League is not so excusable. It would sacrifice a real turkey in hand for nothing in the bush. This wondrous little island is dependent upon the world for two thirds of its food-supply; equally dependent upon the markets of the world for the sale of its products. There never was so great a people so artificially maintained. What the race has accomplished here under these conditions dwarfs the triumphs of all other races; it is marvelous, and if it were not before our eyes, it would be held impossible that a nation so placed could have yet led the world. One asks instinctively what such a breed of men will do when they control continents possessed of unbounded supplies of agricultural and mineral resources combined; but that she, being so placed, should be counseled by a body of able men to inaugurate an industrial war against the world seems something not to be accounted for by any process of reason. Russia, the Argentine or the Brazilian Republic, with its ports blockaded for ten years, would suffer only more or less inconvenience. The United States would emerge from such an embargo stronger and more independent of the world than before. Close the ports of this island for a year,

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and her people would suffer for food. Britain's house is a whole Crystal Palace - she of all nations should be the last to begin stone-throwing.

Baha'i Comment

7. From something in the national character, but much more in the part she has had to play in the world, Britain has excited the envy, jealousy, and ill will of some of the most powerful nations; but I do not believe that my native land has an enemy so bitter as to wish her to plunge into an industrial war which would be so cruelly fatal to her, for even the worst foe must feel that the human race owes an incalculable debt to Britain. It would be a different matter if the imposition of protective duties were proposed bearing equally upon the products of all other countries, for this is a matter for each nation to settle for itself, and other nations could take no offense if Britain decided to reimpose such duties. This would be no declaration of industrial war against other nations, but only a matter of home policy. There is no vital objection to this being tried; although I am certain that free trade is Britain's only policy as I am a thorough disciple of John Stuart Mill - and, I am pleased to add, of his worthy successor, Professor Marshall

    (4) Alfred Marshall (1842-1924), British economist.
-in believing that the countries which have the necessary resources within themselves do well to encourage the starting of industries by protecting them for a time against the competition of those firmly rooted in other lands, always, however, with the view of ultimately obtaining a surer and cheaper source of supply within themselves. But the question for Britain is this: Given a nation with a thoroughly equipped manufacturing system producing more than its own people can consume, and which, on the other hand, is dependent for its food-supply upon other nations, what is its policy? The answer seems clear: Peace and free trade with all the world. Cobden and Bright

    (5) Richard Cobden (1804-1885); John Bright (1811-1889).

were right for Britain, and only wrong in assuming, in their enthusiasm, that what was wise

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for an old country producing more articles than it could consume was necessarily wise for every country, including those which had diversified home industries yet to establish. Mill and Marshall are right for new countries, always provided such have within themselves the necessary resources and adequate market to eventually furnish the articles at less cost to the consumer than would have to be paid if dependent upon a foreign supply. Thus the United States has succeeded by protection in getting the millions of square feet of plate-glass she uses per annum at less cost than a similar article costs in Europe. She often has her steel rails at less than these could be imported for free of duty. She has failed, however, to produce cheaply her supply of sugar by protection. Hence she wisely abandons the attempt, and makes foreign sugar free. Now, because Britain has not the requisite territory to increase greatly her food-supply, any tax imposed upon food must be permanent. The doctrine of Mill does not, therefore, apply, for protection, to be wise, must always be in the nature of only a temporary shielding of new plants until they take root. It will surprise many if Britain ever imposes a permanent tax upon the food of her thirty-eight millions of people, with no possible hope of ever increasing the supply, and thereby reducing the cost, and thus ultimately rendering the tax unnecessary. A tax for a short period that fosters and increases production, and a tax for all time which cannot increase production, are different things.

Baha'i Comment

8. But if, in the near future, Britain decides to try the old system of protection again, no irremediable injury need ensue, for results will soon prove that free trade is for her the very breath of her nostrils, and she may be able successfully to return to it because she will not have outraged the feelings and incurred the hostility of her former best customers. All will have been treated alike, and therefore none will have reason to complain; although it is always to be remembered that trade once diverted is most difficult to regain.

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The loss owing to this will not be small. While, therefore, it is open to Britain to try "protection," and pay the cost of the experiment, and retrace her steps, he is a bold man who ventures to place an estimate upon the permanent loss to his country which is surely involved in entering upon the "Empire trade" crusade.

Baha'i Comment

9. Turning from the British and the foreigners' points of view in regard to the proposed industrial crusade against the world, the reply of the colonies to an invitation to join it has yet to be considered.

Baha'i Comment

10. Let us begin with Canada, the greatest of these. As already stated, she finds a market for more of her products in the neighboring Republic than in the parent-land. She also finds it to her advantage to purchase more from the former than from the latter. During the winter months she is indebted to the courtesy of the Republic for regular communication with the outside world; her steamships land at Portland in Maine, and her traffic, in bond, and her people travel through American territory to reach Quebec or Montreal. Her boasted east-and-west railway system would scarcely pay expenses - it certainly would yield no returns - except that the Republic generously permits it to connect with American railways and compete with them upon equal terms for the traffic to and from Chicago and the great West to Boston, New York, and the East, and to transport foreign goods in bond to Chicago and the West. The Canadian Pacific transverses the entire width of the State of Maine. All the ships of Canada receive rights in American ports which are denied to American fishing-vessels in Canadian ports. Any day the Republic thinks proper to resent the acts of her saucy little neighbor, which have recently been annoying, she can practically "bottle up" Canada without giving any cause of complaint from an international point of view. She has simply to withhold privileges now generously granted. It need not be feared that so strong and forbearing a nation will act tyrannously to one so completely in her power. The Republic

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has always been the kindest and most neighborly of neighbors to all her less powerful sisters; but the power is there, and this being so, I should like to ask our United Empire Trade League friends what answer Canada would be likely to make to their proposition to discriminate in favor of Britain as against the Republic. Canada may yet, in justice to herself, be compelled to do just the reverse. There is a large party in Canada in favor of such a step. An invitation from Britain to enter upon the policy of discrimination would require Canada to consider for her own interests in whose favor the discrimination should be. The idea suggested by the League may thus return to plague the inventor. Truly our friends of the Trade League have found and are brandishing a dangerous weapon.

Baha'i Comment

11. With the Australasian colonies the case is different. These have no overshadowing giant alongside; but there is another element there which I submit is equally potent. New South Wales, the largest of the group, imports 23,000,000; exports just about the same. Her total trade with Great Britain, exports and imports, is only one third of this -- something over 15,000,000. Victoria, the other great colony, imports and exports 37,500,000; Britain has of these between 12,000,000 and 13,000,000 - just about one third, as in the case of New South Wales.

Baha'i Comment

12. But Britain need not be jealous in regard to the remainder; for, as before stated, with the exception of from five to ten per cent of the total, which she cannot supply, she has it all. So far has Australasia advanced under the policy of encouraging home manufactures that the various colonies are able to supply the wants of one another to the extent of about two thirds of their total requirements - a most encouraging state of affairs, as promising the creation of a mighty nation of English-speaking people in the near future. Does any member of our "Fair Trade League" believe that a proposition would be entertained for a moment to lower duties upon articles from Britain, and hence to injure or

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destroy the manufactures of their sister colonies? Has any indication been seen of a desire upon the part of any of these colonies to abandon the high aim each has set before itself of becoming a great power with diversified industries, capable of supplying its own necessary wants? The members of the League should endeavor to place themselves in the position of Canada and of Australia, and judge in the case of Canada what its reply to their idea must be, and in the case of Australia what it would be. The officials of that society are, no doubt, preparing their answer to the challenge given by the Prime Minister, and it is to be hoped that it will deal with the points here suggested.

Baha'i Comment

13. Turning now to the Imperial Federation League, we find no business whatever in its program; no considerations of trade; bargains are not thought of; sentiment reigns supreme. Still, it is not so grandly sentimental as it was. A painful falling away is noted. In its early days it pleased many to note that, in their praiseworthy desire for federation, the majority of the English-speaking race in the Republic was never forgotten; but we find no trace of this in the recent proceedings; even my friend Mr. Bolton seems to have abandoned the great idea which first roused his enthusiasm, and which still stirs mine. In his article in the July number of this review he regretfully says:

    If it may not be given to us to realize that grand idea, the confederation of all the nations which have sprung from the race nurtured in these isles, should we not at least use all our energies to promote the union and political consolidation of the Greater Britain which still owns one flag and acknowledges one sovereign?

      (6) S. B. Bolton, "Sir John Macdonald on Imperial Federation," Nineteenth Century, XXX (July 1891), 159-160.

Baha'i Comment

14. We have not yet heard from Lord Rosebery, the president, for reasons which call forth for him the deepest sympathy of all.

    (7) Rosebery was one of the charter members of the Imperial Federation League and a member of its executive body. Compelled to assume political responsibilities, he stood against extremists in the League. He thought it should be "educational" and encourage colonial and imperial conferences, but he could not fit imperial preference into his program.

It is still possible we shall find, in the first address he

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delivers upon the subject, that his hopes of the union of the entire race may still be brighter than those expressed by officials who have spoken for the Federation in his absence. For the present, I take it, we must assume that, like the Trade League, it seeks no longer harmony and cooperation among the various parts of the race. It stands now as a body whose effort is to combine only the minority of the English-speaking race in a solid phalanx, leaving out the majority. While, in the case of the first society, it was necessary to go into particulars, in that of the latter it seems only necessary to examine its aim as recently presented.

Baha'i Comment

15. It is deemed possible to create a solid empire, under one head, of parts of the English-speaking race, one the mother country, another in Canada, the third in Australia, each with different environments and totally different problems to solve; and one of the three parts under wholly different institutions from the other two, the latter being democracies without a trace of hereditary privilege, aristocracy, church and state, or entails of the soil, and the very air breathed there instilling ideas of political equality in the citizen. It is notable that this hope is chiefly confined to the parent-land, and to those born here who have played great parts till now in the colonies. Such men as Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Henry Parkes, Sir Samuel Griffith, and others,

    (8) Sir John A. Macdonald (181E~1891) was frequently after 1857 a Conservative prime minister of Canada; Sir Henry Parkes (1815-1896) after 1872 served often as prime minister of New South Wales; and Sir Samuel W. Criffith (1845-1920) was prime minister of Queensland.

are not colonists but natives of Britain, and must ever reverence and love her. But the population of Australasia is already nearly three native to one British-born. In Canada, in 1881, more than four fifths were native-born, and every year the percentage of British-born grows less and less. Not one of five thousand native-born Canadians, nor of ten thousand born Australians, has ever seen or ever can see Britain, which to

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the masses is only a name - no doubt a name which they can never mention without pride and gratitude, but still only a name, not a country; and a country every man worthy of the name of man will have and worship.

Baha'i Comment

16. The native-born Australian is Australian first and last; the native-born Canadian the same. The public ear of my native land is sadly led astray about the feeling of her colonies, because she hears only the voices of her own people, native-born Britons, or a few rich visitors speaking in the name of the colonies. It is these who principally visit the old home, crossing the seas, drawn hither by longings, as pilgrims to their Mecca. The masses of the people in the colonies permit and even encourage upon the part of these native-born Britons the expression of the tenderest sentiments toward their native land; for they know that men are not worthy of the confidence and respect of the communities in which they dwell if they fail in affection for the land which gave them birth, and that the colonist who does not love his native land is not likely to prove much of an acquisition to his adopted one. But it will save much disappointment if the people at home can be made to understand and believe that the following truly represents the sentiments of ninety-nine out of every hundred native-born Canadians and Australians. I quote the words of the Premier of the important province of Quebec, Mr. Mercier,

    (9) Honore Mercier (1840-1894), premier and attorney-general (1887).

who, being asked, whether he was opposed to federation, replied:

    Yes, I am. I regard that policy as treason to Canada. Imperial federation means that Canada must join Britain in her wars throughout the world, and must weigh the interest of the whole Empire before looking to her own. A tie that would thus subject Canada completely to European dominion would be a most unnatural one, and there are not fifty men in the province of Quebec who are favorable to so unpatriotic a policy. The time has, in fact, come to consider in a very peaceful yet very serious way the right of European Powers to govern people living on the continent of America, whose interests and general tendencies, commercial or other, are in certain respects opposed to those of the people of Europe. Accordingly, instead of being disposed

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    to strengthen the ties at present existing between Britain and Canada, we are, in fact, looking forward with some anxiety to the time when we shall ask for our independence. We shall request it with all due respect to Great Britain, and without any ill feeling toward her people, just as a young man of full age, on leaving his father's home, may sometimes do it with reluctance, but with the proud feeling that he, too, is called upon to take a free and independent share in life. What I say about the province of Quebec may, I believe, be said of the inhabitants of all the other provinces.

Baha'i Comment

17. It surely cannot have failed to attract the attention of the members of the Imperial Federation League that even Sir John Macdonald, a native-born Briton, was forced, certainly much against his will, to announce that Canada was no longer to be dependent, but the ally, of Briton, and even going so far only enabled him to escape defeat by a greatly reduced majority.

    In future, England would be the center, surrounded and sustained by an alliance, not only with Canada, but with Australia and all her other possessions; and there would thus be formed an immense confederation of freemen-the greatest confederacy of civilized and intelligent men that ever had an existence on the face of the globe.

Baha'i Comment

18. Alliances are made between independent nations. Sir John must also have had in mind the Republic, for this is necessary to make the greatest confederacy of intelligent and civilized men. A confederacy of all others of our race would be much smaller than the United States alone.

Baha'i Comment

19. Sir John asserted the independence of Canada to the fullest extent when he recently commanded Lord Salisbury to tear up a treaty which had been agreed upon by Sir Julian Pauncefote and Secretary Blaine, with Lord Salisbury's cordial approval, which the British Government had presumed to make without consulting Canada. The recent protest of Newfoundland is another case in point.

    (10) On the Pauncefote-Blaine treaty Essay XI, note 8. In 1890 and again in April 1891 Newfoundland sent deputations to London to protest against the principle and arrangement by which France and England arrived at a modus vivendi involving the fishing industry in the colony.

The public is informed that the difficulty has been compromised, but the

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compromise has necessarily been all on one side. The form of arbitration with France is to be adhered to; but after this has been duly performed, Newfoundland's demands will be complied with. Any treaty rights France is found to possess are to be purchased. There was no other course open to Britain. She cannot govern her colonies; for they are full grown and almost of age and now dictate to her. They must be provided with homes of their own speedily if the filial tie is to be preserved.

Baha'i Comment

20. The Imperial Federation has only to grapple with the initial difficulty to be overthrown, which is this: the native-born Australian wants at maturity a country of his own to live for, fight for, and, if necessary, to die for; the native-born Canadian wants the same. The native-born Briton has this, the American, German, Frenchman. Why not the people of Canada and Australia? The native-born colonist has not the slightest idea of permitting the parent-land, distant thousands of miles, or any land, to have anything to say in or to his own country. That any of their statesmen should favor the proposition that the representatives of his country should be sent across seas to be swamped in a Parliament in London, and the destinies of his country subjected to the votes of strangers, would probably be considered by the medical faculty of the colony as a prima facie proof of mental aberration; his incarceration in a lunatic asylum would be imminent. To endeavor to satisfy this commendable and patriotic devotion to the idea of country by offering them part of a land thousands of miles away, which they can never see, is futile. They might as well be asked to consider themselves citizens of the moon, and so to rest and be thankful. These ambitious, enterprising peoples with British blood in their veins are not crying for the moon. There is no rest for such movements; once started, national aspirations are not to be quenched. The sooner these are gratified, the better for all.

Baha'i Comment

21. What lesson has the past to teach us upon this point?

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Spain had great colonies upon the American continent: where are these now? Seventeen republics occupy Central and South America. Five of these have prepared plans for federating. Portugal had a magnificent empire, which is now with the Brazilian Republic. Britain had a colony. It has passed from its mother's apron-strings and set up for itself, and now the majority of all our races are gathered under its republican flag. What is there in the position of Britain's relation to Australia and Canada that justifies the belief that any different result is possible with them? I know of none; on the contrary, all that I know of the sentiment of the people in the colonies satisfies me that there exists this healthy growth toward national life. They would be unworthy of their sires if they did not possess it. It was not a question of taxes that produced the independence of the United States; this was the incident only which precipitated what was bound to come a few years sooner or later, independent of any possible home policy. Franklin and Adams had no idea of separating from the mother-land when they led in the refusal to be taxed from Westminster; but they soon found themselves compelled by a public sentiment, until then latent, to advance to independence. Australasia has begun the natural movement toward change in her relations to the old home. Her leaders-still native-born Britons chiefly-kindly propose that Britain may still be allowed to send an ornamental Governor-General. The tie will be slight, but it is now seen, especially in the most important of the colonies, New South Wales, that, as in the case of America, the British-born leaders may be pushed by the native-born Australians into a movement for complete independence. If it does not evolve now it must do so later, for the "Speaker" (July 18) truly says: "It is the fading class of the home-born which keeps alive the traditions and sentiment of the English connection. Every five minutes throughout Australasia an Imperialist dies; every four minutes a Republican is born."

Baha'i Comment

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22. The constant reader of the Spectator knows that journal to be equally well informed, and the Times has more than once recently shown that it is not ignorant of the true state of colonial affairs. But these able organs of public opinion seem to be almost alone.

Baha'i Comment

23. It is of the utmost importance that the people of Britain should promptly realize her true relation to the colonies, which is just this: she is the motherland, and no nation has ever been blessed with a family so numerous, enterprising, and creditable. The only part open to her is to play the mother, and, as her children grow beyond the need of her fostering care, to endeavor to inculcate in them the ambition to go forth and manage for themselves. She should doubt the blood in any weakling content to remain under her protection when the age of manhood comes. True, few departures from the old home are unaccompanied by tears, but, after all, tears of affection, of joy, in the happiness of the child who starts in life for himself. There are only two modes that can be pursued: either the colonies will leave the parent nest with the parent's blessing, carrying in their hearts undying love and reverence for her to whom they owe all, or the parting will be made under conditions which must necessarily bring both parent and child lifelong bitterness and lifelong sorrow. The American boy is forever to be in youth the hater of the old home, for in his early years he is fed with stories of the Revolution -- of the struggles and sufferings of Washington and his patriot army, of the desire of his native land for independence, and of the mistaken efforts of Britain to hold it in subjection.

Baha'i Comment

24. This early impression of Britain as the oppressor of his country is not easily removed. It is a thousand pities that the majority of our race is to learn first that the parent-land was their country's only foe. Britain can choose whether Australia and Canada and her other colonies, as they grow to maturity, can set up for themselves with every feeling of filial devotion toward her, or whether every child born

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in these lands is to be born to regard Britain as the American child must. There is no other alternative, and I beseech our friends of the Imperial Federation to pause ere they involve their country and her children in the disappointment, humiliation, and antagonism which must come if a serious effort be made to check the development and independent existence of the colonies, for independence they must and will seek by virtue of the blood that is in them, and obtain, even by force if necessary. They were not true Britons else.

Baha'i Comment

25. Lord Salisbury has recently said that if Home Rule were granted to Ireland, other portions of the Empire might be "wrenched from the power of the Queen." As he could not mean that there was a danger of foreign nations attempting to "wrench" any of the colonies, he must have meant that the colonies would "wrench" themselves away. Nothing should be left undone to prevent such "wrenches" from coming. To encourage the colonies to follow the example of their mother-land and become nations themselves is the only way to prevent such a "wrench" as took place between the parent and the Republic. I should prevent all feeling of "wrenching" upon one side or the other by having the parent-land start her children in life in due course, as her Majesty starts her children. With rare wisdom, she favors early marriages. Britain, as a nation, should imitate the example of her wise Queen, and start her colonies for themselves in homes of their own as soon as they become restless under the old roof-tree, with a God-speed, and a fond, proud mother's blessing.

Baha'i Comment

26. It may be said that the destiny indicated for the parent-land is one unworthy of her past. I cannot share such a thought. The world is still young. As each child of Britain reaches proper growth and departs, another child will be born to her. No limit can be set to this stage of the world's development, no time fixed when the mother will not have quite enough of a family to care for. Generations must pass before the two hundred and eighty millions of India are

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ready to federate into a great nation and govern themselves, while Africa was born to her only yesterday. Besides this, the United Kingdom, even of itself, and without colonies, would remain one of the principal nations. Her colonies weaken her powers in war, and confer no advantages upon her in peace. Her population about equals that of France, and will, I believe, eventually equal that of Germany, probably exceed it, leaving only Russia more populous in Europe. Her store of minerals surpasses all others except the United States; she has at her foot the markets of the world for the chief manufactured articles, for, whatever may be said of foreign competition, it cannot possibly amount to much in the future: her navy can control the seas. One of the purest fallacies is that trade follows the flag. Trade follows the lowest price current. If a dealer in any colony wished to buy Union Jacks, he would order them from Britain's worst foe if he could save a sixpence. Trade knows no flag. Britain's greatest customer is the American Republic; and, as we have seen, Germany and France, with a tithe of the population, consume as much as India of British products, and more than all the Australian and Canadian colonies combined. Canada trades more with the Republic than with Britain The independence of the colonies will not lessen British trade with them, but increase it, because independence will stir their energies and make them much more enterprising. Hence wealth will be produced faster, and the market for fine articles from Britain be correspondingly increased. This is proved by the result of American independence.

Baha'i Comment

27. With full appreciation of the patriotic sentiment which pervades the two leagues, I cannot refrain from asking their members to consider whether they are not working in the wrong direction, and aiding to thwart and not to promote the true mission of their country in the future. The position which Britain should aim to occupy is no less than the "headship of the race," as the parent of all. Now, even if the various parts of the race in the Empire could be federated

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under one sovereign - of which there is as little likelihood as that the Republic could be induced to enter -- and thus the whole aim of the Federation League be accomplished, what then? Eleven millions of people will have been confederated with her-only this and nothing more-and Britain then would only be first in the smaller division of the race. It would not be such a prodigious gain for her, after all. We should have "Hamlet" with Hamlet left out. Few persons have a correct knowledge of the numbers and increase of the various parts of our race. During the past ten years the United States added to its numbers more than the total present number of English-speaking people in all other parts of the world, outside of the United Kingdom. Her increase was 12,500,000. The increase of the United Kingdom and all her English-speaking colonies was not one half as great - about 5,000,000. Britain added slightly more than 3,000,000; Canada only 500,000, a rate of increase not greater than that of Britain; New South Wales (last eight years) only 471,000; Victoria (last nine years) 710,984; all other colonies only trifling numbers. Thus, if we place the Republic in one scale, and all the other parts of the race in the other, the yearly increase in the first scale would more than double that in the second. Even if the United States increase is to be much less rapid than it has been hitherto, yet the child is born who will see more than 400,000,000 under her sway. No possible increase of the race can be looked for in all the world combined comparable to this. Green

    (11) John Richard Green (1837-1883). British historian.

truly says that its "future home is to be found along the banks of the Hudson and the Mississippi." Why should the parent-land, then, be counseled by the Imperial League to endeavor to form closer ties with her other children than with her eldest born, who must dwarf all the rest of the family together? What kind of federation is that which leaves the Republic out? There is no obstacle to forming any tie with the Republic that can possibly be formed with

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the commonwealth of Australia or the Dominion of Canada, for, just as soon as these are asked to forego their inborn desire for independence similar to that of the United States, their answer will settle the question, if, indeed, the League ever requires to go so far as to ask for Imperial Federation and be refused. It should not be necessary for it to place the parent-land in a position so humiliating, for that its idea is impracticable can be learned in every quarter without exposing itself to the inevitable and wholly unnecessary rebuff.

Baha'i Comment

28. If the United Empire Trade League ever succeeds in getting the government to call a conference of the colonies, to meet in London, as it proposes, to consider its aim, the end of that idea also will have arrived, for few colonial governments could survive the support of a bill appointing delegates even to consider the question of discriminating against other nations in favor of Britain. But, as in the case of the Imperial Federation League, so the United Empire Trade League should be able to satisfy itself, before asking a conference only to be refused, that there is no possibility of obtaining the cooperation of any English-speaking community.

Baha'i Comment

29. Mistaken, impracticable, and pernicious, however, though the aims of these two societies be, yet it is to their membership that we can best look for efforts in the right direction for such cooperation of the entire race as it is possible to effect; for their hearts are in the right place, and their heads can easily be brought to the favorable consideration of an idea which postulates for their country a much higher position, a much grander mission, than that which they have set themselves to secure -- a position which will keep her in the rightful attitude of parent toward the entire race which has sprung from her.

Baha'i Comment

30. I respectfully ask the patriotic, sympathetic, and enterprising men of these leagues to permit me to submit for their consideration a summary of the ideas which have forced

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themselves upon me from a study of the question, made with an earnest desire to secure, first, the unity of our race, and through that, for it, the mastery of the world, for the good of the world.

Baha'i Comment

31. First. The great aim of the federationists should be to draw together the masses of all English-speaking countries, and to make them feel that they are really members of the same undivided race, and share its triumphs; that all English-speaking men are brothers who should rejoice in one another's prosperity and be proud of one another's achievements. The little faults or shortcomings of the other members should be overlooked, and all should dwell upon what is best in each, for, as members of the same race, what disgraces one necessarily reflects upon the entire family. Impossible Imperial Federation and Empire Trade League should give place to Race Alliance, and so embrace all in one common bond, the only test being

    If Shakspere's tongue be spoken there,
    And songs of Burns are in the air.

Baha'i Comment

32. Pursuance of this policy during our generation will do much to lay the foundation for a true federation of the whole race, as far as it is possible to combine sovereign powers; and how far that is possible is for future generations, not for this, to learn. That it is possible to a degree, we of to-day already see. Once earnestly kept in view and labored for, and lower aims excluded, it is probable that things now deemed impossible dreams may prove easy of getting. Indeed, the "Parliament of Man" itself is only a question of time in the mind of the evolutionist who sees no bounds to the advance of man in the line of brotherhood. If we may not look into the future and tell what germ is to grow, we can at least do our duty in the present, and cultivate the soil and plant the germ which ought to grow among the members of the same race, leaving to posterity the duty of

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nurturing the precious seed, and, we trust, the fruition of our hopes.

Baha'i Comment

33. Second. The parent-land should be urged to encourage her colonies, as an able mother encourages her sons, to go forth at maturity and play the part of men-loving and reverencing her, but independent. The idea of federation among colonies should also be encouraged; for no greater calamity could happen than that the various English-speaking communities should be divided into small nations, jealous of one another. The sad condition of Europe to-day, an armed camp, contrasted with that of the United States, which is ere long to contain an English-speaking population as great as the whole of Europe, without any necessity for a standing army, should be continually in mind and proclaimed. The Australian colonies do not require the lesson. These are wise and will federate, and, as one irresistible power, keep the peace and rule that quarter of the globe without armies, for they, like the Republic, can have no neighboring foe; but the union of England and Scotland should be held up to Canada and the United States. I should not like to think that I ever had said or ever should say a word that would tend to perpetuate upon the American continent two divisions of the race, or to feel that I had not exerted myself to produce union. The mother-land can do much by reminding Canada of her own union with Scotland, and the happy results which flow from it. The present unfortunate division of the race in America, so fraught with danger, is Britain's work; the duty upon her to correct the evil is imperative. Nor is she unequal to the task, for she has done things that other nations cannot parallel. The cession of the Ionian Islands to classic Greece, the recent cession of Helgoland to Germany, show her capable of generous, even sublime, action.

    (l2) In 1884 the Ionian Islands, the principal of which is Gorfu, a British protectorate, were formally ceded to the Kingdom of Greece. The British seized Heligoland (Helgoland) in 1807 from the Danes but in 1890 ceded the island to Germany.

She can rise at times to great heights and

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teach nations magnanimity. All she has done of this nature combined were but little in comparison with the uniting of the two children whom her policy separated a century ago. She should tell Canada that whenever it becomes, as it is becoming, a question of separate independent existence, or of union with the other division of the race, a mother's blessing would attend her union with the Republic. With the appalling condition of Europe before us, it would be criminal for a few millions of people to create a separate government instead of becoming part of a great mass of their own race which joins them, especially since the federal system gives each part the control of all its internal affairs, and has proved that the freest government of the parts produces the strongest government of the whole. The most eminent man in Canada to-day is certainly Goldwin Smith.

    (l3) British historian and publicist (1823-1910), author of Canada and the Canadian Question (1891). From 1868-1871 he was a professor at Cornell. He was an ardent spokesman for Anglo-Saxon union and supremacy.

He remains an Englishman with allegiance unimpaired, yet he tells Britain that her position upon the American continent is the barrier to sympathetic union with her great child, the Republic. He is right.

Baha'i Comment

34. Third. Much is done to prevent harmony in the race by the position that has until recently been held tenaciously by the parent-land in regard to the fiscal policy which every colony has found it best to pursue. Seeing that strictly agricultural communities can never amount to much under present conditions, it should be regarded as a natural and patriotic desire upon the part of Canadians and Australians to give their countries diversified industries, that the various aptitudes of the people may find scope. Britain need have no fear about her trade. Indeed, it is very doubtful if, with all her resources developed to the utmost, she can long continue to meet the demands for her products which must be made upon her, no matter what tariffs may be adopted. Where the iron and steel can be had to supply the coming wants of the

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world is already troubling Bell, Atkinson, Hewitt, and other high authorities.

    (14) Of these authorities Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell (181~1904) was an English metallurgist and businessman, organizer of the British Iron and Steel Institute, author of books on the industry. Abram S. Hewitt (1822 1903), son-in-law of Peter Cooper, an ironmaster, was a pioneer in the introduction into the United States of metal rolling and steelmaking and a successful Democratic politician. On Edward Atkinson see Editor's Introduction, above, p. x.

A writer in the Times (July 12), Mr. Harvey, one of the most prominent citizens of Newfoundland and a loyal subject, states this point admirably, and asks that it "be granted by the majority of the people of England and Scotland that a man may doubt the infallibility of the doctrine of free trade under all circumstances, and not be considered a fool or worse." Britain is quite right in adopting free trade for herself, but every colonist visiting the old home should not be attacked and denounced, I might even say abused, because he ventures to think his new country requires a different system for a time.

Baha'i Comment

35. Fourth. The process of assimilating the political institutions of all English-speaking countries should be continued, for it should never be forgotten by true federationists that different political conditions form a great barrier to close sympathetic union. No Parliament since that which passed the Reform Bill deserves greater thanks than the present one in this respect. It has done much to bring Britain's institutions in accord with the democratic standard of all the other English-speaking nations. County councils, and especially free education, are important steps toward the unification of our race. In like manner, the recent Copyright Act of the Republic removes a difference. Australasia has also done her part by placing the Republic under obligation, her greatly improved system having already been adopted with beneficial results in many of the States. She has also the simplest and best system of land laws in the world, for which we hope the Republic is soon -- and the United Kingdom later - to discard its own. Thus each of the three parts,

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improving for herself, improves also for the benefit of the others. The race enjoying the same language, religion, literature, and law should also have the harmonizing blessings of common political institutions.

Baha'i Comment

36. The ground once cleared of Empire Trade League efforts to array one part of the race against the other part, and equally of Imperial Federation aims which would shut out the vast majority of the race and limit the mother-land's connection to the smaller portion, and especially if the division of the race upon the North American continent were healed by union, upon the advice of the parent, the efforts of all could then be concentrated upon realizing what Mr. Bolton calls "that grand idea, the confederation of all the nations which have sprung from the race nurtured in these isles." The first-fruits of this movement would probably be seen in the appointment, by the various nations of our race, of international commissions, charged with creating a system of weights, measures, and coins, of port dues, patents, trade-marks, and other matters of similar character which are of common interest. If there be a question upon which all authorities are agreed, for instance, it is the desirability of introducing the decimal system of weights, measures, and coins; but an international commission seems the only agency capable of bringing it about.

Baha'i Comment

37. The habit of producing uniform arrangements for the whole of the race having been created by such commissions, the step would be easy to a further development of the international idea. For under harmonious conditions Britain would soon be regarded by the English-speaking people throughout the world as the mother they all revere, and there must inevitably begin a gradual drawing together of the whole race. Even to-day, every federationist has the satisfaction of knowing that the idea of war between the two great branches is scouted on both sides of the Atlantic. Henceforth war between members of our race may be said to be already banished, for English-speaking men will never again be called

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upon to destroy one another. During the recent differences --not with Britain, for Britain and the Republic agreed, but with disapproving Canada, which was naturally more irritating to the Republic - not a whisper was ever heard upon either side of any possible appeal to force as a mode of settlement. Both parties in America and each successive government are pledged to offer peaceful arbitration for the adjustment of all international difficulties - a position which it is to be hoped will soon be reached by Britain, at least in regard to all the differences with members of the same race.

Baha'i Comment

38. Is it too much to hope that after this stage has been reached and occupied successfully for a period, another step forward will be taken, and that, having jointly banished war between themselves, a general council should be created by the English-speaking nations, to which may at first be referred only questions of dispute between them? This would only be making a permanent body to settle differences, instead of selecting arbiters as required - not at all a serious advance, and yet it should be the germ from which great fruits would grow.

Baha'i Comment

39. The Supreme Court of the United States is extolled by the statesmen of all parties in Britain, and has received the compliment of being copied in the plan for the Australian commonwealth. Building upon it, may we not expect that a still higher Supreme Court is one day to come, which shall judge between the nations of the entire English-speaking race, as the Supreme Court at Washington already judges between States which contain the majority of the race?

Baha'i Comment

40. At first the decisions of the council would probably be made subject to ratification by all the principals, but the powers and duties of such a council, once established, may be safely trusted to increase; to its final influence over the race, and through the race over the world, no limit can be set; in the dim future it might even come that the pride of the citizen in the race as a whole would exceed that which

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he had in any part thereof - as the citizen of the Republic to-day is prouder of being an American than he is of being a native of any State of the Union. This is a far look ahead, no doubt, but patriotism is an expansive quality, and men to-day are as patriotic in regard to an entire continent as the ancients were about their respective cities and provinces. The time is coming when even race patriotism will give place to the citizenship of the world.

Baha'i Comment

41. While the decisions of the council would necessarily be restricted to such questions as arose between the members of the race, its influence, and in extreme cases its recommendations, if unanimously made, could not fail to be of weighty import. We can imagine such a tribunal, for instance, unanimously saying a word upon occasion which would settle the most important subject within our horizon of to-day. Is it a very improbable idea that it might hold and obtain the unanimous approval of the powers represented in so holding that the peace of the world, in which the industrial English-speaking race is most deeply concerned, is a question which other nations cannot be allowed wholly to determine for themselves? The commanding position of our race will place upon it correspondingly great offices. United as described, it would wield such overwhelming power that resistance would be useless. Its verdict could never be questioned; its word would be law. I believe that it is by our race, and through such means, that war is most probably to be driven from the world which it disgraces, and the reign of peace established among men for ever.

Baha'i Comment

42. In the pursuit of an end so noble, the English-speaking race, wherever situated, can confidently be appealed to; its realization would be a service to mankind which justified labor, expenditure, and even risk. The feeble beginnings of the federation of Europe are already seen in the Triple Alliance. It may fail because not so overwhelmingly strong as to render impotent all efforts to cope with it, and all depends

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upon this; but the idea is there, for three nations have declared themselves banded together, not for the purpose of aggression, defensively, not offensively, and only to keep the peace and to punish the peace-breaker. We have nothing to do here with the merits of the controversy which called it forth, but what this Alliance aims to do for the three countries concerned for a few years, the true federation of the English-speaking race would be able to do permanently for the world. The duty is to be ours, if we cooperate, because ours is the only race of which the slightest hope can be entertained that it is soon to become so much stronger than any other race, or probable combination of races, as united to be omnipotent.

Baha'i Comment

43. A race alliance will hasten the day in the coming of which I have implicit faith, when our race will be quite able to say - and will therefore as a duty say - to any powers that threaten to begin the murder of human beings, in the name of war, under any pretence:

    Hold! I command you both; the one that stirs makes me his foe.
    Unfold to me the cause of the quarrel, and I will judge betwixt you.

      (l6) This seems to be a confused memory of a celebrated passage from the play by Home, Douglas (1757), once thought to rival Shakespearean tragedy. The lines should read:

        "Hold, I command you both. The man that stirs
        Makes me his foe. (Act IV, scene 2, lines 385-386.)

Baha'i Comment

44. If ever the parent-land and all her children unite in speaking these words, it need not be feared that a shot will be fired or a sword drawn. The writ of that race union will run the circle round and insure peace. We should thus have the Kriegsverein with power so overwhelming that its exercise would never be necessary. The Zollverein is something so much lower, being only a question of trade, that it scarcely deserves mention in comparison; but even the Zollverein will come of itself in its own good time, when the various members have had time to test and learn their respective capacities - what they can produce best at home, and what they must continue to purchase abroad. Protective tariffs are in their

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very nature experimental and temporary devices. These require little attention from the true federationist; indeed, the less they receive the sooner they will pass away. All the forces at work tend to equilibrium of cost throughout the world, and hence the reduction and final abolition of protective duties as no longer necessary.

Baha'i Comment

45. It is obvious that such an alliance of the race is dependent upon a union of hearts, and that force or pressure would only defeat it. No more seeds of lifelong bitterness should be sown. The younger members of the race should remember what is due to the parent; the parent should seek to retain their love and reverence by being "to their faults a little blind and to their virtues very kind,"

    (16) Quoted inaccurately from Matthew Prior, "An English Padlock," line 79.

freely according to each, when maturity arrives, the same independent existence and the same exclusive management of its own affairs as she claims for herself, and rather than relinquish which she would sink under the sea. Each member must be free to manage his own home as he thinks proper without incurring hostile criticism or parental interference. All must be equal - allies, not dependents.

Baha'i Comment

46. Fate has given to Britain a great progeny and a great past. Her future promises to be no less great and prolific. Many may be the members of the family council of all the English-speaking nations, each complete in itself, which I have predicted as sure to come sooner or later; but, however numerous the children, there can never be but one mother, and that mother, great, honored, and beloved by all her offspring, - as I pray she is to be, - "this Sceptered Isle,"

    (17) Richard II, Act II, scene 1, line 35.

my native land. God bless her!

Baha'i Comment



The intent of
Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Jr.,
as expressed in an early will, was for
Harvard College to use the income from a
permanent trust fund he set up, for "editing and
publishing rare, inaccessible, or hitherto unpublished
source material of interest in connection with the
history, literature, art (including minor and useful
art), commerce, customs, and manners or way of
life of the Colonial and Federal Periods of the United
States... In all cases the emphasis shall be on
the presentation of the basic material." A later testament
broadened this statement, but Mr. Belknap's inter-
ests remained constant until his death.
In linking the name of the first benefactor of
Harvard College with the purpose of this later,
generous-minded believer in American culture the
John Harvard Library seeks to emphasize the impor-
tance of Mr. Belknap's purpose. The John Harvard
Library of the Belknap Press of Harvard University
Press exists to make books and documents
about the American past more readily
available to scholars and the
general reader.