Slike stranica


It meant perhaps a fatal reaction against the Protector himself. It was a critical point in Cromwell's career. The trade and manufacturing interests are powerful interests for any one to oppose. like the great man he was, he was looking not at immediate risks alone, but at ultimate effects as well. Cromwell could not turn back; to give way and abandon his West Indian plan would have given such a shock to his reputation as to endanger his position. Through it all he kept a well-balanced judgment and a confident, resolute manner. He redoubled his efforts. He appealed to the political and religious prejudices of the people. He silenced if he did not convince the merchants and manufacturers, who are ever prone to favor those policies which will yield immediate rather than ultimate commercial advantages. Cromwell stood on the threshold of a new age. He belonged both to the past and to the future. He represents a curious blending of religious zeal and modern commercial spirit, eager, unrelenting, never-tiring. Religious interests as the basis of political action were passing away and in their place were coming the commercial interests of a new age. The bonds of religious unity were not the forces that in the new era could bind states together. The growth of national feeling, of independence and political unity, had forever supplanted them. Therefore any hope of uniting the Protestant states was futile. Nor could he hope to propagate Protestantism by the sword. The West Indian expedition was in some sense epochal. It opened a new era for England. It began the policy of the true expansion of the British Empire. It determined the economic policy, not only of the Protectorate, but of the Restoration. It determined England's relation to, and laid the foundation for her supremacy in, the mercantile and colonial system until the last years of the eighteenth century.




THE striking diversity of Great Britain's administration of her various dependencies in the Malay Peninsula and around the China Sea is due to the history of their establishment and growth. Thrown in comparatively close proximity, can be seen four distinct methods of governing Asiatic possessions. There exist almost side by side: (1) the Straits Settlements, exhibiting the system characteristic of the government of India, that of holding certain strategic points under direct British administration, while controlling, as a dependent protectorate, a number of states, whose native rulers are guided in their internal government by British officers; (2) the state of Sarawak, of which the labor and the profits of government belong to an individual, who possesses the attributes of sovereignty, but yet is a British subject and under the protection of the British government; (3) the territories of the British North Borneo Company, the first created of the new governing companies founded on the lines of the old East India Company, rendering profits to stockholders but under elaborate charter restrictions; and (4) the island of Hong Kong, which is from its geographical conditions unable to expand over adjoining territory, and is held for commercial and military reasons under the direct administration of the British Colonial Office.

In all these four dependencies local conditions have influenced administrative development, but in their history, even more than in their local conditions, can be traced the different causes which have led to the difference of their administrative expedients. Though the problems their administrators have to face are somewhat different there are yet certain characteristics common to them all. In each the problem of the Chinaman is present. The commercial gifts of that most commercial of races have placed the business interests of all four dependencies in Chinese hands, while the political difficulty of effectively managing the members of the race most alien to European ideas needs the most careful handling. In three of the four dependencies the Malays complicate the difficulty of handling the Chinese, for the Pax Britannica prevents the Malays from mur

dering their astute commercial oppressors and the government is therefore forced to take measures for their protection.

It is not proposed in this article to deal with the actual condition. of the four British dependencies in the Further East or to describe in detail the existing systems of administration. Such information can be easily obtained from the different Blue Books and official reports, of which summaries can be found in such easily accessible works of reference as the Colonial Office List and the Statesman's Year-book. A brief account of their history and geography can be read in the excellent Historical Geography of the British Colonies by C. P. Lucas.1 It is intended rather to deal with the administrative evolution of the four dependencies, pointing out the salient points of their history and thus illustrating the complexity of the colonial administration of the British Empire.

When the hundred years of the Portuguese monopoly of the Asiatic trade with Europe came to an end with the appearance of the Dutch in 1596 and of the English in 1600 in Asiatic seas, the merchants of the two great Protestant trading nations made first for the Spice Islands. It was the peppers and the spices of the Further East that promised the largest profit; and the first factories, as the establishments were called where stocks of the desired commodities were collected for conveyance to Europe by the annual fleets, were founded by both the Dutch and the English in the islands of Java and Sumatra. The rivalry between the Dutch and the English merchants was extreme, and the massacre at Amboyna in February 1623 roused the wrath of the whole English nation. As the seventeenth century proceeded the rival nations gradually separated their areas of Asiatic trade. The Dutch East India Company devoted itself mainly to the importation of peppers and spices, and for this reason concentrated its energies upon the Spice Islands, Ceylon and the Malabar coast of India, while the London East India Company, without surrendering its desire to compete in this lucrative business, fixed its attention rather upon India, and fostered its trade with Surat and Bengal and, after its foundation in 1639, with Madras. Towards the close of the seventeenth century, when English power in Europe was increasing while that of the Dutch was waning, the affairs of the London East India Company were vigorously managed by a great statesman. Sir Josiah Child, whose imperial ideas foreshadowed a century before their time the great events which were to make the English masters of India, resolved to press the claims of his Company to a larger share of the trade of the Further East. He was unable, indeed, to recover Bantam in 1 Vol. I.; Oxford, 1888.

Java (which had for a time been the London East India Company's chief spice and pepper factory), owing to the intrigues of the Dutch, but the expedition sent for that purpose in 1684 founded a factory at Bencoolen in Sumatra, protected by Fort Marlborough, which became eventually the nucleus of the East India Company's establishments in the Further East. He made vigorous efforts to open up a profitable trade with China and Japan, but there likewise the Dutch were before him and a long time was to elapse before the English traded on an equality with the Dutch in those distant seas. Batavia, the capital of the Dutch Indies, was better placed than Calcutta or Madras to control the trade to the Further East; and the English writers in the beginning of the eighteenth century describe in bitter terms the relentless opposition of the Dutch to all their efforts to establish themselves in their rival's sphere of influence. It was true that the Dutch and the English were allies in Europe and fought side by side against France in the War of the Spanish Succession; but at that very time appeared Hall's History of the Barbarous Cruelties and Massacres committed by the Dutch in the East Indies, a little book which had a wide circulation and exerted considerable influence at the time of its publication in 1712. The English free merchants or "interlopers," as they were officially termed, made great inroads on the monopoly of the Dutch trade in the Further East, as well as on that of the chartered English merchants, as can be seen from the pages of that most entertaining of interloping sea-captains, Alexander Hamilton, whose New Account of the East Indies, published in 1727, is full of narratives of his successfully outwitting both Dutch and English officials. During the first half of the eighteenth century, the interlopers carried on the brunt of the fight with the Dutch, while the East India Company's station at Bencoolen was harassed from Batavia and prevented from making adequate returns for the capital expended for its maintenance. But the middle era of the century witnessed a change in the situation. The triumphs of the English in India reacted upon their position in the Further East. Clive's daring in facing responsibility, and the victory of Forde over the Dutch expedition sent into Bengal in 1759, definitely assured the predominance of the English in the Further East as well as in India, and when Warren Hastings came to the helm of the East India Company's affairs in India, a fresh effort was made to use the recognized power and prestige of the Company's government to expand the volume of English trade in the Malay Peninsula, in the Spice Islands and in China seas.

It would be tedious to narrate in detail the various early attempts made by the East India Company to secure what it

considered its fair share of the trade of the Spice Islands during the seventeenth century. The only accurate statement of these efforts is to be found in a publication by the India Office, which is in the form of an official report and does not pretend to be an historical narrative. Nevertheless Mr. F. C. Danvers has compiled a work of the greatest historic value, in his Report to the Secretary of State for India in Council on the Records of the India Office: Records relating to Agencies, Factories, and Settlements not now under the Administration of the Government of India, published in 1888. Mr. Danvers in this report has given a classified list of all the documents touching his subject preserved in the India Office, with a brief summary of the information they contain, so that it is now possible for any student who desires to trace the history of the East India Company in Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Cochin China, China or Japan to find out exactly what assistance he can obtain from the papers preserved at the India Office. Mr. Danvers indicates in his summaries the difficulties under which the factory at Bencoolen suffered from the enmity of the Dutch, the various unsuccessful attempts made by the Company to form settlements in the island of Borneo, and the methods pursued in prosecuting trade with China and Japan. The curious practice of confiding the charge of the China trade to the care of the "supracargoes" of the different ships sent in the annual fleet to Canton, who were to meet in committee and live at the Company's expense while purchasing Chinese commodities for the European market, out of which grew the China establishment of the East India Company, is outlined as well as the various attempts to obtain admittance to other ports than Canton. Many interesting topics of this sort are suggested in the report of Mr. Danvers upon the primary authorities which will be used, it is to be hoped at no distant date, by a competent scholar.

The triumphant conclusion of the struggle with France for the predominance in India extended the sphere of influence of the East India Company to the eastern side of the Bay of Bengal. In earlier years their attempt to open trade with Burma and Siam had culminated in disaster. In 1687, the Company's servants at Mergui in Tenasserim, where a trade had been opened with the Siamese, were massacred, and a similar slaughter at Negrais in 1759 closed the attempt commenced six years earlier to open up commerce with the Burmese. But the free trading or "interloping" captains continued to carry on their venturesome business of commerce without intervention or protection of forts or factories. Through one of them, Captain Francis Light, came the first permanent settlement of the English in the Malay Peninsula. This enterprising voyager mar

VOL. IV.-17

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