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were supposed to be above thirty years ago six hundred thousand inhabitants of European extraction a.

The Dutch and French colonies, though under the government of exclusive companies of merchants, still persisted in thriving under every disadvantage b.

But the English North-American colonies, now the powerful people of the United States of America, far outstripped all the others in the progress of their population. To the quantity of rich land which they possessed in common with the Spanish and Portuguese colonies, they added a greater degree of liberty and equality. Though not without some restrictions on their foreign commerce, they were allowed the liberty of managing their own internal affairs. The political institutions which prevailed were favourable to the alienation and division of property. Lands which were not cultivated by the proprietor within a limited time, were declared grantable to any other person. In Pennsylvania there

• Smith’s Wealth of Nations, vol. ï. b.iv.ch. viii. p. 365. ” Id. p. 368, 369.

was

was no right of primogeniture; and in the provinces of New England, the eldest son had only a double share. There were no tithes in

any

of the States, and scarcely any taxes. . And on account of the extreme cheapness of good land, a capital could not be more advantageously employed than in agriculture; which, at the same time that it affords the greatest quantity of healthy work, supplies the most valuable produce to the society.

The consequence of these favourable circumstances united, was a rapidity of increase almost without parallel in history. Throughout all the northern provinces the population was found to double itself in 25 years. The original number of persons which had settled in the four provinces of New England in 1643, was 21,200. Afterwards it was calculated that more left them than went to them. In the year 1760 they were increased to half a million. They had therefore, all along doubled their number in 25 years. In New Jersey the period of doubling appeared to be 22 years, and in Rhode Island still less. In the back settle

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Along the

ments, where the inhabitants applied themselves solely to agriculture, and luxury was not known, they were supposed to double their number in fifteen years. sea-coast, which would naturally be first inhabited, the period of doubling was about 35 years, and in some of the maritime towns the population was absolutely at a stand a. From the late census made in

America, • Price's Observ. on Revers. Paym. vol. i. p. 282, 283, and vol. ii. p. 260. I have lately had an opportunity of seeing some extracts from the sermon of Dr. Styles, from which Dr. Price has taken these facts. Speaking of Rhode Island, Dr. Styles says that, though the period of doubling for the whole colony is 25 years, yet that it is different in different parts, and within land is 20 and 15 years. The population of the five towns of Gloucester, Situate, Coventry, West Greenwich and Exeter, was 5033, A.D. 1748 and 6986, A. D. 1755; which implies a period of doubling of 15 years only. He mentions afterwards, that the county of Kent doubles in 20 years, and the county of Providence in 18 years.

I have also lately seen a paper of Facts and Calculations respecting the Population of the United States, which makes the period of doubling for the whole of the States, since their first settlement, only 20 years. I know not of what auihority this paper is ; but, as far as it goes upon public facts and enumerations, I should think that it must be to be depended upon. One period is very striking.

From

America, it appears that, taking all the States together, they have still continued to double their numbers every 25 years ; and as the whole population is now so great as not to be materially affected by the emigrations from Europe, and as it is known that, in some of the towns and districts near the sea-coast, the progress of population has been comparatively slow ; it is evident, that in the interior of the country in

general, the period of doubling from procreation only must have been considerably less than 25

years. From a return to Congress in 1782, the population appeared to be 2,389,300, and in the census of 1790 4,000,000; increase in 9 years, 1,610,700; from which deduct ten thousand per annum for European settlers, which will be 90,000; and allow for their increase at 5 per cent for 4 years, which will be 20,250; the reinaining increase during those 9 years, from procreation ouly, will be 1,500,450, which is nearly 7 per cent.; and consequently the period of doubling at this rate would be less than 16 years.

If this calculation for the whole population of the States . be in any degree near the truth, it cannot be doubted, that in particular districts the period of doubling from procreation only has often been less than 15 years. The period immediately succeeding the war was likely to be a period of very rapid increase.

The population of the United States of America, according to the late census, is 5,172,312a. We have no reason to believe that Great Britain is less populous at present, for the emigration of the small parent stock which produced these numbers. On the contrary, a certain degree of emigration is known to be favourable to the population of the mother country. It has been particularly remarked that the two Spanish provinces, from which the greatest number of people emigrated to America, became in consequence more populous.

Whatever was the original number of British emigrants which increased so fast in North America, let us ask, Why does not an equal number produce an equal increase in the same time in Great Britain ? The obvious reason to be assigned is the want of food; and that this want is the most efficient cause of the three immediate checks

a

One small State is mentioned as being omitted in the census ; and I understand that the population is generally considered as above this number. It is said to approach towards 6,000,000. But such vague opinions cannot be much relied on.

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