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of births, deaths, and marriages.
for the next ten or twelve years, the marriages were to be either more frequent or more prolific, and no emigration were to take place, instead of five to a cottage, there might be seven, and this, added to the necessity of worse living, would evidently have a most unfavorable effect on the health of the common people.
THAT the checks which have been men tioned are the immediate causes of the slow increase of population, and thầt these checks result principally from an insufficiency of subsistence, will be evident from the comparatively rapid increase, which has invariably taken place whenever, by some sudden enlargement in the means of subsistence, these checks have been in
consider able degree removed.
It has been universally "remarked that all new colonies settled in healthy countries, where room and food were abundant, have constantly made a rapid progress in population. Many of the colonies from ancient Greece, in the 'course of one or two centuries, appear to have rivalled, and even surpassed, their mother cities. Syracuse and Agrigentum in Sicily; Tarentum and Locri in Italy ; Ephesus and Miletus in Lesser Asia ; were, by all accounts, at least equal to any of the cities of
General deductions from the, &c.
ancient Greece. All these colonies had established themselves in countries inhabited by savage and barbarous nations, which easily gave place to the new settlers, who had of course plenty of good land. It is calculated that the Israelites, hough they increased very slowly, while they were wandering in the land of Canaan, on settling in a fertile district of Egypt doubled their numbers every fifteen years during the whole period of their stay." But not to dwell on remote instances, the European settlements in America bear ample testimony to the truth of a remark, that has never, I believe, been doubted. Plenty of rich land to be had for little or nothing is so powerful a cause of population as generally to overcome all obstacles.
No settlements could easily have been worse managed than those of Spain in Mexico, Peru, and Quito. The tyranny, superstition, and vices of the mother country were introduced in ample quantities among her children. Exorbitant taxes were exacted by the crown ; the most arbitrary restrictions were imposed on their trade ; and the governors were not behind hand in rapacity and
1Short's New Obsery.on Bills of Mortality, p. 259, 8vo. 1750,
General deductions from the
extortion for themselves as well as their master. Yet under all these difficulties, the colonies made a quick progress in population. The city of Quito, which was but a hamlet of Indians, is re. presented by Ulloa as containing fifty or sixty thousand inhabitants above fifty years ago.' Lima, which was founded since the conquest, is mentioned by the same author as equally or more populous, before the fatal earthquake in 1746. Mexico is said to contain a hundred thousand inhabitants, which, notwithstanding the exaggerations of the Spanish writers, is supposed to be five times greater than what it contained in the time of Montezuma.
In the Portuguese colony of Brazil, governed with almost equal tyranny, there were supposed to be above thirty years ago six hundred thousand inhabitants of European extraction.'
The Dutch and French colonies, though under the government of exclusive companies of merchants, which, as Dr. Smith justly observes, is the
1 Voy. d'Ulloa, tom. i. liv. v. ch. v. p. 229. 4to. 1752, 2 Smith's Wealth of Nations, vol. ii.b. iv. ch. vii. $ Id, p. 536
preceding view of Society.
worst of all possible governments, still persisted in thriving under every disadvantage."
But the English North American colonies, now the powerful people of the United States of Ameríča, 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 with. out some restrictions on their foreign commerce, they were allowed the liberty of managing their own internal affairs. The political institutions which prevailed were favorable 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 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
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
1 Id. p. 368, 369.