My purpose in writing this book is so fully explained in the book itself that a Preface is unnecessary. I visited the West India Islands in order to increase my acquaintance with the condition of the British Colonies. I have related what I saw and what I heard, with the general impressions which I was led to form.
to us if we enable them to leave us when they please. The Crown, therefore, as in India, rules directly by the police and the army. And there are colonies which are neither one nor the other, where our own people have been settled and have been granted the land in possession with the control of an insubordinate population, themselves claiming political privileges which had to be refused to the rest. This was the position of Ireland, and the result of meddling theoretically with it ought to have taught us caution. Again, there are colonies like the West Indies, either occupied originally by ourselves, as Barbadoes, or taken by force from France or Spain, where the mass of the population were slaves who have been since made free, but where the extent to which the coloured people can be admitted to share in the administration is still an unsettled question. To throw countries so variously circumstanced under an identical system would be a wild experiment. Whether we ought to try such an experiment at all, or eve
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