The management of its foreign dependencies— colonies they could not properly be called, nor could Spain be named their mother country—was to that kingdom an object of anxiety and never-sleeping suspicion, heightened by a perpetual consciousness that the task of governing them was beyond its ability.
The total number of their inhabitants greatly exceeded its own. By their very extent, embracing,
Chap. I.} 1778. at least in theory, all the Pacific coast of America; and north of the Gulf of Mexico the land eastward to the Mississippi, or even to the Alleghanies, it could have no feeling of their subordination.
The remoteness of the provinces on the Pacific still more weakened the tie of supremacy, which was nowhere confirmed by a common language, inherited traditions, or affinities of race.
There was no bond of patriotism, or sense of the joint possession of political rights, or inbred loyalty.
The connection between rulers and ruled was one of force alone; and the force was in