previous next
[216] that it engrossed the commerce of the European
Chap. VI.}
nations themselves; English mariners sought employment in Dutch vessels, with which the ports of England were filled; English ships lay rotting at the wharves; English ship-building was an unprofitable vocation. The freedom and the enterprise of Holland had acquired maritime power, and skill, and wealth, such as the vast monopoly of Spain had never been able to command.

The causes of the commercial greatness of Holland were forgotten in envy at her success. She ceased to appear as the antagonist of Spain, and the gallant champion of the freedom of the seas; she was now envied as the successful rival. The eloquence of Grotius was neglected, as well as the pretensions of Spain disregarded; and the English government resolved to protect the English merchant. Cromwell desired to confirm the maritime power of his country; and St. John, a Puritan and a republican in theory, though never averse to a limited monarchy, devised the first act of navigation, which the politic Whitelocke introduced and carried through parliament. Hencefor-

ward, the commerce between England and her colonies, as well as between England and the rest of the world was to be conducted in ships solely owned, and principally manned, by Englishmen. Foreigners might bring to England nothing but the products of their own respective countries, or those of which their countries were the established staples. The act was leveled against Dutch commerce, and was but a protection of British shipping; it contained not one clause relating to a colonial monopoly, or specially injurious to an American colony. Of itself it inflicted no wound on Virginia or New England. In vain did the Dutch

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Dutch (West Virginia, United States) (2)
New England (United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Holland (2)
Grotius (1)
Richard Cromwell (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1651 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: