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[113] metropolis was at war with the present interests and
Chap. XX.}
natural rights of its colonies; and, as the European colonial system was established on every continent; as the single colonies were, each by itself, too feeble for resistance; colonial oppression was destined to endure as long, at least, as the union of the oppressors. But the commercial jealousies of Europe extended, from the first, to European colonies; and the home relations of the states of the Old World to each other were finally surpassed in importance by the transatlantic conflicts with which they were identified. The mercantile system, being founded in error and injustice, was doomed not only itself to expire, but, by overthrowing the mighty fabric of the colonial system, to emancipate commerce, and open a boundless career to human hope.

That colonial system all Western Europe had contributed to build. Even before the discovery of Amer-

ica, Portugal had reached Madeira and the Azores, the
Cape Verd Islands and Congo; within six years after
the discovery of Hayti, the intrepid Vasco de Gama,
following where no European, where none but Africans from Carthage, had preceded, turned the Cape of Good Hope, and arrived at Mozambique; and, passing the Arabian peninsula, landed at Calicut, and made an establishment at Cochin.

Within a few short years, the brilliant temerity of Portugal achieved establishments on Western and Eastern Africa, in Arabia and Persia, in Hindostan and the Eastern isles, and in Brazil. The intense application of the system of monopoly, combined with the despotism of the sovereign and the priesthood, precipitated the decay of Portuguese commerce in advance of the decay of the mercantile system; and the Moors,

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