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[338] shall obstinately resist, will none the less see their
Chap. LXI.} 1776. Apr.
colonies escape from them, to become their enemies instead of their allies.

The yearly cost of colonies in peace, the enormous expenditures for their defence in war, lead to the conclusion that it is more advantageous for us to grant them entire independence, without waiting for the moment when events will compel us to give them up. This view would not long since have been scorned as a paradox and rejected with indignation. At present we may be the less revolted at it, and perhaps it may not be without utility to prepare consolation for inevitable events. Wise and happy will be that nation which shall first know how to bend to the new circumstances, and consent to see in its colonies allies and not subjects. When the total separation of America shall have healed the European nations of the jealousy of commerce, there will exist among men one great cause of war the less, and it is very difficult not to desire an event which is to accomplish this good for the human race. In our colonies we shall save many millions, and if we acquire the liberty of commerce and navigation with all the northern continent, we shall be amply compensated.

The position of Spain with regard to its American possessions will be more embarrassing. Unhappily she has less facility than any other power to quit the route that she has followed for two centuries, and conform to a new order of things. Thus far she has directed her policy to maintaining the multiplied prohibitions with which she has embarrassed her commerce. She has made no preparations to substitute for empire over her American provinces a fraternal

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