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COMPOSITE GOVERNMENTS.                          165
another bill relating to India transferred the control of affairs
from the company to the crown. It contemplated the appoint-
ment of a secretary of state for India, with a council of fifteen
assistants holding offices during good behavior, eight of them
nominated by the crown, and seven at first by the board of
directors and afterwards by the council itself. The right of
free trade with India was some time before this opened to all
English vessels. For a long time there had been three inde-
pendent presidencies in India. From 1783, a governor-gen-
eral, who was also governor of Bengal, brought a certain unity
into the administration of the various parts where British su-
premacy was acknowledged. In 1793, Lord Cornwallis being
then governor-general, a system was permanently set on foot
in regard to the tenure of land, the land-tax, the middlemen,
and the tenants,* as also in regard to the administration of
justice in that which was British India in the strict sense.
The relations of Great Britain to the various states, as su-
preme, as a protector, as an ally, are too complicated to be
described here.
The policy of modern nations in regard to their colonies
has been to use them for the commercial benefit of the mother
country, and to place them under institutions corresponding
with the political tendencies there prevailing. The French
colonies all passed over to the English. The Spanish sepa-
rated from Spain to form free republics, with little experi-
ence of self-government. The vast Portuguese territory re-
mains a monarchy with great prospects for the future. Only
the English colonies have as yet shown a vigor and life,
an intelligence and freedom which can compare with those
of the Greeks. This result is due to the political institutions,
and to the healthy tone of morals and religion in England,
and promises to carry the human race forward more than any
other political movement of modern times.
* Comp. Mr. G. Campbell, Tenure of land in India, Cobden club's
systems of land tenure, 149-233 (1870).