The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: Colonies, Commerce, and Constitutional Law: Rid Yourselves…

Hardcover | November 1, 1995

byJeremy Bentham, F. RosenEditorPhilip Schofield

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Colonies, Commerce, and Constitutional Law is a major theoretical analysis of the harmful effects of colonies on commerce and constitiutional democracy, and is one of the most important studies of colonialism written in the nineteenth century. Of the four essays collected in this voloume,three have been edited directly from the original manuscript sources. The only essay to have appeared in print, `Observations on the Restrictive and Prohibitory Commercial System', is generally regarded as an early classic statement of the beneficial effects of freedom of trade. In the thesepioneering essays written in 1820-2, Bentham provided a penetrating critique of colonialism from within the liberal utilitarian tradition. Applying his general principles to the case of Spain and Spanish America, he argued that any attempt by Spain to maintain dominion over her Empire, or even tomaintain a claim to the dominion was fundamentally misguided. Colonies were not a source of wealth to the colonizing country, but rather led to the imposition of increased taxation. Moreover, the existence of colonies increased the amount of patronage at the disposal of Spain's rulers, and thuswould facilitate the corruption of the members of the new legislative assembly and eventually lead to the restoration of the ancient despotism. Colonies were not only wasteful and expensive, but posed a threat to constitutional government itself. The should therefore be granted unconditionalindependence, as a prererequisite to the establishment of unrestricted commercial relations, which would produce mutual benefit to both Spain and Spanish Amarica.

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Colonies, Commerce, and Constitutional Law is a major theoretical analysis of the harmful effects of colonies on commerce and constitiutional democracy, and is one of the most important studies of colonialism written in the nineteenth century. Of the four essays collected in this voloume,three have been edited directly from the origin...

Philip Schofield is a Lecturer in Laws, University College, London.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:536 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.42 inPublished:November 1, 1995Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198226128

ISBN - 13:9780198226123

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`Published now in a comprehensive and critical edition, these writings are a welcome addition to the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham.'John Lynch, University of London, Latin American Studies, Vol. 29 - 1997