COLONY (Lat. colonia, from colonus, a husbandman; the first inhabitants of a C. being generally people of agricultural pursuits). The term is loosely used to embrace various classes of distant territories subordinate to or dependent on a parent state. A C., how ever, properly means a body of people formed by migration to a distant region, where they support themselves by industry and the produce of the soil, and are under the pro tection and attached to the supreme government of the mother-country. Our colonies in Australia and North America, where the natives have either ceased to exist, or do not compete with the colonists for the ownership of the soil, are practical instances of the C. in this its proper sense; but there are many other dependencies of the British crown which deviate more or less from the true characteristics of a colony. Gibraltar and Malta, for instance, arc mere fortresses, not affording a profitable emigration-field for a portion of our population, but, on the contrary, requiring that such inhabitants of the United Kingdom as resole there shall be specially remunerated for doing so. The sup port of these dependencies is justified by the warlike, not the economic policy of the country. On the other hand, territories have afforded profitable residences to our people without being colonies; the most conspicuous of this class is the British empire in Hin dustan, where our people scarcely hold any land, or concern themselves in the occupa tion of agriculture, from which the term colonist is taken; but reside as the rulers and defenders of the native races. The ancient migrations of nations, by which our own islands, for instance, became peopled apparently in the first place by Celts, and next by Goths or Teutons, were not colonization in the fullest sense of the term. since the parent country kept no control over the settlers, and afforded them no protection. The Greeks were a spreading people, carrying with them their genius and their language. They established communities in Asia Minor, on the coast of Africa, in Italy, and in France; for instance, Marseilles was a Greek town, founded by the inhabitants of Ammo about six centuries before the Christian era. A close connection was maintained between these emigrant communities and the states from which they had removed. Still, how ever, none of these districts were colonies, according to the definition given time; and it was one of the many triumphs of the organizing genius of the Romans, to form the "C." according to its most perfect modern acceptation. The principle of responsibility to a central government was brought to its greatest perfection in the policy of Rome.
and it was part of this policy that not only every conquered territory, but every district where Roman citizens settled. should be an integral part of the empire. The colonia was one of the municipal institutions of the empire. having its own governing corporation dependent on Rome. There were various grades of colonies—some where there was the high privilege of Roman citizenship, and others where the citizenship was of a hum bler grade. Corresponding with the consuls in Rome, there were municipal officers in the colonies, representing, after the empire was formed, the old republican institutions —these were called sometimes duumriri, and sometimes quatuorairi—terms, the special application of which has been matter of considerable discussion The Romans appointed men of very high rank to the government of their provinces or colonies—men who had held such offices as the consulship or prmtorship at home, and were called proconsuls or proprntors. It was a feature of the sagacious jealousy of the Roman system, to limit their period of government, lest they should become independent of the empire, and estab 'Hsi' separate states; and this idea is followed in the colonial system of the British empire at the present day.
After the fall of Rome, centuries passed before colonization recommenced; for the various tribes who devastated the empire were not connected with any parent state, and the Normans, who spread themselves over Europe at a later period, were utterly unconnected in the countries where they settled, with the government of the northern states whence they migrated. It is curious that not a trace of the genealogy of the Nor mans of England or France can be found anterior to their settlement in the latter country, so little connection did they preserve with the country of their ancestors. The Spanish and Portuguese were the first among modern European states to establish colo nies. Their sovereign aimed not only at the restoration of the Roman empire in Europe, but at the creation of a new empire in America, which was looked on as the exclusive property of the Spanish crown. Iu carrying out this view, it was not so much that the people of the peninsula went to America. and had the necessary staff of civil and mili tary officers sent to them by the parent state, as that great officers, with high rank and enormous salaries, were sent over to the new empire, and brought followers after them. The other governments of Europe—Britain, France, Holland, and the minor states— subsequently colonized in America and Africa, Denmark occupying the inhospitable shore of Greenland.