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Utility and DemocracyThe Political Thought of Jeremy Bentham$
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Philip Schofield

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208563

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208563.001.0001

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Colonies and Constitutional Law

Colonies and Constitutional Law

(p.199) 8 Colonies and Constitutional Law
Utility and Democracy

Philip Schofield (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The holding of colonies was a source of profit for rulers, but overall an enormous burden to subjects. Bentham’s first major anti-colonial writing was written in late 1792, and addressed to the National Convention of France. He relied primarily on economic arguments to persuade the French legislators that it would be advantageous to emancipate their colonies, and institute a system of free trade. He returned to the subject in the early 1820s, when, informed by his discovery of sinister interest, he added constitutional arguments to his critique of colony-holding.

Keywords:   colonies, constitutional law, National Convention of France, commerce, trade, sinister interest

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