Montesquieu

Most of the peo­ples of the African coasts are sava­ges or bar­ba­rians. I believe that is lar­gely because nearly unin­ha­bi­ta­ble lands sepa­rate small coun­tries which can be habi­ta­ble. They have no indus­try, they have no arts ; they have an abun­dance of pre­cious metals which they receive directly from the hands of nature. All civi­li­zed peo­ples are the­re­fore in a posi­tion to deal advan­ta­geously with them ; they can induce them to prize things of no value, and get a very high price for them.