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plant colonies, were entitled to all the privileges of free-born Englishmen at home; trial by jury, habeas corpus, and exemption from taxes that their own representatives had not voted. The British Empire was not one dominion, but several dominions. Every one of these dominions had, or should have, its own legislature to enact laws for its government; no legislature had jurisdiction over all. Dr. Franklin said: "Our kings have ever had dominions not subject to the English Parliament." He pointed to Scotland, to Ireland, and Hanover. Before its union with England, Scotland was a dominion of the King, but had its own parliament that enacted all local laws; while at the time the Doctor wrote Ireland and Hanover still had their independent legislatures. Franklin said further : “America is not part of the dominions of England, but of the King's dominions. England is a dominion itself, and has no dominions." “Their only bond of union is the King." “ The British Legislature are undoubtedly the only proper judges of what concerns the welfare of that state; the Irish Legislature are the proper judges of what concerns the Irish state; and the American Legislatures of what concerns the American States repectively.” The words colony and colonists were objected to as not expressing the true relations of America and England, since they implied the dependence of the one upon the other. The Colonies were not one dominion but thirteen dominions; and in every one the Colonial Legislature was as supreme as Parliament was in England. Parliament, therefore, had nothing more to do with Massachusetts or Virginia than the Legislatures of those Colonies had to do with England, or than Parliament itself had to do with Ireland or Hanover. The King, who alone had a voice in the matter, had, in their charters, guaranteed to the Colonies the Common Law so far as this was applicable to their condition, and he was now powerless to withdraw what he had then conceded. Thus repudiating all power of Parliament over them, the Colonies held the King responsible for everything done in England relating to American affairs. Many of the things complained of in the Declaration of Independence were acts of Parliament; but the Continental Congress, not once mentioning Parliament, charged them all upon the King.
Such, in outline, was the American theory of Colonial relations. Still no one pretended that this theory had ever been fully carried put in practice.
The British Theory.—The common British theory was, that Englishmen did not cease to be Englishmen when they emigrated to the American dominions of the King; that the power of Parliament, to which they were subject in the old home, followed them to the new one; that the American Colonies were subject in all things to
Parliament; and that Parliament could yield them more or fewer powers of self-government for a time, and then withdraw them. It was also claimed that the Colonies were already represented in the House of Commons, since the members of that body did not repre. sent particular districts or constituencies, but the whole Empire, The right of suffrage was a very different thing from the right of representation. Even in England, it was said, but a small number of persons voted. Besides, the Colonies themselves had repeatedly acknowledged the authority of Parliament by submitting to its legislation. Still no one pretended that this theory had ever been fully carried out. It was an outgrowth of the current European ideas of the nature and object of colonies.
113 The Colonial System. In the days of American colonization, the maritime powers of Europe did not see in the New World fields for the planting and expansion of European civilization, but fields for the extension of their own power. They did not plant colonies in the hope that these would become flourishing independent states, but in the hope that they would add to the wealth and power of the mother countries. Colonies would produce commodities that the mother countries wanted to buy, and consume commodities that those countries wanted to sell. It was a matter of markets, of the carrying trade, and maritime and naval power. Mr. Grenville thus summed up the Colonial system : “Colonies are only settlements made in distant parts of the world for the improvement of trade, and they would be intolerable except on the conditions named in the Acts of Navigation.” Lord Sheffield said, “The only use of Amer. ican Colonies is the monopoly of their consumption and the carriage of their produce."
114. The Navigation Acts.-The first of these acts, without which, according to Mr. Grenville, colonies would be intolerable, was almost as old as the Colonies themselves. Their sole object was the upbuilding of British commerce, and how disadvantageous to the Colonies they might prove to be, was never so much as asked. In 1651 it was enacted that all the Colonies should export only to England such products as they had to sell, and should send them in English-built ships. In 1660 the import trade was similarly limited. In 1672 taxes were imposed on the trade between the different Colovies. In 1694 the exportation of wool, yarn, or woolen manufactures to any place whatever was prohibited. In 1719 the House of Commons condemned all American manufactures as tending to independence. In 1732 the exportation of hats was forbidden ; and in 1750, rolling mills, iron furnaces, and forges were declared nuisances to be suppressed by the Colonial governors. The finest pine trees in the forests were marked with the “broad arrow,” denoting that they had been selected as masts for the King's ships, and that they must not be cut by the lumberman. Even Lord Chatham said that in a probable contingency he would not allow the Colonies to make a hobnail. As early as 1671, Sir William Berkeley, Governor of Virginia, complained that the navigation laws were a "mighty and disastrous” obstruction to the prosperity of that Colony. “We cannot,” he said, "add to our plantations any commodity that grows out of it, as olive trees, or cotton, or vines. Besides this, we cannot produce any skillful nen for our hopeful commodity of silk, and it is not lawful for us to carry pipe-stems or a basket of corn to any place in Europe out of the King's dominions." Later, the execution of these laws was much relaxed, and the Colonial trade was not much interrupted; but in 1760 the Home goverument set about their vigorous execution. This attempt the Colonies resented. Says Mr. Bancroft:
American independence, like the great rivers of the country, had many sources; but the head spring which colored all the 'stream was the Navigation Act."
115. Moral Interests of the Colonies Disregarded.-Facts showing the habitual disregard of these interests are numerous. Sir Robert Walpole, the British Minister, told Bishop Berkeley, who proposed to found a university in America, that while the labor and luxury of the Plantations might be of great advantage to the Mother Country, their advancement in literature, the arts, and sciences could never be of any service to her. A Virginia commissioner who asked of the royal attorney an increased allowance for the churches of that Colony, pleaded :
Consider, sir, that the people of Virginia have souls to save." He was answered: “Damn your souls ! make tobacco." Such indifference to Colonial sentiment made a deep impression in America.
116. The Compromise Theory.—The couflict between America and England began, as the conflict between King Charles and Parliament began, about taxation. Down to 1760, the Home government had imposed customs-duties on the foreign and inter-Colonial commerce of America and the people had paid them. More than this, the Home government did not attempt. The Congress of 1774 said that, since, from their local and other circumstances, they could not be represented in Parliament, they were entitled to a free and exclusive power of legislation in their provincial legislatures, where their right of representation could alone be preserved, in all cases of taxation and internal polity, subject only to the negation of the sovereign. They also said, from the necessity of the case, and a regard to the internal interest of both countries, they cheerfully consented to the operation of such acts of the British Parliament as were, bona fide, restrained to the regulation of their external commerce, for the purpose of securing the commercial advantages of the whole Empire to the Mother Country and the commercial benefits of its respective members. The Colonies not only paid the expenses of their own governments, but contributed, as called on, to the royal treasury. Meantime, the Home government carefully abstained from levying in the Colonies internal taxes. Whenever the King desired their financial assistance, he called on the several Colonial Legislatures to votesupplies, just as he called on the English or the Irish Parliament, and just as he had called on the Scottish Parliament before the Union; and these supplies the Colonial Legislatures voted with such liberality that, more than once, Parliament refunded to them portions of their contributions. It was said in England-and this was a part of the English theory--that the power to levy external taxes involved the power to levy internal taxes. This the Colonies denied. The English race is not given to fighting over theories; and so long as the Home government did not attempt to levy internal taxes, the two parties managed to get on together, although their relations were often strained. The first attempt to levy such taxes, in connection with the new attempt to enforce the Navigation Acts, fired the train that a century had been laying.
117. The Close of the French and Indian War.-The long struggle between England and France in North America came to an end in 1763. England was burdened with debt, and compelled to look in every quarter for increased financial resources. George III, was intent on carrying out his notions of prerogative. Tory influence was in full ascendency. The Thirteen Colonies had now reached an aggregate population of about 2,000,000; together, they had at one time kept 20,000 armed men in the field in the late war; they had gained a severe discipline in that struggle, and they had learned their own strength and resources; the Conquest of Canada removed their fears of attack from that quarter, such as had constantly haunted them since 1688, and they were fully prepared to resist all aggressions on their cherished rights.
118. British Theory Put Into Execution. The Home governmert thought the time a favorable one to abandon the compromise theory, and to give effect to the British theory. In 1760 it sent orders to the American custom houses to enforce the Navigation Acts. The customs officers, armed with writs of assistance, were to search stores and houses for goods that had not paid duty, or the importation of which was prohibited. British vessels of war on the coast were to lend them aid. The government also began to levy internal taxes.
1 Kalni, a Swedish traveler who visited America in 1754, detected the feeling of the Colonists in their conversation, and wrote that nothing but fear of the Frenci on the northern border could keep them in subjection to England.
After 1762 this was the royal programme, sometimes changed in details but never abandoned: The Colonies to contribute regularly to the royal treasury; the Colonial Legislatures not to be asked to vote supplies, but Parliament to vote them directly; the salaries of the Colonial governors and judges to be paid by England, thus teaching them to look to her rather than to the people whom they governed for their compensation; and a British army to be maintaiped in America at Colonial expense.
119. No Taxation Without Representation. To every one of these items but the first the Colonies were inflexibly opposed. Especially was every form of internal taxation by the Home government vigorously resisted, as the history of the stamp tax, the window tax, and the tea tax shows, This resistance was not made because the taxes were unnecessary, or because the amounts levied were excessive, but because Parliament had no right to impose them. Besides payiug the costs of their own governments, including the salaries of all officers, the Colonies were still willing to contribute. when called upon, to the royal treasury; but their Legislatures alone had the right to vote the supplies, because in them alone were they represented. The principle involved was expressed in the battle cry: “No Taxation without Representation."
Mr. Burke on the Causes of American Discontent. This great statesman saw clearly the movements of events in America. In explaining these movements to the House of Commons, in 1775, he traced the progress of events. He declared that from six sourcesdescent, form of government, religion in the North and manners in the South, education, and the remoteness of the Colonies—a fierce spirit of liberty had grown up. It had grown with the growth of the people and increased with the increase of their wealth; a spirit that, unhappily, meeting with an exercise of power in England which was not reconcilable to the Colonists' ideas of liberty, had kindled a Aame that was ready to consume the Mother Country. He connected the resistance of the Americans to British taxation with the old English struggles for freedom. He said those struggles, from the earliest times, were chiefly upon the question of taxing. It had been held, from the very nature of the House of Commons, as the immediate representative of the people, that the power to tax resided in that body. It was a fundamental principle that, in all monarchies, the people must directly or indirectly grant their own money, or no shadow of liberty could exist. Said the orator : “The Colonies draw from you, as with their life-blood, these ideas and principles. Their love of liberty, as with you, fixed and attached on this specific point of taxing. Liberty might be safe, or might be endangered, in twenty other particulars, without their being much pleased or