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opposition of the Americans produced the desired effect, and on the 18th of March, 1966, the stamp-act was repealed. The news of the repeal was received in the colonies with universal joy, and the trade between them and Great Britain was renewed on the most liberal footing,
The parliament, by repealing this act, so obnoxious to their American brethren, did not intend to lay aside the scheme of raising a revenue in the colonies, but merely to change the mode. Accordingly the next year they passed an act, laying a certain duty on glass, tea, paper and painters colours; articles which were much wanted, and not manufactured, in America. This act kindled the resentment of the Americans, and excited a general opposition to the measure; so that parliament thought proper, in 1770, to take off these duties, except three-pence a pound on tea. Yet this duty, however trifiing, kept alive the jealousy of the colonists, and their opposition to parliamentary taxation continued and increased.
But it must be remembered, that the inconvenience of paying the duty was not the fole nor principal cause of the opposition; it was the principle, which, once admitted, would have subjected the colonies to unlimitted parliamentary taxation, without the privilege of being represented. The right, abstractly considered, was denied ; and the smallest attempt to establish the claim by precedent, was uniformly resifted. The Americans could not be deceived as to the views of parliament; for the repeal of the stamp-act was accompanied with an unequivocal declaration, that the parliament had a right to make laws of sufficient validity to bind the colonies in all cases whatsoever.'
The colonies therefore entered into measures to encourage their own manufactures, and home productions, and to retrench the use of foreign fuperfluities; while the importation of tea was prohibited. In the royal and proprietary governments, the governors and people were in a state of continual warfare. Afleinblies were repeatedly called, and suddenly dissolved. While sitting, the assemblies employed the time in facing grievances and framing remonftrances. To inflame these discontents, an act of parliament was passed, ordaining that the governors and judges should receive their falaries of the crown ; thus making them independent of the provincial affenblies, and removeable only at the pleasure of the king.
These arbitrary proceedings, with many others not here mentioned *, could not fail of producing a rupture. The first act of violence, was the massacre at Boston, on the evening of the fifth of March, 1770. A body of Britih troops had been stationed in Boston to awe the inhabitants, and intorce the measures of parliament. On the fatal day, when blood was to be thed, as a prelude to more tragic scenes, a riot was raised among some soldiers and boys; the former aggressing by throwing snow-balls at the latter. The bickerings and jealousies between the inhabitants and soldiers, which had been frequent before, now became ferious. A multitude was foon collected, and the controversy became so warm, that to disperse the people, the troops were embodied
* See an enumeration of grievances in the act of independences' and in a variety of petitions to the king and parliament,
people, and place it in the crown; thus making even the judges and Theriffs dependent on the king, and removeable only at his pleasure.
This act was soon followed by another, which ordained, that any perfon, indicted for murder, or other capital offence, committed in aiding the magiftrates in executing the laws, might be sent by the governor either to another colony, or to Great Britain, for his trial.
This was soon followed by the Quebec Bill; which extended the bounds of that province, and granted many privileges to the Roman Catholics. The object of this bill was, to secure the attachment of that province to the crown of England, and prevent its joining the colonies in their resistance of the laws of parliament.
But these measures did not intimidate the Americans. On the other hand they served to confirm their former apprehensions of the evil designs of government, and to unite the colonies in their opposition. A correfpondence of opinion with respect to the unconftitutional acts of parliament, produced a uniformity of proceedings in the colonies. The people gencrally concurred in a proposition for holding a congress by deputation from the several colonies, in order to concert measures for the preservation of their rights. Deputies were accordingly appointed, and met at Philadelphia on the 26th of October, 1774.
In this first congress, the proceedings were cool, deliberate and loyal ; but marked with unanimity and firmness. Their first act was a declara. tion, or state of their claims as to the enjoyment of all the rights of British subjects, and particularly that of taxing themselves exclutively, and of regulating the internal police of the colonies. They also drew up a petition to the king, complaining of their grievances, and praying for a repeal of the unconstitutional and oppressive acts of parliament. They signed an association to suspend the importation of British goods, and the exportation of American produce, until their grievances should be redressed. They sent an address to the inhabitants of Great-Britain, and another to the people of America; in the former of which they enumerated the opprerlive steps of parliament, and called on their British brethren not to aid the miniftry in enslaving their American subjects; and in the latter, they endeavoured to confirm the people in a spirited and unanimous determination to defend their constitutional rights.
In the mean time, every thing in Massachusetts wore the appearance of opposition by force. A new council for the governor had been appointed by the crown. New judges were appointed and attempted to proceed in the execution of their office. But the juries refused to be sworn under them ; in some counties, the people assembled to prevent the courts from proceeding to business; and in Berkshire they succeeded, setting an example of relistance that has since been followed, in violation of the laws of the state.
In this situation of affairs, the day for the annual muster of the militia approached. General Gage, apprehensive of some violence, had the precaution to seize the magazines of ammunition and ftores at Cambridge and Charleston, and lodged them in Boston. This measure, with the fortify. ing of that neck of land which joins Boston to the main land at Roxbury, caused a universal alarm and ferment, Several thousand people assembled, and it was with difficulty they could be restrained from falling upon the British troops.