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It was not until the campaign in 1758 that aff:irs assumed a more favourable aspect in America. But upon a change of administration, Mr. Pitt was appointed prime minister, and the operations of war became more vigorous and successful. General Amherst was sent to take poffeffion of Cape Breton ; and after a warm siege, the Garrison of Louisburgh furrenderid by capitulation. General Forbes was successful in taking poffeffion of Fort Du Quefne, which the French thought fit to abandon. But General Abercrombie, who commanded the troops destined to act against the French at Crown Point and Ticonderoga, attacked the lines at Ticonderoga, where the enemy were trongly entrenched, and was defeated with a terrible laughter of his troops. After his defeat, he returned to his camp at Lake George.
The next year, more effectual measures were taken to subdue the French in Ainerica. General Prideax and Sir William Johnson began the operations of the campaign by taking the French fort near Niagara General Amherit took poffeffion of the forts at Crown Point and Ticonderoga which the French had abandonded.
But the decisive blow, which proved fatal to the French interests in America, was the defeat of the French army, and the taking of Quebec, by the brave General Wolfe. This hero was Nain in the beginning of the action, on the plains of Abram, and Monsieur Montcalm, the French commander, likewise lost his life. The loss of Quebec was soon followed by the capture of. Montreal by General Amherst, and Canada has remained ever since in the poffeffion of the English.
Colonel Grant, in 1761, defeated the Cherokees in Carolina, and obliged them to fue for peace. The next year, Martinico was taken by Admiral Rodney and General Monckton; and also the island of Grevada, St. Vincents and others. The capture of these was soon followed by the surrender of the Havanna, the capital of the illand of Cuba.
In 1763, a definitive treaty of peace was concluded at Paris between Great-Britain, France, and Spain, by which the English ceded to the J'rench several islands in the Wett-Indies, but were confirmed in the pofCullion of all North America on this fide the Mislifsippi, except New Orleans, and a small district of the neighbouring country.
Bit this war, however brilliant the successes, and glorious the event, proved the cause of great and unexpected misfortunes to Great-Britain. Engaged with the combined powers of France and Spain, during several years, her exertions were surprizing, and her expense immenfe. To discharge the debts of the nation, the parliament was obliged to have recourse to sew expedients for raising money. Previous to the last treaty in 1763, the Parliament had been satisfied to raise a revenue from the Ainerican Colonics by a monopoly of their trade.
It will be proper here to observe that there were three kinds of ment eilablished in the British American Colonies. The first was. a charter government, by which the powers of legislation were vested in a governor, council, and assembly, chosen by the people. Of this kind were the governments of Connecticut and Rhode-Illand. The second was a
• Ceneral Prideaux was killed by the lurfling of a mortar, before the surrender of ike French
proprietary government, in which the proprietor of the province was governor ; although he generally resided abroad, and administered the government by a deputy of his own appointment; the assembly only being chosen by the people. Such were the governments of Pennsylvania and Maryland; and originally of New-Jersey and Carolina. The third kind was that of royal government, where the governor and council were appointed by the crown, and the assembly by the people. Of this kind were the governments of New Hampshire, Mafiachutetts, New York, New-jersey, after the year 1702 ; Virginia, the Carolinas, after the resignation of the proprietors in 1728; and Georgia. This variety of governments created different degrees of dependence on the crown. To render laws valid, it was conftitutionally required that they should be ratified by the king ; but this formality was often dispensed with, especially in the charter
governments. At the beginning of the last war with France, commissioners from many of the colonies had affembled at Albany, and proposed that a great council should be formed by deputies from the several colonies, which, with a general governor to be appointed by the crown, should be empowered to take measures for the common safety, and to raise money for the execution of their designs. This proposal was not relished by the British ministry ; but in place of this plan, it was proposed, that the governors of the colonies, with the assistance of one or two of their council, should assemble and concert measures for the general defence ; erect forts, levy troops, and draw on the treafury of England for monies that should be wanted; but the treasury to be reimbursed by a tax on the colonies, to be laid by the English parliament. To this plan, which would imply an avowal of the right of parliament to tax the colonies, the pro. vincial affemblies objected with unshaken firmness. It seems therefore that the British parliament, before the war, had it in contemplation to exercise the right they claimed of taxing the colonies at pleasure, without permitting them to be represented. Indeed it is obvious that they laid hold of the alarming situation of the colonies about the year 1754 and 1755, to force them into an acknowledgment of the right, or to the adoption of measures that might afterwards be drawn into precedent. The colonies, however, with an ubcommon forelight and firmness, defeated all their attempts. The war was carried on by requisitions on the colonies for supplies of men and money, or by voluntary contributions.
But no sooner was peace concluded, than the English parliament refumed the plan of taxing the colonies ; and to justify their attempts, said, that the money to be raised, was to be appropriated to defray the expence of them in the late war.
The firft attempt to raise a revenue in America appeared in the memorable ftamý a& paffed March 22, 1765 ; by which it was enacted, that certain inftruments of writing, as bills, bonds, &c. should not be valid in law, unless drawn on ftamped paper, on which a duty was laid. No sooner was this act published in America, than it raised a general alarm. The people were filled with apprehensions at an act which they supposed an attack on their conftitutional rights. The colonies petitioned the king and parliament for redress of the grievance, and formed associations for the purpose of preventing the importation and use of British manufactures, until the act should be repealed. This fpirited and unanimous
opposition of the Americans produced the desired effect, and on the 18th of March, 1766, 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
Yet this duty, however trifling, 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 refifted. 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 ufe 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. Assemblies were repeatedly called, and suddenly diffolved. While sitting, the assemblies employed the time in ftating grievances and framing remonftrances. To inflame these difcontents, an act of parliament was passed, ordaining that the governors and judges should receive their salaries of the crown ; thus making them independent of the provincial assemblies, 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 British troops had been stationed in Boston to awe the inhabitants, and inforce the measures of parliament. On the fatal day, when blood was to be shed, as a prelude to more tragic scenes, a riot was raised among fome foldiers and boys; the former aggressing by throwing snow-balls at the latter. The bickerings and jealoufies between the inhabitants and soldiers, which had been frequent before, now became serious. A multitude was soon collected, and the controversy became so warm, that to disperse the people, the troops were embodied
* See an enumeration of grievances in the ad of independence,' and in a variety of petitions to the king and parliament.
and ordered to fire upon the inhabitants. This fatal order was executed, and several persons fell a sacrifice. The people restrained their vengeance at the time ; but this wanton act of cruelty and military desp«tisın fanned the flame of Iberty; a flame that was not to be extinguished but by a total separation of the Colonies from their oppressive and hostile parent.
In 1773 the spirit of the Americans broke out into open violence. The Gaspee, an armed schooner belonging to his Britannic Majesty, had been stationed at Providence in Rhode Illand, to prevent smuggling. The vigilance of the commander irritated the inhabitants to that degree, that about two hundred armed men entered the vessel at night, compelled the officers and men to go ashore, and set fire to the schooner. A reward of five hundred pounds, offered by government for apprehending any of the persons concerned in this daring act, produced no effectual discovery.
About this time, the discovery and publication of some private confidential letters, written by the royal officers in Boston, to persons in office in England, served to confirm the apprehensions of the Americans, with respect to the designs of the British government. It was now made obvious that more effectual measures would be taken to establish the supre. macy of the British Parliament over the Colonies. The letters recommended decisive measures, and the writers were charged, by the exasperated Americans, with betraying their trust and the people they governed.
As the resolutions of the Colonies not to import or consume tea, had, in a great measure, deprived the English government of a revenue from this quarter, the parliament formed a scheme of introducing tea into America, under cover of the East-India Company. For this purpose an ad was passed, enabling the Company to export all sorts of teas, duty free, to any place whatever. The Company departed from their usual mode of business, and became their own exporters. Several ships were freighted with teas, and sent to the American colonies, and factors were appointed to receive and dispose of their cargoes
The Americans, determined to oppose the revenue-fyftem of the Englih parliament in every possible shape, confidered the attempt of the Ealt. India Company to evade the resolutions of the colonies, and dispose of teas in America, as an indirect mode of taxation, fanctioned by the auhority of Parliament. The people assembled in various places, and in the large commercial towns took measures to prevent the landing of the teas. Committees were appointed, and armed with extensive powers to inspect merchants books, to propose tests, and make use of other expedients to frustrate the designs of the East-India Company. The same spirit pervaded the people from New Hampshire to Georgia. In some places, the consignees of the teas were intimidated so far as to relinquish their appointments, or to enter into engagements not to act in that capacity. The cargo sent to South Carolina was stored, the consignees being restrained from offering the tea for sale. In other provinces, the ships were sent back without discharging their cargoes.
But in Boston the tea shared a more violent fate. Sensible that no legal measures could prevent being landed, and that if once landed, it would be disposed of ; a number of men in disguise, on the 18th of December 1773, entered the ships, and threw overboard three hundred and forty chests of it, which was the proportion belonging to the Eaft-India
Company. No sooner did the news of this destruction of the tea reach Great Britain, than the parliament determined to punish that devoted town. On the king's laying the American papers before them, a bill was brought in and passed, to discontinue the landing and discharging, lading and shipping of goods, wares and merchandizes at the town of Boston, or within the harbour.'
This act, passed March 25, 1774, called the Boston Port Bill, threw the inhabitants of Massachusetts into the greatest confternation. The town of Boston passed a resolution, expressing their sense of this oppres. five measure, and a desire that all the colonies would concur to stop all importation from Great-Britain. Most of the colonies entered into fpi. rited resolutions, on this occafion, to unite with Massachusetts in a firm opposition to the unconftitutional measures of the parliament. The first of June, the day on which the Port Bill was to take place, was appointed to be kept as a day of humiliation, fasting and prayer throughout the colonies, to seek the divine direction and aid, in that critical and gloomy juncture of affairs.
It ought here to be observed, that this rational and pious custom of observing fasts in times of distress and impending danger, and of celebrating days of public thanksgiving, after having received special tokens of divine favour, has ever prevailed in New-England fince its first settlement, and in some parts of other states. These public fupplications and acknowledgments to heaven, at the commencement of hostilities, and during the whole progress of the war, were more frequent than usual, and were attended with uncommon fervour and folemnity. They were considered by the people, as an humble appeal to heaven for the juftness of their cause, and designed to manifeft their dependence on the God of Hosts for aid and success in maintaining it againt their hostile brethren. The prayers and public discourses of the Clergy who were friends to their fuffering country (and there were very few who were not) breathed the spirit of patriotism ; and as their piety and integrity had generally secured to them the confidence of the people they had great influence and success in encouraging them to engage in its defence. that venerable class of citizens aided the cause of their country ; and to their pious exertions, under the GREAT ARBITER of human affairs, has been juftly ascribed no inconsiderable share of the success and victory that crowned the American arms.
During the height of the consternation and confusion which the Boston Port Bill occasioned ; at the very time when a town-meeting was sitting to consider of it, General Gage, who had been appointed to the government of Massachusetts, arrived in the harbour. His arrival however did - not allay the popular ferment, or check the progress of the measures then
taking, to unite the Colonies in opposition to the oppressive act of parliament.
But the Port Bill was not the only act that alarmed the apprehensions of the Americans. Determined to compel the province of Massachusetts to submit to their laws, parliament paffed an act for the better regulating government in the province of Massachusetts Bay.'. The object of this act was ti. alter the government, as it stood on the charter of King William, to take the appointment of the executive out of the hands of the
In this way,