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in levying and maintaining troops for the service of the
On the 28th April, 1759, the House made a special appropriation of £2,977 “ for reimbursing to the Colony of New York their expenses in furnishing provisions and stores to the troops raised by them for his Majesty's service for the campaign in 1756.”
In 1760, on the 31st March, in the vote of supplies as given by Hansard, is this peculiar form : “Upon account, to enable his Majesty to give proper compensations to the Provinces in North America for the expenses they had incurred in levying, clothing, and paying the troops raised by them, according as the active vigor and strenuous efforts of the respective Provinces shall be thought by his Majesty to merit.” The sum granted was £200,000. Thus far under George II. George III. came to the throne Oct. 2), 1760; and the journal bears witness, in the same terms as above quoted, that on Jan. 20, 1761, £200,000, on Jan. 25, 1762, £133,333. 63. 8d., and on March 17, 1763, a like sum, were voted as a compensation to the Colonies.?
Burke called attention to these facts in his famous speech on Conciliation with America, and said with just emphasis, “ The Colonies, in general, owe little or nothing to any care of ours.” In a speech in the Massachusetts legislature, Sept. 8, 1762, James Otis said, “ This Province has, since the year 1754, levied for his Majesty's service, as soldiers and seamen, near thirty thousand men. One year in particular, it was said that every fifth man was engaged in one shape or another. We have raised sums for the support of this war that the last generation could hardly have formed any idea of.” Such were the facts. “ The Westminster Review” says, “ The question was, whether the cost of defending the Colonies from the French should not be borne by the Colonies.” The King and Parliament, on the contrary, year by year, recognized the fact that the Colonies had freely borne the cost of levying and paying troops to serve against the French, and had so far exceeded their fair proportion of this expense as to deserve compensation from the royal treasury. “The Westminster Review” says that the war was undertaken for the interest of the Colonies.” But the King and Parliament felt that the Colonies were assisting England in her war with France; were fighting for “the service of the public,” and “ in defence of his Majesty's just rights and possessions.” Surely money voted in gratitude as a “compensation” and “reward” for zealous and vigorous voluntary services and sacrifices on the part of the Colonies could not afterward be made a ground of taxing the Colonies for expenses incurred in their defence. The fact was, that the resources displayed by the Colonies in their own defence excited the envy and cupidity of a later ministry; and, when the fear of France was removed, it was felt that pressure could safely be applied to the Colonies for extorting a revenue for the crown. Hitherto the Colonies had made grants to the crown through their own legislatures: now they were to be directly taxed by Parliament. This was expressly declared in the preamble to the act levying a duty on tea; and Burke pithily said, “ It is the weight of that preamble, and not the weight of the duty, that Americans are unable and unwilling to bear.” This it was that led Otis to assert it as a right of the British Colonies, that “taxes are not to be laid on the people, but by their consent in person, or by deputation.”:1
1 See in Hansard, vol. xv. p. 937. 2 lbid., vol. xv. pp. 1003, 1214, seq.
I have dwelt thus long upon this point, first, because of the respectable character of the review that has been betrayed into this singular error; and, next, because I see not how it is possible for Englishmen to be correctly informed concerning this important period not only of American history, but of their own, so long as the record of the doings of their own government is kept from view, and quite another version of the facts is given by journals in which they are accustomed, and ordinarily with good reason, to confide.
" What do we mean by the American Revolution ?” asks John Adams. "Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people, - a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. ... Believing allegiance and protection to be reciprocal, when protection was withdrawn they thought allegiance was dissolved.”] The American Colonies had no quarrel with the English nation, of which they were proud to be a part. The British ministry had itself. to thank for American independence. The English people have America to thank for the conservation of their own popular and local freedom, and for their present colonial policy. Parliament now seeks to force upon the Colonies that self-administration for which we fought.
1 See pamphlet on the Riglits of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved ; first read by Otis to the Massachusetts legislature, then pub. lished by him in 1764.
The colonists had taxed themselves freely, largely; had maintained their government, their schools, their colleges, their churches, at their own cost, without grants from the royal treasury ;? had taxed themselves to equip a militia ; and at their own charges had fought with and for England against Spain, France, and the Indians : but the attempt to tax them directly from England, thus over-riding the local legislatures, and ignoring the settled principle of taxation in the English Constitution, they resisted in the very spirit in which the English Commons had once and again stood out against the usurpations of the crown. They were not mercenary, nor niggard ; the necessities of the primitive colonists had left the impress of frugality upon the habits of the people: but when, to cover the deficiencies of his budget, the British king sought to convert their thriftiness into a source of revenue to the crown, their notion of money and its uses showed itself in the saying, “ Millions for defence, but not one cent for tribute.” The king was encroaching upon the rights and liberties which their fathers had brought from England, and which they themselves had always enjoyed either by charter or by custom: he was subverting the people's prerogative of local government. At some point they must make a stand, and it might as well be at the stamp-tax or the tea-tax as at any other act of usurpation.
“ Who steals my purse steals trash.” Yes, but he is none the less a thief; and he who steals my purse would
1 Works, rol. x. 282, 283.
2 With the exception of Georgia, whose civil list was a small party-tax on Parliament.
“filch from me my good name," and might even take my life to steal my purse. This royal robber of rights, if unresisted, would soon have taken all; and the moral of the resistance is not dwarfed by its being made when he laid violent hands upon the purse. Man has a right in his own property, just as he has a right in his life, in his home, in his intelligence, in his conscience; and when either of these rights is arbitrarily seized, or stealthily encroached upon, he must strike for this, or he will lose the whole. And Schiller has taught us that no one can surrender a hair's-breadth of his own rights, without at the same time betraying the soul of the whole State;” and “chains, whether of steel or silk, are chains.” 1
I grant, indeed, that one watchword of the Revolution -“No taxation without representation ” — has a metallic sound, — a sound less noble than the demand of the people in Germany to be represented in the government, because every man may be called, at any time, to give his life for his fatherland. But the philosophical view that Mr. Burke took of the resistance of the colonists to the Stamp Act relieves them of the semblance of rating money above life in a contest for the right of the people to a parliament of their own. "Liberty,” said Burke, “inheres in some sensible object; and every nation has formed to itself some favorite point, which, by way of eminence, becomes the criterion of its happiness. It happened that the great contests for freedom in this country were, from the earliest times, chiefly upon the question of taxing. Most of the contests in the ancient commonwealths turned primarily on the right of election of magistrates, or on the balance among the several orders of the State. The question of money was not with them so immediate. But in England it was otherwise. On this point of taxes the ablest pens and most eloquent tongues have been exercised; the greatest spirits have acted and suffered. ... They took infinite pains to inculcate as a fundamental principle, that, in all monarchies, the people must, in effect, themselves mediately or immediately possess the power of granting their own money, or no shadow of liberty could subsist.” 2
1 Die Verschwörung des Fiesco zu Genua, iv. 6 and iii. 5. 2 Speech on Conciliation with America.
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It was on this fundamental principle that John Hampden planted himself when he refused to pay the trifling sum in which he was assessed for “ ship-money.” To one of Hampden's station and fortune a rate of thirty-one shillings and sixpence was ridiculously small : but the rate had been levied by the king without the authority of Parliament, and was enforced by distraint of goods and persons; and so Hampden refused to pay his thirty-one shillings and sixpence, took his appeal to the law against the crown, roused the country to resistance to arbitrary taxation, and finally established the entire and undisputed control of Parliament over the supplies, which his biographer characterizes as “ the stoutest buttress of the English Constitution.” 1
The mind of Luther had long been struggling toward the light: his heart, distracted with its own conflicts, had seized the promise, “ The just shall live by faith.” His visit to Rome had been a fearful shock to his ideal of the glory and sanctity of the Church in lier capital; but so long as his experiences were purely subjective, and his meditations speculative, though he might be preparing to follow his beloved Augustine and Tauler as theologian and preacher, he had not felt the impulses of the popular reformer, nor thought of projecting the inner conflict of his soul into the outer sphere of conflict and revolt against the Church of Rome. It was the concrete, tangible fact of the open sale of indulgences, the traffic of the Church in sins and pardons, that roused Luther first to protest and remonstrance, and then to defiance and independence; and it was this attempt of the Italian hierarchy to extort from the Germans money for St. Peter's by hawking their souls that gave Luther power with the people against the Pope. His revival of the doctrine of “justification by faith” might have caused a controversy in the schools; but this mercenary greed of Rome roused a nation to assert its independence of the Papal power. Faith and freedom, stirring in thousands of hearts, and latent in thousands more, found an outlet in resistance to this “ Stamp Act" of Leo X., by which that most precious of all things, the redemption of the soul, was to be had by buying a strip
1 Memorials of John IIamplen, by Lord Nugent.
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