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rica, remain rotting in the Company's warehouses ;* while those of foreign ports are known to be cleared by the American demand. Hence, in some degree, the Company's inability to pay their bills; the sinking of their stock, by which millions of property have been annihilated; the lowering of their dividend, whereby so many must be distressed; the loss to government of the stipulated 400,000/. a year,1 which must make a proportionable reduction in our savings towards the discharge of our enormous debt: and hence, in part, the severe blow suffered by credit in general,1 to the ruin of many families; the stagnation of business in Spitalfields and at Manchester, through want of vent for their goods;—with other future evils, which, as they cannot, from the numerous and secret connections in general commerce, easily be foreseen, can hardly be avoided.
RULES FOR REDUCING A GREAT EMPIRE TO A SMALL ONE; PRESENTED TO A LATE MINISTER, WHEN HE ENTERED UPON HIS ADMINISTRATION.1
Referred to Part II. of Private Correspondence, Letter to Governor Franklin, Oct. 6, 1773.
An ancient sage valued himself upon this, that though he could not fiddle, he knew how to make a great city of a little one. The science that I, a modern simpleton, am about to communicate, is the very reverse.
I address myself to all ministers who have the management of extensive dominions, which from their very greatness have become troublesome to govern—because the multiplicity of their affairs leaves no time for fiddling.
* These rules first appeared in a London newspaper, about the beginning of the year 1774, and have several times since been introduced into our public prints.—The minister alluded to is supposed to be the Earl of Hillsborough.
"The causes and motions of seditions (says Lord Bacon) are, innovation in religion, taxes, alteration of laws and customs, breaking of privileges, general oppression, advancement of unworthy persons, strangers, dearths, disbanded soldiers, factions grown desperate, and whatsoever in offending people joiueth. and knitteth them in a common cause." B. V.
1. In the first place, gentlemen, you are to consider, that a great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges. Turn your attention therefore first to your remotest provinces;that, as you get rid of them, the next may follow in order.
2. That the possibility of this separation may always exist, take special care the provinces are never incorporated with the mother-country; that they do not enjoy the same common rights, the same privileges in commerce; and that they are governed by severer laws, all of your enacting, without allowing them any share in the choice of the legislators. By carefully making and preserving such distinctions, you will (to keep to my simile of the cake) act like a wise gingerbread baker; who, to facilitate a division, cuts his dough half through in those places where, when baked, he would have it broken to pieces.
3. Those remote provinces have perhaps been acquired, purchased, or conquered, at the sole expense of the settlers or their ancestors; without the aid of the mother-country. If this should happen to increase her strength, by their growing numbers, ready to join in her wars; her commerce, by their growing demand for her manufactures; or her naval power, by greater employment for her ships and seamen, they may probably suppose some merit in this, and that it entitles them to some favor: you are therefore to forget it all, or resent it as if they had done you injury. If they happen to be zealous whigs, friends of liberty, nurtured in revolution principles; remember all that to their prejudice, and contrive to punish it: for such principles, after a revolution is thoroughly established, are of no more use; they are even odious and abominable.
4. However peaceably your colonies have submitted to your government, shown their affection to your interests, and patiently borne their grievances; you are to suppose them always inclined to revolt, and treat them accordingly. Quarter troops among them, who by their insolence may provoke the rising of mobs, and by their bullets and bayonets suppress them. By this means, like the husband who uses his wife ill from suspicion, you may in time convert your suspicions into realities.
5. Remote provinces must have governors and judges, to represent the royal person, and execute everywhere the delegated parts of his office and authority. You ministers know that much of the strength of government depends on the opinion of the people; and much of that opinion on the choice of rulers placed immediately over them. If you send them wise and good men for governors, who study the interest of the colonists, and advance their prosperity; they will think their king wise and good, and that he wishes the welfare of his subjects. If you send them learned and upright men for judges, they will think him a lover of justice. This may attach your provinces more to his government. You are therefore to be careful who you recommend for those offices. If yon can find prodigals who have ruined their fortunes, broken gamesters or stockjobbers; these may do well as governors; for they will probably be rapacious, and provoke the people by their extortions. Wrangling proctors and pettifogging lawyers too, are not amiss; for they will be for ever disputing and quarrelling with their little parliaments. If withal they should be ignorant, wrongheaded and insolent, so much the better. Attorneys' clerks and Newgate solicitors will do for chief-justices, especially if they hold their places during your pleasure :—and all will contribute to impress those ideas of your government that are proper for a people you would wish to renounce it.
6. To confirm these impressions, and strike them deeper, whenever the injured come to the capital with complaints of mal-administration, oppression, or injustice; punish such suitors with long delay, enormous expense, and a final judgment in favor of the oppressor. This will have an admirable effect every way. The trouble of future complaints will be prevented, and governors and judges will be encouraged to farther acts of op