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On the 17th of March, his majesty went to the House of Peers, and gave his royal sanction to the bill, and again the colonies were free, 1766. Great was the joy in London ; the city was illuminated, the ships displayed their colours, and all was a scene of rejoicing.
This whole procedure, flew like lightning to the shores of America, and the colonies were filled with transports of joy. The bold declaration of the great commonen Pitt; became the topic of the day, and he the idol of the people. "...
it All the hostile resolutions of the colonies were rescinded. The churches echoed their thanksgivings to Heaven; and the public and private rejoicings became universal." The gratitude of the colonies was displayed by letters, and one universal-spirit of concord glowed in every breast.' Commerce returned to her former channel, and importations from the mother country, became more extensive than before. Thus the repealing of one single act hushed the most threatning storm, and restored a calm that knew no parallel in history: . .
The cláuse in this act of repeal, stiled the Declaratory Act, was if possible, more hostile to the peace, and inter est of the colonies, than the stamp act itself, and although the former was repealed, the latter was designed to re. main as a lasting monument, of the 'undiminished power, and dignity of the crown. 5 Parliament has, and of right ought to have, power to bind the colonies in all cases whatsoever." This pernicious clause finally severed the nation; and established the independence of the colonies... 5.
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CAUSES THAT LED TO THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION con
AMERICA felt the elevated ground on which she stood, and the high acquisition she had gained, the saving clause in the act of repeal notwithstanding. They imputed their victory, more to the impression made upon commerce, than all their other efforts combined, and henceforth considered that an act of non-intercourse, or non-importation, might be used as a rod over the mother country, with certain success, and that this, when persisted in, might ruin the revenue, as well as the finances of Britain. The time soon arrived when these sentiments were called into action, and put to the test. Charles Townsend, chancellor of the exchequer, called up the attention of Parliament, to the powers of the declaratory act, and pledged his credit, that the såme might be enforced. To accomplish this, he introduced a bill for granting certain duties to his majesty on glass, paper, painters colours, and tea, imported into the British colonies in America, which was passed into a law, 1767. The impression of this act upon the colonies, was the same, that the act of ship money had made upon Great-Britain, the last century; and both were obstinately opposed. Although these duties were small, yet the principle was the same, as in the stamp act, and with the same firmness resisted. This act opened the old wound afresh, before it was fairly healed, and with a poisoned instrument, for it contained a sweeping clause, which impowered the king to establish a civil list, throughout the colonies, upon which he might levy taxes, at pleasure, to an indefinite amount. In vain it was urged, " the taxes are too small to require any serious notice; they are reasonable and necessary, for the support of
government, and to protect the colonies :)... The declartory clause in the act for the repeal of the stamp act, was before them— Parliament has the right to bind the colonies in all cases whatsoever.” In this clause was an avowed right to tax the colonies, to any extent, and at pleasure. Firm to their rights, and true to their interest, they took up their arms, which they had been seen to lay down, so cheerfully at the peace of the stamp act ; again published their declaration, “ that taxation without representation was tyranny;"* again asserted the exclusive right of taxing themselves; again resumed their arms, and stood in defence of their rights. : In support of these, appeared the illustrious writer of the Pennsylvania Farmer, (John Dickinson, Esq.) who published a succession of letters, to the number of twelve, under that signature, which illustrated the rights of the colonies, in a clear, luminous, and perspicuous manner; and at the same time, unfolded to their view, the dangerous evils that lay concealed beneath this thin veil of " light taxes,” which light as they were, differed nothing in principle from the odious atamp act; cautioned them against yielding to the artful principle disclosed in the declarative clause in the act of repeal, " that Parliament possessed the right of taxing the colonies, or rather of binding them in all cases whatsoever,” but more particularly against the acts of the day, in yielding up this power, or right, under the false impression, “ that it was left for us, but to complain, and pay." This luminous writer spread before the colonies such a black catalogue of evils, that would grow out of a tacit acknowledgment of that declarative act, and the payment of these duties, as would involve them in a system of oppressive taxation, as well as every other species of oppression, and tryanny, that would be felt to the latest generation.
· Impressed with a just sense of their true situation, and alive to their dearest interests, and just rights, the colo. nies again rose to the contest, and opened their whole battery of resolves, petitions, addresses, and remonstrances, with which they had withstood the stamp act ; together with their general associations of non-importation. This commanding attitude of the colonies, alarmed the British ministry, particularly Lord Hillsborough, .the secretary of state for American affairs, who wrote pressingly to the governors of the several colonies, to exert their influence in suppressing such combinations ; this opened the war between the governors, and their re. -spective colonies, and the scenes of the stamp war were
extensively renewed, and the feelings as well as passions of the people were alive to the subject.
At this time, (May 27th,) a bill passed in Parliament * for restraining the assembly of New York, from passing any act, until they had complied with the act of Parliament, for the furnishing his majesty's troops with the necessaries required by that act.” This act was signed by the king on the 2d of July following. This opened the eyes of the colonies more fully to a sense of that arbitrary power, ministers had assumed, and each beheld in the fate of New York a mirror of their own, and roused to the contest. . .
The house of Burgesses in Virginia passed an encomium upon the patriotic assembly of Massachusetts, and in noticing the suspension of the legislative powers of NewYork, by act of Parliament, remarked—“ If the Parliament can compel the colonies to furnish a single article to the troops sent over, they may by the same rule, oblige them to furnish clothes, arms, and every other necessary, even to the pay of the officers, and soldiers, a doctrine replete with every mischief, and utterly subversive of every thing that is dear and valuable.". . · Next passed in Parliament, upon the motion of Mr. Chancellor Townsend, an act “for the establishing a custom house, and a board of commissioners at Boston in America."
At the June session of the Massachusetts assembly, in 1768, Governor Bernard, by order of the minister, demanded, that they should rescind a particular act of a former assembly, which had proved higly offensive to the ministry, upon which Mr. Otis, in his speech remarked, 6 When Lord Hillsborough knows, that we will not rescind our acts, he should apply to Parliament to rescind theirs. Let Britain rescind their measures, or they are lost forever.”
The act of Parliament bad taken effect in New York, and the powers of their assembly had now been suspended about vne year: this they felt so severely, that they com plied with the act of supplies, so far as to vote the necessary sum to the general, to purchase supplies, and placed it at his disposal, which was accepted, and their functions were restored; but when they attempted to co-operate, by their resolves, with Massachusetts and the other colonies, in the grand system of opposition, the governor dissolved the assembly. i ;
The public mind was now ripe for an explosion, and an incident occurred on the 10th of June, that lit up the fire.
A sloop, belonging to John Hancock, Esq. of Boston, attempted to land a cargo of wine, (from Medeira,) in the port of Boston, by evading the duties, in a manner then commonly practised, by treating and amusing the tidewaiter below, when the cargo was struck out. This was discovered, and the sloop was seized in due form by Harrison, and Hallowell, the collector, and comptroller of the customs ; and the sloop was removed by the crew of the Romney Frigate, and placed under her protection. This incensed the people, who made resistance; but without effect ; and a mob was soon collected, to the amount of one or two thousand, who commenced their attacks upon the officers of the customs, Harrison and Hallowell, to