BIBLIOGRAPHIES. - Justin Winsor, Handbook of the Revolution, 1-25, and Narrative and Critical History, VI. 62-112; W. E. Foster, Monthly Reference Lists, No. 79; Channing and Hart, Guide, secs. 134-136.

HISTORICAL MAPS. - No. 2, this volume (Epoch Maps, No. 5); Labberton, Historical Atlas, lxiv.; Gardiner, School Atlas, No. 46; Francis Parkman, Pontiac, frontispiece; Putzger, Atlas, No. 21; B. A. Hinsdale, Old Northwest, I. 68 (reprinted from MacCoun, Historical Geography).

GENERAL ACCOUNTS. - R. Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 158-401; E. Channing, United States, 1765-1865, ch. ii.; Geo. Bancroft, United States (original ed.) V., VII, chs. i-xxvi. (last revision III., IV. chs. i-viii.); W. E. H. Lecky, England in the Eighteenth Century, III. ch. xii.; R. Hildreth, United States, II. 514-577; III. 25-56; G. T. Curtis, Constitutional History, I. i.; J. M. Ludlow, War of Independence, ch. iii.; Abiel Holmes, Annals of America, II. 124-198; Bryant and Gay, United States, III. 329-376; Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, VI. ch. i.; T. Pitkin, United States, I. 155-281; H, C. Lodge, Colonies, ch. xxiii.; J. R. Green, English People, IV., 218-234; W. M. Sloane, French War and Revolution, chs. x.-xiv.; Adolphus, England, II. 134-332 passim; Grahame,United States, IV. book xi. Biographies of John Adams, Samuel Adams, Otis, Dickinson, Hutchinson, Franklin, and Washington.

SPECIAL HISTORIES. - W. B. Weeden, Economic and Special History of New England, II. chs. xviii., xix.; Wm. Tudor, Life of James Otis; J. K. Hosmer, Samuel Adams, 21-312; J. T. Morse,Benjamin Franklin, 99-201; M. C. Tyler, Literature of the Revolution, I., and Patrick Henry, 32-147; H. C. Lodge, George Washington, I. ch. iv.

CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTS. - Works of Washington, Franklin, Patrick Henry, and John Adams; James Otis, Rights of the British Colonies asserted and proved: Examination of Franklin (Franklin,Works, IV. 161-195); W. B. Donne, Correspondence of George III. with Lord North [1768-1783]; John Dickinson, Farmer's Letters; Jonathan Trumbull, McFingal (epic poem); Mercy Warren, History of the American Revolution; Thomas Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, III., and Diary and Letters; Joseph Galloway, Candid Examination; Stephen Hopkins, Rights of the Colonies Examined. - Reprints in Library of American Literature, III.; Old South Leaflets; American History told by Contemporaries, II.


[England's greatness.]

In 1763 the English were the most powerful nation in the world. The British islands, with a population of but 8,000,000 were the administrative centre of a vast colonial empire. Besides their American possessions, the English had a foothold in Africa through the possession of the former Dutch Cape Colony, and had laid the foundation of the present Indian Empire; small islands scattered through many seas furnished naval stations and points of defence. The situation of England bears a striking resemblance to the situation of Athens at the close of the Persian wars: a trading nation, a naval power, a governing race, a successful military people; the English completed the parallel by tightening the reins upon their colonies till they revolted. Of the other European powers, Portugal and Spain still preserved colonial empires in the West; but Spain was decaying. Great Britain had not only gained territory and prestige from the war, she had risen rich and prosperous, and a national debt of one hundred and forty million pounds was borne without serious difficulty.

[English government.]

It was a time of vigorous intellectual life, the period of Goldsmith, Edmund Burke, and Dr. Johnson. It was also a period of political development. The conditions seemed favorable for internal peace and for easy relations with the colonies. The long Jacobite movement had come to an end; George the Third was accepted by all classes and all parties as the legitimate sovereign. The system of government worked out in the preceding fifty years seemed well established; the ministers still governed through their control of Parliament; but the great Tory families, which for two generations had been excluded from the administration, were now coming forward. A new element in the government of England was the determination of George the Third to be an active political force. From his accession, in 1760, he had striven to build up a faction of personal adherents, popularly known as the "king's friends;" and he had broken down every combination of ministers which showed itself opposed to him. Although the nation was not yet conscious of it, the forces were at work which eventually were to create a party advocating the king's prerogative, and another party representing the right of the English people to govern themselves.

[Effect on the colonies.]

This change in political conditions could not but affect the English colonial policy. The king's imperious tone was reflected in all departments, and was especially positive when the colonies began to resist. It cannot be said that English parties divided on the question of governing the colonies, but when the struggle was once begun, the king's bitterest opponents fiercely criticised his policy, and made the cause of the colonists their own. The great struggle with the colonies thus became a part of the struggle between popular and autocratic principles of government in England.


[Grenville's colonial policy.]

Allusion has already been made (sec. 19) to vague schemes of colonial control suggested during the war. More serious measures were impending. When George Grenville became the head of the cabinet, in April, 1763, he took up and elaborated three distinctly new lines of policy, which grew to be the direct causes of the American Revolution. The first was the rigid execution of the Acts of Trade; the second was the taxation of the colonies for the partial support of British garrisons; the third was the permanent establishment of British troops in America. What was the purpose of each of these groups of measures?

[Navigation acts.] [Effect of the system.]

The object of the first series was simply to secure obedience to the Navigation Acts (Colonies, Section 44, 128), - laws long on the statute book, and admitted by most Americans to be legal. The Acts were intended simply to secure to the mother-country the trade of the colonies; they were in accordance with the practice of other nations; they were far milder than the similar systems of France and Spain, because they gave to colonial vessels and to colonial merchants the same privileges as those enjoyed by English ship-owners and traders. The Acts dated from 1645, but had repeatedly been re-enacted and enlarged, and from time to time more efficient provision was made for their enforcement. In the first place, the Navigation Acts required that all the colonial trade should be carried on in ships built and owned in England or the colonies. In the second place, most of the colonial products were included in a list of "enumerated goods," which could be sent abroad, even in English or colonial vessels, only to English ports. The intention was to give to English home merchants a middleman's profit in the exchange of American for foreign goods. Among the enumerated goods were tobacco, sugar, indigo, copper, and furs, most of them produced by the tropical and sub-tropical colonies. Lumber, provisions, and fish were usually not enumerated; and naval stores, such as tar, hemp, and masts, even received an English bounty. In 1733 was passed the "Sugar Act," by which prohibitory duties were laid on sugar and molasses imported from foreign colonies to the English plantations, Many of these provisions little affected the continental colonies, and in some respects were favorable to them. Thus the restriction of trade to English and colonial vessels stimulated ship- building and the shipping interest in the colonies. From 1772 to 1775 more than two thousand vessels were built in America.

[Illegal trade.] [Difficulty of enforcement.]

The chief difficulty with the system arose out of the obstinate determination of the colonies, especially in New England, to trade with their French and Spanish neighbors in the West Indies, with or without permission: they were able in those markets to sell qualities of fish and lumber for which there was no demand in England. Well might it have been said, as a governor of Virginia had said a century earlier: "Mighty and destructive have been the obstructions to our trade and navigation by that severe Act of Parliament,... for all are most obedient to the laws, while New England men break through them and trade to any place where their interests lead them to." The colonists were obliged to register their ships; it was a common practice to register them at much below their actual tonnage, or to omit the ceremony altogether. Colonial officials could not be depended upon to detect or to punish infractions of the Acts, and for that purpose the English Government had placed customs officers in the principal ports. Small duties were laid on imports, not to furnish revenue, but rather to furnish fees for those officers. The amount thus collected was not more than two thousand pounds a year; and the necessary salaries, aggregating between seven and eight thousand pounds, were paid by the British government.

24. WRITS OF ASSISTANCE (1761-1764).

[Smuggling.] [Argument of James Otis.]

Under the English acts violation of the Navigation Laws was smuggling, and was punishable in the usual courts. Two practical difficulties had always been found in prosecutions, and they were much increased as soon as a more vigorous execution was entered upon. It was hard to secure evidence, for smuggled goods, once landed, rapidly disappeared; and the lower colonial judges were both to deal severely with their brethren, engaged in a business which public sentiment did not condemn. In 1761 an attempt was made in Massachusetts to avoid both these difficulties through the use of the familiar Writs of Assistance. These were legal processes by which authority was given to custom-house officers to make search for smuggled goods; since they were general in their terms and authorized the search of any premises by day, they might have been made the means of vexatious visits and interference. In February, 1761, an application for such a writ was brought before the Superior Court of Massachusetts, which was not subject to popular influence. James Otis, advocate-general of the colony, resigned his office rather than plead the cause of the government, and became the leading counsel in opposition. The arguments in favor of the writ were that without some such process the laws could not be executed, and that similar writs were authorized by English statutes. Otis in his plea insisted that no English statute applied to the colonies unless they were specially mentioned, and that hence English precedents had no application. But he went far beyond the legal principles involved. He declared in plain terms that the Navigation Acts were "a taxation law made by a foreign legislature without our consent." He asserted that the Acts of Trade were "irreconcilable with the colonial charters, and hence were void." He declared that there were "rights derived only from nature and the Author of nature;" that they were "inherent, inalienable, and indefeasible by any laws, pacts, contracts, governments, or stipulations which man could devise." The court, after inquiring into the practice in England, issued the writs to the custom-house officers, although it does not appear that they made use of them.

[Effect of the discussion.]

The practical effect of Otis's speech has been much exaggerated. John Adams, who heard and took notes on the argument, declared, years later, that "American independence was then born," and that "Mr. Otis's oration against Writs of Assistance breathed into this nation the breath of life." The community was not conscious at the time that a new and startling doctrine had been put forth, or that loyalty to England was involved. The arguments drawn from the rights of man and the supremacy of the charters were of a kind familiar to the colonists. The real novelty was the bold application of these principles, the denial of the legality of a system more than a century old.


So far was the home government from accepting these doctrines that in 1763 the offensive Sugar Act was renewed. New import duties were laid, and more stringent provisions made for enforcing the Acts of Trade; and the ground was prepared for a permanent and irritating controversy, by commissioning the naval officers stationed on the American coast as revenue officials, with power to make seizures.

25. THE STAMP ACT (1763-1765).

[Plan for a stamp duty.] [Questions of troops.]

The next step in colonial control met an unexpected and violent resistance. In the winter of 1763-1764 Grenville, then English prime minister, called together the agents of the colonies and informed them that he proposed to lay a small tax upon the colonies, and that it would take the form of a stamp duty, unless they suggested some other method. Why should England tax the colonies? Because it had been determined to place a permanent force of about ten thousand men in America. A few more English garrisons would have been of great assistance in 1754; the Pontiac outbreak of 1763 had been suppressed only by regular troops who happened to be in the country; and in case of later wars the colonies were likely to be attacked by England's enemies. On the other hand, the colonies had asked for no troops, and desired none. They were satisfied with their own halting and inefficient means of defence; they no longer had French enemies in Canada, and they felt what seems an unreasonable fear that the troops would be used to take away their liberty. From the beginning to the end of the struggle it was never proposed that Americans should be taxed for the support of the home government, or even for the full support of the colonial army. It was supposed that a revenue of one hundred thousand pounds would be raised, which would meet one-third of the necessary expense.

[Stamp Act passed.]

Notwithstanding colonial objections to a standing army, garrisons would doubtless have been received but for the accompanying proposition to tax. On March 10, 1764, preliminary resolutions passed the House of Commons looking towards the Stamp Act. There was no suggestion that the proposition was illegal; the chief objection was summed up by Beckford, of London, in a phrase: "As we are stout, I hope we shall be merciful."

The news produced instant excitement in the colonies. First was urged the practical objection that the tax would draw from the country the little specie which it contained. The leading argument was that taxation without representation was illegal. The remonstrances, by an error of the agents who had them in charge, were not presented until too late. Franklin and others protested to the ministry, and declared the willingness of the colonies to pay taxes assessed in a lump sum on each colony. Grenville silenced them by asking in what way those lump sums should be apportioned. After a short debate in Parliament the Act was passed by a vote of 205 to 49. Barre, one of the members who spoke against it, alluded to the agitators in the colonies as "Sons of Liberty;" the phrase was taken up in the colonies, and made a party war-cry. George the Third was at that moment insane, and the Act was signed by a commission.

[Expectations of success.]

Resistance in the colonies was not expected. Franklin thought that the Act would go into effect; even Otis said that it ought to be obeyed. It laid a moderate stamp-duty on the papers necessary for legal and commercial transactions. At the request of the ministry, the colonial agents suggested as stamp collectors some of the most respected and eminent men in each colony. Almost at the same time was passed an act somewhat relaxing the Navigation Laws; but a Quartering Act was also passed, by which the colonists were obliged, even in time of peace, to furnish the troops who might be stationed among them with quarters and with certain provisions.


[Internal and external taxes.]

Issue was now joined on the question which eventually separated the colonies from the mother-country. Parliament had asserted its right to lay taxes on the colonists for imperial purposes. The colonies had up to this time held governmental relations only with the Crown, from whom came their charters. They had escaped taxation because they were poor, and because hitherto they had not occasioned serious expense; but they had accepted the small import duties. They found it hard to reconcile obedience to one set of laws with resistance to the other; and they therefore insisted that there was a distinction between "external taxation" and "internal taxation," between duties levied at the ports and duties levied within the colonies.


The moment the news reached America, opposition sprang up in many different forms. The colonial legislatures preferred dignified remonstrance. The Virginia Assembly reached a farther point in a set of bold resolutions, passed May 29, 1765, under the influence of a speech by Patrick Henry. They asserted "that the General Assembly of this colony have the only and sole exclusive right and power to lay taxes and impositions upon the inhabitants of this colony;" and that the Stamp Act" has a manifest tendency to destroy British as well as American freedom." On June 8, 1765, Massachusetts suggested another means of remonstrance, by calling upon her sister colonies to send delegates to New York "to consider of a general and united, dutiful, loyal, and humble representation of their condition to his Majesty and to the Parliament."

[Riots.] [Non-Importation.]

Meanwhile opposition had broken out in open violence. In August there were riots in Boston; the house of Oliver, appointed as collector of the stamp taxes, was attacked, and he next day resigned his office. Hutchinson was acting governor of the colony: his mansion was sacked; and the manuscript of his History of Massachusetts, still preserved, carries on its edges the mud of the Boston streets into which it was thrown. The town of Boston declared itself "particularly alarmed and astonished at the Act called the Stamp Act, by which we apprehend a very grievous tax is to be laid upon the colonies." In other colonies there were similar, though less violent, scenes. Still another form of resistance was suggested by the organizations called "Sons of Liberty," the members of which agreed to buy no more British goods. When the time came for putting the act into force, every person appointed as collector had resigned.

[Stamp Act Congress.]

These three means of resistance - protest, riots, and non-importation - were powerfully supplemented by the congress which assembled at New York, Oct. 1765. It included some of the ablest men from nine colonies. Such men as James Otis, Livingston of New York, Rutledge of South Carolina, and John Dickinson of Pennsylvania, met, exchanged views, and promised co- operation. It was the first unmistakable evidence that the colonies would make common cause. After a session of two weeks the congress adjourned, having drawn up petitions to the English government, and a "Declaration of Rights and Grievances of the Colonists in America." In this document they declared themselves entitled to the rights of other Englishmen. They asserted, on the one hand, that they could not be represented in the British House of Commons, and on the other that they could not be taxed by a body in which they had no representation. They complained of the Stamp Act, and no less of the amendments to the Acts of Trade, which, they said, would "render them unable to purchase the manufactures of Great Britain." In these memorials there is no threat of resistance, but the general attitude of the colonies showed that it was unsafe to push the matter farther.

[Repeal of the Stamp Act.]

Meanwhile the Grenville ministry had given place to another Whig ministry under Rockingham, who felt no responsibility for the Stamp Act. Pitt took the ground that "the government of Great Britain could not lay taxes on the colonies." Benjamin Franklin was called before a committee, and urged the withdrawal of the act. The king, who had now recovered his health, gave it to be understood that he was for repeal. The repeal bill was passed by a majority of more than two to one, and the crisis was avoided.

[Right of taxation asserted.]

To give up the whole principle seemed to the British government impossible; the repeal was therefore accompanied by the so-called Dependency Act. This set forth that the colonies are "subordinate unto and dependent upon the Imperial Crown and Parliament of Great Britain, and that Parliament hath, and of right ought to have, full power to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America subjects to the Crown of Great Britain in all cases whatsoever." Apparently matters had returned to their former course. The gratitude of the colonies was loudly expressed; but they had learned the effect of a united protest, they had learned how to act together, and they were irritated by the continued assertion of the power of Parliament to tax and otherwise to govern the colonies.

27. REVENUE ACTS (1767).

[Townshend's plans.] [Quarrel with New York.]

The repeal of the Stamp Act removed the difficulty without removing the cause. The year 1766 was marked in English politics by the virtual retirement of Pitt from the government. His powerful opposition to taxation of the colonies was thus removed, and Charles Townshend became the leading spirit in the ministry. Jan. 26, 1767, he said in the House of Commons: "I know a mode in which a revenue may be drawn from America without offence.... England is undone if this taxation of America is given up." And he pledged himself to find a revenue nearly sufficient to meet the military expenses in America. At the moment that the question of taxation was thus revived, the New York Assembly became involved in a dispute with the home government by declining to furnish the necessary supplies for the troops. An Act of Parliament was therefore passed declaring the action of the New York legislature null, - a startling assertion of a power of disallowance by Parliament.


The three parts of the general scheme for controlling the colonies were now all taken up again. For their action against the troops the New York Assembly was suspended, - the first instance in which Parliament had undertaken to destroy an effective part of the colonial government. For the execution of the Navigation Acts a board of commissioners of customs was established, with large powers. In June, 1767, a new Taxation Act was introduced, and rapidly passed through Parliament. In order to avoid the objections to "internal taxes," it laid import duties on glass, and white lead, painters' colors, paper, and tea. The proceeds of the Act, estimated at, 40,000 pounds, were to pay governors and judges in America. Writs of Assistance were made legal. A few months afterwards, - December, 1767, - a colonial department was created, headed by a secretary of state. The whole machinery of an exasperating control was thus provided.

[Question of right of taxation.]

Issue was once more joined both in England and America on the constitutional power of taxation. The great principle of English law that taxation was not a right, but a gift of the persons taxed through their representatives, was claimed also by the colonies. Opinions had repeatedly been given by the law officers of the Crown that a colony could be taxed only by its own representatives. The actual amount of money called for was too small to burden them, but it was to be applied in such a way as to make the governors and judges independent of the assemblies. The principle of taxation, once admitted, might be carried farther. As an English official of the time remarked: "The Stamp Act attacked colonial ideas by sap; the Townshend scheme was attacking them by storm every day."


[Colonial protest.] [Massachusetts circular.] [Coercive measures.]

This time the colonies avoided the error of disorderly or riotous opposition. The leading men resolved to act together through protests by the colonial legislatures and through non-importation agreements. Public feeling ran high. In Pennsylvania John Dickinson in his "Letters of a Farmer" pointed out that "English history affords examples of resistance by force." Another non-importation scheme was suggested by Virginia, but was on the whole unsuccessful. In February, 1768, Massachusetts sent out a circular letter to the other colonies, inviting concerted protests, and declaring that the new laws were unconstitutional. The protest was moderate, its purpose legal; but the ministry attempted to destroy its effect by three new repressive measures. The first of them, April, 1768, directed the governors, upon any attempt to pass protesting resolutions, to prorogue their assemblies. The second was the despatch of troops to Boston: they arrived at the end of September, and remained until the outbreak of the Revolution. The third coercive step was a proposition to send American agitators to England for trial, under an obsolete statute of Henry the Eighth.

[Effect of the tax.]

Meanwhile the duties had been levied. The result was the actual payment of about sixteen thousand pounds; this sum was offset by expenses of collection amounting to more than fifteen thousand pounds, and extraordinary military expenditures of one hundred and seventy thousand pounds. Once more the ministry found no financial advantage and great practical difficulties in the way of colonial taxation. Once more they determined to withdraw from an untenable position, and once more, under the active influence of the king and his "friends," they resolved to maintain the principle. In April, 1770, all the duties were repealed except that upon tea. Either the ministry should have applied the principle rigorously, so as to raise an adequate revenue, or they should have given up the revenue and the principle together.


[Troops in Boston.] [Collision with the mob.]

Repeal could not destroy the feeling of injury in the minds of the colonists; and repeal did not withdraw the coercive acts nor the troops. The garrison in Boston, sustained at the expense of the British treasury, was almost as offensive to the colonists of Massachusetts as if they had been taxed for its support. From the beginning the troops were looked upon as an alien body, placed in the town to execute unpopular and even illegal acts. There was constant friction between the officers and the town and colonial governments, and between the populace and the troops. On the night of March 5, 1770, an affray occurred between a mob and a squad of soldiers. Both sides were abusive and threatening; finally the soldiers under great provocation fired, and killed five men. The riot had no political significance; it was caused by no invasion upon the rights of Americans: but, in the inflamed condition of the public mind, it was instantly taken up, and has gone down to history under the undeserved title of the Boston Massacre. Next morning a town meeting unanimously voted "that nothing can rationally be expected to restore the peace of the town and prevent blood and carnage but the immediate removal of the troops." The protest was effectual; the troops were sent to an island in the harbor; on the other hand, the prosecution of the soldiers concerned in the affray was allowed to slacken. For nearly two years the trouble seemed dying down in Massachusetts.

[Samuel Adams.] [Committee of Correspondence.]

That friendly relations between the colonies and the mother-country were not re-established is due chiefly to Samuel Adams, a member of the Massachusetts General Court from Boston. His strength lay in his vehemence, his total inability to see more than one side of any question, and still more in his subtle influence upon the Boston town meeting, upon committees, and in private conclaves. He seems to have determined from the beginning that independence might come, ought to come, and must come. In November, 1772, he introduced into the Boston town meeting a modest proposition that "a committee of correspondence be appointed ... to state the Rights of the Colonists and of this Province in particular as Men, as Christians, and as Subjects; - and also request of each Town a free communication of their Sentiments on this subject." The committee blew the coals by an enumeration of rights and grievances; but its chief service was its unseen but efficient work of correspondence, from town to town. A few months later the colony entered into a similar scheme for communication with the sister colonies. These committees of correspondence made the Revolution possible. They disseminated arguments from province to province: they had lists of those ripe for resistance; they sounded legislatures; they prepared the organization which was necessary for the final rising of 1774 and 1775.

["Gaspee" burned.] [Tea.] [Hutchinson letters.] [Boston Tea-party.]

Shortly before the creation of this committee, an act of violence in Rhode Island showed the hostility to the enforcement of the Acts of Trade. The "Gaspee," a royal vessel of war, had interfered legally and illegally with the smuggling trade. On June 9, 1772, while in pursuit a vessel, she ran aground. That night the ship was attacked by armed men, who captured and burned her. The colonial authorities were indifferent: the perpetrators were not tried; they were not prosecuted; they were not even arrested. On Dec. 16, 1773, a similar act of violence marked the opposition of the colonies to the remnant of the Townshend taxation acts. The tea duty had been purposely reduced, till the price of tea was lower than in England. Soon after the appointment of the Committees of Correspondence public sentiment in Massachusetts was again aroused by the publication of letters written by Hutchinson, then governor of Massachusetts, to a private correspondent in England. The letters were such as any governor representing the royal authority might have written. "I wish," said Hutchinson, "the good of the colony when I wish to see some fresh restraint of liberty rather than the connection with the parent state should be broken." The assembly petitioned for the removal of Hutchinson, and this unfortunate quarrel was one of the causes of a decisive step, the Boston Tea-party. An effort was made to import a quantity of tea, not for the sake of the tax, but in order to relieve the East India Company from financial difficulties. On December 16, the three tea ships in the harbor were boarded by a body of men in Indian garb, and three hundred and forty- two chests of tea were emptied into the sea. Next morning the shoes of at least one reputable citizen of Massachusetts were found by his family unaccountably full of tea. In other parts of the country, as at Edenton in North Carolina, and at Charleston in South Carolina, there was similar violence.


[Public feeling in England.]

The British government had taken a false step by its legislation of 1770, but the colonies had now put themselves in the wrong by these repeated acts of violence. There seemed left but two alternatives, - to withdraw the Tea Act, and thus to remove the plea that Parliament was taxing without representation; or to continue the execution of the Revenue Act firmly, but by the usual course of law. It was not in the temper of the English people, and still less like the king, to withdraw offensive acts in the face of such daring resistance. The failure to secure the prosecution of the destroyers of the "Gaspee" caused the British government to distrust American courts as well as American juries. One political writer, Dean Tucker, declared that the American colonies in their defiant state had ceased to be of advantage to England, and that they had better be allowed quietly to separate. Pitt denied the right to tax, but declared that if the colonies meant to separate, he would be the first to enforce the authority of the mother-country.

[Coercive statutes.] [Quebec Act.]

Neither orderly enforcement, conciliation, nor peaceful separation was the policy selected. England committed the fatal and irremediable mistake of passing illegal statutes as a punishment for the illegal action of the colonists. Five bills were introduced and hastily pushed through Parliament. The first was meant as a punishment for the Tea-party. It enacted that no further commerce was to be permitted with the port of Boston till that town should make its submission. Burke objected to a bill "which punishes the innocent with the guilty, and condemns without the possibility of defence." The second act was intended to punish the whole commonwealth of Massachusetts, by declaring void certain provisions of the charter granted by William III. in 1692. Of all the grievances which led to the Revolution this was the most serious, for it set up the doctrine that charters proceeding from the Crown could be altered by statute. Thenceforward Parliament was to be omnipotent in colonial matters. The third act directed that "Persons questioned for any Acts in Execution of the Law" should be sent to England for trial. It was not intended to apply to persons guilty of acts of violence, but to officers or soldiers who, in resisting riots, might have made themselves amenable to the civil law. The fourth act was a new measure providing for the quartering of soldiers upon the inhabitants, and was intended to facilitate the establishment of a temporary military government in Massachusetts. The fifth act had no direct reference to Massachusetts, but was later seized upon as one of the grievances which justified the Revolution. This was the Quebec Act, providing for the government of the region ceded by France in 1763. It gave to the French settlers the right to have their disputes decided under the principles of the old French civil law; it guaranteed them the right of exercising their own religion; and it annexed to Quebec the whole territory between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and the Great Lakes. The purpose of this act was undoubtedly to remove the danger of disaffection or insurrection in Canada, and at the same time to extinguish all claims of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Virginia to the region west of Pennsylvania.


[Gage's quarrel with Massachusetts.]

The news of this series of coercive measures was hardly received in Massachusetts before General Gage appeared, bearing a commission to act as governor of the province; and in a few weeks the Port Bill and the modifications of the charter were put in force. If the governor supposed that Boston stood alone, he was quickly undeceived. From the other towns and from other colonies came supplies of food and sympathetic resolutions. On June 17th, under the adroit management of Samuel Adams, the General Court passed a resolution proposing a colonial congress, to begin September 1st at Philadelphia. While the resolutions were going through, the governor's messenger in vain knocked at the locked door, to communicate a proclamation dissolving the assembly. The place of that body was for a time taken by the Committee of Correspondence, in which Samuel Adams was the leading spirit, and by local meetings and conventions. In August, Gage came to an open breach with the people. In accordance with the Charter Act, he proceeded to appoint the so-called "mandamus" councillors. An irregularly elected Provincial Congress declared that it stood by the charter of 1692, under which the councillors were elected by the General Court. The first effect of the coercive acts was, therefore, to show that the people of Massachusetts stood together.

[Delegates chosen.] [The Congress.]

Another effect was to enlist the sympathy of the other colonies. The movement for a congress plainly looked towards resistance and revolution. In vain did the governors dissolve the assemblies that seemed disposed to send delegates. Irregular congresses and conventions took their place, and all the colonies but Georgia somehow chose delegates. The first Continental Congress which assembled in Philadelphia on September 5, 1774, was, therefore, a body without any legal status. It included, however, some of the most influential men in America. From Massachusetts came Samuel Adams and John Adams; from New York, John Jay; from Virginia, Patrick Henry and George Washington. The general participation in this congress was an assurance that all America felt the danger of parliamentary control, and the outrage upon the rights of their New England brethren.

[Declaration of Rights.]

This feeling was voiced in the action of the Congress. Early resolutions set forth approval of the action of Massachusetts. Then came the preparation of a "Declaration of Rights" of the colonies, and of their grievances. They declared that they were entitled to life, liberty, and property, and to the rights and immunities of free and natural born subjects within the realm of England. They denied the right of the British Parliament to legislate in cases of "taxation and internal polity," but "cheerfully consent to the operation of such Acts of the British Parliament as are bona fide restrained to the regulation of our external commerce." They protested against "the keeping up a standing army in these colonies in times of peace." They enumerated a long list of illegal Acts, including the coercive statutes and the Quebec Act.

[The Association.]

The only action of the First Continental Congress which had in any degree the character of legislation was the "Association," - the only effective non-importation agreement in the whole struggle. The delegates united in a pledge that they would import no goods from England or other English colonies, and particularly no slaves or tea; and they recommended to the colonies to pass efficient legislation for carrying it out. The Revolutionary "congresses" and "conventions," and sometimes the legislatures themselves, passed resolutions and laid penalties. A more effective measure was open violence against people who persisted in importing, selling, or using British goods or slaves.

[Action of the Congress.]

The First Continental Congress was simply the mouthpiece of the colonies. It expressed in unmistakable terms a determination to resist what they considered aggressions; and it suggested as a legal and effective means of resistance that they should refuse to trade with the of mother-country. Its action, however, received the approval of an assembly or other representative body in each of the twelve colonies. Before it adjourned, the congress prepared a series of addresses and remonstrances, and voted that if no redress of grievances should have been obtained, a second congress should assemble in May, 1775.


[Attitude of the Whigs.] [Coercion]

When Parliament assembled in January, 1775, it was little disposed to make concessions; but the greatest living Englishman now came forward as the defender of the colonies. Pitt declared that the matter could only be adjusted on the basis "that taxation is theirs, and commercial regulation ours." Although he was seconded by other leading Whigs, the reply of the Tory ministry to the remonstrance of the colonies was a new series of acts. Massachusetts was declared in a state of rebellion; and the recalcitrant colonies were forbidden to trade with Great Britain, Ireland, or the West Indies, or to take part in the Newfoundland fisheries.

[Affairs in Massachusetts.] [Lexington and Concord.]

Before these acts could be known in America, matters had already drifted to a point where neither coercion nor conciliation could effect anything. Through the winter 1774-1775 Gage lay for the most part in Boston, unable to execute his commission outside of his military lines, and unwilling to summon a legislature which was certain to oppose him. The courts were broken up, jurors could not be obtained, the whole machinery of government was stopped. Meanwhile, in February, 1775, the people had a second time elected a provincial congress, which acted for the time being as their government. This body prepared to raise a military force, and asked aid of other New England colonies. April 19, 1775, a British expedition was sent from Boston to Lexington and Concord to seize military stores there assembled for the use of the provincial forces. The British were confronted on the village green of Lexington by about one hundred militiamen, who refused to disperse, and were fired upon by the British. At Concord the British found and destroyed the stores, but were attacked and obliged to retire, and finally returned to Boston with a loss of three hundred men. The war had begun. Its issue depended upon the moral and military support which Massachusetts might receive from the other colonies.


[Malcontents put down.]

The cause of Massachusetts was unhesitatingly taken up by all the colonies, from New Hampshire to Georgia. America was united. This unanimity proceeded, however, not from the people, but from suddenly constituted revolutionary governments. No view of the Revolution could be just which does not recognize the fact that in no colony was there a large majority in favor of resistance, and in some the patriots were undoubtedly in a minority. The movement, started by a few seceders, carried with it a large body of men who were sincerely convinced that the British government was tyrannical. The majorities thus formed, silenced the minority, sometimes by mere intimidation, sometimes by ostracism, often by flagrant violence. One kind of pressure was felt by old George Watson of Plymouth, bending his bald head over his cane, as his neighbors one by one left the church in which he sat, because they would not associate with a "mandamus councillor." A different argument was employed on Judge James Smith of New York, in his coat of tar and feathers, the central figure of a shameful procession.

[Early organization.]

Another reason for the sudden strength shown by the Revolutionary movement was that the patriots were organized and the friends of the established government did not know their own strength. The agent of British influence in almost every colony was the governor. In 1775 the governors were all driven out. There was no centre of resistance about which the loyalists could gather. The patriots had seized the reins of government before their opponents fairly understood that they had been dropped.

[Feeling of common interest.]

Another influence which hastened the Revolution was a desire to supplant the men highest in official life. There was no place in the colonial government for a Samuel Adams or a John Adams while the Hutchinsons and the Olivers were preferred. But no personal ambitions can account for the agreement of thirteen colonies having so many points of dissimilarity. The merchants of Boston and New Haven, the townsmen of Concord and Pomfret, the farmers of the Hudson and Delaware valleys, and the aristocratic planters of Virginia and South Carolina, deliberately went to war rather than submit. The causes of the Revolution were general, were wide-spread, and were keenly felt by Americans of every class.

[Resistance of taxation.]

The grievance most strenuously put forward was that of "taxation without representation." On this point the colonists were supported by the powerful authority of Pitt and other English statesmen, and by an unbroken line of precedent. They accepted "external taxation;" at the beginning of the struggle they professed a willingness to pay requisitions apportioned in lump sums on the colonies; they were accustomed to heavy taxation for local purposes; in the years immediately preceding the Revolution the people of Massachusetts annually raised about ten shillings per head. They sincerely objected to taxation of a new kind, for a purpose which did not interest them, by a power which they could not control. The cry of "Taxation without representation" had great popular effect. It was simple, it was universal, it sounded like tyranny.

[Resistance of garrisons.]

A greater and more keenly felt grievance was the establishment of garrisons. The colonies were willing to run their own risk of enemies. They asserted that the real purpose of the troops was to overawe their governments. The despatch of the regiments to Boston in 1768 was plainly intended to subdue a turbulent population. The British government made a serious mistake in insisting upon this point, whether with or without taxes.

[Resistance to Acts of Trade.]

By far the most effective cause of the Revolution was the English commercial system. One reason why a tax was felt to be so great a hardship was, that the colonies were already paying a heavy indirect tribute to the British nation, by the limitations on their trade. The fact that French and Spanish colonists suffered more than they did, was no argument to Englishmen accustomed in most ways to regulate themselves. The commercial system might have been enforced; perhaps a tax might have been laid: the two together made a grievance which the colonies would not endure.

[Stand for the charters.]

The coercive acts of 1774 gave a definite object for the general indignation. In altering the government of Massachusetts they destroyed the security of all the colonies. The Crown was held unable to withdraw a privilege once granted; Parliament might, however, undo to-morrow what it had done to-day. The instinct of the Americans was for a rigid constitution, unalterable by the ordinary forms of law. They were right in calling the coercive acts unconstitutional. They were contrary to the charters, they were contrary to precedent, and in the minds of the colonists the charters and precedent, taken together, formed an irrepealable body of law.

[Oppression not grievous.] [Restraints on trade.] [Resistance to one-man power.]

In looking back over this crisis, it is difficult to see that the colonists had suffered grievous oppression. The taxes had not taken four hundred thousand pounds out of their pockets in ten years. The armies had cost them nothing, and except in Boston had not interfered with the governments. The Acts of Trade were still systematically evaded, and the battle of Lexington came just in time to relieve John Hancock from the necessity of appearing before the court to answer to a charge of smuggling. The real justification of the Revolution is not to be found in the catalogue of grievances drawn up by the colonies. The Revolution was right because it represented two great principles of human progress. In the first place, as the Americans grew in importance, in numbers, and in wealth, they felt more and more indignant that their trade should be hampered for the benefit of men over seas. They represented the principle of the right of an individual to the products of his own industry; and their success has opened to profitable trade a thousand ports the world over. In the second place the Revolution was a resistance to arbitrary power. That arbitrary power was exercised by the Parliament of Great Britain; but, at that moment, by a combination which threatened the existence of popular government in England, the king was the ruling spirit over Parliament. The colonists represented the same general principles as the minority in England. As Sir Edward Thornton said, when minister of Great Britain to the United States, in 1879: "Englishmen now understand that in the American Revolution you were fighting our battles."