This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 and acuteness of A. T. Bledsoe and B. J. Sage; but these writers deal almost exclusively with questions of constitutional law. Mr. Grady, while he goes over the ground already traversed by them, is at pains to follow the actual course of Federal legislation, insofar as it appears to have a sectional significance. The general effect of his presentation of the case is to show that from the beginning of the history of the Federal Government, the Southern States have been compelled to occupy a defensive attitude. The British colonies in North America had entered into several temporary unions, so to speak, for mutual defense, before the war of the revolution. After the close of the war with France (1764), England revived and amended an old law levying duties on sugar and molasses, on the ground that the colonies should contribute to the payment of her large war debt, which was in part contracted in their defense. This act created considerable excitement in Boston; but there was manifestation of serious discontent outside of Massachusetts. The stamp act, in 1765, however, raised a storm of opposition in all the colonies, and, at the request of Massachusetts, a Congress assembled in New York, composed of delegates from them all except Canada, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. This Congress adopted a declaration of rights, and sent an address to the king and a petition to the parliament, asserting the right of the colonies to be ‘exempted from all taxes not imposed by their consent.’ The obnoxious act was repealed the next year, but another was passed imposing taxes on glass, paper, painters' colors and tea, on their importation into the colonies. This latter act was approved by the king in June, 1767, and in February, 1768, the Legislature of Massachusetts invited the co-operation of the other colonies in an effort to secure a redress of grievances. The circular in which this invitation was conveyed was very offensive to the British government, and a demand was made for its rescission, but Massachusetts refused to rescind, reaffirming its position in still stronger language. A body of troops was then sent over to suppress ‘the rebels,’ and finally, on the 5th of March, 1770, a number of the citizens of Boston, led by a negro named Crispus Attucks, attacked a military guard ‘with clubs, sticks and snow-balls covering stones.’ Dared to fire by the mob, six of the soldiers discharged their muskets, killing three of the crowd and wounding five others. The captain and eight men were tried for murder and all were acquitted, except two, who were convicted of manslaughter. About this time parliament repealed all the taxes imposed by the act of 1767, except that on tea. Another
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.