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[439] desired only an excuse for appealing to England. The
Chap. X.}
document was written in a spirit of wanton insult1 It introduced every topic that had been made the theme of party discussion, and asserted (what Lord Holt and Lord Treby would have confirmed, but what the colonists were not willing to concede) that there existed in the country no settled form of government according to the laws of England. An entire revolution was demanded; ‘if not,’ add the remonstrants, ‘we shall be necessitated to apply our humble desires to both houses of parliament;’ and there was reason to fear that they would obtain a favorable hearing before the body whose authority they labored to enlarge.

For Gorton had carried his complaints to the mother

1646
country, and, though unaided by personal influence or by powerful friends, had succeeded in all his wishes. At this very juncture, an order respecting his claims arrived in Boston, and was couched in terms which involved an assertion of the right of parliament to reverse the decisions and control the government of Massachusetts. The danger was imminent. It struck at the very life and foundation of the rising commonwealth Had the Long Parliament succeeded in revoking the patent of Massachusetts, the Stuarts, on their restoration, would have found not one chartered government in the colonies, and the tenor of American history would have been changed. The people rallied with great unanimity in support of their magistrates. A law had been drawn up, and was ready to pass, conferring on all residents equal power in town affairs, and enlarging the constituency of the state. It was deemed safe to defer the important enactment till the present controvery

1 Compare Hutch. Col. 189, 212,213.

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