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[47] tobacco in England and Ireland, was a useless
Chap XI.}
mockery.

As a mode of taxing the colonies, the monopoly was a failure; the contribution was made to the pocket of the merchant, not to the treasury of the metropolis.

The usual excuse for colonial restrictions is founded on the principle that colonies were established at the cost of the mother country for that very purpose.1 In the case of the American colonies, the apology cannot be urged. The state founded none of them. The colonists escaped from the mother country, and had, at their own cost, and by their own toil, made for themselves dwellings in the New World. Virginia was founded by a private company; New England was the home of exiles. England first thrust them out; and she owned them as her children only to oppress them!

Again, it was said that the commercial losses of the colonists were compensated by protection. But the connection with Europe was fraught only with danger; for the rivalry of European nations did but transfer the scenes of their bloody feuds to the wilds of America.

The monopoly, it must be allowed, was of the least injurious kind. It was conceded, not to an individual, nor to a company, nor to a single city; but was open to the competition of all Englishmen.2

The history of the navigation act would be incomplete, were it not added, that, whatever party obtained a majority, it never, till the colonies gained great strength, occurred to the British parliament that the legislation was a wrong. Bigotry is not exclusively a passion of religious superstition. Its root is in the

1 Montesquieu, l. XXI. c. XXI.

2 Anne, c. XXXVII.

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