they had been conceded, and above the colonies which
From legislating on commerce and industry, it proceeded to legislate on government; and, if it omitted to startle the colonies by the avowal, it plainly held the maxim as indisputable, that it might legislate for them in all cases whatsoever.
These relations, placing the property, the personal freedom, the industry, the chartered liberties of the colonies, in the good will, and under ‘the absolute power,’ of the English
legislature, could not but lead to independence; and the English
were the first to perceive the tendency.
The insurrection in New England
, in 1689, excited alarm, as an indication of a daring spirit.
In 1701, the lords of trade, in a public document, declared ‘the independency the colonies thirst after is now notorious.’—‘Commonwealth notions improve daily,’ wrote Quarry, in 1703; ‘and, if it be not checked in time, the rights and privileges of English subjects will be thought too narrow.’
In 1705, it was said in print, ‘The colonists will, in process of time, cast off their allegiance to England
, and set up a government of their own;’ and by degrees it came to be said, ‘by people of all conditions and qualities, that their increasing numbers and wealth, joined to their great distance from Britain, would give them an opportunity, in the course of some years, to throw off their dependence on the nation, and declare themselves a free state, if not curbed in time, by being made entirely subject to the crown.’
‘Some great men professed their belief
of the feasibleness of it, and the probability of its some time or other actually coming to pass.’