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Chapter 4:

America Refuses to be ruled by arbitrary Instruc-Tions.—Pelham's administration continued.


the thoughts of the British ministry were so
chap. IV.} 1751.
engrossed by intrigues at home, as to give but little heed to the glorious country beyond the Alleghanies. Having failed in the attempt to subject all the colonies by act of parliament to all future orders of the king, the Lords of Trade sought to gain the same end in detail. Rhode Island, a charter government, of which the laws were valid without the assent of the king, continued to emit paper currency,1 and the more freely, because Massachusetts had withdrawn its notes and returned to hard money.2 In 1742, twenty-eight shillings of Rhode Island currency would have purchased an ounce of silver; seven years afterwards, it required sixty shillings; compared with sterling money, the depreciation was as ten and a half or eleven to one. This was pleaded as the justification of the Board of Trade, who, in March, 1751, presented a bill to restrain bills of credit in New England, with an additional clause giving the authority of law to the

1 Potter's Rhode Island Currency, 12.

2 J. B. Felt's Massachusetts Currency, 133, 134.

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