Such was the sad condition of America
: the king,
the ministry, the crown officers in the colony, all conspiring against her liberties, while she was overflowing with affection for the parent country.
There was no help unless from parliament.
For centuries that body had shone on the world as the star of freedom.
Was it weary of its honors and willing to abdicate its guardianship of human liberty?
At a few hours later, on the same day with the interview of Welbore Ellis
and the king, George Grenville
, in the British
House of Commons, proposed to the Committee of Ways and Means of the whole house, fifty-five resolutions, embracing the details of a stamp act for America
, and making all offences against it cognizable in the Courts
of Admiralty; so that the Americans
were not only to be taxed by the British parliament, but to have the taxes collected arbitrarily under the decrees of British judges, without any trial by jury.
To prove the fitness of the tax, Grenville
argued, that the colonies had a right to demand protection from parliament, and parliament, in return, a right to enforce a revenue from the colonies; that protection implied an army, an army must receive pay, and pay required taxes; that, on the peace, it was found necessary to maintain a body of ten thousand men, at a cost exceeding three hundred thousand pounds, most of which was a new expense; that the duties and taxes already imposed or designed would not yield more than one hundred thousand pounds; so that England
would still have to advance two-thirds of the new expense; that it was reasonable for the colonies to contribute this one-third part of the expense necessary for their own security; that the debt of England