plantation to another.
Nor was henceforward any
part of the old subsidy to be drawn back on the export of foreign goods of Europe
or the East Indies
, except on the export of white calicoes and muslins, on which a still higher duty was to be exacted and retained.
And stamp duties were to be paid throughout all the British American
colonies, on and after the first day of the coming November.
These laws were to be enforced, not by the regular authorities only, but by naval and military officers, irresponsible to the civil power in the colonies.
The penalties and forfeitures for breach of the revenue laws were to be decided in courts of vice-admiralty, without the interposition of a jury, by a single judge, who had no support whatever but from his share in the profits of his own condemnations.
Such was the system which Grenville
had carried far towards its complete development.
The bounties which he had introduced, and the appointment of Americans
to offices under the stamp act, were to pacify complaints; and that nothing might be wanting to produce contentment, pamphlets were sent over with the acts, one recommending the new regulations to the good opinion of the colonists, and another wishing them joy that Britain at this time had ‘the most vigilant, upright, and able chancellor of the exchequer that ever served her since the days of Sir Robert Walpole
It was held that the power of parliament, according to the purest whig principles, was established alike over the king and over the colonies; but, in truth, the stamp act was the harbinger of American Independence, and the knell of the unreformed House of Commons.