The carefully considered documents in which the
Congress embodied the demands of America
, dwell mainly on the inherent right to trial by jury, in opposition to the extension of the Admiralty
jurisdiction, and the right to freedom from taxation, except through the respective colonial legislatures.
These were promulgated in the declaratory resolutions, with the further assertion, that the people of the colonies not only are not, but, from their local circumstances, never can be represented in the House of Commons in Great Britain
; that taxes never have been and never can be constitutionally imposed on the colonies, but by their respective legislatures; that all supplies to the crown are free gifts; and that for the people of Great Britain
to grant the property of the colonists was neither reasonable nor consistent with the principles, nor with the spirit of the British constitution.
The same immunities were claimed in the address to the king, as ‘essential principles, inherent rights and liberties;’ of which the security was necessary to the ‘most effectual connection of America
with the British
They also formed the theme of the memorial to the House of Lords, mingled with complaints of the ‘late restrictions on trade.’
Having thus insisted on their rights in strong terms, the Congress
employed a different style in the address to the House of Commons, insisting chiefly on the disadvantages the new measure might occasion, as well to the mother country as to the colonies.
They disclaimed for America
the ‘impracticable’ idea of a representation in any but American Legislatures.
Acknowledging ‘all due subordma, ’