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[364] some reduction of the land tax at the expense of Ame-
chap. XX.} 1765. Dec.
rica; and sordid politicians, accustomed to hold provincial offices by deputy, or to dispose of them to their friends, wished to increase the value of their patronage by maintaining this absolute supremacy at all hazards. The industrial classes were satisfied with the monopoly of her market. The maritime and manufacturing towns in the kingdom were alarmed at the interruption of trade, the injury to colonial credit, and the loud and distinct cry of encouragement to American industry; and letters concerted between the merchant Trecothick and Rockingham, were sent among them, to countenance applications to parliament.

The traditions of the public offices were equally at variance. Successive administrations had inquired for some system by which the revenues and expenditures in America could be determined by the central authority of the metropolis. They who wished to make thorough work of reducing the colonies, could name many ministers as having listened to schemes of coercion; but the friends of colonial freedom replied, that no minister before Grenville had consented to carry such projects into effect.

Each side confidently invoked the British constitution. Grenville declared the paramount authority of parliament throughout the British dominions to be the essence of the revolution of 1688; others insisted that that event had upheld and established principles, by which the liberty of the person was secured against arbitrary arrest, and the rights of property were recognised as sacred against every exaction without consent.

The two opinions were also represented in the

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