, the commentator on the laws of England
who still disliked internal taxation of America
by parliament, the selfish, unscrupulous, unrelenting Wedderburn
, filled many hours with solemn arguments for England
's unlimited supremacy.
They persuaded one another and the house, that the charters which kings had granted were, by the unbroken opinions of lawyers, from 1689, subordinate to the good will of the houses of parliament; that parliament, for a stronger reason, had power to tax—a power which it had been proposed to exert in 1713, while Harley
was at the head of the treasury, and again at the opening of the Seven Years War.
It was further contended, that representation was not the basis of the authority of parliament; that its legislative power was an absolute trust; that the kingdom and colonies were one empire; that the colonies enjoyed the opportunity of taxing themselves, as an indulgence; that the exemption from taxation, when conceded to the Counties
, and Lancaster, or Wales
, or Ireland
, or the clergy, was exceptional; that duties and impositions, taxes and subsidies were all one; and as kingdom and colonies were one body, parliament had the right to bind the colonies by taxes and impositions, alike internal and external, in all cases whatsoever.
So the watches of the long winter's night wore away, and at about four o'clock in the morning, when the question was called, less than ten voices, some said five, or four, some said but three, spoke out in the minority: ‘and the resolution passed for England
's right to do what the treasury pleased with three millions of freemen in America
were henceforward excisable and taxable at the mercy of