which flow from it.’
He pleaded further, that even
by charters and compacts, the people of Virginia
ought to enjoy the privileges of the free people of England
, as free a trade to all places and with all nations, freedom from all taxes, customs, and impositions whatever, except with the consent of the General Assembly.
Far from conceding the acts of trade of Charles II.
to have been a rightful exercise of power, the Virginia
patriot impugned them as contrary to nature, equal freedom, and justice, nor would he admit them to be cited as valid precedents.
‘The colonies,’ said he, ‘are not represented in parliament; consequently no new law made without the concurrence of their representatives can bind them; every act of parliament that imposes internal taxes upon the colonies, is an act of power and not of right; and power abstracted from right cannot give a just title to dominion.
Whenever I have strength, I may renew my claim; or my son, or his son may, when able, recover the natural right of his ancestor.
I am speaking of the rights of the people: rights imply equality in the instances to which they belong.
The colonies are subordinate to the authority of parliament in degree, not absolutely.
Every colony when treated with injury and violence, is become an alien to its mother state.
Oppression has produced very great and unexpected events.
The Helvetic confederacy, the states of the United Netherlands, are instances in the annals of Europe
of the glorious actions a petty people, in comparison, can perform, when united in the cause of liberty.’
At that time, Louis XV.
was setting his heel on the parliaments of France
, the courts of justice which alone offered barriers to his will.
‘In me,’ said he