, at the very time when the ministry of
Bute was planning the thorough overthrow of colonial liberty.
But George Grenville
would not be outdone by Charles Townshend
in zeal for British interests.
He sought to win the confidence of Englishmen by considering England
as the head and heart of the whole empire, and by making all other parts of the king's dominion serve but as channels to convey wealth and vigor to that head.
Ignorant of colonial affairs, his care of them had reference only to the increase of the trade and revenue of Great Britain
He meant well for the British
public, and was certainly indefatigable.2
He looked to the restrictions in the statute book for the source of the maritime greatness of England
; and did not know that if British commerce flourished beyond that of Spain
, which had an equal population, still greater restrictions, and still more extensive colonies, it was only because England
excelled in freedom.
His mind bowed to the superstition of the age. He did not so much embrace as worship the navigation act with idolatry as the palladium of his country's greatness; and regarded connivance at the breaches of it by the overflowing commerce of the colonies with an exquisite jealousy.3
Placed at the head of the admiralty, he was eager and importunate to unite his official influence, his knowledge of the law, and his place as a leader in the House of Commons, to restrain American intercourse