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[153] George the Second, the Duke of Cumberland was at
chap. VIII.} 1763. Sept.
the head of American military affairs, it was laid down as a principle, that a revenue sufficient for the purpose must be provided. The ministry of Bute resolved to provide such a revenue; for which Charles Townshend pledged the government. Parliament wished it.1 The king wished it.2 Almost all sorts and conditions of men repeatedly wished it.3

How America was to be compelled to contribute this revenue remained a question. For half a century or more, the king had sent executive orders or requisitions. But if requisitions were made, each colonial legislature claimed a right of freely deliberating upon them; and as the colonies were divided into nearly twenty different governments, it was held that they never would come to a common result. The need of some principle of union, of some central power was asserted. To give the military chief a dictatorial authority to require subsistence for the army, was suggested by the Board of Trade in 1696, in the days of King William and of Locke; was more deliberately planned in 1721; was apparently favored by Cumberland, and was one of the arbitrary proposals put aside by Pitt. To claim the revenue through a congress of the colonies, was at one time the plan of Halifax; but if the congress was of governors, their decision would be only consultatory, and have no more weight than royal instructions; and if the congress was a representative

1 Speech of Grenville, December 1765.

2 Speech of Grenville:—‘His majesty, ever desirous of dividing equally the burdens of his people, wished to see them so divided in this instance.’—Wright's Cavendish.

3 Ibid. ‘It was in consequence of the repeated wish of almost all sorts and conditions of men, that I took the step which I did.’

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