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[515] could only end in furnishing a justification to the
Chap. LII.} 1774. March
Mother Country for making war against them; nor have recourse to arms, for the event was uncertain, and England if successful, could still never treat America as an enslaved people, or govern them against their own inclinations. There remained but one wise olution; and it was to declare the North American Colonies, to be a free and independent people.

‘If we separate from the Colonies,’ it was objected, ‘we shall lose their trade.’ ‘Why so?’ answered Tucker. ‘The Colonies will trade even with their bitterest enemies in the hottest of a war, provided they shall find it their interest so to do. The question before us will turn on this single point: Can the Colonists, in a general way, trade with any other European State to greater advantage than they can with Great Britain? If they cannot, we shall retain their custom;’ and he demonstrated that England was for America, the best market and the best storehouse; that the prodigious increase of British trade was due not to prohibition, but to the suppression of various monopolies, and exclusive companies for foreign trade; to the repeal of taxes on raw materials; to the improvements, inventions and discoveries for the abridgment of labor; to roads, canals, and better postal arrangements. The measure would not decrease shipping and navigation, or diminish the breed of sailors.

But ‘if we give up the Colonies,’ it was pretended, ‘the French will take immediate possession of them.’ ‘The Americans,’ resumed Tucker, ‘cannot brook our Government; will they glory in being numbered among the slaves of the grand Monarch?’ ‘Will you leave the Church of England in America to suffer persecution?’

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