To the latter Virginia
led the opposition.
Chap. XXIX.} 1767.
at the North
, especially Worcester, in Massachusetts
, protested against the system; but opinion through the country was divided; and complaints of the grievance had not been made in concert.
The restraints on some manufactures, especially of wool and iron, were flagrant violations of natural rights; but the laws, so tyrannical in their character, were not of recent date, and as they related to products of industry which it was still the interest of the people to import, were in a great degree inoperative and unobserved.1
By the Billeting Act
, Great Britain
exposed its dignity to the discretion or the petulance of provincial Assemblies.
There was no bound to the impropriety of Parliament's enacting what those Legislatures should enact, and accompanying the statute by a Requisition from the throne.
Is the measure compulsory and final?
Then why address it to Assemblies which are not executive officers?
Does it not compel obedience?
Then the Assemblies have a right to deliberate, to accept in whole or in part, or to reject.
And indeed the demand of quarters and provisions without limitation of time or of the number of troops, was a reasonable subject for deliberation.
Such was the opinion of the very few in England
who considered the question on its own merits, and not merely as a test of authority.2
Besides: no Province had absolutely refused to comply with the spirit of the