of colonial reform.
A good system would have
been a consummate work of deliberative wisdom; the principle of despotic government acted with more speed and uniformity, having passion for its interpreter, and a statesman like Townshend
, to execute its impulses.
That statesman had no ear except for complaints against the Colonies, and for men like Paxton
, who blinded him to every thing but what suited their cupidity.
It was his purpose1
to effect a thorough revolution in colonial government, and to lay the foundation of a vast American revenue.
The American merchants and friends to the Colonies took the utmost pains to moderate resentments and to extinguish jealousies.
Their committee, with Trecothick at its head, interposed with Townshend
;. but he answered: ‘I do not in the least doubt the right of Parliament to tax the Colonies internally; I know no difference between internal or external taxes; yet, since the Americans
are pleased to make that distinction, I am willing to indulge them, and for that reason choose to confine myself to regulations of trade, by which a sufficient revenue may be raised.’
‘Perhaps the army,’ rejoined Trecothick, ‘may with safety be withdrawn from America
, in which case the expense will cease, and then there will be no further occasion for a revenue.’
‘I will hear nothing on that subject,’ such was Townshend
's peremptory declaration; ‘the moment a resolution shall be taken to withdraw the army, I will resign my office and have no more to do in public affairs.
I insist, it is absolutely necessary to keep up a large ’