previous next

Disclaiming the most distant thought of indepen-

Chap. XXXI.} 1768. Jan.
dence of the mother country, provided they could have the free enjoyment of their rights, the House affirmed,1 that ‘the British constitution hath its foundation in the law of God and nature; that in every free state, the supreme Legislature derives its power from the constitution;’ and ‘is bounded and circumscribed by its fundamental rules.’

That the right to property exists by a law of nature, they asserted, on the one side, against ‘the visionary and impracticable Utopian schemes of levelling and a community of goods;’ on the other, against all Acts of the British Parliament, taxing the Colonists.

‘In the time of James II.,’ they continued, ‘the Crown, and the Ministers of the Crown, without the intervention of Parliament, demolished Charters and levied taxes in the Colonies at pleasure. Our case is more deplorable and remediless. Our ancestors found relief by the interposition of Parliament; but by the intervention of that very power we are taxed, and can appeal from their decision to no power on earth.’

They further set forth the original contract between the King and the first planters, as the Royal promise in behalf of the English nation; their title by the common law and by statute law to all the liberties and privileges of natural born subjects of the realm; and the want of equity in taxing Colonies whose manufactures were prohibited and whose trade was restrained.

1 Letter from the House of Representatives, to D. de Berdt, Agent for the Province in England, January 12, 1768, in Bradford's Massachusetts State papers, 124.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Bradford (1)
De Berdt (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
January 12th, 1768 AD (1)
1768 AD (1)
January (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: