of Great Britain
The measure was carried in the
upper house unanimously, and in the house of deputies, where sixty were present, with but six dissentient voices.
The overturn was complete; the act was at once a declaration of independence
, and an organization of a self-constituted republic.
Its first exercise of independent power authorized its delegates in congress to join in treating with any prince, state, or potentate for the security of the colonies.
It also directed them to favor the most proper measures for confirming the strictest union; yet at the same time they were charged ‘to secure to the colony, in the strongest and most perfect manner, its present established form and all powers of government, so far as they relate to its internal police and the conduct of its own affairs, civil and religious.’
The interest of the approaching campaign centred in New York, to which place Washington
had repaired with all his forces that were not ordered to Canada
At New York the British
government designed to concentrate its strength, in the hopes of overwhelming all resistance in one campaign.
Meantime the British
general, who had fled from Boston
so precipitately that he had been obliged to remain several days in Nantasket Road, to adjust his ships for the voyage, was awaiting reinforcements at Halifax
; and during the interval he was willing that the attempt on the Southern
colonies should be continued.
That expedition had been planned in October by the king himself, ‘whose solicitude for pursuing with vigor every measure that tended to crush the present dangerous rebellion in the colonies, excited in him the most exemplary attention to every object of advantage.’