to the people of Massachusetts
and to the people of
all the colonies, submission to the change seemed an acknowledgment of the absolute power of parliament over liberty and property in America
The people of Massachusetts
resisted: the king answered, ‘blows must decide.’
A congress of the colonies approved the conduct of Massachusetts
; parliament pledged itself to the king.
In 1773 a truce was possible; after the alteration of the charter of Massachusetts
, in 1774, America would have been pacified by a simple repeal of obnoxious acts; in 1775, after blood had been shed at Lexington
, some security for the future was needed.
British statesmen of all schools but Chatham
's, affirmed the power of parliament to tax America; America denied that it could be rightfully taxed by a body in which it was not represented, for taxation and representation were inseparable.
British politicians rejoined, that taxation was but an act of legislation; that, therefore, to deny to parliament the right of taxation, was to deny to parliament all right of legislation for the colonies, even for the regulation of trade.
To this America
made answer that, in reason and truth, representation and legislation are inseparable; that the colonies, being entitled to English freedom, were not bound by any act of a body to which they did not send members; that in theory the colonies were independent of the British parliament; but as they honestly desired to avoid a conflict, they proposed as a fundamental or an organic act their voluntary submission to every parliamentary diminution of their liberty which time had sanctioned,