Has parliament the right to tax America—Rocking-Ham's administration continued.
during the recess of parliament, Egmont, Conway
Dowdeswell, Dartmouth, and Charles Yorke
, met at the house of the Marquis
To modify, but not to repeal the American
tax, and to enact the penalty of high treason against any one who, by speaking or writing, should impeach the legislative authority of parliament, were measures proposed in this assembly; but they did not prevail.
The ministry could form no plan of mutual support; and decided nothing but the words of the speech.
The world looked from them to an individual in private life, unconnected and poor, vainly seeking at Bath
relief from infirmities that would have crushed a less hopeful mind; and Pitt
never appeared so great as now, when at a crisis in the history of liberty, the people of England
bent towards him alone as the man in whose decision their safety and their glory were involved.
The cabinet, therefore, yielding to Grafton
, requested his advice as to the measures
proper to be taken with regard to America
, and expressed a desire, now or at any future time, for his reception among them as their head.
This vague and indefinite offer of place, unsanctioned by the king, was but a concession from the aristocratic portion of the Whigs
to a necessity of seeking support.
remembered the former treachery of Newcastle
, and being resolved never to accept office through him or his connections, he treated their invitation as an unmeaning compliment; declaring that he would support those and those only who acted on true revolution principles.
The care of his health demanded quiet and absence from the chapel of St. Stephen
's, but the excitement of his mind gave him a respite from pain.
‘My resolution,’ said he, ‘is taken, and if I can crawl or be carried, I will deliver my mind and heart upon the state of America
On the fourteenth day of January, the king acquainted parliament, that ‘matters of importance had happened in America
, and orders been issued for the support of lawful authority.’
‘Whatever remained to be done, he committed to their wisdom.’
The lords in their reply, which was moved by Dartmouth, pledged their ‘utmost endeavors to assert and support the king's dignity, and the legislative authority of the kingdom over its colonies.’
The friends of the king and of the late ministry willingly agreed to words which seemed to imply the purpose of enforcing the Stamp Act.
The meeting of the House of Commons was very full.
The address proposed for their adoption was diffuse, and of no marked character, yet the speeches
of the members who proposed it indicated the willing-
ness of the administration to repeal the American
tax. In the course of a long debate, Pitt
entered most unexpectedly, having arrived in town that morning.
The adherents of the late ministry took great offence at the tenderness of expression respecting America
, particularly, insisted that the honor and dignity of the kingdom obliged them to compel the execution of the Stamp Act, except the right was acknowledged, and the repeal solicited as a favor.
He expostulated on the ingratitude of the colonies.
He computed the expense of the troops employed in America
for what he called its defence, at ninepence in the pound of the British
land-tax, while the Stamp Act would not raise a shilling a head on the inhabitants in America
; ‘but,’ said he, ‘a peppercorn, in acknowledgment of the right, is of more value than millions without.’
The eyes of all the house were directed towards Pitt
, as the venerable man, now almost sixty years of age, rose in his place; and the Americans
present in the gallery gazed at him as at the appearance of their good ‘angel, or their saviour.’1
‘I approve the address in answer to the king's speech, for it decides nothing, and leaves every member free to act as he will.’
Such was his opening sarcasm.
The notice given to parliament of the troubles was not early, and it ought to have been immediate.
I speak not with respect to parties.
I stand up in this place, single, unsolicited, and unconnected.
As to the late ministry,
and he turned scornfully
, who sat within one of him, ‘every capital measure they have taken is entirely wrong.
To the present ministry, to those, at least, whom I have in my eye,’ looking at Conway
and the Lords
of the Treasury,2
‘I have no objection.
Their characters are fair.
But pardon me, gentlemen.
Youth is the season for credulity; confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom.
By comparing events with each other, reasoning from effects to causes, methinks I discover the traces of overruling influences.’
This he said referring to the Duke
‘It is a long time,’ he continued, since I have attended in parliament.
When the resolution was taken in the house to tax America, I was ill in bed. If I could have endured to have been carried in my bed, so great was the agitation of my mind for the consequences, I would have solicited some kind hand to have laid me down on this floor, to have borne my testimony against it. It is now an act that has passed.
I would speak with decency of every act of this house, but I must beg indulgence to speak of it with freedom.
The subject of this debate is of greater importance than ever engaged the attention of this house; that subject only excepted, when, nearly a century ago, it was a question, whether you yourselves were to be bond or free.
The manner in which this affair will be terminated will decide the judgment of posterity on the glory of this kingdom, and the wisdom of its government during the present reign.4
As my health and life are so very infirm and
precarious, that I may not be able to attend on the day that may be fixed by the house for the consideration of America, I must now, though somewhat unseasonably—leaving the expediency of the Stamp Act to another time—speak to a point of infinite moment, I mean to the right.
Some seem to have considered it as a point of honor, and leave all measures of right and wrong, to follow a delusion that may lead us to destruction.
On a question that may mortally wound the freedom of three millions of virtuous and brave subjects beyond the Atlantic ocean, I cannot be silent.
America being neither really nor virtually represented in Westminster, cannot be held legally, or constitutionally, or reasonably subject to obedience to any money bill of this kingdom.
The colonies are equally entitled with yourselves to all the natural rights of mankind and the peculiar privileges of Englishmen; equally bound by the laws, and equally participating of the constitution of this free country.
The Americans are the sons, not the bastards of England.
As subjects, they are entitled to the common right of representation, and cannot be bound to pay taxes without their consent.
Taxation is no part of the governing power.
The taxes are a voluntary gift and grant of the commons alone.
In an American tax, what do we do?
We, your majesty's Commons of Great Britain, give and grant to your majesty,—What?
Our own property No. We give and grant to your majesty the property of your majesty's Commons in America.
It is an absurdity in terms.
There is an idea in some, that the colonies are virtually represented in this house.
They never have been represented at all in parliament; they were not
even virtually represented at the time when this law, as captious as it is iniquitous, was passed to deprive them of the most inestimable of their privileges.5 I would fain know by whom an American is represented here?
Is he represented by any knight of the shire, in any county of this kingdom?
Would to God that respectable representation was augmented to a greater number.
Or will you tell him, that he is represented by any representative of a borough?
a borough, which, perhaps, no man ever saw. This is what is called the rotten part of the constitution.
It cannot endure the century.
If it does not drop, it must be amputated.
The idea of a virtual representation of America in this house is the most contemptible that ever entered into the head of a man. It does not deserve a serious refutation.
The commons of America, represented in their several assemblies, have ever been in possession of the exercise of this, their constitutional right, of giving and granting their own money.
They would have been slaves if they had not enjoyed it.
And how is the right of taxing the colonies internally compatible with that of framing regulations without number for their trade?
The laws of this kind, which parliament is daily making, prove that they form a body separate from Great Britain.
While you hold their manufactures in the most servile restraint, will you add a new tax to deprive them of the last remnants of their liberty?
This would be to plunge them into the most odious slavery, against which their charters should protect them.6
If this house suffers the Stamp Act to continue in force, France will gain more by your colonies than
she ever could have done if her arms in the last war had been victorious.7
I never shall own the justice of taxing America internally until she enjoys the right of representation.
In every other point of legislation, the authority of parliament is like the North star, fixed for the reciprocal benefit of the parent country and her colonies.8 The British parliament, as the supreme governing and legislative power, has always bound them by her laws, by her regulations of their trade and manufactures, and even in a more absolute interdiction of both.
The power of parliament, like the circulation from the human heart, active, vigorous, and perfect in the smallest fibre of the arterial system, may be known in the colonies by the prohibition of their carrying a hat to market over the line of one province into another; or by breaking down a loom in the most distant corner of the British empire in America;9 and if this power were denied, I would not permit them to manufacture a lock of wool, or form a horse-shoe, or a hob-nail.10 But I repeat, the house has no right to lay an internal tax upon America, that country not being represented.
I know not what we may hope or fear from those now in place; but I have confidence in their good intentions.
I could not refrain from expressing the reflections I have made in my retirement, which I hope long to enjoy,11 beholding, as I do, ministries changed one after another, and passing away like shadows.
A pause ensued as he ceased, when Conway
and spoke: ‘I not only adopt all that has just been
said, but believe it expresses the sentiments of most, if not all the king's servants, and wish it may be the unanimous opinion of the house.12
I have been accidentally called to the high employment I bear; I can follow no principles more safe or more enlightened than those of the perfect model before my eyes; and I should always be most happy to act by his advice, and even to serve under his orders.13
Yet, for myself and my colleagues, I disclaim an overruling influence.
The notice given to parliament of the troubles in America
,’ he added, ‘was not early, because the first accounts were too vague and imperfect to be worth its attention.’
‘The disturbances in America
,’ replied Grenville
, who by this time had gained self-possession,
began in July, and now we are in the middle of January; lately they were only occurrences; they are now grown to tumults and riots; they border on open rebellion; and if the doctrine I have heard this day, be confirmed, nothing can tend more directly to produce a revolution.
The government over them being dissolved, a revolution will take place in America.
External and internal taxes are the same in effect, and only differ in name.
That this kingdom is the sovereign, the supreme legislative power over America, cannot be denied; and taxation is a part of that sovereign power.
It is one branch of the legislation.
It has been, and it is exercised over those who are not, who were never represented.
It is exercised over the India Company, the merchants of London, the proprietors of the stocks, and over many
great manufacturing towns.
It was exercised over the palatinate of Chester, and the bishopric of Durham, before they sent any representatives to parliament.
I appeal for proof to the preambles of the acts which gave them representatives, the one in the reign of Henry VIII., the other in that of Charles II.
He then quoted the statutes exactly, and desired that they might be read; which being done he resumed
To hold that the king, by the concession of a charter, can exempt a family or a colony from taxation by parliament, degrades the constitution of England.
If the colonies, instead of throwing off entirely the authority of parliament, had presented a petition to send to it deputies elected among themselves, this step would have marked their attachment to the crown and their affection for the mother country, and would have merited attention.14
The stamp act is but the pretext of which they make use to arrive at independence.15 It was thoroughly considered, and not hurried at the end of a session.
It passed through the different stages in full houses, with only one division on it. When I proposed to tax America, I asked the house, if any gentleman would object to the right; I repeatedly asked it, and no man would attempt to deny it. Protection and obedience are reciprocal.
Great Britain protects America; America is bound to yield obedience.
If not, tell me when the Americans were emancipated?
When they want the protection of this kingdom, they are always ready to ask it. That protection has always been afforded them in the most
full and ample manner.
The nation has run itself into an immense debt to give it them; and now that they are called upon to contribute a small share towards an expense arising from themselves— they renounce your authority, insult your officers, and break out, I might almost say, into open rebellion.
The seditious spirit of the colonies owes its birth to the factions in this house.
We were told we trod on tender ground; we were bid to expect disobedience.
What was this but telling the Americans to stand out against the law, to encourage their obstinacy with the expectation of support from hence?
Let us only hold out a little, they would say, our friends will soon be in power.
Ungrateful people of America!
Bounties have been extended to them.
When I had the honor to serve the crown, while you yourselves were loaded with an enormous debt of one hundred and forty millions sterling, and paid a revenue of ten millions sterling, you have given bounties on their lumber, on their iron, their hemp, and many other articles.
You have relaxed, in their favor, the act of navigation, that palladium of British commerce.
I offered to do every thing in my power to advance the trade of America.
I discouraged no trade but what was prohibited by act of parliament.
I was above giving an answer to anonymous calumnies; but in this place it becomes me to wipe off the aspersion.
ceased, several members got up; but the house clamored for Pitt
, who seemed to rise.
A point of order was decided in his favor, and the walls of St. Stephens resounded with ‘Go on, go on.’
‘Gentlemen,’ he exclaimed in his fervor, while
floods of light poured from his eyes, and the crowded assembly stilled itself into breathless silence; ‘Sir,’ he continued, ‘remembering to address the speaker, have been charged with giving birth to sedition in America
They have spoken their sentiments with freedom against this unhappy act, and that freedom has become their crime.
Sorry I am to hear the liberty of speech in this house imputed as a crime.
But the imputation shall not discourage me. It is a liberty I mean to exercise.
No gentleman ought to be afraid to exercise it. It is a liberty by which the gentleman who calumniates it might and ought to have profited.
He ought to have desisted from his project.
The gentleman tells us America
is obstinate; America is almost in open rebellion.
I rejoice that America
At the word, the whole house started as though their hands had been joined, and an electric spark had darted through them all.
I rejoice that America has resisted.
If its millions of inhabitants had submitted, taxes would soon have been laid on Ireland;16 and if ever this nation should have a tyrant for its king, six17 millions of freemen, so dead to all the feelings of liberty, as voluntarily to submit to be slaves, would be fit instruments to make slaves of the rest.
I come not here armed at all points with law cases and acts of parliament, with the statute-book doubled down in dogs' ears, to defend the cause of liberty; if I had, I would myself have cited the two cases of Chester and Durham, to show, that even under arbitrary reigns, parliaments were ashamed of taxing a people
without their consent, and allowed them representa- tives.
Why did the gentleman confine himself to Chester and Durham?
He might have taken a higher example in Wales that was never taxed by parliament till it was incorporated.
I would not debate a particular point of law with the gentleman, but I draw my ideas of freedom from the vital powers of the British constitution—not from the crude and fallacious notions too much relied upon, as if we were but in the morning of liberty.18 I can acknowledge no veneration for any procedure, law, or ordinance, that is repugnant to reason, and the first elements of our constitution; and,
he added, sneering at Grenville
, who was once so much of a republican as to have opposed the whigs,
I shall never bend with the pliant suppleness of some who have cried aloud for freedom, only to have an occasion of renouncing or destroying it.19
The gentleman tells us of many who are taxed, and are not represented—the India Company, merchants, stockholders, manufacturers.
Surely, many of these are represented in other capacities.
It is a misfortune that more are not actually represented.
But they are all inhabitants, and as such are virtually represented.
Many have it in their option to be actually represented.
They have connection with those that elect, and they have influence over them.
Not one of the ministers who have taken the lead of government since the accession of King William, ever recommended a tax like this of the Stamp Act. Lord Halifax, educated in the House of Commons, Lord Oxford, Lord Orford, a great revenue minister, never thought of this.20 None of these ever dreamed of robbing the colonies of their constitutional rights,
That was reserved to mark the era of the late admin- istration.
The gentleman boasts of his bounties to America.
Are those bounties intended finally for the benefit of this kingdom?
If they are, where is his peculiar merit to America?
If they are not, he has misapplied the national treasures.
If the gentleman cannot understand the difference between internal and external taxes, I cannot help it. But there is a plain distinction between taxes levied for the purposes of raising revenue, and duties imposed for the regulation of trade for the accommodation of the subject, although in the consequences, some revenue may accidentally arise from the latter.
The gentleman asks, when were the colonies emancipated?
I desire to know when they were made slaves?
But I do not dwell upon words.
The profits to Great Britain from the trade of the colonies, through all its branches, is two millions a year.
This is the fund that carried you triumphantly through the last war. The estates that were rented at two thousand pounds a year threescore years ago, are at three thousand pounds at present.
You owe this to America.
This is the price that America pays you for her protection.
And shall a miserable financier come with a boast, that he can fetch a peppercorn into the exchequer to the loss of millions to the nation?
I dare not say how much higher these profits may be augmented.
Omitting the immense increase of people in the Northern colonies by natural population, and the migration from every part of Europe, I am convinced the whole commercial system may be altered to advantage.
have been laid on the continent in favor of the islands.
Let acts of parliament in consequence of treaties remain; but let not an English minister become a custom-house officer for Spain, or for any foreign power.
The gentleman must not wonder he was not contradicted, when, as the minister, he asserted a right of parliament to tax America.
There is a modesty in this house which does not choose to contradict a minister.
I wish gentlemen would get the better of it. If they do not, perhaps,
he continued, glancing at the coming question of the reform of parliament,
the collective body may begin to abate of its respect for the representative.
Lord Bacon has told me, that a great question will not fail of being agitated at one time or another.
A great deal has been said without doors of the strength of America.
It is a topic that ought to be cautiously meddled with.
In a good cause, on a sound bottom, the force of this country can crush America to atoms.
If any idea of renouncing allegiance has existed, it was but a momentary frenzy; and if the case was either probable or possible, I should think of the Atlantic sea as less than a line dividing one country from another.
The will of parliament, properly signified, must for ever keep the colonies dependent upon the sovereign kingdom of Great Britain.
But on this ground of the Stamp Act, when so many here will think it a crying injustice, I am one who will lift up my hands against it. In such a cause your success would be hazardous.
America, if she fell, would fall like the strong man; she would embrace the pillars of the state, and pull down the constitution along with her.
Is this your boasted peace?
Not to sheath the sword in its scabbard, but to sheath it in the bowels of your brothers, the Americans?
Will you quarrel with yourselves, now the whole house of Bourbon is united against you?
The Americans have not acted in all things with prudence and temper.
They have been driven to madness by injustice.
Will you punish them for the madness you have occasioned?
Rather let prudence and temper come first from this side.
I will undertake for America that she will follow the example.
Be to her faults a little blind;
Upon the whole, I will beg leave to tell the house what is really my opinion.
It is, that the Stamp Act be repealed, absolutely, totally, and immediately; that the reason for the repeal be assigned, because it was founded on an erroneous principle.
At the same time let the sovereign authority of this country over the colonies be asserted in as strong terms as can be devised, and be made to extend to every point of legislation, that we may bind their trade, confine their manufactures, and exercise every power whatsoever, except that of taking their money out of their pockets without their consent.
Let us be content with the advantages which Providence has bestowed upon us., We have attained the highest glory and greatness.
Let us strive long to preserve them for our own happiness and that of our posterity.
Be to her virtues very kind.
Thus he spoke, with fire unquenchable; ‘like a
greatest of orators, for his words
swayed events, opening the gates of futurity to a better culture.
Impassioned as was his manner, there was truth in his arguments, that were fitly joined together, so that his speech in its delivery was as a chain cable in a thunder storm, along which the lightning pours its flashes without weakening the links of iron.
Men in America
, for the moment, paid no heed to the assertion of parliamentary authority to bind manufactures and trade; they exulted at knowing that the Great Commoner had, in the House of Commons, taken up what Mansfield
and the king called ‘the trumpet of sedition,’ and thanked God for America
On the very next day the Duke
recommended to the king to send for Pitt
, and hear his sentiments on American affairs.
Had this been done, and had his opinion prevailed, who can tell into what distant age the question of American independence would have been adjourned?
But at seven o'clock in the evening of the sixteenth, Grafton
was suddenly summoned to the palace.
The king was in that state of ‘extreme agitation’ which so often afflicted him when he was thwarted; and avowing designs, leading to a change of ministry of a different kind, he commanded the duke to carry no declaration from him to Pitt
Two hours later he gave an audience to Charles Townshend
, whom he endeavored, though ineffectually, to persuade to take a principal part in forming a new administration.
nevertheless, himself repaired to Pitt
, and sought his confidence.
‘The differences in politics between Lord
Temple and me,’ said the Commoner, ‘have never till
now, made it impossible for us to act on one plan.
The difference upon this American measure will, in its consequences, be felt for fifty years at least.’
He proposed to form a proper system, with the two present Secretaries
and first Lord
of the Treasury, the younger and better part of the ministry; if they would willingly co-operate with him. Honors might be offered the Duke
, but not a place in the Cabinet
‘I see with pleasure,’ said he, ‘the present administration take the places of the last.
I came up upon the American
affair, a point on which I feared they might be borne down.’
Of this conversation the Duke
made so good a use, that, by the king's direction, he and Rockingham
waited on Pitt
, on Saturday the eighteenth, when Pitt
once more expressed his readiness to act with those now in the ministry, yet with some ‘transposition of places.’
At the same time he dwelt on the disgrace brought on the nation, by the recall of Lord George Sackville
to the council, declaring over and over that his lordship and he could not sit at the council board together.
But no sooner had Pitt
consented to renounce his connection with Temple, and unite with the ministry, than Rockingham
interposed objections, alike of a personal nature, and of principle.
The speechless prime minister, having tasted the dignity of chief, did not wish to be transposed; and the principle of ‘giving up all right of taxation over the colonies,’ on which the union was to have rested, had implacable opponents in the family of Hardwicke
, and in the person of his own private secretary.
‘If ever one man lived more zealous than another for the supremacy of parliament,
and the rights of the imperial crown, it was Edmund Burke
He was the advocate ‘of an unlimited legislative power over the colonies.’
‘He saw not how the power of taxation could be given up, without giving up the rest.’
was able to see it, Pitt
‘saw further than he could.’
His wishes were ‘very earnest to keep the whole body of this authority perfect and entire.’
He was ‘jealous of it;’ he was ‘honestly of that opinion;’ and Rockingham
, after proceeding so far, and finding in Pitt
all the encouragement that he expected, let the negotiation drop.
were compelled to disregard their own avowals on the question of the right of taxation; and the ministry conformed to the opinion, which was that of Charles Yorke
, the Attorney-General
, and still more of Edmund Burke
Neglected by Rockingham
, hated by the aristocracy, and feared by the king, Pitt
pursued his career alone.
In the quiet of confidential intercourse, he inquired if fleets and armies could reduce America
, and heard from a friend, that the Americans
would not submit, that they would still have their woods and liberty.
sent to him the ‘masterly’ essay of John Adams
on the canon and feudal law. He read it, and pronounced it ‘indeed masterly.’
The papers which had been agreed upon by the American Congress had been received by De Berdt
, the agent for Massachusetts
did not scruple to present its petition to the king, and George Cooke
, the member for Middlesex
, was so pleased with that to the Commons, that on Monday, the twenty-seventh of January, he offered it to the house, where he read it twice over.
opposed receiving it, as did
and Welbore Ellis
‘The American Con-
gress at New-York
,’ they argued, ‘was a federal union, assembled without any requisition on the part of the supreme power.
By receiving a petition from persons so unconstitutionally assembled, the house would give countenance to a measure pregnant with danger to his majesty's authority and government.’
‘The petition,’ said Pitt
, ‘is innocent, dutiful, and respectful; I see no defect in it, except that the name of one of the petitioners is Oliver
Little attention was given last year to the separate petitions of particular colonies or their agents; it might well be imagined, that a general petition, prepared and signed by able gentlemen, in whom each colony reposed confidence, would be entitled to different treatment.
It is the evil genius of this country that has riveted among them the union, now called dangerous and federal.
The colonies should be heard.
The privilege of having representatives in parliament, before they can be taxed internally, is their birthright.
This question being of high concern to a vast empire rising beyond the sea, should be discussed as a question of right.
If parliament cannot tax America without her consent, the original compact with the colonies is actually broken.
The decrees of parliament are not infallible; they may be repealed.
Let the petition be received as the first act of harmony, and remain to all posterity on the journals of this house.’
adhered to the opinions of Pitt
on the subject of taxation, but thought the rules of the house forbade the reception of the petition.
Sir Fletcher Norton
rose in great heat, and de-22
nounced the distinction between internal and external
taxation, as a novelty unfounded in truth, reason, or justice, unknown to their ancestors, whether as legislators or judges—a whim that might serve to point a declamation, but abhorrent to the British constitution. ‘Expressions,’ said he, ‘have fallen from that member now, and on a late similar occasion, which make my blood run cold, even at my heart.
I say, he sounds the trumpet to rebellion.
Such language in other days, and even since the morning of freedom, would have transported that member out of this House
into another, with more leisure for better reflections.’
, without saying one word, fixed his eye steadily on him, with an air of most marked contempt, from which Norton
, abashed or chagrined, knew no escape, but by an appeal for protection to the speaker.
speaking for the first time in the House of Commons, advocated the reception of the petition, as in itself an acknowledgment of the jurisdiction of the house; while Charles Townshend
in a short speech treated the line drawn between external and internal taxation, as ‘a fiction or the ecstasy of madness.’
An hour before midnight Lord John Cavendish
avoided a defeat on a division, by moving the orders of the day, while Conway
assured the American
agents of his good will, and the Speaker
caused the substance of the whole paper to be entered on the journals.
The reading of papers and examination of witnesses continued during the month, in the utmost secrecy.
The evidence especially of the riots in Rhode Island
, produced a very unfavorable
On the last day of January the weakness of
the ministry appeared on a division respecting an election for some of the boroughs in Scotland
; in a very full house they had only a majority of eleven.
The grooms of the bedchamber, and even Lord George Sackville
voted against them, whilst Charles Townshend
, the paymaster, declined to vote at all. On the same day Bedford
were asked, if on Bute's opening the door, they were ready to negotiate for a change of administration, and they both sent word to the king, that his order would be attended to, with duty and respect, through ‘whatever channel it should come.’
acceded to the administration, he would have made the attempt to bring the nation to the conviction of the expediency of ‘giving up all right of taxation over the colonies.’.
Left to themselves, with the king against them, and the country gentlemen wavering, the ministers, not perceiving that the concession was a certain sign of expiring power, prepared a resolution to the effect, that ‘the king in parliament has full power to bind the colonies and people of America
, in all cases whatsoever.’