originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
Perhaps we have more in common than any of our forefathers thought?
Some of them also thought so
Earl of Chatham Speech to Parliament, June 1774
Most Illustrious Lords,
THE unfavourable state of health, under which I have long laboured, could not prevent me from laying before your Lordships my thoughts on the Bill now
before you; and on the American affairs in general.
If we take a transient view of those motives which induced the ancestors of our fellow-subjects, in America, to leave their native country to
encounter the innumerable difficulties of the unexplored regions of the western world, our astonishment at the present conduct of their descendants
will naturally subside. There was no corner of the world into which men of their free and enterprizing turn would not fly, with alacrity, rather than
submit to the slavish and tyrannical principles which prevailed, at that period, in their native country. And shall we wonder, my Lords, if the
descendants of such illustrious characters spurn, with contempt, the hand of unconstitutional power, that would snatch from them such dear bought
privileges as they now contend for? Had the British colonies been planted by any other kingdoms than our own, the inhabitants would have carried with
them the chains of slavery, and the spirit of despotism; but as they are, they ought to be remembered as great influences to instruct the world, to
what a stretch of liberty mankind will naturally attain, when they are left to the free exercise of themselves. And, my Lords, notwithstanding my
intention to give my hearty negative to the question now before you, I cannot help condemning, in the severe? manner, the late turbulent and
unwarrantable conduct of the Americans in general, and the riots in Boston, in particular. But, my Lords, the mode which has been pursued to bring
them back to a sense of their duty in the parent state, has been so diametrically opposite to the fundamental principles of sound policy, that
individuals, possess'd of common understanding, must be astonished at such proceedings. By blocking up the harbour of Boston, you have involved the
innocent. Trader in the same punishment with the guilty Prosligates who destroyed your merchandize; and instead of making a well concerned effort to
secure the Real offenders, you clap a naval and military extinguisher over their harbour; and punish the sin of a few lawless Raparees, and their
abettors, upon the whole body of the inhabitants.
My Lords, this country is little obliged to the Framers and Promoters of this Tea-tax; the Americans had almost forgot, in their excess of gratitude
for the repeal of the Stamp act, any interest but that of the Mother Country; there seemed an emulation among the different provinces, who should be
most dutiful and forward in their expressions of loyalty to their Royal Benefactor; as you will readily perceive by the following extract of a letter
from governor Bernard to a noble Lord them in office.
"The House of Representatives, (says he) from the time of opening the session avoid all disputes with me; every thing having passed with as much good
humour as I could desire. They have acted, in all things, with temper and moderation; they have avoided same subjects of dispute, and have laid a
foundation for removing some causes of former altercation."
This, my Lords, was the temper of the Americans; and would have continued so, had it not been interrupted by your fruitless endeavours to tax them
without their consent; but the moment they perceived your intention was renewed to tax them, through the sides of the East India Company, their
resentment got the ascendant of their duty, and hurried them into actions contrary to all laws of policy, civilization, and humanity, which, in their
cooler hours, they would have thought on with horror; for I seriously believe, the destroying of the Tea was much more the effect of despair, than
that of design.
But, my Lords, from the complexion of the whole of the proceedings, I am apt to think, that Administration has purposely irritated them into those
late violent acts for which they now so severely smart; purposely to be revenged on them for the victory they gained by the repeal of the Stamp-act, a
measure to which they seemingly acquiesced, but at the bottom they were its real enemies. For what other motive could induce them to dress Taxation,
that father of American sedition, in the robes of an East India director, but to break in upon that mutual peace and harmony which then so happily
subsisted between them and the Mother country? My Lords, I am an old man, and will advise the noble Lords now in office, to adopt a more gentle mode
of governing America; for the day is not far distant, when America may vie with these kingdoms, not only in arms, but in arts also. It is an
established fact that the principal towns in America are learned and polite, and understand the constitution of the British empire as well as the
noble Lords who guide the springs of government; and consequently, they will have a watchful eye over their liberties, to prevent the least
encroachment of an Arbitrary Administration on their hereditary rights and privileges.
edit on 11pMon, 04 Jul 2016 09:15:11 -050020162016-07-04T09:15:11-05:00kAmerica/Chicago31000000k by SprocketUK because: copy paste