Preliminaries of the Revolution, 1763-1775

By George Elliott Howard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVI
THE FIRST CONTINENTAL CONGRESS (1774)

THE coercive acts were carried through Parliament by immense majorities.1 Even friends of America, like Barré and Conway, voted for the Boston port bill. On the government side the most violent counsels were given. According to Charles Van, the "offense in the Americans was" flagitious"; the "town of Boston ought to be knocked about their ears, and destroyed. . . . You will never meet with that proper obedience to the laws of this country, until you have destroyed that nest of locusts."2 Lord George Germain favored the regulating act in the interest of class - privilege. "Put an end to their town-meetings," he cried. "I would not have men of a mercantile cast every day collecting themselves together and debating about political matters; I would have them follow their occupations as merchants, and not consider themselves as ministers of that country."3

____________________
1
For the debates, see Cobbett-Hansard, Parl. Hist., XVII., 1163 et seq.; Force, American Archives, 4th series, I., 6-61, 66-104, 111-129, 165-20; Annual Register, 1774.
2
Cobbett-Hansard, Parl. Hist., XVII., 1178.
3
Ibid., 1195.

-280-

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