A Political and Civil History of the United States of America, from the Year 1763 to the Close of the Administration of President Washington, in March, 1797: Including a Summary View of the Political and Civil State of the North American Colonies, Prior to That Period - Vol. 1

By Timothy Pitkin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI

Peace of 1763--An important event to the Colonies--Excites great joy in America-- Navigation Acts enforced by writs of assistance--Opposed in Massachusetts-- Stamp Duties proposed in Parliament--Opposed in the Colonies as a violation of their rights--Petitions and resolutions against them--Petitions rejected--Stamp Act passed--Excites great alarm in the Colonies--Resolutions of the Virginia House of Burgesses against it--Meeting of a Congress of the Colonies in 1765-- Declaration of rights and petitions of this Congress in opposition to the Stamp Act--Resolutions of Colonial Assemblies and associations of individuals--Disturbances at Boston --Act not suffered to be executed--New Ministry--American papers laid before Parliament--Resolutions of Conway declaratory of the right of Parliament to bind the Colonies in all cases--Debate upon them--Passed by a large majority--Examination of Dr. Franklin and others in the House of Commons-- Stamp Act repealed--Speeches of Lord Chatman and Lord Grenville on the question of the repeal.

THE peace of 1763, which secured to Great Britain all the country east of the Mississippi, and annihilated the French power in North America, constitutes a new and important era in the annals of the colonies.

The colonists were now freed from a deadly enemy along their extensive western frontier; an enemy from whom, in conjunction with their Indian allies, they had, for nearly a century, been subjected to pillage, devastation, and murder. This event produced great joy among the colonists; and was accompanied with feelings of gratitude towards the parent country, and loyalty towards the young prince, under whose reign it was accomplished. These feelings would have continued, but for new encroachments on their rights; and a course of policy soon after adopted by the British ministry towards the colonies; a policy which finally led to a separation of the two countries, and produced a revolution, which, whether viewed in its immediate or more remote consequences, has been unequalled in the history of modern times.

The precise limits of royal and parliamentary authority over the colonies had never yet been settled.

-155-

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