A History of the United States - Vol. 2

A History of the United States - Vol. 2

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A History of the United States - Vol. 2

A History of the United States - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The restoration of the second Charles to the English throne on the 29th of May, 1660, marks a turnning-point in the history of the American colonies, as well as in that of England itself. King and courtiers returned from exile poorer in purse even than they were in morals; their financial needs determined the course of events in the next few years. They possessed large landed estates, but these had been confiscated by the Puritans in the day of their triumph, and were now restored without compensation for waste and demolitions, and without repayment of arrears of rent. The returned owners could not exact increased rentals from their tenants, because that would turn the tenantry against them, and possibly bring on another civil war. Charles and his followers were burdened with debts, and were under heavy obligations; they had had to live even in exile, and he had been obliged to make promises that must be fulfilled. Ordinary means of taxation would provide for the needs of government and leave something over, but the requirements of the king and his court were far in excess of anything that could be raised by ordinary taxation. New means of supply must be sought in every direction.

The king and his advisers at once seized. upon colonial . . .

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