Preliminaries of the Revolution, 1763-1775

By George Elliott Howard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V )
THE FIRST PROTEST OF VIRGINIA (1758-1763

THE strife between the assemblies and the governors, royal and proprietary, was one of the chief incidents of the colonial system which prepared the temper of the people for resistance.1 Encroachments of the prerogative were more and more resented. The growing sensitiveness in Massachusetts is disclosed in 1761 by the bitter contest over an alleged misappropriation of the colony's share of forfeitures under the molasses act. The superior court decided against the colony, thus increasing the "animosity which existed between the contending parties in the province." It is significant that Otis, counsel for the colony, animadverted on the court of admiralty, where the abuse arose, "as not congenial with the spirit of the English constitution."22

An event still more enlightening as to the state

____________________
1
Greene, Provincial America (American Nation, VI.), chaps. xii., xiii.; Greene, Provincial Governor, chaps. viii.-xi.
2
Hutchinson, Hist. of Mass. Bay, III., 89, 91; Minot, Hist. of Mass., II., 81, 87.

-84-

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