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POINTS OF SIMILARITY.

increasing, but the demand was always in advance of the supply. This is a never-failing incident of newlysettled countries. In the consequent scarcity of gold and silver, a substitute was sought in paper-money, which was introduced by the promissory notes issued by the colonial governments to eke out the means of a scanty treasury. But this was not sufficient, for by far the largest part of their sales were made on credit; and this credit was not given solely by the rich, as by the patricians to the plebeians in ancient Rome, but was, from necessity, given by all classes. The mechanic, and even day-laborer, had often to await the tardy payment of their earnings, no less than the shopkeeper and the farmer.

The pressing demands for labor quickened invention; and great ingenuity was shown in labor-saving machines and other mechanical contrivances, especially in the colonies in which there were few slaves.

Fortune, next to office, making the chief ground of distinction in society, it was here sought with a more intense and unremitted ardor. Hence resulted great enterprise in all money-making schemes, and not seldom a reckless, gambling spirit.

The country being in a state of progress, and all things undergoing mutation, men were here less attached to established usages, and more ready for innovation.

One consequence of the large proportion of the colonial population who were above the condition of indigence was, that the rudiments of instruction were very generally diffused, more particularly in New England; but even in the other colonies the proportion of those who could read and write was probably greater than in any other country.

ATTACHMENT TO THE PARENT STATE.

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There was in all the colonies a very great respect and veneration felt for the parent state, to which they still continued to apply the endearing term of "home." The history of England, her institutions, her poets, statesmen and philosophers, her sovereign and nobility, her vast metropolis, her unequalled commerce and manufactures, her enormous wealth, her victories by sea and land, were regarded by them with patriotic pride; and this sentiment was rather heightened than diminished by distance, from the fact that its objects were known to most of the colonists only through the medium of their imagination.

But a still stronger sentiment with them was the love of civil freedom. Of all the inheritances derived from England, its popular rights and liberties were most prized and cherished. They had brought this feeling with them, and there was much in their new condition to strengthen the sense of equality and the spirit of independence. The feeling then grew with their growth, and pervaded all the colonies from their first settlement to the period of which we speak as may be seen in the assertions of their rights by their Legislatures; in their altercations with the representatives of the royal authority; and in their self-denying restrictions to resist their supposed wrongs.

Their attachment to their fatherland' thus brought

1 Mr. Joseph Reed, subsequently President of the Council in Pennsylvania, thus writes to Lord Dartmouth, on the twenty-fifth of September, 1774:

“No king ever had more loyal subjects; or any country more affectionate colonists than the Americans were. I, who am but a young man, well remember when the former was always mentioned with a respect approaching to adoration, and to be an Englishman alone a sufficient recommendation for any office of friendship or civility. But I

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LOVE OF CIVIL FREEDOM.

into conflict with their stronger attachment to liberty, gradually grew weaker, until it was finally extinguished, and converted into resentment and hatred—the greater, perhaps, for the claims of consanguinity- and ended in open war.

The perils and difficulties they encountered in the struggle for their rights, as well as the wisdom, courage and constancy which they displayed in the contest, and which at length terminated in success, will be developed in the succeeding chapters.

confess, with the greatest concern, that those happy days seem passing swiftly away, and unless some plan of accommodation can be speedily formed, the affection of the colonists will be irrecoverably lost."-Reed's Life of Jos. Reed, Vol. I. p. 77.

CHAPTER II.

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.

1774-1776.

THE deputies to the Congress now assembled in Philadelphia had been carefully selected in the several colonies for their talents, their weight of character, and above all for their zeal in the cause of their injured country; and they undertook the high duties which devolved on them with a full sense of their own responsibility, not only to their immediate constituents, but to all British America. It seemed but too probable that their dearest rights were to be then permanently secured, or to be lost for ever.

There was some difference among the colonies as to their avowed purposes in appointing deputies.

In some, the object of the appointment was declared to be "to adopt such measures as were likely to produce a redress of grievances, and to restore peace and harmony between Great Britain and the colonies." Such were the appointments in Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

A redress of grievances was the only assigned object of the appointment in Rhode Island, Delaware, North Carolina and South Carolina.

In Connecticut it was "to consult on proper measures for advancing the best good of the colonies."

In Maryland it was "to effect one general plan of conduct, operating on the commercial connection of the

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PURPOSE OF THE MINISTRY.

[CHAP. II.

colonies with the mother country, for the relief of Boston, and the preservation of American liberty."

In New York and New Jersey the deputies were appointed "to attend the Congress," without specifying the object.

The dispute between the colonies and the mother country concerning their respective rights, which had continued for ten years, was now evidently brought to a crisis. The ministry of England seemed determined to raise a revenue in America, and, if necessary, to enforce their claim, by the strong arm of power.

That this was the settled purpose of the ministers appeared from many circumstances. When they had proposed to allow the East India Company a drawback of nine pence a pound on tea, so as to leave a tax on that commodity of only three pence a pound, under the expectation that the colonists would be willing to pay the tax, when they could thereby get their tea cheaper than before, that Company, with the wonted sagacity of selfinterest, foresaw that the colonies would not be deluded by this insidious policy, and would refuse to buy tea of the Company, or even to permit its importation; whereby the Company would lose one of its best markets. It therefore proposed to the minister to take a drawback of only six pence a pound, provided the duty of three pence in America was taken off. But this offer, which might have given comparative quiet to the colonies, and have put a considerable sum into the British treasury, was peremptorily rejected, for it would have left the question of taxation unsettled.

The Quebec bill also furnished evidence of the same purpose. By greatly extending the limits of that province, in which the Roman Catholic religion prevailed, and by making all the powers of government

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