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cäüse depended upon the cléarness and force of argument, or had each party
, 'pu' themselves in the other's place for a little time, the controversy might foon have ended. But when persons in power form arguments coficerning the rights of other men, they are often réảdý to be so blinded with the intoxicating idea of dòminion', thit they cannot perceive the truth clearls į and thófe who defend their own rights when they have a jealousy of govertimelit, are ready to mingle envy with found “cáfoning: It is not to be supposed that men under the influence of the spirit of clearly fee and admit all the force of their opponents arguments; after times will determine with more iinpartiality and Justmess which of the arguments used in this dispute are the most folid and convincing, The inipartial historian cannot help in his own judgment to take a fide ; but with regard to his determinations for others, bught not to be too positive. I fhåll as briefly as possible give an'abstract of the arguments on both fides of the question, and leave the reader to determine for himself on wliich side the truth rests. But it must be observed that while the colonies carry their ideas of liberty to the highest pitch, their opponènts seem to imagine that a perfơn by becoming a colonist, forfeits every birthright and privilege of an Englishman.
When the point concerning tlie riglit of taxation came to be debated in parliament, it was said upon the side of the colonies; “ That by going up to MAG, NA CHARTA, and referring to severał writs upon record, issued out for the purpose of raising taxes for the crown, and for fending representatives to parliament, as well as from the Bill of rights, it appears thoughout the whole history of our constitution, that no British fubje&t" can be tased'except pcr communen
is the very firit
consensum parliamenti, that is, of himself or his own representative ; and this is that fult and general right as British subjects, with which the first inhabitants of the colonies emigrated, for the right does not depend upon their charters: the charters were but the exterior modeling of the coptition of the colonies but the great interior fundamental of their constitution, is this general right of a British subject, which
first principle of British liberty,No man shall be taxed but by himself, or by his representative.
That the counties palatine of Chester, Durban, and Lancaster, were not taxed but in their own affemblies or parliament; till at different periods in our history they were melted into our present form par liamentary, representation. That the body, of the clergy till very lately taxed themselves, and granred the king benevolencés. That the marches of Wales had a right of taxing themselves, till they had sent. members to parliament. And from this ciriumstance has continued the stise of the king's proclamations and of our acts of parliament to this day, although unnecessarily to be named, especially the principality of Wales, and the town of Monmouth, as they do that of Berwick:
That many people carry their idea of a párliament too far, in suppoling that a parliament can do every thing but that is not true, and if it were, it is not right constitutionally, for there might be an arbitrary power in parliament as well as in one man. There are many things a parliament cannot do. It cannot make itfelf executive, nor dispose of offices that be . long to the crown. It cannot take any, man's proper ty even that of the meanest cottager, as in the cases of inclosures, without his being heard.
only. They take them up from the same origin and
“ The lords cannot reject å money bill from the commons, nor the commons erect themselves into a court of justice. The parliament could not tax the clergy, till such time as they were represented in para liament. Nor can the parliament of England tax fre: land. The charters of the colonies, 'which are deris ved from the prerogative, are in fact only so many grants from the crown, are not the only rights the colonies have to being represented before they are taxed: they as British 'subjects take up their rights and liberties from a higher origin than their charters foundation, from whence they flew to all English.
from magna charta, and the natural right of the subject. By that rule of right, the charters of the colonies, like all other crown grants, are to be restricted and interpreted, for the benefit, not the prejudice of the subjects. Had the first inhabitants of the colonies renounced all connection with their mother country, they might have 'renounced their ori. ginal right; but when they emigrated under the authority of the crown, and the national fanction, they went out from hence at the hazard of their lives and fortunes, with all the first great privilieges of Englishmen on their backs. But at the same they were not bound, nor could be bound by the penal 'laws of this country,
from the severity of which they fled, to cli mates remote from the heavy hand of power; and which they hoped to find more friendly to their principles of civil and religious liberty. It is upon this ground that it has been universally received as law, that no acts of parliament made here, and particularly those which enact any penalties, are binding upon the colonists, unless they are expresly named. The inhabitants of the colonies once removed from the
domestic legislation of the mother country, are no more dependent upon it in the general fyítem, than the Isle of Man is, or than in the feudal system of Europe, many subordinate principalities are dependent' on the jurisdiction of the Seignior Suzerain, or Lord Paramount, but owing only a limited obedience.
“ It is not meant by what has been said, to affect the case of any external duties laid upon their ports, or of any restrictions which by the act of navigation, or 0ther acts, are laid upon their comiñerce : 'for they are in the fame case as all other colonies belonging to the rest of the maritime powers in Europe, who have fhut up their colonies, which out-grew their mother countries, such as Carthage, the northern emigrants, &c. Precedents were also quoted from what happened in the Netherlands, and other places, which should serve as a beacon to warn us from pursuing such mea. fures as brought about those revolutions."
The arguments that were used without doors on both sides were much of the same nature with the following: " What a noise” says an advocate on the one fide “have we had of late about American charters, American legislation, American freeholders, and the privileges of those freeholders ? But is there any legislation in America ? Are there any freeholders there? No man who knows any thing of the law of England will assert that there is any legislation in America, or one freeholder in that part of the world. The King has no power of legislation, and he cannot by his charters convey to any class of his subjects a power not resident in the crown. The parliament, including his Majesty, as the head thereof, has a power of legislation, but they posless that power upalienably;":
“ The power of legislation is not a chattel to be die posed of by grant or other conveyance. It is a truit grayted. by tlae common, law.for the good of the comiņunity, and for their good. muft remain with the august, body, in which it resides. The power of making laye-laws, for che utility of subordinate bodies palitic; is a quite different affair. That power is often created, by the parliament, which has Jeffentially....in itself, all the powers of government. But charters from the crown. not confirmed in, parliament, can convey no jue risdiction, whatever, because the king is, vot the fourtain of law, as he is of honouc...
Allious courts from those in Westminster-hall to those in manors, are founded on the custom.of. Enge land time gut.of mind, or, upon the law.of the land's that is fiatutes, made in parliament. The parliament gnly, can create new cauris, avd.new jurisdictions. But as the King must govern by the law., be cannot wake that law.upon which his authority, ręsts, nor by his charters.conyey.to, others a power which he enjoys motori
***** - Every foot of ground in England lies in some manor, which is itself the creature of.custom time out of mind. These inanors ancieøtly.poffesfed, all jucil. diction civil and criminal; and this jurisdiction was exerted in the fourt of freeholder's, in which the lord, or his steward, was the judge, the freeholders serving as jurors by çirtue of their freeholds. Thus
you see that our freeholders are, by virtue of their frechold, possessed of a radical judicative authority, in inanors, which they are entitled ta by the common law, and poffcss their estatęs by the fame tepure, 1 by which his Majesty holdabja crown. They are indebted to no prince for this* estate and judicative ausharity thereto appendant. Their citle to their lands is