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38 : 9. When I first, etc. See Introduction, page 24.
38 : 14. A very high trust. Referring to the idea, often emphasized by Burke, that the powers of government are held by rulers in trust for the people.
38 : 17. More than common pains to instruct myself. Burke was probably better informed than any Englishman of his time in regard to America. He was the author in part of the Account of the European Settlements in America, written in 1757, and since 1759 had written much about America for the Annual Register.
38 : 24. Blown about by every wind of fashionable doctrine. Compare Ephesians iv. 14.
38 : 28. At that period. In 1766, when the Stamp Act was repealed. On Burke's position see Introduction, page 24.
39 : 1. Large majority. The vote on the repeal was 275 to 161. 39 : 10.
This interval. The period since 1766. 39 : 10. More frequent changes.
See Introduction, pages 15-17. The passage and repeal of the Townshend Revenue Act was the most important of these changes.
39 : 26. A worthy member. Rose Fuller. Burke's Speech on American Taxation was made on a motion brought forward by Fuller to repeal the tea duty.
39 : 27. Filled the Chair of the American Committee. Presided when the House of Commons sat as a Committee of the whole on American affairs.
40 : 3. Our former methods. The methods of the minority, to which Fuller and Burke belonged.
40 : 5. Public tribunal. Public opinion.
40 : 22. My honorable friend. Members of the Commons are referred to in debate as “the honorable member," "my honorable friend,” etc., and not by name.
41 : 4. Except from a seat of authority. Important bills are usually brought forward by members of the ministry, not by private members.
41 : 11. Paper government. Burke probably refers, not to any particular plan, but generally to schemes of government which are not or can not be carried into execution.
41 : 15. An incurable alienation of our colonies. The idea of separation was not general at this time, though the possibility of it had been clearly foreseen.
42 : 4. What you are, etc. Burke is here addressing the House, not the Speaker.
42 : 17. Discord fomented from principle. Lord North retained the tea duty as an assertion of the right of Parliament to tax the colonies ; the colonies resisted the tax on the ground that, as Englishmen, they could lawfully be taxed only by their own representatives. Each party, therefore, stood upon a principle.
42 : 25. Unsuspecting confidence. In an address to the inhabitants of the colonies represented in the First Continental Congress, agreed to by the Congress, October 21, 1774, it is said: “ After the repeal of the Stamp Act, having again resigned ourselves to our ancient unsuspicious affections for the parent state, and anxious to avoid any controversy with her, in hopes of a favorable alteration in sentiments and measures towards us, we did not press our objections against the above-mentioned statutes made subsequent to that repeal” (Journals of Congress, i. 47, 48).
43 : 14. Splendor of the project. February 27, 1775, Lord North had unexpectedly laid before the House, in Committee of the Whole, the following resolution : “ That it is the opinion of this Committee, that when the Governour, Council, and Assembly, or General Court, of any of his Majesty's Provinces or Colonies in America, shall propose to make provision, according to the condition, circumstances, and situation of such Province or Colony, for contributing their proportion to the common defence, (such proportion to be raised under the authority of the General Court, or General Assembly, of such Province or Colony, and disposable by Parliament,) and shall engage to make provision also for the support of the Civil Government, and the Administration of Justice, in
such Province or Colony, it will be proper, if such proposal shall be approved by his Majesty and the two Houses of Parliament, and for so long as such provision shall be made accordingly, to forbear, in respect of such Province or Colony, to levy any Duty, Tax, or Assessment, or to impose any farther Duty, Tax, or Assessment, except only such Duties as it may be expedient to continue to levy or to impose for the regulation of commerce ; the nett produce of the Duties last mentioned to be carried to the account of such Province or Colony respectively” (Force, American Archives, 4th series, i. 1598). The resolution, though unsatisfactory to the friends of the ministry, was agreed to by the House ; July 31, however, the proposition it contained was rejected by the Continental Congress. For the report on it see MacDonald, Select Charters, 385-389.
43 : 15. The noble lord in the blue ribbon. Lord North (1732-1792), prime minister from 1770 to 1782. The eldest son of a peer enjoys, during the lifetime of his father, the courtesy title of Lord, and may sit in the House of Commons. The blue ribbon was the badge of a Knight of the Garter, of which order Lord North was a inember.
43 : 17. Colony agents. Each colony maintained an agent in London to look after its interests. The best-known of the colonial agents was Franklin, who at the time represented Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Georgia. Burke was for a time agent for New York.
43 : 18. Mace. The symbol of authority borne by the sergeantat-arms.
Auction of finance. Referring to the silence of Lord North's resolution regarding the amount which each colony should pay.
44 : 2. Menacing front of our address. On the 7th of February the two houses of Parliament had voted an address to the king, calling attention to the rebellious conduct of Massachusetts, declaring that no part of the sovereign authority over the colonies ought to
43 : 20.
be relinquished, promising that “whenever any of the colonies shall make a proper application to us, we shall be ready to afford them every just and reasonable indulgence," and pledging support to the king, “ at the hazard of our lives and properties,” in measures to put down the rebellion. Eighteen members of the Lords protested, declaring the address a virtual declaration of war. See the Parliamentary History, xviii. 265-298.
46 : 10. Two millions of inhabitants. Bancroft (History of the United States, iv. 128) gives the following table of estimates, showing the rapid increase as well as the number of the population :
It is to be remembered that all the figures for the population of America prior to the first census of the United States, in 1790, rest upon estimates only.
46 : 12. 500,000 others. Negro slaves.
46 : 18. Strength with which population shoots. The rapidity with which pulation grows. Franklin and others had already called attention to the rapid increase of numbers in the English colonies. 47 : 1.
No partial ... system. Such as Parliament has hitherto followed.
47:4. One of those minima. An allusion to the legal maxim, De minimis non curat lex, the law takes no account of trifles. 47 : 20.
This ground has been trod. This part of the subject has been considered.
47 : 22. A distinguished person. Richard Glover (1712–1785), then widely popular as a poet. He had appeared before the House, March 16, on behalf of the West India planters, who petitioned Parliament for relief from the injury threatened by the non-importation agreement, known as the “ Association,” adopted by the American Congress the previous October. For the text of the Association see MacDonald, Select Charters, pp. 362–367.
47 : 22. At your bar. The entrance to the Commons chamber is closed by a rod, beyond which only members and officers of the House may go. Persons, not members, who are examined or heard by the House stand at the bar.
47 : 23. Thirty-five years. Burke is in error here. It was in 1742 — thirty-three years before that Glover appeared before the House on behalf of some three hundred London merchants, who had petitioned for better protection for their commerce against Spanish privateers.
48 : 22. Vouchers. Used here in the sense of authorities or
48 : 22. Accounts on your table. Accounts officially presented to the House. 48 : 24. Davenant. Charles Davenant (1656-1714).
He was made inspector general of exports and imports in 1705.
He wrote on economic subjects, his best-known work being his Discourse on Revenue and Trade.
48 : 28. Terminating . in the colonies. English manufactured goods were sent to Africa and exchanged for slaves, who were sold almost exclusively in America.
North American. Osten applied collectively to all the English colonies in America except those in the West Indies.
51 : 3. Mr. Speaker, etc. Notice the skillful transition from a statistical exhibit to the highly rhetorical passage which follows.
51 : 4. It is good for us to be here. Compare Matthew xvii. 1-4.
49 : 2.