Back to Boston 1773: The British Townshend Scheme (continued)

Part 5: of an 18-part series

“The new duties were imposed not on commercial grounds, but for political reasons; not to regulate trade, but for revenue and to assert British sovereignty.”

  • Its aggression on the ancient self-government was pointed out:

– Each colony, as an integral part of the nation, had a general assembly, which, though subordinate, was a free, deliberative body.
– These assemblies, with the council, had the right to make the laws bearing exclusively on America and that the king was the common executive, whose rightful prerogative was in force in each colony as it was in England.

“This law-making power regulated ‘the internal police’; which meant, that it provided for the elective franchise, representation, trial by jury, the habeas corpus, the concerns of order, education, and religion.

  • This power was the custodian of the municipalities; and they, in the fine words of Mirabeau, ‘are the basis of the social state, the safety of every day, the security of every fireside, the only possible way of interesting the entire people in the government, and of securing all rights’. (Richard Frothingham, 1890)

Died before they went into effect; and their execution devolved on Lord North, appointed . . . .

To be continued…