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like many a one framed in a similar manner-was rendered all the more unsuitable, by the endeavors of its authors to foresee and provide for all imaginable cases, and thus make it unalterable for all future times. The English system of hereditary aristocracy, although already sufficiently complicated, was transferred to the primeval forests of America, along with many artificial additions. The eldest of the eight proprietaries was to be a kind of sovereign, armed with numerous powers and rights, and the remaining seven were made high court dignitaries, chancellors, chamberlains, &c. They constituted, moreover, a sort of upper house, to which was joined a lower order of nobility, and other gradations, after the manner of the feudal system. Only the greater proprietaries received certain elective rights; while no real control whatever was granted to the people over legislation, government, and judicature. On the contrary, the Church of England was made the religion of the state, to the exclusion of every other; negro slavery was recognized in the constitution as lawful; and thus the laws proceeded from the most important matters, down to regulations respecting ceremonies, pedigrees, fashions, and sports.
The opposition to this ill-advised constitution rose to such a pitch, that it was abolished, and forced to give place in 1693 to democratic institutions. In the years 1719-1721, the province was divided into two states, North and South Carolina.
New York, which had been colonized by the Dutch, and where some Swedes had also settled, was surrendered to England in 1667; and in 1683 it gave itself a constitution with a universal right of voting in the election of representatives to the assembly, with which were associated a governor and council. The assembly alone had the right to assess taxes. Trial by jury was established, religious tolerance declared, and the introduction of martial law and the quartering of soldiers prohibited. When James II. refused to ratify this constitution, disturbances arose, which were not composed and put an end to before the beginning of the 18th century.
As to the history of New Jersey we remark only that it, like New York, passed from Dutch into English hands, and Quakers likewise settled there. It was among the peculiar regulations of the province, that each of the representatives chosen by the almost universal right of voting should receive directions for his proceedings and a shilling a day, to make him bear in mind that he was a servant of the people. Slavery and imprisonment for debt were prohibited.
Penn, the friend of the Stuarts, received in 1681 a grant of land from Charles II. ; and this title, which appeared to him unsatisfactory, he strengthened by free contracts with the Indians. In
the year 1683, Philadelphia, the capital of Pennsylvania, was founded.
Between Locke, the lawgiver of Carolina, and Penn, essential differences and contrasts are to be observed. The philosopher confided only in the experience of his senses, the Quaker in his inner light; the former in the knowledge and consciousness of his own actions, the latter in divine oracles : rnoreover the former spoke of popular rights, and founded an hereditary aristocracy; the latter of divine right and patient obedience, and established a democracy; the former regarded property, and the latter the moral nature of man, as the foundation of political rights. Negro-slavery was adopted in Pennsylvania, and only rejected by German settlers. Dissensions arose between the democratic party and the feudal lords, and the form and contents of the constitution were altered several times.
The first Dutch colony in Delaware was destroyed by the Indians the second, founded mostly by Swedes, fell into the power of the Dutch, and in 1664 into that of the English. In 1682 the province was granted to Penn, and in 1702 it was raised to the rank of an independent colony. In 1704 and 1714, attempts to reduce to practice the intolerant principles of the English Protestants failed, through the opposition of the inhabitants.
It was not till 1733 that Georgia was founded, as a protection against Florida and the French enterprises on the Mississippi. The first charter improperly granted the lands, after the fashion of the feudal law, only to heirs male; after its surrender in 1752, the province was reduced to a stricter dependence on the crown.
These few brief and dry details are by no means designed as a connected view of the internal and external history of the North American settlements; still they were necessary to a better understanding of subsequent events, and to furnish opportunity for a few general remarks.
No single colony, with the exception of Georgia, was directly founded under the guidance or by the support of the English government. On the contrary, they sprang up for the most part through the intolerance and injustice of the mother-country. Royalty, in spite of its sufferings and embarrassments, could not emigrate; and an hereditary nobility and priesthood are as little capable of being transplanted as close boroughs with corporations and exclusive privileges.
The English revolution of 1688 was differently viewed in the different colonies; and it was far from giving universal satisfaction, inasmuch as king, parliament, and church were not wanting in attempts to increase their own power, and to infringe upon American rights and American customs. Believing in the omnipotence of Parliament, they would willingly have revoked all
the American charters, and have framed them anew, under pretence of altered relations, for the sole benefit of the mother-country. The loud opposition raised to their plans kept them in abeyance till the middle of the eighteenth century. And thus the intention of levying taxes by England on America was also given up; Walpole declaring, that he would leave it to those of his successors who had more courage and were less friends to commerce than himself; and that the free trade of the Americans brought more into the treasury than compulsory taxes could.
The charters of the newly formed States were different among themselves, and it was impossible that they could then decide on all future unknown circumstances. Even where the king possessed the greatest power, it did not exceed that which he exercised in England, and the provincial assemblies of America were assimi. lated to the English parliament. In spite of internal dissensions, and numerous feuds with the Indians, the colonies sprang up far more vigorously than those of Spain and Portugal, which were restricted by the mother-countries in every respect; and by the preponderance of a free yeomanry-actually represented in the assemblies—a democratic power was formed, which England could not successfully control. Thus the entire subjection of the Americans consisted in not making any laws contrary to those of the mother-country, in submitting those which they did frame to the king's approval, in acknowledging the authority of his governors—within certain bounds, and in not opposing the general restrictions which Parliament placed upon their commerce.
* Grahame, iii. 307,
THE WAR TO 1763.
Many constantly recurring feuds with the Indians exercised the vigilance and bravery of the North Americans. But of far greater importance were their wars against the French. With singular address and perseverance, these latter had established a chain of settlements and towns, extending from Canada along the Ohio and Mississippi down to New Orleans; which girded in the English colonies, and not only prevented them from extending into the interior of the country, but even threatened to confine them to a small sea-coast on the Atlantic. On account of the war of succession in Austria, the English did but little to oppose this danger; for in those times, the slightest change in European relations and possessions was erroneously looked upon as of the highest importance; while every thing relating to America was but slightly regarded, and soon lost sight of. Nay, when the Americans did not spare the greatest exertions, and a union of all the colonies was talked of (in 1791), mutual suspicions arose, on the one hand that England was aiming at a greater centralization and thereby an increase of the royal power, and on the other hand that America was seeking to render itself stronger and more independent.
The neighborhood of the French, it was argued by many in England, is the best security for the continued annexation of America to the mother-country. If this danger should be ended, the notion of independence would spring up again and meet with support from France.
After eight years of war, England gained nothing by the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, in 1748; and France merely received back again what she had lost in America, viz. Cape Breton.
On both sides the ensuing years of peace, from 1743 to 1756, were actively employed. While the Americans penetrated step by step into the interior, the French labored at closing up and fortifying the immense chain of posts before mentioned. The former thought only of diligent cultivation of the earth; the latter were bent on robbery, plunder, bold enterprises, glory, and conquest. France entertained no jealousy against her American colonies, and assisted them more than England did hers. Although, notwithstanding this, Canada and its appurtenances had less power, it was still united, and was governed from a single point; while the idea of a union of the North American colonies, suggested again by the increasing danger of a new rupture, and developed by Franklin, was still regarded in England as too republican, and in America as too monarchical.
The assembled governors of the colonies, and the most respectable members of the provincial assemblies, made the proposition, that a council for all the states should be chosen by the latter, with a royal governor at its head; and that both together should be empowered to make general laws, and to raise money for the general defonce. The English ministry proposed, on the contrary, that the governors of the provinces should from time to time convene with two of their councillors (mostly appointed by the crown), arrange general measures, erect fortifications, levy troops, and draw sums from the British treasury; which should afterwards be raised from the colonies, in the shape of taxes, by virtue of an act of Parliament.
The first and more comprehensive plan gave rise to misgivings in England, and the last met with still less approval in America; for it placed the decisive power in a few hands independent of the people, afforded some assistance only from time to time, and settled the most highly important question relative to the right of taxation to the disadvantage of America.* The most zealous declared, even at that early period, that America was no more dependent on England than Hanover was.
When questions of trade in Europe, and border strifes in America, gave rise, after single deeds of violence, to an open war between England and France, in May, 1756, these opposing views operated in an injurious manner, and awkwardness and negligence gave to the first military expedition a very unfortunate termination. It was not until Pitt came to the head of the government, in 1758, that activity and interest were exhibited on behalf of American affairs. This led, on the 13th of September, 1759, to a decisive and incalculably important battle on the Heights of Abraham, before Quebec. Montcalm, the French, and Wolfe, the British general, both fell fighting bravely. At the Peace of Paris, on the 10th of February, 1763, the French lost all their American possessions; and all the country eastward of the Mississippi, including the Floridas ceded by Spain, fell to England.
Interesting as is the Seven Years' War of Europe through the personal greatness of King Frederick II., and the bravery of the Prussians, pressed upon by enemies of superior force,-singular * Jefferson's Writings, i. 6.
† Spain, according to a secret article, was to be indemnified by France with the rest of Louisiana. Bunner's History of Louisiana, p. 122.