Britain having assumed to herself the exclusive 
right of supplying them with all goods 
from Europe, might have forced them (in 
the same manner as other countries have done 
their colonies) to receive such goods loaded 
with all the same duties which they paid in 
the mother country. But, on the contrary, till 
1763, the same drawbacks were paid upon 
the exportation of the greater part of foreign 
goods to our colonies, as to any independent 
foreign country. In 1763, indeed, by the 
4th of Geo. III. c. 15, this indulgence was a 
good deal abated, and it was enacted, "That 
no part of the duty called the old subsidy 
should be drawn back for any goods of the 
growth, production, or manufacture of Europe 
or the East Indies, which should be 
exported from this kingdom to any British 
colony or plantation in America; wines
white calicoes, and muslins, excepted." Before 
this law, many different sorts of foreign 
goods might have been bought cheaper in the 
plantations than in the mother country, and 
some may still. 
Of the greater part of the regulations concerning 
the colony trade, the merchants who 
carry it on, it must be observed, have been 
the principal advisers. We must not wonder, 
therefore, if, in a great part of them, their interest 
has been more considered than either 
that of the colonies or that of the mother 
country. In their exclusive privilege of supplying 
the colonies with all the goods which 
they wanted from Europe, and of purchasing 
all such parts of their surplus produce as 
could not interfere with any of the trades 
which they themselves carried on at home, the 
interest of the colonies was sacrificed to the 
interest of those merchants. In allowing the 
same drawbacks upon the re-exportation of 
the greater part of European and East India 
goods to the colonies, as upon their re-exportation 
to any independent country, the interest 
of the mother country was sacrificed to it, 
even according to the mercantile ideas of that 
interest. It was for the interest of the merchants 
to pay as little as possible for the foreign 
goods which they sent to the colonies
and, consequently, to get back as much as possible 
of the duties which they advanced upon 
their importation into Great Britain. They 
might thereby be enabled to sell in the colonies
either the some quantity of goods with a 
greater profit, or a greater quantity with the 
same profit, and, consequently, to gain something 
either in the one way or the other. 
It was likewise for the interest of the colonies 
to get all such goods as cheap, and in as 
great abundance as possible. But this might 
not always be for the interest of the mother 
country. She might frequently suffer, both 
in her revenue, by giving back a great part 
of the duties which had been paid upon the 
importation of such goods; and in her manufactures, 
by being undersold in the colony 
market in consequence of the easy terms upon 
which foreign manufactures could be carried 
thither by means of those drawbacks
The progress of the linen manufacture of 
Great Britain, it is commonly said, has been 
a good deal retarded by the drawbacks upon 
the re-exportation of German linen to the 
American colonies
But though the policy of Great Britain
with regard to the trade of her colonies, has 
been dictated by the same mercantile spirit as 
that of other nations, it has, however, upon 
the whole, been less illiberal and oppressive 
than that of any of them. 
In every thing except their foreign trade
the liberty of the English colonists to manage 
their own affairs their own way, is complete
It is in every respect equal to that of their 
fellow-citizens at home, and is secured in the 
same manner, by an assembly of the representatives 
of the people, who claim the sole 
right of imposing taxes for the support of the 
colony government. The authority of this 
assembly overawes the executive power; and 
neither the meanest nor the most obnoxious 
colonist, as long as he obeys the law, has any 
thing to fear from the resentment, either of 
the governor, or of any other civil or military 
officer in the province. The colony assemblies
though, like the house of commons 
in England, they are not always a very equal 
representation of the people, yet they approach 
more nearly to that character; and as the executive 
power either has not the means to corrupt 
them, or, on account of the support which 
it receives from the mother country, is not 
under the necessity of doing so, they are, perhaps, 
in general more influenced by the inclinations 
of their constituents. The councils
which, in the colony legislatures, correspond 
to the house of lords in Great Britain, are 
not composed of a hereditary nobility. In 
some of the colonies, as in three of the governments 
of New England, those councils 
are not appointed by the king, but chosen by 
the representatives of the people. In none of 
the English colonies is there any hereditary 
nobility. In all of them, indeed, as in all 
other free countries, the descendant of an old 
colony family is more respected than an upstart 
of equal merit and fortune; but he is 
only more respected, and he has no privileges 
by which he can be troublesome to his neighbours. 
Before the commencement of the present 
disturbances, the colony assemblies had 
not only the legislative, but a part of the executive 
power. In Connecticut and Rhode 
Island, they elected the governor. In the 
other colonies, they appointed the revenue officers
who collected the taxes imposed by those 
respective assemblies, to whom those officers 
were immediately responsible. There is more 
equality, therefore, among the English colonists 
than among the inhabitants of the mother 
country. Their manners are more republican