little more than thirty or forty years (between 
1620 and 1660), so numerous and thriving
people, that the shopkeepers and other traders 
of England wished to secure to themselves 
the monopoly of their custom. Without 
pretending, therefore, that they had paid any 
part, either of the original purchase money, 
or of the subsequent expense of improvement, 
they petitioned the parliament, that the cultivators 
of America might for the future be 
confined to their shop; first, for buying all 
the goods which they wanted from Europe
and, secondly, for selling all such parts of 
their own produce as these traders might find 
it convenient to buy. For they did not find 
it convenient to buy every part of it. Some 
parts of it imported into England, might 
have interfered with some of the trades which 
they themselves carried on at home. Those 
particular parts of it, therefore, they were 
willing that the colonists should sell where 
they could; the farther off the better; and 
upon that account proposed that their market 
should be confined to the countries south of 
Cape Finisterre. A clause in the famous act 
of navigation established this truly shopkeeper 
proposal into a law. 
The maintenance of this monopoly has 
hitherto been the principal, or more properly
perhaps, the sole end and purpose of the dominion 
which Great Britain assumes over her 
colonies. In the exclusive trade, it is supposed, 
consists the great advantage of provinces, 
which have never yet afforded either 
revenue or military force for the support of 
the civil government, or the defence of the 
mother country. The monopoly is the principal 
badge of their dependency, and it is the 
sole fruit which has hitherto been gathered 
from that dependency. Whatever expense 
Great Britain has hitherto laid out in maintaining 
this dependency, has really been laid 
out in order to support this monopoly. The 
expense of the ordinary peace establishment 
of the colonies amounted, before the commencement 
of the present disturbances to the 
pay of twenty regiments of foot; to the expense 
of the artillery, stores, and extraordinary 
provisions, with which it was necessary 
to supply them; and to the expense of a very 
considerable naval force, which was constantly 
kept up, in order to guard from the smuggling 
vessels of other nations, the immense 
coast of North America, and that of our West 
Indian islands. The whole expense of this 
peace establishment was a charge upon the 
revenue of Great Britain, and was, at the 
same time, the smallest part of what the dominion 
of the colonies has cost the mother 
country. If we would know the amount of 
the whole, we must add to the annual expense 
of this peace establishment, the interest 
of the sums which, in consequence of their 
considering her colonies as provinces subject 
to her dominion, Great Britain has, upon 
different occasions, laid out upon their defence
We must add to it, in particular, the 
whole expense of the late war, and a great 
part of that of the war which preceded it. 
The late war was altogether a colony quarrel
and the whole expense of it, in whatever part 
of the world it might have been laid out, 
whether in Germany or the East Indies
ought justly to be stated to the account of 
the colonies. It amounted to more than 
ninety millions sterling, including not only 
the new debt which was contracted, but the 
two shillings in the pound additional land tax, 
and the sums which were every year borrowed 
from the sinking fund. The Spanish war 
which began in 1739 was principally a colony 
quarrel. Its principal object was to prevent 
the search of the colony ships, which carried 
on a contraband trade with the Spanish Main
This whole expense is, in reality, a bounty 
which has been given in order to support
monopoly. The pretended purpose of it was 
to encourage the manufactures, and to increase 
the commerce of Great Britain. But 
its real effect has been to raise the rate of 
mercantile profit, and to enable our merchants 
to turn into a branch of trade, of which the 
returns are more slow and distant than those 
of the greater part of other trades, a greater 
proportion of their capital than they otherwise 
would have done; two events which, if a 
bounty could have prevented, it might perhaps 
have been very well worth while to give 
such a bounty. 
Under the present system of management
therefore, Great Britain derives nothing but 
loss from the dominion which she assumes over 
her colonies
To propose that Great Britain should voluntarily 
give up all authority over her colonies
and leave them to elect their own magistrates, 
to enact their own laws, and to 
make peace and war, as they might think 
proper, would be to propose such a measure 
as never was, and never will be, adopted by 
any nation in the world. No nation ever 
voluntarily gave up the dominion of any province
how troublesome soever it might be to 
govern it, and how small soever the revenue 
which it afforded might be in proportion to 
the expense which it occasioned. Such sacrifices
though they might frequently be 
agreeable to the interest, are always mortifying 
to the pride of every nation; and, what 
is perhaps of still greater consequence, they 
are always contrary to the private interest of 
the governing part of it, who would thereby 
be deprived of the disposal of many places of 
trust and profit, of many opportunities of 
acquiring wealth and distinction, which the 
possession of the most turbulent, and, to the 
great body of the people, the most unprofitable 
province, seldom fails to afford. The 
most visionary enthusiasts would scarce be 
capable of proposing such a measure, with