a province, like the vestry of a parish, may 
judge very properly concerning the affairs of 
its own particular district, but can have no 
proper means of judging concerning those of 
the whole empire. It cannot even judge properly 
concerning the proportion which its own 
province bears to the whole empire, or concerning 
the relative degree of its wealth and 
importance, compared with the other provinces
because those other provinces are not 
under the inspection and superintendency of 
the assembly of a particular province. What 
is necessary for the defence and support of the 
whole empire, and in what proportion each 
part ought to contribute, can be judged of 
only by that assembly which inspects and superintends 
the affairs of the whole empire
It has been proposed, accordingly, that the 
colonies should be taxed by requisition, the 
parliament of Great Britain determining the 
sum which each colony ought to pay, and the 
provincial assembly assessing and levying it 
in the way that suited best the circumstances 
of the province. What concerned the whole 
empire would in this way be determined by 
the assembly which inspects and superintends 
the affairs of the whole empire; and the provincial 
affairs of each colony might still be regulated 
by its own assembly. Though the 
colonies should, in this case, have no representatives 
in the British parliament, yet, if we 
may judge by experience, there is no probability 
that the parliamentary requisition would 
be unreasonable. The parliament of England 
has not, upon any occasion, shewn the smallest 
disposition to overburden those parts of 
the empire which are not represented in parliament
The islands of Guernsey and Jersey
without any means of resisting the authority 
of parliament, are more lightly taxed than 
any part of Great Britain. Parliament, in attempting 
to exercise its supposed right, whether 
well or ill grounded, of taxing the colonies
has never hitherto demanded of them 
any thing which even approached to a just 
proportion to what was paid by their fellow-subjects 
at home. If the contribution of the 
colonies, besides, was to rise or fall in proportion 
to the rise or fall of the land-tax, parliament 
could not tax them without taxing
at the same time, its own constituents, and 
the colonies might, in this case, be considered 
as virtually represented in parliament
Examples are not wanting of empires in 
which all the different provinces are not taxed
if I may be allowed the expression, in one 
mass; but in which the sovereign regulates 
the sum which each province ought to pay
and in some provinces assesses and levies it 
as he thinks proper; while in others he leaves 
it to be assessed and levied as the respective 
states of each province shall determine. In 
some provinces of France, the king not only 
imposes what taxes he thinks proper, but assesses 
and levies them in the way he thinks 
proper. From others he demands a certain 
sum, but leaves it to the states of each province 
to assess and levy that sum as they think 
proper. According to the scheme of taxing 
by requisition, the parliament of Great Britain 
would stand nearly in the same situation 
towards the colony assemblies, as the king of 
France does towards the states of those provinces 
which still enjoy the privilege of having 
states of their own, the provinces of 
France which are supposed to be the best governed
But though, according to this scheme, the 
colonies could have no just reason to fear that 
their share of the public burdens should ever 
exceed the proper proportion to that of their 
fellow-citizens at home, Great Britain might 
have just reason to fear that it never would 
amount to that proper proportion. The parliament 
of Great Britain has not, for some 
time past, had the same established authority 
in the colonies, which the French king has in 
those provinces of France which still enjoy 
the privilege of having states of their own. 
The colony assemblies, if they were not very 
favourably disposed (and unless more skilfully 
managed than they ever have been hitherto
they are not very likely to be so), might still 
find many pretences for evading or rejecting 
the most reasonable requisitions of parliament
A French war breaks out, we shall 
suppose; ten millions must immediately be 
raised, in order to defend the seat of the empire
This sum must be borrowed upon the 
credit of some parliamentary fund mortgaged 
for paying the interest. Part of this fund 
parliament proposes to raise by a tax to be 
levied in Great Britain, and part of it by a 
requisition to all the different colony assemblies 
of America and the West Indies. Would 
people readily advance their money upon the 
credit of a fund which partly depended upon 
the good humour of all these assemblies, far 
distant from the seat of the war, and sometimes, 
perhaps, thinking themselves not much concerned 
in the event of it? Upon such a fund
no more money would probably be advanced 
than what the tax to be levied in Great Britain 
might be supposed to answer for. The 
whole burden of the debt contracted on account 
of the war would in this manner fall
as it always has done hitherto, upon Great 
Britain; upon a part of the empire, and not 
upon the whole empire. Great Britain is, 
perhaps, since the world began, the only state 
which, as it has extended its empire, has only 
increased its expense, without once augmenting 
its resources. Other states have generally 
disburdened themselves, upon their subject 
and subordinate provinces, of the most 
considerable part of the expense of defending 
the empire. Great Britain has hitherto suffered 
her subject and subordinate provinces to 
disburden themselves upon her of almost this 
whole expense. In order to put Great Britain