upon a footing of equality with her own colonies
which the law has hitherto supposed to 
be subject and subordinate, it seems necessary, 
upon the scheme of taxing them by parliamentary 
requisition, that parliament should 
have some means of rendering its requisitions 
immediately effectual, in case the colony assemblies 
should attempt to evade or reject 
them; and what those means are, it is not 
very easy to conceive, and it has not yet been 
Should the parliament of Great Britain, at 
the same time, be ever fully established in the 
right of taxing the colonies, even independent 
of the consent of their own assemblies, the 
importance of those assemblies would, from 
that moment, be at an end, and with it, that 
of all the leading men of British America
Men desire to have some share in the management 
of public affairs, chiefly on account of 
the importance which it gives them. Upon 
the power which the greater part of the leading 
men, the natural aristocracy of every country, 
have of preserving or defending their respective 
importance, depends the stability and 
duration of every system of free government
In the attacks which those leading men are continually 
making upon the importance of one another, 
and in the defence of their own, consists 
the whole play of domestic faction and ambition
The leading men of America, like those 
of all other countries, desire to preserve their 
own importance. They feel, or imagine, that if 
their assemblies, which they are fond of calling 
parliaments, and of considering as equal 
in authority to the parliament of Great Britain
should be so far degraded as to become 
the humble ministers and executive officers 
of that parliament, the greater part of their 
own importance would be at an end. They 
have rejected, therefore, the proposal of being 
taxed by parliamentary requisition, and, 
like other ambitious and high-spirited men
have rather chosen to draw the sword in defence 
of their own importance
Towards the declension of the Roman republic, 
the allies of Rome, who had borne 
the principal burden of defending the state 
and extending the empire, demanded to be 
admitted to all the privileges of Roman citizens
Upon being refused, the social war 
broke out. During the course of that war
Rome granted those privileges to the greater 
part of them, one by one, and in proportion as 
they detached themselves from the general 
confederacy. The parliament of Great Britain 
insists upon taxing the colonies; and they 
refuse to be taxed by a parliament in which 
they are not represented. If to each colony 
which should detach itself from the general 
confederacy, Great Britain should allow such 
a number of representatives as suited the proportion 
of what it contributed to the public 
revenue of the empire, in consequence of its 
being subjected to the same taxes, and in compensation 
admitted to the same freedom of 
trade with its fellow-subjects at home; the 
number of its representatives to be augmented 
as the proportion of its contribution might afterwards 
augment; a new method of acquiring 
importance, a new and more dazzling object 
of ambition, would be presented to the 
leading men of each colony. Instead of piddling 
for the little prizes which are to be found 
in what may be called the paltry raffle of colony 
faction, they might then hope, from the 
presumption which men naturally have in their 
own ability and good fortune, to draw some 
of the great prizes which sometimes come from 
the wheel of the great state lottery of British 
politics. Unless this or some other method is 
fallen upon, and there seems to be none more 
obvious than this, of preserving the importance 
and of gratifying the ambition of the leading 
men of America, it is not very probable that they 
will ever voluntarily submit to us; and we 
ought to consider, that the blood which must 
be shed in forcing them to do so, is, every 
drop of it, the blood either of those who are, 
or of those whom we wish to have for our fellow-citizens
They are very weak who flatter 
themselves that, in the state to which things 
have come, our colonies will be easily conquered 
by force alone. The persons who now 
govern the resolutions of what they call their 
continental congress, feel in themselves at this 
moment a degree of importance which, perhaps, 
the greatest subjects in Europe scarce 
feel. From shopkeepers, tradesmen, and attorneys
they are become statesmen and legislators, 
and are employed in contriving a new 
form of government for an extensive empire
which, they flatter themselves, will become, 
and which, indeed, seems very likely to become, 
one of the greatest and most formidable 
that ever was in the world. Five hundred 
different people, perhaps, who, in different 
ways, act immediately under the continental 
congress, and five hundred thousand, perhaps, 
who act under those five hundred, all feel, in 
the same manner, a proportionable rise in 
their own importance. Almost every individual 
of the governing party in America fills
at present, in his own fancy, a station superior, 
not only to what he had ever filled before, 
but to what he had ever expected to fill
and unless some new object of ambition is 
presented either to him or to his leaders, if he 
has the ordinary spirit of a man, he will die 
in defence of that station. 
It is a remark of the President Heynaut, 
that we now read with pleasure the account 
of many little transactions of the Ligue, which, 
when they happened, were not, perhaps, considered 
as very important pieces of news. But 
every man then, says he, fancied himself of 
some importance; and the innumerable memoirs 
which have come down to us from those 
times, were the greater part of them written 
by people who took pleasure in recording and