magnifying events, in which they flattered 
themselves they had been considerable actors. 
How obstinately the city of Paris, upon that 
occasion, defended itself, what a dreadful famine 
it supported, rather than submit to the 
best, and afterwards the most beloved of all 
the French kings, is well known. The greater 
part of the citizens, or those who governed the 
greater part of them, fought in defence of 
their own importance, which, they foresaw
was to be at an end whenever the ancient government 
should be re-established. Our colonies
unless they can be induced to consent 
to a union, are very likely to defend themselves, 
against the best of all mother countries
as obstinately as the city of Paris did against 
one of the best of kings
The idea of representation was unknown in 
ancient times. When the people of one state 
were admitted to the right of citizenship in 
another, they had no other means of exercising 
that right, but by coming in a body to 
vote and deliberate with the people of that 
other state. The admission of the greater part 
of the inhabitants of Italy to the privileges of 
Roman citizens, completely ruined the Roman 
republic. It was no longer possible to 
distinguish between who was, and who was 
not, a Roman citizen. No tribe could know 
its own members. A rabble of any kind could 
be introduced into the assemblies of the people
could drive out the real citizens, and decide 
upon the affairs of the republic, as if they 
themselves had been such. But though America 
were to send fifty or sixty new representatives 
to parliament, the door-keeper of the 
house of commons could not find any great 
difficulty in distinguishing between who was 
and who was not a member. Though the Roman 
constitution, therefore, was necessarily 
ruined by the union of Rome with the allied 
states of Italy, there is not the least probability 
that the British constitution would be hurt 
by the union of Great Britain with her colonies. 
That constitution, on the contrary, 
would be completed by it, and seems to be 
imperfect without it. The assembly which deliberates 
and decides concerning the affairs of 
every part of the empire, in order to be properly 
informed, ought certainly to have representatives 
from every part of it. That this 
union, however, could be easily effectuated
or that difficulties, and great difficulties, might 
not occur in the execution, I do not pretend. 
I have yet heard of none, however, which appear 
insurmountable. The principal, perhaps, 
arise, not from the nature of things, but 
from the prejudices and opinions of the people
both on this and on the other side of the 
We on this side of the water are afraid lest 
the multitude of American representatives 
should overturn the balance of the constitution
and increase too much either the influence 
of the crown on the one hand, or the 
force of the democracy on the other. But if 
the number of American representatives were 
to be in proportion to the produce of American 
taxation, the number of people to be managed 
would increase exactly in proportion to 
the means of managing them, and the means 
of managing to the number of people to be 
managed. The monarchical and democratical 
parts of the constitution would, after the union
stand exactly in the same degree of relative 
force with regard to one another as they had 
done before. 
The people on the other side of the water 
are afraid lest their distance from the seat of 
government might expose them to many oppressions
but their representatives in parliament
of which the number ought from the 
first to be considerable, would easily be able 
to protect them from all oppression. The distance 
could not much weaken the dependency 
of the representative upon the constituent, and 
the former would still feel that he owed his 
seat in parliament, and all the consequence 
which he derived from it, to the good-will of 
the latter. It would be the interest of the former, 
therefore, to cultivate that good-will, by 
complaining, with all the authority of a member 
of the legislature, of every outrage which 
any civil or military officer might be guilty of 
in those remote parts of the empire. The distance 
of America from the seat of government
besides, the natives of that country might flatter 
themselves, with some appearance of reason 
too, would not be of very long continuance. 
Such has hitherto been the rapid progress 
of that country in wealth, population
and improvement, that in the course of little 
more than a century, perhaps, the produce of 
the American might exceed that of the British 
taxation. The seat of the empire would 
then naturally remove itself to that part of the 
empire which contributed most to the general 
defence and support of the whole. 
The discovery of America, and that of a 
passage to the East Indies by the Cape of 
Good Hope, are the two greatest and most 
important events recorded in the history of 
mankind. Their consequences have already 
been great; but, in the short period of between 
two and three centuries which has 
elapsed since these discoveries were made, it 
is impossible that the whole extent of their 
consequences can have been seen. What benefits 
or what misfortunes to mankind may 
hereafter result from those great events, no human 
wisdom can foresee. By uniting in some 
measure the most distant parts of the world, 
by enabling them to relieve one another's 
wants, to increase one another's enjoyments
and to encourage one another's industry, their 
general tendency would seem to be beneficial. 
To the natives, however, both of the East and 
West Indies, all the commercial benefits which 
can have resulted from those events have been 
sunk and lost in the dreadful misfortunes