opposition. The more taxes may have been 
multiplied, the higher they may have been 
raised upon every different subject of taxation
the more loudly the people complain 
of every new tax, the more difficult it becomes, 
too, either to find out new subjects of 
taxation, or to raise much higher the taxes already 
imposed upon the old. A momentary 
suspension of the payment of debt is not immediately 
felt by the people, and occasions 
neither murmur nor complaint. To borrow 
of the sinking fund is always an obvious and 
easy expedient for getting out of the present 
difficulty. The more the public debts may 
have been accumulated, the more necessary it 
may have become to study to reduce them; 
the more dangerous, the more ruinous it may 
be to missapply any part of the sinking fund
the less likely is the public debt to be reduced 
to any considerable degree, the more likely, 
the more certainly, is the sinking fund to be 
misapplied towards defraying all the extraordinary 
expenses which occur in time of peace
When a nation is already overburdened with 
taxes, nothing but the necessities of a new 
war, nothing but either the animosity of national 
vengeance, or the anxiety for national 
security, can induce the people to submit
with tolerable patience, to a new tax. Hence 
the usual misapplication of the sinking fund
In Great Britain, from the time that we 
had first recourse to the ruinous expedient of 
perpetual funding, the reduction of the public 
debt, in time of peace, has never borne 
any proportion to its accumulation in time of 
war. It was in the war which began in 1668, 
and was concluded by the treaty of Ryswick, 
in 1697, that the foundation of the present 
enormous debt of Great Britain was first 
On the 31st of December 1697, the public 
debts of Great Britain, funded and unfunded
amounted to L.21,515,742 : 13 : 8½. 
A great part of those debts had been contracted 
upon short anticipations, and some 
part upon annuities for lives; so that, before 
the 31st of December 1701, in less than four 
years, there had partly been paid off, and 
partly reverted to the public, the sum of 
L.5,121,041 : 12 : 0¾; a greater reduction 
of the public debt than has ever since been 
brought about in so short a period of time. 
The remaining debt, therefore, amounted only 
to L.16,394,701 : 1 : 7¼. 
In the war which began in 1702, and which 
was concluded by the treaty of Utrecht, the 
public debts were still more accumulated. On 
the 31st of December 1714, they amounted to 
L.53,681,076 : 5 : 61⁄12. The subscription into 
the South-sea fund, of the short and long 
annuities, increased the capital of the public 
debt; so that, on the 31st of December 1722, 
it amounted to L.55,282,978 : 1 : 35⁄6. The reduction 
of the debt began in 1723, and went 
on so slowly, that, on the 31st of December 
1739, during seventeen years of profound 
peace, the whole sum paid off was no more 
than L.8,328,354 : 17 : 113⁄12, the capital of 
the public debt, at that time, amounting to 
L.46,954,623 : 3 : 47⁄12. 
The Spanish war, which began in 1739, and 
the French war which soon followed it, occasioned 
a further increase of the debt, which, 
on the 31st of December 1748, after the war 
had been concluded by the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle
amounted to L.78,293,313 : 1 : 10¾. 
The most profound peace of 17 years continuance
had taken no more than L.8,328,354 : 17 : 11¼ from it. 
A war, of less than nine 
years continuance, added L.31,338,689 : 18 : 61⁄6 to it.[77] 
During the administration of Mr. Pelham
the interest of the public debt was reduced, or 
at least measures were taken for reducing it, 
from four to three per cent.; the sinking 
fund was increased, and some part of the public 
debt was paid off. In 1755, before the 
breaking out of the late war, the funded debt 
of Great Britain amounted to L.72,289,673. 
On the 5th of January 1763, at the conclusion 
of the peace, the funded debt amounted 
to L.122,603,336 : 8 : 2¼. The unfunded 
debt has been stated at L.13,927,589 : 2 : 2. 
But the expense occasioned by the war did 
not end with the conclusion of the peace; so 
that, though on the 5th of January 1764, the 
funded debt was increased (partly by a new 
loan, and partly by funding a part of the 
unfunded debt) to L.129,586,789 : 10 : 1¾, 
there still remained (according to the very 
well informed author of Considerations on the 
Trade and Finances of Great Britain) an unfunded 
debt, which was brought to account in 
that and the following year, of L.9,975,017, 12s. 215⁄44d. 
In 1764, therefore, the public 
debt of Great Britain, funded and unfunded 
together, amounted, according to this author
to L.139,561,807 : 2 : 4. The annuities for 
lives, too, which had been granted as premiums 
to the subscribers to the new loans in 
1757, estimated at fourteen-years purchase, 
were valued at L.472,500; and the annuities 
for long terms of years, granted as premiums 
likewise, in 1761 and 1762, estimated at 
twenty-seven years and a-half purchase, were 
valued at L.6,826,875. During a peace of 
about seven years continuance, the prudent 
and truly patriotic administration of Mr. Pelham 
was not able to pay off an old debt of six 
millions. During a war of nearly the same 
continuance, a new debt of more than seventy-five 
millions was contracted
On the 5th of January 1775, the funded debt 
of Great Britain amounted to L.124,996,086, 
1s. 6¼d. The unfunded, exclusive of a large 
civil-list debt, to L.4,150,236 : 3 : 117⁄8. Both 
together, to L.129,146,322 : 5 : 6. According