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By Sidney Carleton Newsom (Editor)

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Additional info for Burke's Speech on Conciliation with America

Example text

If the spirit be not tamed and broken by these happy methods, it is stubborn and litigious. Abeunt studia in mores. [Footnote: 26] This study readers men acute, inquisitive, dexterous, prompt in attack, ready in defence, full of resources. In other countries, the people, more simple, and of a less mercurial cast, judge of an ill principle in government only by an actual grievance; here they anticipate the evil, and judge of the pressure of the grievance by the badness of the principle. They augur misgovernment at a distance, and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze.

The education of the Americans is also on the same unalterable bottom with their religion. You cannot persuade them to burn their books of curious science; to banish their lawyers from their courts of laws; or to quench the lights of their assemblies by refusing to choose those persons who are best read in their privileges. It would be no less impracticable to think of wholly annihilating the popular assemblies in which these lawyers sit. The army, by which we must govern in their place, would be far more chargeable to us, not quite so effectual, and perhaps in the end full as difficult to be kept in obedience.

Footnote: 54] My Resolutions therefore mean to establish the equity and justice of a taxation of America by GRANT, and not by IMPOSITION; to mark the LEGAL COMPETENCY [Footnote: 55] of the Colony Assemblies for the support of their government in peace, and for public aids in time of war; to acknowledge that this legal competency has had a DUTIFUL AND BENEFICIAL EXERCISE; and that experience has shown the BENEFIT OF THEIR GRANTS and the FUTILITY OF PARLIAMENTARY TAXATION as a method of supply. These solid truths compose six fundamental propositions.

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