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MAJOR-GENERAL IN THE CONTINENTAL ARMY-MARSHAL
OF THE CAUSES WHICH LED TO THE
ALTHOUGH the narrow and illiberal policy of the. British government towards her North American colonies, from their first settlement, was calculated to alienate the affections of the colonies from the parent country; yet from their exposed situation, and habitual loyalty, this unworthy conduct, long persevered in, produced no sensible impression on the Americans: their loyalty and attachment to the interests of Britain were not in the smallest degree impaired, down to the period of the peace of Paris in 1763. Never had they shewn so much zeal, or made such great sacrifices in the cause of their country, as during the preceding war; having lost more than twenty-five thousand men, expended all the revenues they could raise, and involved themselves deeply in debt. Almost the whole burdens of the war in America had fallen on the colonies; and their exertions were altogether disproportionate to their means, and tended greatly to impoverish and distress them. After eight years' arduous struggles, attended with the greatest sacrifices, the successful termination of the war-the dominion of France in America being relinquished forever occasioned universal joy throughout the colonies; they forgot their sufferings and distresses, in the fair prospects which the peace afforded.
But these prospects were of short duration; the peace of Paris formed a new æra in the views and conduct of Great Britain towards her colonies in America. The possessions of France, in America, having been ceded to Britain, and having no longer any fear of her power in this hemisphere, a system of measures was pursued towards the colonies, originating in jealousy, and tending to despotism. As soon as the colonies had fought their way to a condition, which afforded the prospect of rapidly increasing in population and wealth, attempts were made to restrict their commercial and political privileges, and gradually to reduce them to the most wretched state of colonial vassalage. For a century and a half, the colonies had been left to themselves as to taxation; their own local assemblies had provided the necessary revenues to defray the expenses of their governments; and the