Full text: Religion, colonising & trade

Decker proposed © to lay one tax on the consumers of 
luxuries and take off all our other taxes, excises and 
customs, and when that is done to make all our ports 
free.” 1 He was eloquent as to the harm done to 
British trade by high customs duties and, like Roger 
Coke, attacked the monopolies of chartered companies, 
their * past villainies,” as he pleasantly phrased it. He 
attacked also the navigation act. © As this act makes 
our navigation dear, it for that reason deprives us of 
the fishing trade, the great nursery of seamen.” He 
advised that the British colonies should be allowed to 
export their raw products direct in British ships to any 
part of Europe, inasmuch as if they were given such a 
field for their unmanufactured articles, they would 
cease to wish to manufacture, and it would result in 
‘ preventing the people in our plantations on the 
Continent rebelling for ages to come.’ 
Writing when rebellion had already begun, Adam 
Smith advocated giving the colonists representation in 
the British Parliament ; and for many years past others 
had given similar advice. Benjamin Franklin had 
favoured such a course, and it was very strongly urged 
by Thomas Pownall, who wrote with authority as 
having been Governor of Massachusetts and other 
American colonies. The first part of his book on 
‘The Administration of the British Colonies > was 
published in 1764, the year after the Peace of Paris 
was signed, confirming to Great Britain the rich fruits 
of the Seven Years War. He pleaded that Great 
Britain may be no more considered as the kingdom of 
this isle only, with many appendages of provinces, 
4 Second edition (Dublin, 1749), pp. 45, 53-4, 75 and 179.

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