at a very small direct impost, on the ground that there should be no taxation without representation; and all the while they were objecting almost as strenuously to paying their share of certain perfectly proper expenditures undertaken in their interest by the home country. The truth was that they were revolting against the whole system, which they dimly felt to be wrong before they were able to formulate their reasons for so feeling; the particular acts of oppression of which they complained were the occasions rather than the causes of the outbreak. The reasons for discontent had existed for many years, and their growth kept steady pace with the growth of the colonies. The French and Spanish wars had kept them in the background, all other matters being swallowed up by the stress of the struggle with the common enemy; but as soon as Canada was conquered, and the outside pressure taken off, the questions between the mother country and the colonies became of the first importance, and speedily showed signs of producing an open rupture.
In truth, the rupture was as beneficial as it was necessary,always assuming that the alternative was the continuance of the old colonial system. Had England's King and Parliament been guided by the most far-seeing statesman, and had causes of irritation been avoided, and a constantly increasing measure of liberty and participation in