[Footnote 32: “Parliamentary History,” xvii., 515.]
Mr. Grenville imposes a Duty on Stamps in the North American Colonies.—Examination of Dr. Franklin.—Lord Rockingham’s Ministry Repeals the Duty.—Lord Mansfield affirms a Virtual Representation in the Colonies.—Mr. C. Townsend imposes Import Duties in America.—After some Years, the Civil War breaks out.—Hanoverian Troops are sent to Gibraltar.—The Employment of Hanoverian Regiments at Gibraltar and Minorca.—End of the War.—Colonial Policy of the Present Reign.—Complaints of the Undue Influence of the Crown.—Motions for Parliamentary Reform.—Mr. Burke’s Bill for Economical Reform.—Mr. Dunning’s Resolution on the Influence of the Crown.—Rights of the Lords on Money-bills.—The Gordon Riots.
But during these years another matter had been gradually forcing its way to the front, which, though at first it attracted but comparatively slight notice, when it came to a head, absorbed for several years the whole attention, not only of these kingdoms, but of foreign countries also. It was originally—in appearance, at least—merely a dispute between Great Britain and her Colonies in North America on the mode of obtaining a small revenue from them. But, in its progress, it eventually involved us in a foreign war of great magnitude, and thus became the one subject of supreme interest to every statesman in Europe. England had not borne her share in the seven years’ war without a considerable augmentation of the national debt, and a corresponding increase in the amount of yearly revenue which it had become necessary to raise; and Mr. Grenville, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, had to devise the means of meeting the demand. A year before, he had supported with great warmth the proposal of Sir Francis Dashwood, his predecessor at the Exchequer, to lay a new tax upon cider. Now that he himself had succeeded to that office, he cast his eyes across the Atlantic, and, on the plea that the late war had to a certain