Adam Smith's Simplified Wealth of Nations, Book 4, Chapter 7j: Colony assemblies and Representation

Chapter 7j: Colony assemblies and Representation

151 Under the present system of management, Great Britain only derives loss from her colonies. 152 The following proposal never was and never will be adopted by any nation: No nation ever voluntarily gave up the dominion of any province no matter how: Such sacrifices are always mortifying to the pride of every nation. 153 For any province to be advantageous to its empire, it should afford a peacetime revenue sufficient for: "Every province necessarily contributes to increase the expence of that general government."

Colony Assemblies

154 The colonies may be taxed by their own assemblies or by the British parliament. 155 It seems improbable that the colony assemblies can ever levy a public revenue sufficient to: It took a long time before even the parliament of England, under the eye of the sovereign, could be:

Such a system of management could only be established in the English parliament by distributing among the parliament members a part of:

But it is difficult for the sovereign to manage the colony assemblies in the same way as the parliament due to their:

It would be absolutely impossible to distribute among all the leading members of all the colony assemblies a share of the offices of the general government of the British empire.

156 "The colony assemblies cannot be the proper judges of what is necessary for the defence and support of the whole empire."

Taxing by requisition

157 It has been proposed that the colonies should be taxed by requisition. 158 There are many examples of empires where all the provinces are taxed not in one mass. 159 According to this scheme, the colonies have no reason to fear that their share of taxation should exceed those of their fellow-citizens at home. 160 If the British parliament establishes the right of taxing the colonies, the independence and importance of their own assemblies, and all the leading men of British America would end. 161 Towards the decline of the Roman republic, the allies of Rome bore the principal burden of defending and extending the empire. 162 President Henaut remarked that the many little events of the Catholic League [1589] were not very important. 163 The idea of representation was unknown in ancient times. 164 We British are afraid that the multitude of American representatives should overturn the balance of the constitution. 165 The Americans are afraid that their distance from the seat of government might expose them to many oppressions. Next: Chapter 7k: Economic Karma