Front Page Titles (by Subject) FIRST SCHEME. - Four Tracts on Political and Commercial Subjects
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FIRST SCHEME. - Josiah Tucker, Four Tracts on Political and Commercial Subjects 
Four Tracts on Political and Commercial Subjects, 2nd edition (Glocester: R. Raikes, 1774).
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And 1st, as to that which recommends the suffering all Things to go on as they have lately done, in Hopes that some favourable Opportunity may arise hereafter for recovering the Jurisdiction, and vindicating the Honour of the Mother Country.
This Proposal is very unhappy at first setting out; because it takes that for granted, which History and Experience prove to be false. It supposes, that Colonies may become the more obedient, in Proportion as they are suffered to grow the more headstrong, and to feel their own Strength and Independence; than which Supposition there cannot be a more palpable Absurdity. For if a Father is not able to govern his Son at the Ages of 14 or 16 Years, how can it be supposed that he will be better able when the Youth is become a Man of full Age and Stature, in the Vigour of Health and Strength, and the Parent perhaps more feeble and decrepid than he was before? Besides, it is a Fact, that the Colonies, from almost one End of North-America to the other, have already revolted from under the Jurisdiction of the British Legislature;—each House of Assembly hath already arrogated to themselves a new Name, by stiling themselves an House of Commons; in Consequence of which Stile and Title, they have already declared, that the British House of Commons neither hath, nor ought to have, any Right to intermeddle in their Concerns. Now, after they have advanced thus far already, what Rhetoric would you use for calling these Revolters back? And is it at all probable, that the Provincial Assemblies would be induced by the Force of Oratory to renounce their own Importance, and to acknowledge that to be a Crime, which both they, and the People whom they represent, glory in as their Birth-right and unalienable Prerogative? The Man who can suppose these Things, must have a most extraordinary Opinion of his own Eloquence.
But here perhaps some may be inclined to ask, Why would you meddle with the Colonies, at all? And why not suffer Things to remain in statu quo? The obvious Answer to which Questions is this,—* That it is not the Mother-Country which meddles with the Colonies, but the Colonies which meddle with the Mother-Country: For they will not permit her to govern in the Manner she ought to do, and according to the original Terms of the Constitution; but are making Encroachments on her Authority every Day. Moreover as they increase in Riches, Strength, and Numbers, their civil and military Establishments must necessarily increase likewise; and seeing that this Circumstance is unavoidable, who is to defray the growing Expences of these increasing and thriving Colonies?—“The Colonies themselves you will naturally say, because none are so fit, and none so able:” And perhaps some American Advocates will likewise add, “That the Colonies do not refuse to defray these Expences, provided they shall be the sole Judges of the Quantum to be raised, or the Mode of raising it, and of the Manner of its Application.” But here lies the Difficulty, which remains yet to be solved: For if the Colonies are to be allowed to be the sole Judges in these Matters, the Sovereignty of the British Legislature is entirely at an End; and these Colonies become in Fact, as much independent of their Mother-Country, as we are independent of Hanover or Hanover of us;—only indeed with this Difference (which an American always chuses to forget) That whereas we lay a Duty on all raw Materials coming from the Electoral Dominions, we give a Bounty on those which are imported from the Colonies. Besides, many will be apt to ask, Could not this Matter be compromised in some Degree? And will nothing less content the Colonies than a total Revolt from under the Jurisdiction of the Mother-Country?—Some well-meaning Persons have proposed, that each Colony, like each Country here in England, should be allowed to raise Taxes for its own internal Uses, whilst the British Parliament, the sovereign Council of the British Empire, should preside over the whole; and therefore should enact such Laws for the levying of those general Taxes, as are to be applied for the common Protection, the Good, and Benefit of all. But the Misfortune is, that the Colonies will not consent to this Partition of Power and Jurisdiction; consequently any Scheme of this Nature is utterly impracticable. Indeed the late Stamp-Act itself was no other than a Part of this very Scheme: For the Money to be raised by that Tax, was to be applied to the sole Use of the Colonies, and to be expended no where else but in the Colonies. Nay it was not the Moiety, nor yet the third, nor the fourth Part of the Sum which Great-Britain was to have raised on the same Account, and to have expended in the same Provinces:—So anxious was the ancient indulgent Parent not to lay too heavy a Burden on her favourite Children. But alas! Favourites of all Kinds seldom make those returns of Gratitude and Obedience, which might be expected. For even as to that boasted Loyalty, which the Colonies have hitherto professed to maintain towards his Majesty King George,—this stands, and must stand, according to their present political System, on as precarious a footing as any of the rest of our Claims: For if the British Parliaments have no Right to make Laws to bind the Colonies, they certainly ought not to be allowed to prescribe to them who shall be their King;—much less ought they to pretend to a Right of enacting, That it shall be a most capital Offence, even High Treason itself, in a Colonist to dare to controvert the Title of any Prince or any Family, to the Americans Throne, whom the British Parliament shall place thereon.
Besides, some of those lower Houses of Assemblies (which each Province now affects to call its House of Commons) have already proceeded to greater Lengths of Sovereignty and Independence than a British House of Commons ever presumed to do except in the Days of the grand Rebellion. For they have already arrogated to themselves a Power of disposing, as well as of raising the public Monies, without the Consent of the other Branches of the Legislature; which is, in fact, nothing less than the Erection of so many sovereign and independent Democracies. Nay more, there is a general Combination and Confederacy entered into among them all: For each House of Assembly hath lately appointed a standing Committee for corresponding with the standing Committees of other Provinces, in order the more effectually to oppose the Authority and Jurisdiction of the Mother-Country.
What then is to be done in such a Case? Evident it is beyond a dispute, that timid and temporising Measures serve to no other Purpose but that of confirming the Colonies in their Opposition, and strengthening them in their present Revolt.
[* ]See the preceding letter from a Merchant in London to his Nephew in America; wherein it is proved, to a Demonstration, that the Powers, which the Colonies will not allow the Mother-Country now to exercise over them, are no other than what always belonged to her from the very first Period of their Settlements, and according to the original Terms of their Constitution. The Question therefore is, Which of the two, the Colonies, or the Mother-Country, usurps on the legal Rights and constitutional Privileges of the other?