A more effective measure was open violence against people who persisted in importing, selling, or using British goods or slaves. The First Continental Congress was simply the mouthpiece of the colonies.
By the establishment of colonies in distant countries, not only particular privileges, but a monopoly was frequently procured for the goods and merchants of the country which established them.
"Here she comes! Here she comes!" announced Nettie Brocton. "And look, girls! she isn't even whistling. Something is wrong with our sunny Jane." There was no mistake about it, something was wrong, for Jane Allen swung along the path, calling greetings to friends grouped in knots and colonies with an evident half heartedness foreign to her usual buoyant, cheerful personality.
On the other hand, Washington, and most sensible Americans, resisted this attack as resolutely as might be under such disadvantages, not wishing for independence, but hoping for some compromise like that which Great Britain has since effected with her remaining colonies.
Perhaps at the bottom of these political movements lay the hope of establishing a central point of union for the numerous Greek colonies of Italy, which, though they were rich and highly civilized, were, by reason of their isolation and antagonism, essentially weak.
There was in both nations a tendency to depend upon officers who had been in their prime a generation before, and the results were not fortunate. War having been declared against Spain by England in October, 1739, the first attempts of the latter power were naturally directed against the Spanish-American colonies, the cause of the dispute, in which it was expected to find an easy and rich prey.
Just one year before the time now reached, news had been received in Virginia that the British ministry had announced in parliament their purpose to introduce, at the next session, an act for laying certain stamp duties on the American colonies.
Almost every one of the original colonies was on the sea or on one of its great tributaries. All export and import tended toward one coast.
Even in 1774, when all the colonies were girding themselves for the coming revolutionary conflict, he turned aside from a discussion of the momentous question of the hour, in a letter to his friend in Philadelphia, and exclaimed with unwonted heat:
Then comes the time when the son shall stand alone by his own strength; and to that period of manly, self-respected strength let us all hope that those colonies are advancing. It is very hard for a mother country to know when such a time has come; and hard also for the child-colony to recognize justly the period of its own maturity.