Previous Index Next

 

THE KING'S PROCLAMATION AND THE QUEBEC ACT. 119

 

Discontent Meanwhile, there was endless trouble over in Canada. the laws. After the king's proclamation, the new judges followed English laws for a while; but though the Canadians were satisfied with the laws against crime, they did not like the civil laws, as those were called which had to do with property, marriages, wills, and such matters. They objected to the plan of having a jury of twelve men, who had not been specially trained in law, to decide cases about land and money, and preferred to trust to the wisdom and honesty of the judge alone. Then the plan was tried of following the English laws in some things and the French in others; and at last the judges went by whichever laws happened to suit their fancy. Of course, this uncertainty was very bad for the people in general, and very pleasing to cheats and rogues; but it was allowed to go on for years.

Trouble in   While there was all this difficulty in Can-

the Older ada, trouble was also brewing in the older Colonies. . British provinces. At that time the states-men of England tried to make the colonies bring in money to the mother-country in ways that would now be thought very unwise. For instance, they forbade the making of certain articles in America, so that the colonists should be forced to buy from British merchants, and ordered that goods must always be carried to and from America in British ships. Besides having to obey these unfair laws, the colonists had been greatly offended by the rude and scornful bearing of the British officers who had fought .in America.

To make matters worse, in 1 the English parliament passed a law, called the Stamp Act, taxing the colonies in a way to which they had never been used, and, though the tax was soon taken off, it caused bitter anger and excitement in most of the colonies. The people of Canada and Nova Scotia, however, paid it quietly.i

•r"


Previous Index Next