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106   HISTORY OF CANADA.

the "quit-rents"—that is, the small sums payable annually by the proprietors as rent to the Crown. On one pretext or another payment was evaded, and after a short time the salaries of the officials in Prince Edward Island (as in the other British colonies in America) were paid by the Imperial authorities.

CHAPTER XVIII.

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

The Older Colonies. — For a long time there had been friction between Great Britain and her colonies in America. Those who left England to seek new homes across the Atlantic—some through a spirit of adventure, as in the case of Virginia ; others to escape religious persecution, as in the case of the New England colonies—were self-reliant men, and from early colonial days they had shown a desire to manage their own political affairs without outside interference. Their assemblies had long been in a state of chronic antagonism toward the governors and officials sent from England. In nothing was their right of control more jealously guarded than in the matter of taxation. They held fast the purse-strings, and the governors often complained bitterly of their parsimony.

Wars with the French.—During the last two wars (1744-E-63) there had been more intercourse than ever before between Great Britain and her colonies. She had sent out regular troops for their defence against the French and their Indian allies. But, instead of resulting in an increase of kindly feeling, the mingling of the regular troops with the citizen soldiers of America had added a feeling of personal injustice to the grievances of the latter. The colonial officers complained that regular officers, of inferior rank and unaccustomed to forest warfare, were put over their heads. In their dealings with the colonists generally the British troops assumed a tone of easy superiecity, which seems to have rankled deep in the breasts of the democratic community. All danger from the French having disappeared with the fall of New France, the colonists became more outspoken in their complaints.

British Navigation Laws.--There was one particularly


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