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Fairfax Resolves

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At a General meeting of the Freeholders & Inhabitants of the County of Fairfax, at the Court House in the Town of Alexandria on Monday the 18th day of July 1774 George Washington Esq. chairman Robert Harrison Gent. clerk of the said meeting

1st. Resolved, that this Colony and Dominion of Virginia, cannot be considered as a Conquered Country; and, if it was, that the present Inhabitants are the descendants, not of the Conquered, but of the Conquerors. That the same was not settled at the National expense of England, but at the private expence of the adventurers, our ancestors, by Solemn compact with, and under the auspices and protection of the British Crown; upon which we are in every respect, as Depindant, as the People of Great Britain, and in the same manner subject to all his Majesties just, legal, and constitutional prerogatives. That our ancestors, when they left their native land, and settled in America, brought with them (even, If the same had not been confirmed by Charters) the Civil Constitution and form of Government, of the Country they came from: and were by the Laws of Nature & Nation entitled to all its priviledges, immunities and advantages: which have descended to us. their Posterity; and ought of right, to be as fully enjoyed, as if we had still continued within the Realm of England.

2d. Resolved That the most important and valuable part of the British Constitution, upon which, its very existence depends, is the fundamental principle of the peoples being Governed, by no Laws, to which they have not given their consent, by Representatives freely chosen by themselves, who are affected by the laws they enact, equally with their constituents; to whom they are accountable, and whose Burthen they share; In which consists the safety and Happiness of the Community. For If this part of the constitution was taken away, or materially altered, the Government must Degenerate, either into an absolute and despotic monarchy, or a Tyrannical aristocracy, and the freedom of the People be annihilated.