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No Taxation without Representation
Here is essay that I wrote.
No Taxation Without Representation!
Colonists live under the rule of the King
In the year 1667, King Charles granted a charter to the Connecticut colony allowing the colonists the right to make their own laws. (Speare 70). Assemblies elected by the colonists made laws, set taxes and raised companies of troops called militia to defend the colonies. (Charter, 8). In 1687, King James wanted the British Parliament to be able to make laws for the colonists, or in other words take away the charter. (Speare, 70).
In 1764, British Parliament could make laws for the colonists. The King needed money to pay for the militia that protected the colonies in the French and Indian war. He decided to make the colonies pay for some of the money needed. (Harcourt, 226).
The King started taxes with the Sugar Act in 1764. (Harcourt, 272). “This tariff angered the colonists but what bothered them most is that they had no part in making this new law”. The King and British Parliament all had a say in passing laws. “Unlike other British citizens, the colonists could not elect lawmakers… but parliament was quick to remind colonists they were still British subjects.” (Harcourt, 263).
The Stamp Act was another blow to the colonists’ democratic ideas. The colonists had been practicing self-government, separate from the king, for years. They collected their own taxes to pay for taxes to pay for services in the colonies. The Congress sent an appeal for peace and harmony to King George and suggested that parliament get rid of all the unconstitutional laws controlling America. (Schanzer, 27) The Stamp Act of 1765 was another attempt by the parliament to get the colonists for help pay the war dept. “The new tax law angered the people in the colonies”. (January, 6). The Stamp Act was made as a tax on everything that was paper that you could purchase. Things like newspapers had to have a special stamp on it so people know that a tax had been paid for it. Parliament added these new laws to show they could still make laws for the colonists. (Harcourt, 277). The Stamp Act congress met to discuss the new law. It was there Patriot James Otis recited the famous line “No Taxation Without Representation”. These British laws were directly against the democratic ideas the colonists had been practicing for 100 years.
The colonists did not get to elect representatives into British Parliament. They did not have any say in the laws they were being forced to live by. Parliament decided to make one last tax; the tax on tea in 1773. “Parliament canceled all the taxes except the tax on tea”. (Maestro, 7). The colonists were fed up with all the taxes and not being represented a British citizens. On one late night in December, Patriots called The Sons of Liberty dressed as Mohawk Indians and raided a ship that held British tea. They split all the tea boxes and threw them into the harbor. The event came to be known as the Boston Tea Party. The so-called Boston Tea Party infuriated King George and Parliament. He blockaded Boston Harbor not allowing any ships with merchandise to come in or out as a punishment. The colonists wanted to be free of King George’s rule.
The colonists were British citizens living in America. Their rights were being trampled by all the taxes and laws they had no say in. They protested and soon the cry of “No Taxation Without Representation” could be heard all around the colonies.
In 1776, in the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army or the colonists made history in the war against Britain. They were truly free.
Article posted May 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM •
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