No Taxation without Representation
May 20 2008
In 1662 King Charles granted a charter to Connecticut Colony giving the colonists the rights 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 colonists (Carter, 8). In 1687, King James, wanted British Parliament to make laws for the colonists (Speare, 75).
In 1765, British Parliament could make laws for the colonists. The King needed to pay for the French and Indian War so he made laws to tax the colonists (Harcourt, 266).
The King started the Sugar Act in 1764 (Harcourt, 272). “This tariff angered colonists. But what bothered them most was that they had had no part in making this tax law” (Harcourt, 272). The King and Parliament all hade a say in passing laws. “Unlike other British citizens, the colonists could not elect lawmakers… but Parliament was quick to remind colonists they were British subjects” (Harcourt, 265)
The Stamp Act was another blow to the colonists’ democratic ideals. The colonists had been practicing self-government for years (Harcourt, 263). The Stamp Act of 1765 was another attempt by Parliament to get the colonists to help pay the war dept. “The Stamp Act required colonists to pay for a stamp (to show they paid the tax) or all paper goods like newspapers.
Parliament added these new laws to show they could still make laws for the colonists (Harcourt, 277). The Stamp Act Congress met to get the act repealed. Patriot James Odis said the famous quote, “No Taxation Without Representation!” (Harcourt, 274). These British laws were directly against the democratic ideals of self-government the colonists had been practicing for 100 yrs.
The colonists did not get to elect representation into British Parliament. They did not have any say in the tax laws they were being forced to pay. The King made a third law that angered the colonists, the tax on tea, 1773(Maestro, 7). The colonists believed in democracy (Harcourt, 263). The colonists were not represented in British Parliament and believed the only way to ensure their rights was to fight for them.
The colonists were British citizens living in America. When The Sugar Act, The Stamp Act, and The Tax on Tea were trampling their rights, they first appeared to the King and Parliament. When that didn’t work they protested. Eventually, the rally cry of “No Taxation without Representation” would lead the colonists to fight for their freedom. The colonists wanted a true representation government.
“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). In 1776, in the Revolutionary War, British colonists fight Britain for the right to become American citizens and be truly free.
May 20, 2008
Carter, Alden. The American Revolution. New York: Franklin Watts, 1992.
Harcourt, Brace. We The; Early United States. Orlando: Harcourt Brace and Company, 2000.
January, Brendan. The Revolutionary War. New York: Children’s Press, 2000.
Maestro, Betsy. Liberty or Death; The American Revolution 1763-1783. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2005.
Schanzer, Rosalyn. George vs. George: The American Revolution as seen from Both Sides. Washington D.C.: National Geographic, 2004.
Speare, Elizabeth George. The Witch of Blackbird Pond. New York: bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. 1958.