Please respond to the below 4 posts with a 100 words or more by 9 PM EST tonight.
In the beginning the Stamp Act caused an uproar in the colonies because wealthy and educated landowners and merchants were going to be taxed on all documents they used on a daily basis. The colonists felt that this taxation was unfair and unjust because colonists saw themselves as British citizens. The colonists had no problem taxing themselves within each colony and as long as it was done “internally” it was accepted. Ironically, the colonies had no problem paying taxes on trade and foreign affairs to England. This was accepted and seen as normal practice. However when it came to the Stamp Act, the colonies wanted to uphold the English Bill of Rights. Since colonists were devoid of representation in Parliament, this was a violation of the the rights of the colonists (Totally History, 2012). Due to the fact that the colonists did not have formal representation in Parliament, per the English Bill of Rights, the colonists had the right to disagree with this taxation.
The fact is the majority of the English population did not have representation. Representation was very limited in Britain with only 3% of men that were allowed with the utmost controlled being done by the local gentry (Totally History, 2012). Parliament assumed they had every right to tax the colonies. With the limited amount of overall representation, the British government passed legislation on behalf of its constituents, By doing this, Parliament argued that the colonies had virtual representation and they could pass any form of tax. This is how Parliament was able to get around the English Bill of Rights.
No Taxation Without Representation, 2012. Totally History. Retrieved from: http://totallyhistory.com/no-taxation-without-representation/
M2D1 – Liz Berroa
Given the fact that voting patterns in England were in no way representative and yet British subjects accepted tax levies by Parliament, is the American argument “no taxation without representation” a valid one?
America’s argument “no taxation without representation” was a valid indeed! Remember they were used to governing themselves. In Rhode Island they had a charter government with 2 fractions and they held elections to assign representative and decided on taxes to be collected (Middlekauff, 2007, p. 101). Connecticut also had a charter government with two fractions, the New Lights and the Old Lights (Middlekauff, 2007, p. 107).
Consider the American question. Did Parliament represent the colonies, and did Parliament have a right to pass taxes on the colonies?
Parliament did not and could not have represented the colonies. Their main goal and objective was to serve the Crown. According to Middlekauff, this translated into maintaining “the king’s peace,”” (2007, p. 16). At the time this covered local policies and foreign policies equal to national security. Local policies could only cover England and national security even though it might benefit the colonies, in the end it was for the protection and benefit of England not America.
So Parliament did not have the right to pass taxes on the colonies. They only had the right to legislation and create statutes that affected the colonies, but only representative bodies, which Parliament was not, could impose taxes (Middlekauff, 2007, p. 114).
Middlekauff, R., (2007). The Glorious Cause. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.
Describe the punitive clamp-downs imposed on the colonies by the British Parliament and the resistance on the part of the colonies.
After the repeal of the Stamp Act Parliament passed the Declaratory Act, in that Act Parliament added its rights, the right “to bind the colonies in all cases whatsoever.” The colonist did not know it, but the Declaratory Act took away their right to represent themselves on taxation. Following that the Quartering Act which required the colonies to house the army and supply them. New York legislature refused to support the Quartering Act. Charles Townshend pushed some Acts through Parliament known as the Townshend Acts. In his Revenue Act, it was considered an external tax that was used to pay for Royal officials in the colonies. The goal was to take the local self-governing control away from the colonies. He tailored the taxes on items that the colonies did not produce or could not easily smuggle. Townshend also tried to prevent the New York assembly to meet until they followed the Quartering Act.
•What were the consequences of these actions?
After the passing of the Declaratory Act, Parliament believed they had complete authority in taxing the colonies without their representation. It also put that any defiance from the colonies to Parliament would be considered a rebellion.
•How could reconciliation have been achieved, if at all?
Reconciliation would not be an option nor would the King or Parliament want it. To correct the situation that Parliament created they would have to ratify how Parliament conducted. That would change how much power Parliament would have over the British Empire and especially back in England. If they gave into the colonies, the subjects in England would fight for their representation in Parliament on being taxed.
Punitive clamp-downs imposed on colonies by Parliament and the resistance form the colonies
Parliament sought to bring revenue into Britain by means of taxation on the colonists. They also sought greater control over trade and finance as well (Brown, 2014). Between the Sugar Act of 1764, the Stamp Act of 1765, and the Royal Proclamation of 1763, (which halted colonists’ settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains), Parliament and the crown had effectively started to enforce their will on the American colonists. Moreover, the Stamp Act taxed virtually every piece of paper that was handled the colonists. This assured that the new law would affect colonists from all walks of life, especially those most concerned with property and public affairs (Brown, 2014). The response from the colonies on these “clamp downs” was swift and often violent. Mobs from Massachusetts to New York, to Georgia protested, rioted, and, in some cases, used destruction and violence to prevent the enforcement of these Acts of Parliament (Brown, 2014). The colonists also used state legislature to pass resolutions stating their displeasure and contempt, beginning with the Virginia resolutions (Middlekauff, 2005). The colonists also greatly decreased their purchasing of all British products which put merchants on both sides of the ocean in dire financial straits. To combat this, Parliament, persuaded by Lord Rockingham, to repeal the Stamp Act as a practical matter (Brown, 2014). Parliament also passed the Declaratory Act stating that they had the principle right to legislate the colonies in all cases whatsoever (Middlekauff, 2005). The Parliament also enacted the Townshend duties which led to raised taxes on paper, glass, painter’s colors, lead, and tea. This move started another round of protests, nonimportation movements, and more congressional arguments (Brown, 2014). It seem as though a reconciliation could have been reached had the Parliament accepted the colonies as independent territories instead of trying to make them bend to the will of a country that had little to do with their everyday life and did not know of or care about their problems.
Brown, Richard D. 2014. Major Problems in the Era of the American Revolution, 1760-1791. Third Edition. Wadsworth Cengage Learning, Boston, MA
Middlekauff, Robert. 2005. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789. Oxford University Press INC. New York, NY
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