Taxation Without Rep Dbq

Category: Justice, Tax
Last Updated: 25 Mar 2020
Pages: 4 Views: 598

Question: To what extent was the demand for no taxation without representation both the primary force motivating the American revolutionary movement and a symbol for democracy? When the colonists came to the Americas, they did so to get away from the restrictive rule of England. Once they arrived, it took many years for them to develop a sense of self-rule, and they cherished and appreciated every moment of it. However, that was all soon to change, as the English got into wars with the French and Spanish.

These three dominating European powers got into 4 major wars which would prove to be crucial for the formation of America as we know it today. With these wars, the English debt was mounting, and they didn’t have the money to balance it out. So what’s the next best thing to printing money? Taxing other people so they give you money, of course! When the English taxed the colonies through various Acts, the self-rule of the people was fading.

They were doing the bidding for England, the same thing they vowed to get away from and never return to.This is where the phrase “No taxation without representation” comes into play. It would eventually turn out to be the greatest symbol for democracy, and the motivation for the American Revolution. The French and Indian war was perhaps one of the most crucial and influential wars regarding the shaping of America.

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The French provoked the war, in the British point of view, by building chains of forts limiting westward expansion on the English colonies. People such as George Washington and General Edward Braddock went in with local militias to break up the French’s progress, but were forced to surrender.The Albany Plan of Union, as developed by Benjamin Franklin, was an idea that proposed the collection of taxes from the various colonies to provide an intercolonial government and a system for recruiting troops for general defense. This theory was never enacted however, because each colony was too stubborn and jealous of its own taxation powers.

This plan did, however, set a precedent for a later, more revolutionary congress in the 1770’s. This war however, was eventually won by the British, who acquired Canada and Florida in the process. Resolved, that a most humble and dutiful Address be presented to his majesty, imploring his royal protection of his faithful subjects, for the people of this colony, in the enjoyment of all their natural and civil rights…” (A).

The king had to do what he had to do in terms of protecting the colonies, as stated by the Resolution of the Virginia House of Burgesses. (However, it is not the specifics of the war that we are interested in per say, this rather just provides a background for what was to come). All four of the wars fought by the English, specifically the last one, were not relatively cost efficient.Britain was in a major debt, and this is where things get tricky. “Small islands not capable of protecting themselves are the proper objects for kingdoms to take under their care…but it is evident that they belong to different systems. England to Europe: America to itself. ” (G) In this document, we observe the philosophical thinking of Thomas Paine.

In this excerpt from “Common Sense”, we observe that Paine believes that England performed its duty by defending the colonies, and shouldn’t burden further them for taxes to pay for their war.On top of the taxation, we see that England feels the need to maintain a permanent military force throughout the colonies to guard the frontiers. King George III and parliament set forth various acts that would prove to limit the colonies representative government.

The Sugar Act, also known as the revenue act, placed taxes/duties on foreign sugar and various luxuries. Its main purpose was to raise revenue for the crown, and to provide a strict enforcement against smuggling. Any accused of smuggling would face a trial in court by “crown appointed judges” without a jury. They have undertaken to give and grant our money without our consent, though we have ever exercised an exclusive right to dispose of our own property…; for depriving us of the accustomed and inestimable privilege of trial by jury, in cases affecting both life and property.

” (F) This immediately limits the self-rule of the colonies, and would later become one of the biggest topics of the Constitution. The Quartering Act required colonists to temporarily house British soldiers, and care to their every need during their stay. Many people were against this act, for it violated a person’s right to privacy within their household. Finally, the Stamp Act came about, which required that revenue stamps be placed on any legal document.

This was the first time that taxes were being directly taken from the people, rather than on the goods and from the merchants. After the passing of this act, all hell breaks loose throughout the colonies. People gathered and protested, often violently, in which they destroyed British imports, boycotted the purchase of certain products, and attacked the English in any way they knew how.

The Sons and Daughters of Liberty were created, which was a secret and violent organization that was used to intimidate and harass tax collectors. England was forced to repeal the Stamp Act, because of the incredible loss of profit. “A right to impose an internal tax on the colonies, without their consent for the single purpose of revenue, is denied... (C) Daniel Dulany, from the Considerations on the propriety of imposing taxes in the British Colonies, writes as to support the statement “No taxation without representation”.This phrase is, in a sense, the birthplace of democracy; it is the foundations on which this nation stands today.

One of the fundamental human rights is the opportunity for self-rule, and it is now evident that America would not have been as successful as it is today without the protestors and boycotters and founding fathers that stood up for the colonies in times of near overthrow. This phrase is without a doubt the primary force that motivated the American Revolution, and a universal symbol of democracy throughout the land.

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