No Taxation

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26 February 2016

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The demand of No Taxation without Representation was the primary force in motivating the American revolutionary movement. It was also a symbol for democracy and freedom to the American people. The slogan described how Americans weren’t represented in British Parliament. Americans said that they did not vote for someone to represent them in Parliament and therefore, cannot be taxed. Justice is what the people wanted.In the mid-1700’s, due to the high debt created by the British after the French and Indian War, parliament created a series of new taxes used on only the American colonies to gain revenue. One of the most unpopular taxes, called the Stamp Act, required a stamp to be put on all legal documents for a certain fee. This upset many people in the colonies including the Virginia House of Burgesses, which was the legislature in Williamsburg, Virginia, at the time. The committee there created a resolution to ask the same rights as Britons, who had representatives in Parliament to defend themselves against taxation without representation (Document A). As Daniel Dulany says in Document C, “A right to impose tax on the colonies, without their consent for the single purpose of revenue, is denied…” Dulany and many others agreed that taxing the colonists for revenue, or to make money, should not be allowed without the colonists agreement. Dulany also says that regulating the trade of the American Colonies is within the rights of the British to do so without American consent. The Americans took this to heart, and by 1765, the phrase of no taxation without representation was a common thought supported by Dulany’s idea. The British then came up with Virtual Representation. Virtual Representation is the idea that every member of the British Empire is represented by every Member of Parliament. The colonists disagreed with Virtual Representation, still displaying their anger or unconstitutional taxes through No Taxation without Representation. In Document F, the Second Continental Congress explains why they believe in the idea of independence and the explanation of taxation without representation is the first thing the address. In his pamphlet, Common Sense, Thomas Paine explains the absurdity of an island, England, ruling a continent, America. Common Sense begins to stir thoughts of revolution and independence in the minds of Americans.

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