The British and Americans Debate Taxation and Representation

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1125 Words
Date:  2021-04-15

The first and significant dispute amongst the Britain and her colonies of the North American mainland in the 1760s and the 1770s was about taxation. The colonies postulated that there is no taxation without representation. The American Whigs declared that they were loyal to the British constitution and king, but the part of the unwritten constitution was that subject of taxation whereby they argued that they had to have representation in any legislature which imposed taxes on the colonies. There were campaigns against taxation without representation from the American Whigs and this boiled the complexity of the relationship between the governments and the subjects. According to OTIS, the advocate passed to the acts of trade on which he imposed taxes which were intolerable enormous and bothersome.

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In the early 1700s, the bond amongst Great Britain and its colonies of North America started to show-ciphers of tension. The preoccupation of England with the on-going war and civil conflict with France gave a leeway to the colonies in carrying out the foreign and domestic trade with minimum interference from the British authorities. Additionally, the colonies managed their affairs independently. As an upshot, the colonies established a sagacity of objectivity (Price, 2010).

With the enforcement of restrictions by England on foreign trade and the taking of other actions which suggested that the colonizers did not possess the similar rights as the British residents in England, the Colonials started taking stock of the distinctiveness and questioning the authority of Britain over them. The colonials believed the levying of levies was a legal reticent for their evocative colonial administrations. The liberties of the colonies were diminished with time by the British government, and this brought them a step closer to war.

The authority of parliament has been questioned with much agitation in the tracing of the line between the rights of colonies and the mother country. There is nothing extraordinary in the rights granted to the British colonies. The colonies enjoy equal freedom with the mother state at all times. Very few persons will be willing to leave their mother country to go through fatigue and the hardships of imbedding in the new unpolished culture for the reason of mislaying their freedom (Bruce, 2012).

For every society, the supreme powers have the right of requiring its subjects to make contributions necessary for public prosperity. It is considered as the essential and primary conditions of all dogmatic societies until it was disputed by the Zealots of anarchism who repudiated the legislature of Britain, a right of taxation on the American protectorate.

Levy is an imbursement extracted by the authority from a portion of the public for the better good of the unabridged. The proportions of the payments and the uses to which it will be pragmatic are only to the arbiter to whom the governments is entrusted. Taxes are levied, apportioned in the British dominions and then arrogated by the nations gathered in the Parliament. In every realm, the subordinates are predisposed to taxation since they all stake the government benefits and hence ought to all endow their proportions of the outflow.

The Americans amenably denied this. Americans accept that it is their onus to pay for their safety and the exigencies but to the British Empire, they consider it an imperfect obligation. The English colonies have the liberal powers of regulating its manners and adjusting their affairs. As for the English individuals, they may be deprived of the supreme authority, and the powers of the colony divested for the reasons of which the judge is the authority (James & Richard, 2015).

There are no gradations in the sovereignty. There is limited consulship, limited loyalty but there are no limitations to the government. In every society, there are powers to that there is no entreaty and admits no precincts that pervade a whole corpus of the society, adjusts and regulates all subordination, repeals and legislates laws. According to (James & Richard, 2015), whoever that repudiates the English Legislature the dead-on taxation, refutes it the obligation of making any other legislations.

At the end of the Indian and French war, the Great Britain started legislating the colonies more heavily (Bruce, 2012). The British claimed that they had the right over the colonies without question. Conversely, the colonies believe that the right to tax by Britain was only applicable if they were allowed to have a representative in parliament. Besides the British forced the colonies to house soldiers after the war, and for this, there was no compensation for the service.

According to Jenyns, (a member of parliament), parliament had the right to tax the colonies, and he did state that the concept of virtual exemplification meant the legislature had the attentiveness of all of the Kings subject no matter the place they resided. Colonizers, therefore, had virtual exemplification as they were the subject of the King. According to Henry, he postulated that it is better he be given liberty or death irrespective of what another course the other may take. The act of parliament that raised the taxes made the colonists mad. Resistance against the act was organized in their first continental congress.

Henry, Adams and the members of the Continental Congress believe that the colonies had a right to life, liberty, and property (Henry, 1775). All these are patent subdivisions of the rather than suppositions from the onus of self-preservation, ordinarily termed the first decree of nature (Price, 2010).

All men have a right to remain in a state of nature as they please. When they enter society, they do so by voluntary accord and thereby have a factual to claim and insist on performance. Through entering into the society, the nature of man is restrained or abridged for the best good of the whole society. He approves to arbiter amid him and his fellow citizen whereby he takes cause from the ordinary for the course of the law thereby leaving the verdict to the impartial arbitrators. As time passed, the relationship between the colonies and the British government worsened (Declaratory Act, 1766). The colonists formed a continental army ready to advocate for their rights. The army comprised of populaces from 13 colonies, and George Washington appointed the commander in chief.


Bruce, F. (2012). Resolutions of the Virginia House of Burgesses, 1765; Declarations of the Stamp Act Congress, 1765, p. 117. In, The American Republic (p. 117). Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death by Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775. (2016). Encyclopedia of Warrior Peoples & Fighting Groups.

James, O., & Richard, S. (2015). 1. The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved. In, Collected Political Writings of James Otis (p. 119). Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.

Stathis, S. W. (2014). Landmark Legislation 1774-2012: Major U.S. Acts and Treaties. Washington, DC: CQ Press.

Price, J. V. (2010). Jenyns, Soame (170487). Oxford University Press.

Declaratory Act (1766) Declaratory Act. (2015). Oxford University Press.

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