Thursday, May 17, 2012

No Taxation Without Representation!

"No Taxation Without Representation!" was used by Reverend Jonathan Mayhew in a sermon in Boston in 1750.
"No taxation without representation" is a slogan originating during the 1750s and 1760s that summarized a primary grievance of the British colonists in the Thirteen Colonies, which was one of the major causes of the American Revolution. In short, many in those colonies believed the lack of direct representation in the distant British Parliament was an illegal denial of their rights as Englishmen, and therefore laws taxing the colonists (one of the types of laws that affects the majority of individuals directly), and other laws applying only to the colonies, were unconstitutional. However, during the time of the American Revolution, only one in twenty British citizens had representation in parliament, none of whom were part of the colonies. In recent times, it has been used by several other groups in several different countries over similar disputes, including currently in some parts of the United States (see below).
The phrase captures a sentiment central to the cause of the English Civil War, as articulated by John Hampden who said “what an English King has no right to demand, an English subject has a right to refuse” in the Ship money case.

“I plowed all day on the corn ground.  Will’s team plowed for me this forenoon.  I have about an acre to plow yet.  Quite a shower tonight between six and seven, while we were at supper.”

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