Sample - 1314 words essay topic, essay writing: Stamp Act
The passing of the Stamp Act by Parliament in 1765 caused a rush of angry protests by the colonists in British America that perhaps "aroused and unified Americans as no previous political event ever had." It levied a tax on legal documents, almanacs, newspapers, and nearly every other form of
paper used in the colonies. Adding to this hardship was the need for the tax to be paid in British sterling, not in colonial paper money. Although this duty had been in effect in England for over half a century and was already in effect in several colonies in the 1750's, it called into question the authority of Parliament over the overseas colonies that had no representation therein. When the news of the passage of this act reached the American shore, the colonists protested vehemently. Nine of the thirteen colonies sent delegates to the Stamp Act Congress, which sought "to consider of a general and united, dutiful, loyal and humble representation of their condition to His Majesty and the Parliament; and to implore relief." The resulting resolution caused almost as much resistance in England as the original act had in the colonies. Through studying some of the documents coming out of this period, one can see the very different opinions held by the colonists, supporters of Parliament, and American sympathizers.
The Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress were completed on October 19, 1765. These resolutions are a strong, logical argument against the Stamp Act, which appears to be very cogent. A major issue in the writing of these was the degree of rebelliousness that should be conveyed in the text. Because of the disagreements about this, the wording of the first resolution is very vague. The Congress began by asserting their allegiance to the crown and affirming their likeness to its other subjects, including the entitlement to certain inherent rights and liberties
It goes on to establish the need for representation in the government and the impossibility of representation for the colonists. It then goes on question the jurisdiction of Parliament in the passage of the Stamp Act in Resolution VII and petition the repeal of it in the conclusion:VII. That the late Act of Parliament, entitled, An Act for granting and applying certain Stamp Duties, and other Duties, in the British colonies and the plantations in America, etc., by imposing taxes on the inhabitants of these colonies, and the said Act, and several other Acts, by extending the jurisdiction of the courts of Admiralty beyond its ancient limits, have a manifest tendency to subvert the rights and liberties of the colonists. Lastly, That it is the indispensable duty of these colonies, to the best of sovereigns, to the mother country, and to themselves, to endeavour by a loyal and dutiful address to his Majesty, and humble applications to both Houses of Parliament, to procure the repeal of the Act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, of all clauses of any other Acts of Parliament, whereby the jurisdiction of the Admiralty is extended as aforesaid, and of the other late Acts for the restriction of American Commerce. Simply by suggesting that Parliament had overstepped its implied boundaries, the colonists were considered to be boldly defiant. The Resolutions were sent to the king and Parliament, where they were met as warmly as the Stamp Act itself was in the colonies. Many Englishmen held their own opinions of these, including Soame Jenyns, a member of Parliament from 1741-1780.
Jenyns wrote a pamphlet entitled The Objections to the Taxation of our American Colonies by the Legislature of Great Britain, briefly consider'd. The excerpt in the text argues for Parliament's right to tax the colonies and discusses briefly the theory of virtual representation. He begins by censuring those questioning the jurisdiction of Parliament:The right of the Legislature of Great-Britain to impose taxes on her American Colonies, and the expediency of exerting that right in the present conjuncture, are propositions so indisputably clear, that I should never have thought it necessary to have undertaken their defence, had not many arguments been lately flung out, both in papers and conversation, which with insolence equal to their absurdity deny them both. With this, Jenyns almost laughs at the suggestion that Parliament might not have the power to levy such a tax in colonial America. He goes on to systematically
discuss three propositions used to support the colonists and their supporters' refractory statements. These are (1) that no Englishman can be taxed without his own consent as an individual, (2) that no Englishman can be taxed without the consent of the persons he chuses to represent him, and (3) that no Englishman can be taxed without the consent of the majority of all those, who are elected by himself and others of his fellow-subjects to represent them.
He then asserts that the colonists, as Englishmen, are not exempt from the taxes imposed by Parliament. In addition to the Resolutions submitted by the Stamp Act Congress, other Americans wrote pamphlets about the unjust Stamp Act. Daniel Dulany, Marylander and an esteemed lawyer, wrote one such entitled, Considerations on the Propriety of Imposing Taxes in the British Colonies, for the Purpose of raising a Revenue, by Act of Parliament. In it, he argued that the concept of virtual representation was meaningless. It says, "the Notion of virtual representation of the colonies must fail, which, in Truth is a mere cob-web, spread to catch the unwary, and entangle the weak." He concedes that the imposition of a duty on colonists may be proper in certain circumstances, but persists that "a right to impose an internal tax on the colonies, without their consent for the single purpose of revenue, is denied." While many members of Parliament felt the resistance of the colonists was ridiculous, some agreed with the Americans that Parliament's right to legislate for the colonies should not extend to taxation.
William Pitt, a member of Parliament who was absent from the House of Commons when the Stamp Act was passed, actually drew ideas from the aforementioned pamphlet by Pitt in his speech in response to Prime Minister George Grenville, who was continuing to defend the Stamp Act. In this, he said:The gentleman tells us, America is obstinate; America is almost in open rebellion. I rejoice that America has resisted. Three millions of people so dead to all feelings of liberty, as voluntarily to submit to be slaves, would have been fit instruments to make slaves of the rest. By saying this, he took a stand against his peers; he argued that by submitting to such a tax would be to submit to becoming slaves.
He goes on to affirm his belief that, while Parliament does in fact have a right to govern the colonies, taxing them was overreaching its jurisdiction:I am no courtier of America; I stand up for this kingdom. I maintain that the parliament has a right to bind, to restrain America. Our legislative power over the colonies is sovereign and supreme..but there is a plain distinction between taxes levied for the purposes of raising a revenue, and duties imposed for the regulation of trade..[Americans] have been wronged. They have been driven to madness by injustice. Will you punish them for the madness you have occasioned? Here Pitt is sympathizing with British America, comparing its people not only to slaves but also to the insane.
He finishes his speech by asking that the Stamp Act be repealed "absolutely, totally, and immediately" and that "the reason for the appeal should be assigned, because it was founded on an erroneous principle." These are not all of the literature in response to the Stamp Act. Many others protested and supported in writing, speeches, and demonstrations. However, these examples do express the emotions that were drawn out during this time and the world of differences in the views of the colonists, Parliament, and American sympathizers.
Research paper and essay writing, free essay topics, sample works Stamp Act
Please do not pass this sample essay as your own, otherwise you will be accused of plagiarism. Our writers can write any custom essay for you!
Analysis of Taxation During the Revolutionary War During the mid 18th century the American colonists, both bold and ambitious, were showing attitudes of indignation and resentment towards English Parliament. Aside from this, the attitudes generated were mainly the result of British violations of the rights of the new American citizens. The Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution were the direct effect The Stamp Act Sample essay topic, essay writing: The Stamp Act - 373 words
The Stamp Act of 1765 was a tax put on the British American colonies, sponsered by George Grenville and was the first direct tax placed on them. Parliament needed means to help fund expensive costs of keeping troops inside the colonies, so they imposed a Violence and corruption in clockwork orange England wanted to control the colonies. Their plan was to Gain power over America so they would be able to tax the Colonists. In an attempt to get money, from the colonies, England passed several acts, the Stamp Act and the Quartering Act. The Quartering Act stated that the colonists Had to provide food and Biographies – Capital Punishment From 1763, throughout the mid-1770’s an ideology of revolution began to evolve throughout the thirteen American colonies. Many factors contributed to the formation of this ideology including Salutary Neglect, the Boston Massacre, and the British tax policy. In the early 1700’s the British neglected the colonists because neglect served the British economic interests better than The American Revolution The King of England and Parliament were the direct causes of the American Revolution, because of their demands on colonists and harsh reactions after the colonists failure to meet their ridiculous expectations. These demands were far greater than any loyal American was able to provide.
The taxes placed on Americans were so heinous that the sugar