Founding Fathers Forum: david
Posted by: anonymous (hackman0116@ThisIsToPreventSpam-263-RemoveThis.yahoo.com) on 29 Apr 2003 at 6:20:28 PM
Unfortunately you have bought into the mainstream argument against representation without taxation. Yes, it is true that the colonists were being taxed without directly being represented; however, the system of representation in which they were opposing had been practiced for well over a hundred years -at least since the Glorious Revolution. Britain felt that the colonies were indeed represented through a system of virtual representation - again system that the colonists were thoroughly familiar with- where each subject to the Crown was represented not on a one to one basis of representing each region's interests, but by a member of parliment representing the aggregate interests of Great Britain. To the colonists argument, it is true that they were not represented by Parliment, but the fact is they were never represented. Why do you suppose they suddenly opposed taxation without representation in the mid-eighteenth century?
The reason is obvious when viewed from an objective perspective of the era's economy.
During the post-american-indian-war empire, and arguably even before which is why Britain fought the war in the first place, Great Britain began to recognize the economic potential of the colonies. Accordingly, they began to impose a tax on the colonies to ensure that they pay their half of the incured debt. True, the tax was not significant or even relatively hefty when compared to their cross-antlantic counterparts. But, it was nevertheless a significant duty when considered in the context of post-war colonial america. Indeed, most colonists observed that they had already paid the tremendous cost of the war. On both sides of the Atlantic, economic circumstances were tight at best. They both reacted by protecting their interests in a faltering economy.
Thus, this failing economy taken with the wide acceptance of whig politics created the fuel to drive the Revolution.
To your second point, considering slavery, I have never heard a more anoying account of the Revolution. Slavery was never a factor that could explain the war. Only in the South, where British officers were enticing slaves to take up arms against their masters in a strategy to fear the rebellion into submission, does slavery become an issue. However, had the war not originated in the North, under political and economical circumstances, the South would have never been subject to such tactics. Secondly, the claim that Britain lent aid to the South during the Civil War is severely unsubstantiated. Britain, much to the South's disadvantage, never recognized the South as a separate nation. The North feared that they would and prevented it from happening. Britain didn't pursue such policies because they thought that the South would never be victorious. Accordingly, siding with the South would have been a disadvantage to their foreign policy at the wars end. Also, I would submit to your recollection that during the Revolution Britain also practiced slavery and wouldn't end that practice for a number of years. It is additionally assumed that Britain backpedaled from military tactics that enticed slaves because they didn't want to create a situation in the colonies where slaves would be the judges of their masters. That is, they too were afraid of the implications caused by emancipation. It is observed that Parliment reprimanded Lord North's attempt to entice the South into submission by fear. These tactics were soon abandoned, as a result.
: dana you have some facts but not all of them. The colonists did not object to the taxes. The problem was that The British were taxing the colonists without REPRESENTATION. One cannot tax a people without those people being represented. When the British ruled on something that had to do with the colonists there were no colonists there to help make their own laws. Everything that came into law regarding the colonies was debated in London. The people that were debating it had no knowledge of what the colonists needed. The slavery issue. Your right but if you research your history during the Civil War the British supported the South. They gave them money and weapons. The British government was not this innocent govt. you speak so fondly of.
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