“No Taxation without representation.” Comment. [2006, 20 Marks]
No taxation without representation is the famous slogan given by American revolutionaries during its struggle for Independence. The slogan was given in the wake of new taxes imposed by British Parliament on its American colonies which were sternly opposed by the people of America.
The slogan was a direct response to the economic and taxation policies of Lord Greenville in which the regulations such as stamp Act, Sugar Act, Current Act and Quartering Act were proposed in addition to Navigation Act. The regulations were envisioned to extract money from the colonies and use them to raise a large standing army in order to counter any move of revolution or struggle. Also, the Acts were beneficial to British Mercantile class and industries.
However, huge public opposition started in protest of the economic measures and with the efforts of intellectuals such as James Otis and Samuel Adams, it spread far and wide enough to convene a conference of several colonies in order to challenge the basic rights of taxation of the British Government.
It is in the conference that the slogan “No taxation without representation” was given which meant that since British parliament is devoid of any representation from colonies, it does not have any legal or moral empowerment to impose taxes.
The revolutionaries of American Independence understood the importance of protesting against the economic sanctions in the early phase of struggle and hence they could succeed with much greater precision.