Difference in the Perspectives of Great Britain and the American Colonies: Analytical Essay
This whole debate over Taxation and Representation had become an important discussion topic for the colonists of British and the Parliament during the years 1763 to 1775. There had been an enormous difference in the perspectives of Great Britain and the American colonies. It has also been concluded that somehow the colonies did not represent themselves individually in the Parliament and therefore, correspondingly, the British taxes had also been interpreted as “taxation without representation”.
First, from the American perspective, in various ways, taxes did affect the people. However, it was precise that the Britain Empire would have been a vital element in the founding of the American colonies. The given assigned readings which are trying to support the viewpoint of the American perspective suggest that colonists had several rights. In the Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved by James Otis. He speaks regarding the major benefits of knowing the colonist’s interests thoroughly until those in the parliament. He claims that “ the colonists, black and white, born here, are free-born British subjects, and entitled to all the essential civil rights of such, is a truth not only manifest from the provincial charters, from the principles of the common law, and acts of parliament; but from the British constitution, which was reestablished at the revolution, with a professed design to lecture the liberties of all the subjects to all generations.”(Otis 2) By this, he is basically trying to portray that the parliament should consider themselves fair or equal. His assumptions are based on the legal British concepts and the freedom of Britain. Yet he also expects Great Britain to not to appear towards the contradict of the constitution, to continue to receive either the colonist’s approval or to also allow all of them to be represented. Moving forward, it was also claimed by Samuel Johnson and Soame Jenyns that sometimes colonies were already being fairly represented by their interests. The whole concept that the colonists are not representatives due to their absolute lack of votes, was rejected by Johnson in his paper which is called Taxation No Tyranny. On the other side, Saome Jenyns further tries to argue in his paper, The objections to the taxation of our American Colonies By The Legislature Of Great Britain, Briefly considered, that somehow the government seemed to have the power to tax the colonies and promoted in his favor regarding the notion of fully interactive illustration.
While reading The Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress by John Cruger or John Dickenson. The document was intended to make claims which embraced the colonist’s freedoms and rights and to convey their disagreements. The colonists also demanded a jury trial which was said to be an optional advantage or a benefit. They wanted more payment arrangements; in his paper, he states that “the increase, prosperity, and happiness of these colonies, depend on the full and free enjoyment of their rights and liberties, and an intercourse with Great-Britain mutually affectionate and advantageous”.(Cruger/Dickenson 2)By reading all the documents and all the acts which support the American position and how exactly do they feel about the partnership between the Colonies and Great Britain. It was believed that the US wanted to have a good friendship/relationship with Great Britain because of the words they used throughout the documents and acts the colonist’ rights are being abused. Altogether, the subject matter is just regarding equal opportunities.
Second, from the British perspective, the existence of Great Britain was strengthened by two important documents which were the objections to the taxation by Soame Jenyns and Samuel Johnson and The Declaratory Act. Both documentation states that Great Britain had many privileges, and it perhaps had a lot of control over colonies. While reading the paper, The Objections to the Taxation of Our American Colonies by the Legislature of Great Britain, by Soame Jenyns. He stated that “The liberty of an Englishman . . . cannot mean; that is, an exemption from taxes imposed by the authority of the Parliament of Great Britain…” Whereas S. Jenyns’ viewpoints on the other side were discriminatory mostly because of her involvement in the British parliament. Furthermore, Jenyns does addresses the equilibrium between right and wrong in a society in Soame Jenyns and Samuel Johnson, which determines the government’s role. It had also been assumed that it was a common opinion of the narrator of this document, that an Englishman would have to be taxed and had little perception as to whether he should be taxed or not. Throughout the paper, the author did overlook that because Englishmen had not yet been required to pay tax than anywhere around the world and the colonist had similar terms with the taxes with the average Englishmen. Furthermore, this argument made by Soame Jenyns could be strengthened by another article which was written by Samuel Johnson which is Taxation, No Tyranny, if the reader looks at the quote which had been stated in the paper written by Johnson which stated that, “A tax is a payment, exacted by authority, from part of the community, for the benefit ….appropriated by the states assembled in parliament” and later on, in the end, he also states that”, “Of every empire all the subordinate… their proportion of the expense”. To conclude, by looking at these two quotes, it is indeed fair and on the other side, it is rational too.
In the Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved by James Otis, the narrator has a strong fascination about to stay as somewhat of a province under Britain’s rule. He provides A common threat that the settlers would be harmful to taxation without representation. To support his argument for supporting the colonists. He argued that it would lead to a stronger system and links amongst both the colonies and Great Britain in having colonies to serve themselves. Moreover, Otis also writes in his conclusion that “the colonies are subordinate dominions, and are now …. greatest peace and prosperity and render it invulnerable and perpetual”. Moving forward, The Continental Congress managed to remain the perception as authored in The Resolution of the Stamp Act, 1765, where there was a lack of acknowledgment which perhaps the colonist also seems to criticize the taxes imposed by Great Britain’s government. Most of the colonists may not have been pleased towards His Emperor and Great Britain’s Government, and it also figured out a way to incorporate the colonies into the governing body of Parliament.
If we talk about another document that plays a major role in this debate is the Declaratory act, which is basically an act that was created in response to only the proposal for the stamp act by the Parliament of Great Britain. Also, it does indicate throughout this above-mentioned act that somehow the colonist seems to be their focus. Great Britain’s Declaratory Act would have been basically a strategy that ensured that the nation claimed perceived safety of reliance within the territories of the sovereignty. By reading all the documents and all the Acts which support the British position it is evident from Britain’s point of view that they keep Great Britain in devotion. Also, Britain does believe that it may be stronger than that of the colonist as well as the colonist has no single reason to rant about it.
My above whole argument shows how and why the British and the US parties were trying to rationalize their viewpoint on the British legislature’s, “right to impose its colonies.” Even though the American citizens had no right to vote and have not been represented in the parliament, they argued that the parliament was not allowed to tax them AT ALL. They did claim that it violates the Constitution to tax them. Overall, this controversy had been one of the factors for the American Revolution and how the US gained its independence.
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