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No Taxation Without Representation?

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					          Today’s Lecture:




   Colonial America – Mercantilism,
      Taxation & Representation




Session                       Topic(s)


  7                            3
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Lecture Organization for Topic 3:

  Last Time                         This Time

   Colonial Governing                 Mercantilism
       Institutions
                                     Colonial Experiences
   Otis and the Writs                    with Taxation
  of Assistance Cases
                                         “no taxation without
       When something is                   representation”
       “unconstitutional” in
       the English system
                                        Declaration of
                                        Independence
         Timeline




The Defeat of the Spanish Armada Beheading of Charles
           Settling America   The         The First Modern Country?
                                       The Glorious Revolution




    1588       1600
                                        1649           1688        1722
                                         and the
                               CromwellParliament installs
                               Protectorate; Outbreak
                                         William and Mary as
                               of Religious Radicalism
                                         King and Queen;
                                         Constitutional Monarchy
                                         Established

   9/24/2010             Copyright, Sean Wlson. 2007               4
Taxation in the Colonies
                    Mercantilism


Mercantilism
   What is it?     commercial trading network
   -- As a general rule, colonies are only allowed to trade with
   or through their mother country (key point)
      (Other Trading Networks: France, Spain & England)
   -- the English government could dictate how commerce
   arising in the colonies was channeled around the globe
   Relationship was good for both sides (explain)
      -- like being a business partner (sort of)
                   Mercantilism


Mercantilism
  How the relationship benefitted both sides
   -- England has a vast merchant marine/superiority on the
   high seas. (Her ships trade in goods all over the globe)
   (a central repository for trade and distribution through
   Europe)
   -- she needs two things:
      • more cash crops coming through her ports.
      • more agricultural produce (land is sparse)
                   Mercantilism


Mercantilism
  How the relationship benefitted both sides
   -- America is to supply the agricultural goods that England
   needs and to make her ports have more products
  -- But, America shall have:
      -- no banks (new institutions)
      -- no arms industry.
      -- no manufacturing
                  Mercantilism


Mercantilism

    Setting up the Mercantile Regime

   • Shipping Act (1600s)
      -- must use British ships
   • Navigation Acts – early 1700s.
      -- the list of enumerated goods that must get shipped
      through England and no other foreign power
      [the list only covers profitable cash crops – not
      everything]
                 Mercantilism


Mercantilism

 Benign Neglect

 -- Other than setting up this commercial system, the English
 pretty much left us alone.

     George III will try to change this
             The Taxation Issue


England and the French/Indian War

  -- England had won the equivalent of a “world war” after it
  defeated the French in 1763.
  -- Effectively kicked the French out of North America
  -- Had a substantial national debt as a result
  -- Had substantial needs (now had a huge empire)

     One Solution: Increase Taxation in the Colonies
               The Taxation Issue


Stamp Act
   -- Tax on “stamps.”
       (scope: newspapers, legal papers, playing cards,
       cigarettes, etc. etc.)
       before you get these items, you must buy a stamp.
   -- revolts (quote)
Colonial Mobs –

The people appointed to collect the tax were beaten and tarred and
feathered. Serious injuries. The lieutenant governor of
Massachusetts’ house was demolished by a mob. Franklin’s own
house came under serious threat. There were people in PA who knew
that Franklin was in London and assumed that, because the tax
passed, Franklin had supported it (or was affiliated with it). An angry
mob gathered around Franklin's home. Debbi had to get friends who
had guns to protect the house – a counter mob developed. The crises
passed.

Source – H.W. Brands (paraphrased)
               The Taxation Issue


Stamp Act
   -- Tax on “stamps.”
       (scope: newspapers, legal papers, playing cards,
       cigarettes, etc. etc.)
       before you get these items, you must buy a stamp.
   -- revolts (quote)
                                    Question:
                              Was there anything
                              wrong with the tax?
                              Why would colonists
                                revolt like this?
               The Taxation Issue


Two Issues

    Direct v. Indirect Taxes
      • taxing within the mercantile system versus directly
      extracting wealth because you think it’s there
      (sales taxes versus income taxes)

   Taxation without Representation
      • this is another issue that colonial elites are raising.
      We’ll talk about that in a moment
  (I want to deal with the first issue, first)
              The Taxation Issue


Boycott

  -- The colonies organize a boycott of British goods
  -- hurts British capitalists in their pocket books, and it works!
  -- the Stamp Act is repealed
  -- they put something else in its place.
               The Taxation Issue


Townsend Duties & Declaratory Acts

  Townsend Duties
   -- new taxes exports and imports, and expanding the list of
   goods on the navigation acts
   -- in essence, raising taxes on the mercantile relationship
   Declaratory Acts
   -- Parliament declaring that it has the right to rule the
   colonies
             The Taxation Issue


It doesn’t work

 -- still have revolts; colonists re-impose the boycott
 -- “Boston Massacre” (mention John Adams)
 -- Finally, the straw that breaks the camel’s back: the “tea
 party”

    Martial Law and Bloodshed
               The Taxation Issue


Basic Point:

  -- the issue of direct versus indirect seems not to have
  been the real issue
               The Taxation Issue


Taxation Without Representation
   -- this seems to be the real issue

   history behind this idea:
  -- a central idea in English declaration of right
  -- common law principle even before the Glorious revolution
  -- had impact in the colonies, e.g.,
               The Taxation Issue


Early Virginia (1600s)

   -- King sends over a Royal Governor to govern the colony
   -- no salary is given
   -- The colonists have to raise money to pay the Governor’s
   salary
   -- An assembly of the Burgess is called
              Taxation & Representation


Initial Question




                                   Question:
                             Was this a valid claim
                             – Does England have
                                a right to tax the
                                    colonists?
              Taxation & Representation


Initial Question




                              Question:
                         Did they have a right
                             to set up the
                          mercantile regime
                             and tax that?
              Taxation & Representation


Initial Question



                               Question:
                       Did America have a right to
                        force women to pay taxes
                      before they were franchised?
                      (Same for African Americans
                            and 18 year olds)
             Taxation & Representation


Look more closely
  -- let’s look more closely at this representation issue
                                      Government
No representation
                                           “Represented”
                    Hypothetical National State A


                     District- A     District- B
                     Ward-A          Ward-B


  Colony-A          District- C     District- D
                     Ward-C          Ward-D
        Question:
                                            Government
Is It Ok to Tax Colony-A if
  we make it “Ward-E?”
                         Hypothetical National State A


                          District- A     District- B
                          Ward-A          Ward-B


  Colony-A               District- C      District- D
  Ward-E                  Ward-C           Ward-D
         Question:
What would have happened                       Government
   to the taxation issue if
    Britain had given the
colonies representation likeHypothetical National State A
 this? Would the taxes still
    have been passed?
                             District- A      District- B
                             Ward-A           Ward-B


   Colony-A              District- C      District- D
   Ward-E                 Ward-C           Ward-D
              Taxation & Representation


Theories of Representation
 Being included in Parliament?
-- no Americans (as far as I know) would have qualified for the
House of Lords. That was reserved for the elite bloodline or the
first-borns of those who had purchased titles
-- Under a theory of representation by population, the colonies
would have been a minority in the House of Commons
   (Note: The House of Commons wasn’t strictly done by
   population; it was mostly done by boroughs & shires.
   Freehold, plus 40 shillings to participate.)
               Taxation & Representation


Theories of Representation
   Previous Taxes:
-- remember that the mercantile system had required
commercial duties and excises and the regulation of commerce
-- all of this had occurred without the objection of “no
representation”
-- one wonders why the Townsend Duties would have been
philosophically objectionable (according to the rhetoric), except
that, of course, the taxes were now stiffer (which was always
the true issue).
              Taxation & Representation


Theories of Representation

   My Basic Point:      Local Rule
-- The Colonists were really never asking for representation in
Parliament; they were asking for the equivalent of local rule
-- They were asking that each of their colonial forms of
government sit with the King in the manner that the King sit with
its own Parliament
This structure would                         Government
decide the taxation and
other regulatory policy
                          Hypothetical National State A


                           District- A      District- B
                           Ward-A           Ward-B

                             Presumably, the mercantile
   Colony-A               District- C        District- D
                             relationship that was structured
   Ward-E                    prior to
                           Ward-C the French Indian war
                                              Ward-D
                             was still acceptable (although
                             the Townsend Duties were
                             not?)
              Taxation & Representation


British Law
-- There was no legal basis for the colonists position that the
King and Parliament could not regulate the colonies if it
wanted.
-- The only schism in British law was weather King had
absolute domain over the colonies because the land was
“captured” for his majesty
-- After the Glorious Revolution, these types of assertions are
dubious in English legal culture
-- The Declaratory Acts were passed specifically to clear up the
idea that Parliament did not have the right to regulate the
colonies
               Taxation & Representation


Footnotes:
-- England DID offer us some form of local rule or
representation in the peace negotiations. I think this happens
after the battle of Saratoga
-- At that point, we rejected it and were going for full
independence
Declaration of Independence
           America Becomes Independent


Declaration of Independence
 -- Symbolic document
 -- Needed to secure loans from France
 -- Jefferson picked to write it
    -- slight accident [Franklin, Adams]
    -- Jefferson was young
    -- poetic or elegant way of writing
              America Becomes Independent


 Declaration of Independence

     (Natural law prose or vernacular)
When Law Goes Wrong –

“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one
people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them
with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the
separate and equal station to which the laws of nature nature nature’s
separate and equal station to which the laws of and of and of
nature’s god entitle
god entitle them …” them …”
             America Becomes Independent


 Declaration of Independence
  -- Plagiarism (Locke and George Mason)
   -- Exaggeration
Inalienable liberty –

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
                  truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
Rights; thatRights; that among these are Life, Libertythe pursuit of
         that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of
               among these are Life, Liberty and and
               among these are Life, Liberty and
unalienable among these are Life, Liberty and the the pursuit
Happiness.
Happiness.
of Happiness.
                                               George Mason
             America Becomes Independent


Declaration of Independence
   -- The same exact reason John Locke used to dump the
The Lockean Solution –
   King will be used by the colonists to dump the British.
“That Nothing other than Whig revolutionary thinkingamong men,
     -- to secure these rights, governments are instituted occurring
     in America a powers from
deriving their justcentury later. the consent of the governed; that,
whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these
     -- it is the right of the people
ends, Similar colonial documents to alter or to abolish it, and to
institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles,
          • state its powers in
and organizing constitutions such form, as to them shall seem most
          effect Adams
likely to • Johntheir safety and happiness.”

   -- tradition of reading these documents in public (compare
   to an entertainment genre)
END SESSION

				
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