Name Date Course Section/# Tax, Resistance, and Hubris: The Case of Colonial Resistance to British Parliament and Taxation The issue of early Colonial resistance to the British Empire was not something that could easily be defined. As a result of the unique American experience, the issue of taxation without representation has been proven to be an irritant but served more as a flashpoint of contention between the already irritated colonials…
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Although such a question is necessarily broad and would require a thesis length response to capture the full depth and complexity exhibited therein, this brief essay will seek to establish the points as succinctly and efficiently as possible so as to provide the reader with a broad overview and analysis of key issues without becoming distracted by the sheer complexity that such an issue necessarily presents. In order to begin the discussion into the right of the people to secede and ultimately engage in violent struggle against their former government, the reader/researcher must first consider the situation throughout the rest of the British Empire prior to the outbreak of discontent and violence within the American colonies. Due to e very expensive Seven Years War, also known in the colonies as the French-Indian War, the British Empire found itself in a high level of debt. As with most governmental structures at that time, it was necessary for the British government to work to pay off this debt as soon as possible so as to give the Empire and the Crown a level of overall sovereignty and wealth (Cook 74). A little known fat with reference to the tax ratio in the colonies was the fact that it was in all actuality much lower than the tax rates of any other British possessions around the world. As a function of this, the royal review of parliament judged that it only made logical sense to add to the overall level of taxation within the colonies as a means of paying off this debt. As can be seen from history, this acted as a flashpoint of hardly subtle frustration that the colonists already harbored with relation to British rule. In this way, the political aspect of this taxation served to reignite the frustrations faced by the colonists at being what they termed as second class citizens. Whereas many historical interpretations have distorted the role that the taxes ultimately played in spurring the revolution onwards, the fact of the matter is that the taxes only served to provide the flashpoint upon which the other malcontents were able to focus their negative energies with regards to seeking to resist the British Empire and her influence over the colonies. Secondary and tertiary reasons for why the colonists decided to make the issue of higher taxation the proverbial line in the sand are concentric around the fact that the United States was a mercantile economy at the time and was highly dependent upon the British to continue to ignite the fire that kept the colony’s economies burning brightly. However, the situation appeared, at least to the colonists, to be one sided as they were forced to sell many raw materials and finished and unfinished goods back to the British without accruing any type of “clawback” tax; whereas, at the same time, the British were able to sell finished products within the American economy, as well as constrict the sale and transfer of “inter-American trade” by emplacing special taxes upon such goods (Porter 27). This of course led to a groundswell of anger that could only be channeled by the common derision and hatred for the increased cost of living that was passed along to all; both rich and poor. Adding insult to injury with
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