Stamp Act Essay

Words: 1342
Pages: 6

The passing of the Stamp Act by Parliament in 1765 caused a rush of angry protests by the colonists in British America that perhaps "aroused and unified Americans as no previous political event ever had." It levied a tax on legal documents, almanacs, newspapers, and nearly every other form of paper used in the colonies. Adding to this hardship was the need for the tax to be paid in British sterling, not in colonial paper money. Although this duty had been in effect in England for over half a century and was already in effect in several colonies in the 1750's, it called into question the authority of Parliament over the overseas colonies that had no representation therein. When the news of the passage of this act reached the …show more content…
He begins by censuring those questioning the jurisdiction of Parliament:
The right of the Legislature of Great-Britain to impose taxes on her American Colonies, and the expediency of exerting that right in the present conjuncture, are propositions so indisputably clear, that I should never have thought it necessary to have undertaken their defence, had not many arguments been lately flung out, both in papers and conversation, which with insolence equal to their absurdity deny them both.

With this, Jenyns almost laughs at the suggestion that Parliament might not have the power to levy such a tax in colonial America. He goes on to systematically discuss three propositions used to support the colonists and their supporters' refractory statements. These are (1) that no Englishman can be taxed without his own consent as an individual, (2) that no Englishman can be taxed without the consent of the persons he chuses to represent him, and (3) that no Englishman can be taxed without the consent of the majority of all those, who are elected by himself and others of his fellow-subjects to represent them. He then asserts that the colonists, as Englishmen, are not exempt from the taxes imposed by Parliament. In addition to the Resolutions submitted by the Stamp Act Congress, other Americans wrote pamphlets about the unjust Stamp Act. Daniel Dulany, Marylander