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Inthe average taxpayer in England paid 26 shillings per year in taxes, while the average colonist paid only one- half to one and a half shillings.
Prime Minister Grenville thought that the American colonists should bear a heavier tax load.
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To this end, Parliament passed the Stamp Act in March The act required Americans to buy special watermarked paper for newspapers and all legal documents. Violators faced juryless trials in vice-admiralty courts, just as under the Sugar Act. Grenville optimistically predicted revenues of between 60, andpounds.
He argued that the colonies could not be taxed without representation in Parliament. Grenville and his followers claimed that they agreed with Pitt, and that the colonies were represented in Parliament, even though they did not elect any of the members.
The Prime Minister claimed that Americans shared the same status as many British males, who did not have enough property to be granted the vote, or who lived in certain large cities that had no seats in Parliament.
He claimed that all of these people were "virtually represented" in Parliament. The theory of virtual representation held that the members of Parliament did not only represent their specific geographical constituencies, but rather that they took into consideration the well-being of all British subjects when deliberating on legislation.
Grenville further argued that Americans were not exempt from taxation, as many claimed, simply because they elected their own assemblies which legislated for and taxed the colonies. He compared colonial assemblies to Scottish town councils, claiming that they only exercised as much power as was granted to them by Parliament.
This position clashed directly with the contention of many colonists that their assemblies exercised legislative powers equal to those of the House of Commons in Britain. To many colonists, the Stamp Act seemed to represent all of the problems of Anglo-American relations.
Moreover, it affected every one of the thirteen colonies equally, and every rank in society, since all colonists would at some time find reason to draw up a legal document such as a will, or to buy a newspaper.
Throughout the colonies, town meetings and colonial assemblies heard violent demonstrations against the Stamp Act. Colonial agents in London and petitions from colonial legislatures warned against passage, but Parliament dismissed the petitions without even granting them a hearing.
In late MayPatrick Henry persuaded the Virginia House of Burgesses to adopt several strongly worded resolutions. Commentary Unlike the Sugar Act, which was an external tax i.
Internal taxes had far wider effects. While external taxes were paid primarily by merchants and ship captains, internal taxes, especially the Stamp Act, were not so discriminatory. Anyone who made a will or bought a newspaper would pay the tax on paper.
The colonies had never been taxed internally by Britain before, and had traditionally taxed themselves through their colonial assemblies. Taxation was a primary function of the self-government to which the colonists so passionately clung. The Stamp Act refuted the claim to a measure of self-government, painting the colonies not as an entity in a loosely bound federation centered in London, but rather as an extension of the British nation, subject to Parliamentary legislation and taxation.
The Stamp Act forced colonists to consider the issue of Parliamentary taxation without representation. Few colonists agreed with Grenville that they were virtually represented.
Though most admired and respected Parliament, few imagined it represented their needs. They claimed that the theory that members of Parliament concerned themselves with the needs of all British subjects was not valid. In the common colonial view, unless a legislator shared, to some extent, the interests of his constituents, he could not be expected to consider their welfare.
It seemed to many that this was precisely what had happened in the case of the Stamp Act.A summary of The Stamp Act in 's America: Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of America: and what it means.
Writing Help. Suggested Essay Topics; How to Cite This SparkNote; Table of Contents; 1 2. To this end, Parliament passed the Stamp Act in March The act required Americans to. Essay on The Stamp Act of - The Stamp Act of was the beginning of the revolution for the colonies of North America.
When the Stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament, it required American colonists to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used.
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Essay about The Stamp Act The Stamp Act 9/24/15 The Stamp Act was an important act introduced by the British Prime Minister George Grenville that was then passed in March by the British Parliament.
Impact Statement The Stamp Act: () The money collected by the Stamp Act was to be used to help pay the costs of defending and protecting the American frontier near the Appalachian Mountains Essay about Stamp Act of Taxation without.