Taxation without representation

  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    This is a catch phrase that was common around the time when the British were being challenged to remove themselves from having policital authority over the north american colonies.

    The colonies were expected to remit taxes to London, but had no representation in the English Parliament.

    Hence the slogan, "No taxation without representation."


    What is taxation without representation? Have you ever come across this term? If so, what is it about?
    Thank you in advance :)
    I think you mean 'they had to submit to taxation without representation.'

    Taxation which is 'extracted' from people who, in a democracy, are not allowed to vote for their representatives to a parliament, is deemed to be "a bad thing".


    Senior Member
    This was one of the chief complaints of the colonies before the American Revolution. I believe one of the founding fathers said, "Taxation without representation is tyranny." It referred to the heavy taxes imposed on the colonies without any representation in Parliament that would have a say in how those taxes were spent. In other words, they were tired of being a cash cow for the Crown. :)


    Canada (English)
    It's widely circulated as the main reason the US declared independence. According to Jacques Barzun and John Sugden, however, it wasn't really about that, which was just one aspect of the complaint; a lot of it had to do with the Laws of Navigation, which specified that all goods must be traded to or from Britain, in British bottoms (British-made ships). This means that American made ships owned by American merchants were only able to trade with Jamaica, for instance, in sugar, cotton and the like, on the black market. Otherwise they would have had to buy British made ships and trade with London for these new-world commodities, with middleman prices. The British were essentially like Microsoft at the time, and everyone was looking feverishly for a good install of Linux.
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