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Debate Over Taxation and Representation
In the years between the end of the French and Indian War and the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord, 1763-1775 the colonies and the mother country debated the right of Parliament to legislate for the colonies. The British claimed that Parliament held this right without question, while the colonies insisted that only a body which they actually elected could tax them. While the British exposed the commonly-held notion that Parliament represented all British possessions virtually, the colonists drew on their experiences with their colonial legislatures, maintaining that the only true representation was actual representation. Read the accounts below which are written from either a British or American point of view, and write a paper that discusses both side of the debate.
Assigned readings: Resolutions Stamp Act Congress 2) The rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved. 3) Declaratory Act 4) Soame Jenyns and Samuel Johnson
Focus Questions: 1. British perspective: According to the documents that support the British position (Declaratory Act, Soame Jenyns and Samuel Johnson), what is the relationship of the colonies to Great Britain? What rights and authority does Great Britain have over the colonies?2) American perspective: According to documents supporting the American position (Resolution of the Stamp Act Congress, The Rights of the British Colonists Asserted and Proved), what rights belong to the colonists? How do they view the relationship between the colonies and Great Britain.
Essay should be a minimum of 2 pages and you should spend at least one page discussing each position (one page discussing the British perspective and one page discussing the American perspective. Your answer should reflect the main points from each reading, and all readings should be addressed in essay. The above questions for each perspective should be addressed in essay. Use examples from the readings to illustrate your main points. When you write essay don’t just go reading by reading; rather see what common themes are found in the readings for both perspective and write paragraphs s based on themes rather than examining each reading individually.
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