Primary and Secondary Sources for the British Tax Policies toward the American Colonists



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Primary and Secondary Sources for the British Tax Policies toward the American Colonists


“The American colonies stand no longer in need of England’s protection. England will call on them to help contribute toward supporting the burden they have helped to bring on her, and they will answer by striking off all dependence”
Charles Gravier , French Govt. Official, 1700’s

“We are not yet recovered from a War undertaken…for their Protection. No time was ever so seasonable (appropriate) for claiming their assistance. The distribution is too unequal, of benefits only to the colonies, and of all the Burdens upon the Mother Country.”


Thomas Whately, Considerations on the Trade and Finances of This Kingdom, 1763.

“That a revenue be raised in Your Majesty’s Dominion in America for defraying the expenses of defending, protecting, and securing same.”


British Prime Minister   while enacting the Sugar Act of 1764

“The Stamp Act was repealed after a boycott of British goods in America which put pressure on British merchants.”  “The tea boycott continues and the British East India Company is near bankruptcy”.


Prentice Hall textbook, 2001

“The taxation of the people by themselves, or by persons chosen by themselves to represent them…is the only security against a burdensome taxation, and (is) the distinguishing characteristic of British freedom.”


The Virginia House of Burgesses

“…a tendency to deprive the colonies of some of their most essential Rights as British subjects , and…particularly the Right of assessing their own taxes.”


James Otis, 1761

“When the people are oppressed, when their Rights are infringed (violated), when their property invaded, when taskmasters are set over them…in such circumstances the people will be discontented, and they are not to be blamed.”


Samuel Adams, Boston Gazette, August 8, 1768

“The Stamp act was never expected to bring in more than 100,000 pounds, the tax on tea no more than 30,000 pounds. The War (7years or French and Indian War), cost the British treasury 133,000,000 pounds.


Theodore Draper,  Historian, late 1900’s

Expected revenue from the Sugar Act 45,000 pounds


anonymous source

”In a seemingly reasonable gesture, Grenville (Br.Prime Minister) lowered the duty (tax) on molasses imported from the West Indies from six cents to 3 cents a gallon. But he announced a new determination to collect this lower charge” from the smugglers and lax officials in America.


Thomas Fleming, Liberty. 1997

“…to affirm, that we are quarrelling for the trifling sum of 3 pence a pound on tea, when it is evidently the principle against we contend”.


Alexander Hamilton

“The question is not about paying of this sum, or that sum of money, but to establish your jurisdiction, and power of every land within the words of the Act of Parliament over the colonies”


British Prime Minister George Grenvile, 1770’s

“The British maintained that Parliament had the right to legislate and tax Americans because Americans were British subjects.


Theodore Draper, Historian, late 1900’s

“The smaller the taxes the more dangerous they were, since they would the more easily be found acceptable.”


John Dickinson, Pamphleteer, 1776
website: http:// grid.let.rug.nl/~welling/usaChap2.html

“Taxation without representation is tyranny”


James Otis, Boston, 1761

“ Considering the scarcity of money…the execution of (this) act for a short space of time would dreign (drain) the country of cash, strip multitudes of the poorer people of all their cash and reduce them to absolute beggary.”


John Adams, regarding the Stamp Act

“The British were justified in taxing the Americans and tightening the navigation acts after 1763 because it had been largely British blood and money that was expended in defending the North American colonies in the Great War for Empire, 1754-1763.


Lawrence Gibson, Historian, 1930

No American would be allowed west of the Allegheny Mountains.


The Proclamation of 1763

7,500 British soldiers were stationed on the American Western frontier to secure peace and safety. The costs amounted to 320,000 pounds annually.


Prentice Hall textbook, 2001

“The colonists on the Frontier outnumbered Indians 20 to 1 and were perfectly capable of defending themselves”.


Thomas Fleming, Liberty, 1997


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