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Economic Liberty and The Constitution Blog Series: #1 - The Colonists’ Tax Revolt

The men who founded this nation did so, in part, with taxes on their minds, but not in the same way that Obama and his colleagues are focusing on them today.

The Founding Fathers were outraged because the English monarch was taxing items colonial citizens used every day. At the conclusion of the French and Indian war the English parliament determined it was necessary to raise taxes on colonials, because taxes were levied high enough in England that riot was a serious concern. The English government did not believe the sudden taxation of colonials would be problematic; prior to the French and Indian war taxation in the colonies had been minimal and the war had been one the British Empire fought in order to protect the colonies from French control. Colonials, including the Founding Fathers, were extremely distressed by the new taxation. A large part of the concern was the lack of true colonial representation in English parliament: Colonials were only represented by an English official.

 "If taxes are laid upon us without our having a legal representation where they are laid, we are reduced from the character of free subjects to the state of tributary slaves." – Samuel Adams

The first of the new taxes levied on the unrepresented colonists was the Sugar Act of 1764 which forbade the importation of foreign rum and put duties on coffee, silk, wine, and several other luxury items.  Along with the duties applied to items colonials purchased, the English parliament authorized more officials to collect taxes and enabled these officials to call upon the English regulars to search areas where smuggling was suspected. Colonists were outraged and feared the new duties would have a ruinous effect on their businesses. However, colonials were not yet put off enough to stage a revolution against this injustice.

The second infuriating action taken by British Parliament was the Stamp Act of 1765. The Stamp Act placed a duty on revenue stamps. These stamps had to be affixed to all newspapers, leases, legal documents, and numerous other paper documents. Once again business owners were frustrated at the potential damage that such a regulation could have on their ability to operate.  In response to the Stamp Act, merchants across the colonies formed nonimportation associations resulting in significantly deteriorating trade with England. In fact, it was Samuel Adams’ charge of Britain levying taxes without proper colonial representation which gave birth to the political use of the phrase, “no taxation without representation!” During this time, the Sons of Liberty were also organized to harass British troops and officials in the colonies.

The third and final taxation I will mention is the Townshend Acts: which imposed duties on imported paper, glass, lead, and tea.  Once again, colonials turned to nonimportation associations and made do with what they could make. The new duties along with additional troops dispatched to enforce them led to a violent dispute in the Boston Massacre in which British regulars fired on citizens who had been throwing snowballs at the troops stationed in Boston. From that moment on, the tensions between colonists and English troops and officials were irreconcilable.

The Founding Fathers forged this great nation in blood, sweat, and tears with these outrageous taxes fresh in their minds. As the debt talks continue, a glance into our history leads one to wonder why our representatives would now accept taxes that our government feels are necessary when “We the People” feel they are unjust. From that same preamble of the Constitution, our Founders cite a need to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” as one of the prime reasons to “form a more perfect Union”.

In this blog series, I will explore the evolution of Constitutional law and how it has impacted our economic liberty. Just as our ancestors did in their lifetimes, it is now time for us to hold government accountable for its actions. We must revolutionize the way our representatives and our government are motivated by the best interest of American citizens and not political power or advancement. Call your representative and hold them accountable today. Call and tell them they represent you, not themselves, and that without your consent they are nothing. 

Howard Wemple

It is comforting to see more of "We the People" getting involved! Many of the posts correctly state that "We the People" can get us back to the Constitutional form and size of government. Let us all keep reminding our current representatives that they will not be our future representatives if they do not do our will. Remind them weekly with e-mails and calls. God bless America!

Gary De Capua

Did you know that the biggest crime committed today against the Constitution and the inalienable rights of the people of the United States of America: Is from our government's violation of The Oath of Office? An oath of office is an oath or affirmation a person takes before undertaking the duties of an office, usually a position in government. Such oaths are often required by the laws of the state, before the person may actually exercise the powers of the office they have been elected, or appointed.

The Constitution requirement of Article 6; Section 3 is inherently Supreme in nature which makes it a very powerful tool. All government officials have sworn to and are bound to protect and defend the Constitution, they have attested their names to that very “Oath” and that it is their first line of duty, to protect and defend the Bill of Rights, and if they don't, then it is time to boot them out of the 'Office of Public Trust'. We the 'People' still have the power to Boot them, Kick them all out and FIRE THEM, when it comes time at the voting booth.

Congress OF THE United States begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday the Fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution.

It is time to make the Oath of Office an relevant issue and hold them to their SOLEMN Oath: they have taken an SOLEMN Oath to up hold the said Preamble.

Kathy Koke-Drum's picture

Very interested in relearning what our Founding Fathers planned for this great new country by reading more. How easy it is to just go through school & learn what we have to & think we'll never need to remember this stuf. Well as a "Baby Boomer" I certainly which I had listened,learned & remembered more. Praise God that there are those who helping us to relearn & this time remember. Freedom isn't free! Economically,"We the People" have learned the hard way by believeing what President Obama had in mind when he was running for office. He blind sighted a lot of people by using Former President George W. Bush as our only financial problem maker. I would say that Mr. Obama has out done every president who came before him, that will hurt this country & "We the People" who live here legally!!!!

Kathy Koke-Drum's picture

I am also sorry for my grammer errors & misspelled words Eddie. Yes it would be nice to be able to go back after we post to correct our mistakes. It is a great example of how we so often are not given the chance to correct our mistakes politically & legally. I know that when I post my oppinions about all this stuff, I am very frustrated that for the past 2 yrs. the President & "His" Congress have had a free reign on everything. At the same time I get a little excited to think I am allowed to post my opinions & just click on post with out reading what I have typed. We are all human & are "We the People". We make mistakes that others blame their mistakes on, I'm just glad I can say I voted & Praise God I voted for the right people who are standing up for us!!!!

Jane Porter

Scarey, there is so much Obamas machine has going we can't keep up with them.I wonder, if all of America decided to with hold all income taxes,would the Obama machine be able to put us all in jail? We are so close to Totaltarianism/Dictatorship it is not funny. A study on Joseph Stalin will make your hair stand up on your head. God Bless America!

Eddie Reynolds

Sorry for the grammatical errors and misspelled words. It won't happen again. They should afford us the opportunity to correct said errors !

Eddie Reynolds

Jane I have been advocating what you offered for a long long time. If the cash cow refuses to give milk will they incarcerate the cow of kill it ? They only get money when we "volutarily" remit it. No remittance no trutle crossing or a study on the penis size of male prostitutes. These are just two programs funded by your tax dollars. You also have invested in building mosque around the world with money "donated" by you. Time to stop this madness at all cost. I refuse to be a modern day slave to anybody but Jesus, and that I volunteer to being. As you and I have both stated..."what are they gonna do arrest and throw the whole country in jail", there's not room there are 33% of the prisoners are "illegal invaders." They don't have room.

Jeannie Chace

Love this article. Can't wait for the whole series.

Gary Tucek

Me too Jeannie. But wait until the Liberal/Progressive/Democrat plants get in here. They'll go nuts and start screaming at all of us Conservatives. They always do. They can't back up their opinions and desires with truth so all they can do is attack us and belittle us. Wait, they are coming.

Now as for paying, or not paying, taxes, we don't have much of a choice there. I know someone who once stopped paying his taxes and he lost his only home because he refused to pay. However, that said, we do need to get the politicians that want to spend, spend, spend, more and more and more of our hard earned money out of the government. I only hope we can do that before they somehow or another create some law or find some loophole to manage to remain in office regardless of how we vote and try as we might to get them out of office. Does the name Harry Reid come to mind here? I submit that he remained in office because he was bought off and the Libs wanted him to remain there. How else could he have gotten re-elected?

And tell me how in the world, after the American public managed to get so many Democrats out of the House of Representatives, that the Senate managed to remain in the hands of the Democrats? Anyone since the 2010 elections ever give that question any thought? I didn't think so.

These Progressives/Liberals/Democrats are sly folks. They will find a way to hold control over us all come hell or high water. I can only hope that I am incorrect about my opinions but we must wait until the 2012 elections to see the results of my predictions.