Excerpt from The Beginnings of the Revolution in New Hampshire: Delivered Before the New Hampshire Society of Sons of the American Revolution in Concord, N. H., July 9, 1903
On the other hand, the colonists insisted that they were English men, and that they had neither yielded or lost any of their rights as such by settlement in America; that at home no tax could be levied or collected but in pursuance of the act or consent of the house of commons, in which all resident Englishmen were directly or indirectly represented; that, as neither the king nor parliament had provided such representation for them, they could not be taxed lawfully against their will, and that, as taxation without representation is tyranny, they could not, as self-respecting Englishmen, consent to it. Between vassalage and representative government there is a great gulf fixed. On the one side are the standards of power and prerogative, on the other the banners of liberty and law. Hence the differences which separated the king and the colonists were based upon principles for which each contended as a matter of right. The people could not yield and preserve their manhood and integrity as Englishmen. The king regarded them as rebels denying him his rightful authority.
There seems to have been no earnest attempt to meet the issue by granting colonial representation, or by compromise measures or agree ments which should be beneficial to king and people. In England the king and ministry held the enactments of parliament concerning the colonies as conclusive and final. During all the discussions in parliament no authoritative assurance was given that England would abandon its purpose to tax America. The necessity for the revenue such taxation was expected to produce was uniformly asserted by those in power. The right of parliament to tax the colonists seems not to have been doubted by king or ministry.
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