Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Remarkably, some of the most articulate and vigorous opposition to the Revolutionary Era Stamp Act of 1765 was heard in the Houses of Parliament which had levied the tax on colonies. The Act’s repeal in late winter 1766 revealed a major constitutional fault line in Parliamentary debate and British society that would continue until the Treaty of Paris in 1783 released America into independence. The issue was the extent of Parliament’s taxing authority. Few doubted that Parliament could do just about anything it wanted to do, including levying taxes. The colonies were asserting, however, that Parliament had no right to tax Americans because they were not represented in Parliament. This affirmed one of the signature tenets of English Constitutional system. No one can be taxed unless they are represented in the institution doing the taxing. In that the colonies were making a distinction between taxation and ordinary legislation: that the government cannot rifle though my back pocket unless I elect the representative doing the rifling.

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