Just finished reading Thomas Fitch pamphlet titled Reasons Why the British Colonies, in America, should not be charged with Internal Taxes, by Authority of Parliament. This pamphlet was printed in 1764.
To put a little background as to why this pamphlet is so important — in 1763, the French Indian war had just wrapped up. The British had expended great sums of money in prosecuting the war in America. Parliament had decided that they should impose a tax upon the colonies so that they might pay their “fair” share.
Thomas Fitch was the governor of the state of Connecticut. As such, his people are facing these taxes for the first time. As the duly elected governor of Connecticut, this is his attempt to notify parliament that they do not have the authority to tax them.
This pamphlet was not very long, approximately 39 pages with about three paragraphs per page. As such, it is a very quick read in order to complete this important document.
Thomas Fitch starts out by laying the foundation that as a British colony, they were subjects of the king and as such the Constitution of Great Britain did not allow any law to be passed absent the consent of the govern. In Great Britain, this was the duty of parliament. Parliament was the representatives of the people who passed laws that the king gave his consent to. No resident of England could be taxed absent their duly elected member of parliament having the right to vote on the issue.
Parliament was over the people of Great Britain, however there were no members of Parliament who lived in America. America did not have a voice in Parliament representing their interest. It was the position of Thomas Fitch that the American colonist should be treated the same as Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. In Ireland, it was the Ireland parliament that passed taxes that were paid.
Governor Fitch was telling Great Britain, we understand that you fought a war that we benefited from, and we understand that we probably owe you some money. However, Parliament does not have the authority to dictate taxes over here in America. Parliament has overstepped its authority.
Governor Fitch is not attempting to start a revolution, all he is doing is pleading his constituents case that Parliament was violating the British Constitution. The American Colonist only wanted to be treated properly. They were not trying to get out of their responsibilities.
Governor Fitch does mention in this pamphlet that he does have some concern as to what portion of the war bill the colonies were going to end up paying. Fitch correctly points out that the main reason why the British were involved in the French and Indian war was because they were protecting their own trade interest.
Yes, there was a benefit received by the colonies, but it appeared to Governor Fitch that parliament was trying to pass the entire debt off to the colonies. Because Parliament was passing taxes upon colonies that were not under their control, they were trying to usurp the authority of the Colonial legislature. It was the duty of the Colonial legislature to work it out with the King over what portion of the bill was each parties responsibility.
Another concern that Governor Fitch had with these taxes being imposed by Parliament was that Parliament would be sending tax collectors to the Colonies to collect the tax. These collectors would be answerable to the crown some 3,000 miles away, not to the local legislature. Fitch understood the problems that were about to happen by having people come from England, loyal to England depriving Americans of the fruits of their labor.
While the motto, no Taxation without Representation was not yet in existence, that is the substance of this particular pamphlet.
Today, while we do not have to worry about a tax being passed upon us without our representative voting on the issue, there is something going on that should cause the blood of every American to boil. Today we live in a country where Regulations are being passed without our Representatives voting upon them. Regulations have the same force as law and the courts will pretty much uphold any rule passed by the Bureaucracy.
Our Founding Fathers revolted because Parliament was passing laws that they had to live by without their consent. Every day, the Federal and State Bureaucracy are passing rules that have the same enforcement as law. These rules control every aspect of American life.
It is time to start a new cry for Revolution, it is time to start requesting No Regulations without Representation. It is time to pass a Constitutional Amendment that says every Administrative Rule must be sent to Congress where Congress must vote on the issue. We cannot afford to let Congress simply complain that there is nothing they can do. Congress does not like being the bad guy, but they were elected to make the tough decisions.
For those who are interested in reading the pamphlet, you can find it here: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/evans/N07567.0001.001…