My grievances Date: 10/14/1775
By Samuel Lawton, RPC student and delegate to congress.
The following letter describes the current situation in the 13 colonies and my response to Parliament concerning my grievances against parliament’s acts which they have imposed on the colonists.
A letter to Parliament
In this letter I would like to raise some points against the taxation acts which the house of Parliament in Britain has imposed upon us. While I do not agree that all taxation is bad, the extent to which the house has taxed us is a major issue, one that must be solved immediately.
The current situation, is indeed very disturbing. I understand that Britain has many financial difficulties resulting from the late war that occurred here against the French. I understand that this has drained the treasury and that more money is needed to replenish the financial needs of Britain. The house has therefore made the decision to tax the colonies in a way that has never been done before. Taxes on supplies such as Paper, Tea and on Imports has started to create unrest here in the colonies. Acts such as the Quartering Act and the Molasses Act are actually quite unfair in many respects to the people here.
I strongly believe that many of these Taxes are unrighteous and not needed. I believe there needs to be a change in the way policies are managed here in the colonies and I am also very supportive of the Idea that there should be a delegate from the colonies who could represent us in the house of Parliament. This is also the common thought here in the colonies and “No Taxation without Representation” has become a common phrase. While I detest the Idea of war with Britain (for rumours of such a conflict have been circulating recently) I do solemnly believe that change is needed. These changes are listed in the next few paragraphs and I bid the house to at least consider some of my highlighted points.
The first issue I have with Parliament, are the Import tariffs which the government of Britain has imposed upon us. While I understand that the Mercantilistic form of trading has the world in deadlock, I plead Parliament to consider free trade. The colonies would prosper and become wealthier and life here would be much improved. Free trade also provides wealth for Britain though, as the British government would not have to subsidise export, and export itself would probably increase.
What makes a country wealthy, is a productive nation where people have the freedom to buy necessities at the cheapest price possible, therefore saving money and making the people wealthier. Also, limiting imports actually cuts back on exports, which in a free trade might have grown better.
Taxes on daily needs
The second issue I have with Parliament are the high taxes imposed on daily needs. The Stamp act and the Tea Act are two examples. These taxes are imposing on our daily needs, on necessities that make life enjoyable here. Also, why are these high taxes imposed entirely on us? If the British public aren’t paying these high taxes, why should we? And where are these taxes going? To line the pockets of wealthy London businessmen, or for our benefit? I understand that debts from the late war need to be repaid, but is there no other way? Even just a small increase on our national taxes to repay debts in the long run are better than high taxes on goods that we need.
To conclude, I would like to say once more, that I do not believe all taxation is wrong. Yet I am afraid to say that in this circumstance parliament has gone too far.
Greetings from the delegates of Congress