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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Our Stamp Act

In 1913 the states ratified the Sixteenth Amendment. This amendment brought about what we call today, the Income Tax. The income tax taxes people's incomes based on how much they make. In the Presidential election of 1912, the 3 candidates, Woodrow Wilson(D), Theodore Roosevelt(Progressive), and William Howard Taft(R), all supported the income tax. Support for the income tax was strongest in the western states and opposition was strongest in the northeastern states.

In 1765, the British Parliament passed an act to impose a tax on all legal documents, permits, commercial contracts, almanacs, newspapers, wills, pamphlets, and playing cards in the American Colonies to pay for the Seven Years War. This act was known as the Stamp Act. The colonists were against this tax as they had no representation in Parliament to vote on this act and thus the cry "NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION". It was the first tax imposed on the colonies without their consent and the American Colonies began boycotting English goods that came into the colonies.

During this uproar in the colonies, Benjamin Franklin was in England as the Pennsylvania Assembly's agent to the Crown. He was much opposed to the Stamp Act. Parliament didn't know why the colonies were so angry, they held many sessions questioning experts on American affairs. Finally, they called upon Benjamin Franklin. The following is a few exerts from "The Examination of Doctor Benjamin Franklin to the Repeal of the American Stamp Act".

Q. You say the Colonies have always submitted to external taxes, and object to the right of Parliament only in laying internal taxes; now can you show that there is any kind of difference between the two taxes to the Colony on which they may be laid?

A. I think the difference is very great. An external tax is a duty laid on commodities imported; that duty is added to the first cost and other charges on the commodity, and, when it is offered for sale, makes a part of the price. If the people do not like it at that price, they refuse it; they are not obliged to pay it. But an internal tax is forced from the people without their consent if not laid by their own representatives. The Stamp Act says we shall have no commerce, make no exchange of property with each other, neither purchase nor grant, nor recover debts; we shall neither marry nor make our wills, unless we pay such and such sums; and thus it is intended to extort our money from us or ruin us by the consequence of refusing to pay it.

Q. Then no regulation with a tax would be submitted to?

A. Their opinion is that when aids to the Crown are wanted they are to be asked of the several assemblies according to the old-established usage, who will, as they always have done, grant them freely, and that their money ought not to be given away without their consent, by persons at a distance, unacquainted with their circumstances and abilities. The granting aids to the Crown is the only means they have of recommending themselves to their sovereign, and they think it extremely hard and unjust that a body of men in which they have no representatives should make a merit to itself of giving and granting what is not its own but theirs, and deprive them of a right they esteem of the utmost value and importance, as it is the security of all their other rights.


Franklin made it quite clear that taxing the people based on what they make or create would destroy them and the economy. The idea was much like Redistribution of Wealth, taking what people have worked and earned and giving it to others. He also made clear that the colonies were a giving people and that if asked, they would gladly give.

The Income Tax and the Stamp Act are much the same in the fact that they both tax the people based on what they make or create. The American Colonies fought against the Stamp Act and it was repealed in 1766. The Sixteenth Amendment was ratified and passed by 42 of the 48 states. This was under the beginning of the Progressive movement and their first act against the American people and the history of the founders.

Unlike the Progressives of today, the Progressives of the 1900s actually followed the Amendment process. And thus, the only way for the Sixteenth Amendment to be repealed is by another Amendment to be passed. They have chained us down with this curse and now it is up to us to stop this and many other acts that they have and are committing.

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