How did taxation create tensions between the American colonies and the British government?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The above answer is correct.  However, I would like to add a couple of relevant points.

  1. The issue of taxation becomes a problem on after the end of the French and Indian War in 1763.  At that point, the British government does need money.
  2. It's important to note that the British government would have said that the tax money was in part to help the betterment of the colonies in that it was to help pay for a war that had helped the colonies too.
  3. This is the most important point: in addition to being unrepresented, the colonies had not been taxed much for a long time.  So another major issue with the taxation is that it was new and something the colonists had gotten used to not having.  Because of that, it was more offensive than it might otherwise have been.


tennman06 | Student

The main concern that most colonialists maintained during the mid 1700’s was taxation without representation.  The American Colonialists had no representation in the British Parliament.  What that means is that there was no “American” in England to voice their complaints to the Crown.  They were taxed and had no “say” in what should be taxed or how much the tax should be.  Also the tax money that was collected was not distributed back to the colonies for the betterment of America, it was sent to England.  Unlike today, where taxes are for the good of the country, i.e. for the betterment of public schools and roads, if you believe in such things.