Rationalize the role of taxation in the development of colonial ideas of personal liberties.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Taxation played a role in the development of colonial ideas of personal liberty in at least two ways.

First, there was the idea of “no taxation without representation.”  This had to do with personal liberty in the sense of the person’s right to participate in their own governance.  The colonists felt that they had the right to vote for any governmental body that was allowed to impose taxes on them.  In this sense, the fact of taxation helped them to conceive of the idea that personal liberty included the right to have a say in selecting the government.

Second, taxation helped to create the idea that the right to be free from government economic intervention was part of personal liberty.  The colonists came to feel that the very fact of being taxed was in some way an infringement on their personal liberty.  This brought economic rights into the category of personal liberty.

In these ways, taxation helped to create the colonists’ sense of personal liberties.