What were the primary anti-tax arguments posed by the colonists between 1763 and 1776? two other anti-tax movements that occurred in the United States in the late twentieth century or early twenty-first century. What were the goals and consequences of each? How do the contemporary anti-tax movements compare and contrast with those of the colonists?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The primary tax arguments that were used by the colonists during the pre-Revolutionary War era were that they were not being represented in Parliament; therefore, they could not be taxed without being represented. Parliament countered that any Member of Parliament could speak for the good of the Empire; therefore, Parliament was not a representative body. Parliament had actually enacted taxation efforts before 1763, but thanks to salutary neglect, did little to collect the taxes from the colonists.

The argument over taxation that led to the American Revolution was part of a broader argument over what constituted representation. The colonists wanted their views heard by Parliament since they considered this to be part of their natural rights as Englishmen. When Parliament held their ground of political determination an domination over the colonies, and passed acts such as the Declaratory Act, which gave the Crown permission to legislate in any way it saw fit, colonists lost the argument over their own self-governance. To the colonists it was only a matter of time before the debate would be settled by war. After the Intolerable Acts and subsequent buildup of troops by both pro-Crown and Patriot forces, war was inevitable.

The modern protests against taxation stem from reports of government waste, especially in the IRS. The modern Libertarian movement wants to do away with the income tax, as they claim that it is personal income taken away by an ineffective government. The Tea Party movement is named for the famous Revolutionary War-era incident, and is an acronym for "taxed enough already." It is a group of conservative Republicans who want less taxes and less regulations. It was created as a backlash to the Obama-era regulations viewed as being against businesses, and social programs such as the Affordable Healthcare Act. While the Libertarians did not coalesce into a viable political movement, many Tea Party Republicans enjoyed success in being elected to Congress. They have been largely unsuccessful in cutting social programs and regulations; however, they have had success in tax rates being somewhat lower.

The modern-day tax protesters in the United States have enjoyed populist support at the ballot box—this is in contrast with the Patriots of 1776 who rebelled because they did not have access to having their voices heard in Parliament.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial