Samuel Adams: An American View of the Stamp Act Samuel Adams writes a letter to his English friend, John Smith, defending the American’s side of the new imperial taxation and control. He describes the colonists thinking of the act as “both burdensome and unconstitutional. ” They feel as if they are not represented as they should be and that their rights as Englishmen are being taken away from them. He goes on to say that Parliament cannot tax them consistent with the constitution because they are not represented. In 1765 England passed a new law called the Stamp Act.
This act was meant to replace the sugar act because that act did not work. It taxed all printed items. England felt that they needed to tax the colonies because the colonies were still a part of England and felt that they needed to help pay for the debt that they were in for the war that they had helped fight for the colonies. Benjamin Franklin proposed that if England was to tax the colonies, then they wanted members in the legislature so they could be one people. However, politicians rejected this idea and called Franklin a radical.
England felt like the colonies were already represented enough because they had virtual representation and didn’t need to have geographic representation. England said that geographic representation would cost them too much time and hardly any laws would be passed. In this letter Adams says England is increasing their power and wealth at the colonies expense. He argues against the point that England makes saying that the war was to defend the colonies, saying that England didn’t do it for the colonies, but more for advancing their dominion and glory.
Samuel Adams had a bias towards the American side. Originally the audience was his friend John Smith. However, since this letter has been published it is more aimed towards the English because it is refuting their side of the Stamp Act and how they thought of it. Samuel Adams is trying to get his point across that he and the rest of America feel under represented. I think that the meaning of this document is to let people know that there is just more than one side to the different acts that England was passing.
There was an English side as well as an American side. The point was to show us the different views of each side, and help us realize that it was more of a misunderstanding rather than England wanting to take all control, and America wanting to break away from England. I think that one of the biggest misconceptions most people get from these different acts that eventually led to the revolution, was that America wanted to separate from England. However, this wasn’t the case. America actually wanted to stay a part of the English Empire.
America and England just could never see eye to eye, for example how each of them saw America’s representation. This letter helped me better understand why this all these small acts eventually led up to the American revolution. It made me realize that a lot of history is bias. Usually people only hear or read about one side of things and don’t really think about listening to the other side. To really understand history and better understand why something happened the way it did, it’s better to study each side of it.
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