The Instigator
Marshall
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
35 Points

Were the colonists justified in revolting against the British?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/12/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 44,837 times Debate No: 10083
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (5)

 

Marshall

Pro

The colonists were justified in revolting against the british. If the colonists wanted to revolt that was their choice. The british were unlawfully taxing the colonists. The stamp act, tea act and other acts was only the top of the dung heap. The colonists didn't even have representation in the english government which means not one colonists has a say in the government. NO TAXATION WITH OUT REPRESENTATION.
Also the brits had no right making the colonists pay for taxes of the French Indian War. The colonists were actually the first people to fight in the war and had just as many losses as the actual country of Britain. So whats with taxes. This boston massacre was also a problem. The british redcoats killed innocent colonists, that is no way to treat the people your protecting. Also why weren't the redcoats paying taxes, because their colonists to. Also the Proclomation of 1763 was a bunch of crap. Why give the colonists all of the land gained from the war then say they can't travel west past the Apps. Its not right. And finally the colonists had to pay 50% more in taxes more than they should have. The colonists were fed up with Britain and had every right to revolt against britain. No one should have had to deal with the problems Britain was giving the colonist.
Danielle

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for starting this debate.

Here are Pro's presented arguments:

1. The British were unlawfully taxing the colonists.
2. The colonists didn't have representation in the English government.
3. The Brits had no right making the colonists pay for English wars.
4. The Brits had no business killing innocent colonists (Boston Massacre).
5. The Proclamation of 1763 was a bunch of crap; the colonists should have been able to colonize the West.
6. The colonists had to pay 50% more in taxes more than they should have.

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First of all, I reject the idea that the British were unlawfully taxing the colonists. The colonists were in fact British citizens, and as such were expected to pay taxes to England the same way the people in England paid English taxes. After all, the colonists received the same protections (regarding the British army and navy) and were in fact a part of England. Now, regarding the 2nd point, I agree that the colonists should have had representation in the British parliament; however there are debates about whether or not that would have been feasible let alone beneficial or necessary.

For one thing, Parliament saw itself as sovereign over the entire British Empire, and reasoned that what was good for the British Empire was good for all its parts. If British mercantile policies led the British Parliament to decree certain measures that might benefit the homeland at the expense of the colonies, the thinking was that as long as the Empire was enriched, the colonies would ultimately benefit from that enrichment. In other words, the British believed in what they called 'virtual representation,' and since Parliament represented the entire Empire, the people in the American colonies were thus virtually represented in Parliament [1]. After all, this was no different than how the British people themselves were governed (indirectly).

Moreover, even if representatives were sent to Parliament, there would have been about 15--20 total representing the colonies. Since there were already more than 600 members in the British Parliament, it's not as if the colonial representation would have made that much of a difference. Additionally, there were few colonials who were willing to leave home in order to travel to London to represent their colony in Parliament. Did anybody directly stand up and ask for the job? Keep in mind that the members of Parliament were not paid for their services, and the cost to any American representative would generally have been prohibitive.

Regarding the 3rd point about expecting the colonies to help pay for war, I completely disagree with Pro -- they absolutely should have helped to pay. The American colonists had furnished very little real aid, and the British debt DOUBLED after the Seven Years War (which is really the war that made them increase colonial taxes). The British decided to maintain a North American army to protect their new assets against the Native Americans which is why they enacted the Stamp Act. It's unreasonable to assume that the Brits should protect North American territories and people in North America don't help pay for it... especially since trade and economics in general were flourishing in the colonies at this time while the people in England struggled. Heavier stamp taxes had been collected in Great Britain for 2 generations, and Americans were being asked to pay for only a small share of their defense costs.

Moreover, Americans were only paying very small local taxes -- again, far less in comparison with the British in England! The Stamp Act would have required that the colonists pay 2 shillings per person per year, whereas the Brits in England had to pay 26! Still, the Stamp Act was repealed in the colonies. Therefore, it's simply untrue to claim that the colonists were oppressed. In reality, they enjoyed a great deal more freedom than the English in Britain. For example, unlike in Europe, there was no powerful Church; personal freedom as it pertained to religion was therefore taken for granted in the colonies. Additionally, the colonial assemblies made the important laws which were seldom overturned by the home government in England.

Now, regarding the Boston Massacre, it should be noted that thanks to a certain influential man - John Adams - that the soldiers on trial were acquitted. As he pointed out at the trial, the massacre was a result of extremely high tensions between the colonists and the soldiers sent from Britain to protect British interests. In no way can the soldiers be seen as the enemies here when they were simply following orders to enforce British laws among British people. After a severe and angry mob had gathered to harass and taunt the army, it's true that several shots were fired killing a few colonists. However, John Adams rightfully points out that if the soldiers had truly meant to do any harm, they would have and could have killed a lot more than a handful of people. It was never the intention of the soldiers or the British to bring any harm upon people at the Boston Massacre; it was simply an unfortunate and tragic result of unfavorable circumstances [2].

Moving on, the end of the French and Indian War was good for the colonists; it removed several barriers and opened up a host of new opportunities for their prosperity in America. The royal Proclamation of 1763 did close off a lot of western expansion; however, the King and his council presented the proclamation as a measure to calm the fears of the Indians, who felt that the colonists would drive them from their lands as they expanded westward. The King sided with the Indians and against the perceived interests of the settlers to improve relations with the natives (beneficial to the colonists) and also to control many of their affairs. Also, it would be simply wrong to assert that no good came from the Proclamation. In addition to what I've already mentioned, the document established and defined four new colonies, and did things like ensure compensation for soldiers [3].

Finally, I obviously disagree that the colonists paid 50% more in taxes than they should have for the aforementioned reasons. The only reasons the colonists existed in the first place was as an extension of the British. It seems as if they expected to enjoy all of the luxuries and ties to England but rejected their collective responsibility to the mother land. Keep in mind that nobody forced these colonists to be there; they chose to migrate their at their own will on behalf of England. I do feel that England did not treat the colonists any more harshly or unfairly than they did the citizens in England. As such, I negate the resolution. I believe that a peaceful resolution could have been established.

[1] http://www.sagehistory.net...
[2] http://www.bostonmassacre.net...
[3] http://www.ushistory.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Marshall

Pro

Marshall forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Dude, you've been online recently. Please don't forfeit this entire debate. Back to you for now.
Debate Round No. 2
Marshall

Pro

Marshall forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Another one bites the dust.
Debate Round No. 3
Marshall

Pro

Marshall forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

And another one gone, and another one gone...
Debate Round No. 4
Marshall

Pro

Marshall forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Another one bites the dust.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by davidisilverman 1 month ago
davidisilverman
Hi Danielle!

Could u provide where you got the statistic regarding how the colonists would theoretically be represented in parliament if they did indeed get representation?
Posted by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
If it weren't for the home page, epic forfeits like this would go unnoticed.
Posted by leet4A1 5 years ago
leet4A1
Lol at Lwerd continuing the lyrics each round.

If I could vote, obviously 7 to Lwerd.
Posted by ilovgoogle 5 years ago
ilovgoogle
Historical battle FTW
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by LaSalle 5 years ago
LaSalle
MarshallDanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 5 years ago
Vi_Veri
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Vote Placed by atheistman 5 years ago
atheistman
MarshallDanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
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Vote Placed by Danielle 5 years ago
Danielle
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Total points awarded:07