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Gina Tangelo

AP US History
October 25, 2017

Document Based Question

During the American revolution, there were many ideas that were being fought for like

the idea of a virtuous republic as well as representation in Parliament. Another one of those ideas

was the idea of taxation without representation. This idea was a symbol of democracy because of

the unfairness of the laws themselves, this also motivating the American’s revolutionary


Democracy was an ongoing argument that could not for a long time, even with certain

signs for it to exist. Parliament established that colonists cannot be represented in the House of

Commons in Britain while at the same time saying that they can be represented by people chosen

by the colonists themselves in the Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress (Document 2). The

resolution in Section 5 was the exact resolution that the colonists were fighting for and yet the

British were still controlling America without allowing them to have any representation

regarding the processes of this act. They also discriminated against Blacks who fought in battles

to help the country who also wanted to be able to vote in the Election of the Tax itself

(Document 7), this also being a symbol in favor of the idea of a free nation and free people

without restraints, an idea that wasn’t passed until a while later. It was said that the right to

impose an internal tax on the colonies, without their consent for the single purpose of revenue,

was denied by the Americans (Document 3), this being a leading step in the Americans

separating themselves from the British government, a primary force in the revolutionary


Though taxation without representation was not a revolutionary idea, the Americans felt

very strongly about it and fought for during the revolutionary period. It was believed that

England and America should be in different systems and not get involved in each other’s

business by reversing “the common order of nature” (Document 6). This document was

discussing how odd it was for England, an island, to be governing a “continent”, America.

Americans decided to try and separate themselves from the British by establishing a standing

army to enforce how unjust the acts were (Document 4). Though the founders of the constitution,

who were British, declared a standing army in a time of peace to be against the law, the

Americans felt that it was necessary because the taxation could not be supported by reason and

argument (Document 4). Parliament was giving themselves the right to give and grant

American’s money without consent and yet the Americans thought that they had exercised the

right to dispose of their own property (Document 5). The Americans used the idea of not being

not being represented to their advantage by saying it was unconstitutional and thus leading them

to fight for it later on.

The idea of independence was not yet properly introduced by this time but the ideas

coming from the government were leaning towards the idea of a virtuous republic and

democracy in the sense that America could do what they wanted without needing approval from

the British. They were motivated by others who were already arguing that the constitution was

unjust and so using these ideas as their primary force, they issued the revolutionary movement.