May 17, 1769 – George Washington brought written resolutions before the Virginia House of Burgesses today that protested the taxation of American colonists despite the lack of American representatives in British Parliament.
Virginia’s royal governor, John Murray, retaliated by disbanding the Virginia House of Burgesses. But the Virginia delegates remained undeterred, and Maryland and South Carolina soon passed comparable measures.
As a result, Southern colonists proved that they were willing to defend Massachusetts. The true target of the British crackdown, which had placed new taxes on the colonists’ imports of paper, paint, lead, glass, and tea — products colonists were allowed to buy only from Great Britain.
Despite continued royal pressure on the colonies, colonists were not scared into silence, and in fact the pressure spurred a growing American identity that would play a crucial role in the fight for independence.
Words of Wisdom
Every diminution of the public burdens arising from taxation gives to individual enterprise increased power and furnishes to all the members of our happy confederacy new motives for patriotic affection and support.