The phrase “no taxation without representation” was used in Boston but no one is sure who first used it. Boston politician James Otis was famously associated with the phrase “taxation without representation is tyranny.”
The British Parliament had controlled colonial trade and taxed imports and exports, and the Americans have been deprived of a right. The English Bill of Rights written in 1689 had forbidden the imposition of taxes without the consent of Parliament. Since the colonists had no representation in Parliament the taxes violated the guaranteed Rights of Englishmen. Parliament said that the colonist had “virtual representation.”
George Greenville defended all the taxes by arguing that the colonist were virtually represented in Parliament. William Pitt, a defender of colonial rights, ridiculed virtual representation. However Parliament rejected criticism of the concept and the passed the Declaratory Act in 1766, stating the right of Parliament to legislate for the colonies in all cases.
Americans such as Joseph Galloway debated and circulated plans for the creation of a representative of British Parliament or imperial powers that was to consist of American and British members of Parliament. Despite the facts these ideas were debated and discussed seriously no demand for this development was made.
The Americans rejected the Stamp Act of 1765, violently rejected the remaining tax on tea imports, under the Tea Act, at the Boston Tea Party. When the British then used the military to enforce laws the colonist believed Parliament had passed illegally. The colonist responded by forming militias and seized political control of each colony, ousting the Royal governors. The British finally passed a law in 1775 which ended taxation for any colony.
Americans possess all the rights of the Englishmen, and the principle of “no taxation without representation” was an essential part of the British Constitution.