Essay by William Wagner
March 5, 2012
Positions of Loyalist and Pro-independence in terms of rights, the structure of government and representation
The Loyalists believe that “there are no rights by nature” (Seabury, p. 54). Seabury says “We (Britains) have also rights! But no natural rights!” So the rights are given by the governing authority or man but not by nature. Furthermore, those who can’t defend themselves don’t have rights. In nature the lion eats the zebra and in man’s world you only get protection rights by the structure of the government and its enforcing entities. Why does one have rights? Rights come second, after given by the government. Having a set up government in the right way then provides one with rights. One is protected what he is and owns by access to political power. The British Parliament had controlled colonial trade and taxed imports and exports since 1660. By the 1760s the Americans were being deprived of a historic right. The English Bill of Rights 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 contended that the colonists had virtual representation.
The government should represent the people. The government should be based on the people, there should be consent of the people: so called “virtual” representation. You do not need a vote so there is no democratic process involved. You do not need to be there and you do not need an official representative. You are nevertheless being represented by the government (royalty) and therefore obligated to obey and follow instructions. As long as the representatives of the nations agree everything is in order and “ok”, and that is the mix among the rule of one (the monarch), the few (aristocracy) and many (a merely representative parliament and the House of Commons). The house of common is...
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