Virginia Resolutions Against the Stamp Act

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Virginia Resolutions Against the Stamp Act
by Patrick Henry

Resolutions passed by the Virginia House of Burgesses on May 29, 1765, expressing opposition to the Stamp Act.

Resolved, That the first adventurers and settlers of his Majesty's colony and dominion brought with them, and transmitted to their posterity, and all other his Majesty's subjects since inhabiting in this his Majesty's said colony, all the privileges, franchises, and immunities that have at any time been held, enjoyed, and possessed by the people of Great Britain.

Resolved, That by two royal charters, granted by King James the First the colonists aforesaid are declared entitled to all privileges, liberties, and immunities of denizens and natural-born subjects, to all intents and purposes as if they had been abiding and born within the realm of England.

Resolved, That the taxation of the people by themselves, or by persons chosen by themselves to represent them, who can only know what taxes the people are able to bear, and the easiest method of raising them, and are equally affected by such taxes themselves, is the distinguishing characteristick of British freedom, and without which the ancient Constitution cannot subsist. Resolved, That his Majesty's leige people of this his most ancient and loyal colony have uninterruptedly enjoyed the right of being thus governed by their own Assembly in the article of their taxes and internal police, and that the same hath never been forfeited or in any other way given up, but hath been constantly recognized by the kings and people of Great Britain.

Resolved, therefore, That the General Assembly of this colony have the only and sole exclusive right and power to lay taxes and impositions upon the inhabitants of this colony, and that every attempt to vest such power in any person or persons whatsoever, other then the General Assembly aforesaid, has a manifest tendency to destroy British as well as American freedom.

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