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Taxation without Representation was a famous phrase that came about before the Revolutionary War. In the 1700s, what is now the United States was part of England and its vast empire. At the time, it was called “the colonies” or “the 13 colonies.” Although England was a rich empire, it had spent a lot of money helping to fight a war against France in North America. The war made it so England, rather than France, controlled most of the continent. England needed a way to get some its money back.


Parliament, the name used for the government of England, decided that the best way to get its money back was to tax the colonists. The taxes made certain things like tea, glass, paint, and paper more expensive. The worst part for the colonists, however, was that they did not agree to this tax, nor, did they have a representative in Parliament to fight against it. The colonists claimed “no taxation without representation” and refused to pay the taxes. This led to serious conflict between Parliament and the colonies. It was these taxes and unfair laws issued by Parliament that led to the Revolutionary War.