Declaratory Act

From Academic Kids

The Declaratory Act, issued by Britain during America's colonial period, was one of a series of resolutions passed attempting to regulate the behavior of the colonies. American rebels had organized a boycott in response to the Stamp Act which called into question the right of a distant power to tax them. The Declaratory Act asserted Britain's exclusive right to legislate on and tax its colonies. The taxes were mainly used to finance war debt which had been accumulated during a recent series of wars, part of which (known as the French and Indian War in America) were fought in the colonies.

Following is the text of the Declaratory Act:

March 18, 1766
AN ACT for the better securing the dependency of his Majesty's dominions in America upon the crown and parliament of Great Britain.
WHEREAS several of the houses of representatives in his Majesty's colonies and plantations in America, have of late, against law, claimed to themselves, or to the general assemblies of the same, the sole and exclusive right of imposing duties and taxes upon his Majesty's subjects in the said colonies and plantations; and have, in pursuance of such claim, passed certain votes, resolutions, and orders, derogatory to the legislative authority of parliament, and inconsistent with the dependency of the said colonies and plantations upon the crown of Great Britain: ... be it declared ...,
That the said colonies and plantations in America have been, are, and of right ought to be. subordinate unto, and dependent upon the imperial crown and parliament of Great Britain; and that the King's majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons of Great Britain, in parliament assembled, had, hash, and of right ought to have, full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America, subjects of the crown of Great Britain, in all cases whatsoever.
II. And be it further declared ..., That all resolutions, votes, orders, and proceedings, in any of the said colonies or plantations, whereby the power and authority of the parliament of Great Britain, to make laws and statutes as aforesaid, is denied, or drawn into question, are, and are hereby declared to be, utterly null and void to all intents and purposes whatsoever.

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