The White Pine Act: Form Of Representation Within The British Government

As a British subject, the colonists were entitled to proper representation within the British Parliament. Under British rule, the colonists did not have a say in political decisions directly or indirectly; colonists were not represented. The British understanding was contrary to this, Thomas Whately later explaining that the colonists were given virtual representation. Virtual representation was characterized by Parliament being made up of every type of British property owner from the mainland, allowing for the colonies to have equal representation, too. Therefore, according to British men like Whately, a colonist voting for members of Parliament in order to guarantee protections to their liberties was not necessary. However, according …show more content…
So, what happens when this contract of trust between the government and its people is breached? The people form an organized resistance against the government until it changes itself. Although this expectation to resistance against Britain is there, Otis did not believe that Britain was an immoral leadership that must be eradicated. Otis even says that they just made a mistake, and a single mistake or even a few mistakes does not make the country poisonous to its core. Maier, when discussing earlier greivances over the White Pines Act, investigated why the colonists opposed this form of government intervention so much. The White Pines Act, although only a legislature that was meant to reserve all white pine trees for the Crown, still bothered colonists because it stepped into their economic and social world and allowed Parliament to make decisions. “The community’s immediate welfare was at stake, not the satisfaction of any anti-British prejudices,” was how Maier described colonial thought. Nothing in the opposition of specific interventions said that the colonists disliked Parliament or negated their power. Colonists just disagreed with where and how Parliament could impose its powers, (Greene, 28–29; Maier, …show more content…
The colonists did not want to fight with their government, but would do whatever they saw as necessary in order to restore the previous balance of power that had worked so well for about a century. This response is not surprising as the colonists had been essentially independent of the British Crown for a very long time. This interaction between Parliament and the Colonies is similar to that of a parent and a child. The parents take of the child as they grow up, giving them more and more independence – even if they don’t realize it at first. The child becomes completely functional with very little help unless an extreme situation arises. Suddenly, the parent does something to offend the child’s sense of independence, creating arguments and chaos. While Otis, as the child, hopes for an amicable solution with Parliament, the parent, he still believed in his rights to be heard and responded to. Will the parent be happy with this declaration of independence from their child, after they put so much time, money, and effort into them? Not especially, but there is nothing that they can do unless they want to start a

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