The greatest danger with history is looking at it with ANY assumption based upon current customs or facts. Today we would regard someone as a Pedophile if they had sex with a 13 year old. Many Queens of England were married at 13. The difference, life expectancy was also in the forties so getting married in your 30’s which is common today, was out of the question since 13 was almost middle age and you would be a grandmother by mid to late 30’s and died from 42 to 45 on average.
Taxes are another thing that has been assumed is the right of government. After all, it was Ben Franklin who said the only thing certain was death and taxes. This is actually not historically true. During the Dark Ages, you would have been a serf tilling the soil for the landlord who gave you a house and let you keep about 20% of the crop. After the Black Death (1348-1350), about 50% of the population died and labor was scarce. This is when wages returned after the fall of Rome nearly 900 years later.
Kings were starting to emerge and were often voted into office by the lords as was the case in France. They had no right to tax anyone. It was in 1162, that King Henry II (1154-1189AD) of England began to impose a tax for the claimed purpose to support the Crusades. This was the first such tax.
Previously, we must understand that taxation was not a divine power or right of kings. People had to consent to taxation and it could ONLY be suggested concerning national defense against some invading party. Imposing taxes to wage war was an entirely new proposition. To a large extent and the Crusades served as that purpose to actually alter the scope for which taxation could be imposed. One was now being taxed to wage God’s war – not the king’s.
This was part of the famous dispute between King Henry II and his good friend he had made Archbishop of Canterbury, Saint Thomas Becket (c. 1118–1170), It was Becket who opposed the tax and had excommunicated a leading baron. Henry II stacked the position of Archbishop of Canterbury with a personal friend to control the Church. For whatever reason, Becket suddenly became a priest despite his former drinking and merriment chasing women with the king. Becket now defended the Church and the clergy. The further escalated and gave birth to the right not to be tried twice (Double Jeopardy) for the King wanted to prosecute clergy to fine them and seize family property. Because they were clergy, they were tried in the church but Henry wanted the revenue.
Becket won this battle and you have the supposed right not to be charged twice but that has been mostly circumvented with technicalities. You could be tried for killing a spouse due to premeditated murder and found innocent so they change the charge to negligence and put you on trial again. Nevertheless, while Becket gave his life standing against this tyrant being slaughtered at the altar, he still won albeit posthumously, and the king who wanted to try clerics in his courts after being tried in canon courts, and double taxation was denied that power. Taxes were by no means a divine right of kings or government. Nonetheless, self-interest just always prevails.
It was Charles I (b 1600– executed 1649) of England who engaged in a struggle for power that was at its core about taxes with Parliament. Charles attempted to obtain royal revenue while the Parliament sought to curb this Royal prerogative that Charles claimed was part of the divine right of kings. What emerged was Republicanism whereby now representatives of the people met in Parliament and had to CONSENT to being taxed. Thus, it became Parliament/American Congress, that claimed the role of the people to agree to be taxed. Even today, Obama cannot alter the tax code without Congress enacting the legislation. But Congress is firmly within the hands of the oligarchy because they need money to be reelected giving rise to bribery we now call by a different name – lobbying.
You still have the RIGHT not to be taxed without your consent. Unfortunately, your Congressman CONSENTS on your part and you do not even know that is taking place. The problem is we need TERM LIMITS to end lobbying for reelection and we need to ban private contributions for all elections That should be state funded. One term, no lobby money, and we may get back closer to what the American Revolution was all about – NO TAXATION WITHOUT “REAL” REPRESENTATION.