Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Mint Rejects D.C. Two Bit Design
The District of Columbia, the home of Washington city, after ten years of lobbying will have its own quarter in the commemorative state series of 25 cent coins. However, the three designs submitted have all been rejected because they carry the words "Taxation Without Representation."
The U.S. Mint rejected the slogan explaining that "the proposed inscription is clearly controversial and, therefore, inappropriate." The District's citizens have neither voting rights beyond city government, nor representatives in Congress.D.C. Mayor Fenty said of the inscription, "It's a fair assessment."
"Taxation Without Representation" harkens to the American revolutionary slogan "No Taxation Without Representation" which was in reaction the Stamp Act imposed by King George III and Parliament in 1765. In order to pay for the Seven Years War and other services rendered, the British government decided it was time the Colonies contribute to the cost of their own defense.
The Colonists had for many years been developing a political identity separate from that of the Mother Country. Though they were quite used to paying Royal taxes within the Colonies, the Stamp Act was the first time they had been taxed from outside their homes. The Colonists argued that since they were not represented in Parliament, they should not have to pay the tax. The fact that several English cities, such as Manchester, also did not have parliamentary representation and were taxed at a much higher rate, was of no concern to the Colonists.
It was the passing of the Stamp Act and the failure a year later to repeal the tax and the subsequent Townshend Act of 1767 establishing taxes on goods not previously taxed, like tea, which impelled the Colonies to the separation. It also impelled the Colonists to switch from drinking tea to coffee. For all the high toned rhetoric, the American Revolution was at heart a revolt against higher, not high, taxes.
As for the D.C. quarter, another design will be submitted with an alternate slogan. Perhaps the design with astronomer/mathematician Benjamin Banneker and musician "Duke" Ellington will be acceptable. The new coin is scheduled to debut in 2009.
h/t Indigo Rose
The AP via KTVN Channel 2 Reno
and News Channel 8 Arlington
Information on the Stamp Act courtesy of United Kingdom Parliament.
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.