“No Taxation Without Representation” is a slogan originating during the 1750s and 1760s that summarized a primary grievance of the American colonists in the Thirteen Colonies, which was one of the major causes of the American Revolution. In short, many in those colonies believed that, as they were not directly represented in the distant British Parliament, any laws it passed affecting the colonists (such as the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act) were illegal under the Bill of Rights 1689, and were a denial of their rights as Englishmen.
Jonathan Mayhew, Old West Church’s second Congregational pastor, used the phrase, “no taxation without representation” in a sermon in 1750. The phrase revives a sentiment central to the cause of the English Civil War following the refusal of parliamentarian John Hampden to pay ship money tax. “No Taxation Without Representation,” in the context of British American Colonial taxation, appeared for the first time in the February 1768 London Magazine headline, on page 89, in the printing of Lord Camden’s “Speech on the Declaratory Bill of the Sovereignty of Great Britain over the Colonies.”