Remember when Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said this?
“[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it. . .”
Boy, that sound-byte was all over the place almost as soon as she said it! What was it about that statement that got people so riled up?
It was vague. It gave no concrete declarations about what could be expected from the Affordable Care Act legislation, more commonly known as “Obamacare.”
American citizens in the 21st century don’t like vague rhetoric from their elected officials. They want clear and concise answers about the issues that will be affecting them.
Turns out that 18th century Americans were no different, which is why there was complete and utter outrage when Parliament passed the Declaratory Act on March 18, 1766.
“. . . 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.”
In other words, this act was basically saying, “We will pass any legislation we see fit on the colonies in America and do whatever it takes to enforce them. The end.”
To put things in context, though, it should be pointed out that the Declaratory Act was passed in accompaniment with the repeal of the Stamp Act and the reduction in severity of the Sugar Act (which was done in response to American boycotts, which were hurting British trade.) The point that Parliament and King George III was trying to make was that America was going to be treated exactly the same in terms of laws and enforcement as they would be if they were in Britain—with the exception of the American colonies having no real representation in Parliament.