“Happy July 4, 2020!” We hope you have your Independence Day plans ready within your COVID-19 bubble of family and friends. Sometimes, we have so much fun with picnics, parties and celebrations that we forget what the terms “Independence Day” and “freedom” really mean.
Tribute to Independence Day: July 4
So, for this blog, we at Gavrilov & Co are celebrating American independence by peering into some special concepts: America, Freedom and, not surprisingly, since we are accountants—a little about money!
Read on to for a surprising thumbnail look at taxation in an American historical perspective.
Sharing this story is our way of blending our own heart-felt homage for our great American Holiday with our accounting and tax business. And, as we stated previously, we know a sense of American freedom is very individualized.
Special Note: Keep in mind. This is not a message or a parable. We simply believed this American Revolution taxation story would intrigue modern-day taxpayers!
July 4: A Look Back in Time at A Taxing Tradition
Every school child knows the saying “No taxation without representation.” This was a stirring motto of the American Revolution. However, in a light of recent years of research, our friends at PBS caution us “that taxation was certainly not the principal irritant between Britain and its American colonies.
Did you know that taxes in the colonies were much lower than taxes in Britain?
The average British citizen in Britain “paid 26 shillings per year in taxes…” The colonists in New England paid only 1 shilling. And we add, the quality of life in America was better. It was a lot cleaner and less crowded here in the colonies than in Britain.
What? It Was Not About the Money?
If we let those figures sink in to our minds, 26 shillings vs. 1 shilling, we suddenly realize that the revolution might not have been so much about the money—the tax. “The central grievance of the colonists was their lack of a voice in the government that ruled them.” To us, this shows how deeply the early Americans valued freedom, certainly even more than money.
July 4: Declaring Independence from a Fractured Country
Many American Revolution movies and July 4 television programs show us in conflict with a well-unified, centralized, organized British government. But, wait!
Research has shown that this image of centralized government was far from true. Historical
researchers have recently pointed out that there was great tension and terrible division in the British government. The tension existed between two rival British interest groups:
- The Landed Gentry: made up of loyal royalists. They were born into money, land and power and dedicated to the royal form of government.
- The weaker incipient, democratic movement. The weaker group, made up of several sub-groups who embraced the newer ideas based on democracy instead of birthright.
These two British groups fought and failed to find a compromise that would give the colonies even a modicum of representation. And, long story short, because the two English groups did not compromise, they lost it all–in the American Revolution. And we gained a new motto. Happy Independence Day! –Happy July 4!
The Deeper Value: It Was All about Representation, Here and Over There
To be clear, the royalists were constantly fighting with the factions that were trying to introduce Britain to democracy. Those subgroups did not have much power. However, what happens if the King gave American colonists a voice in Parliament?
Economic and historical research shows that we might have joined our voices with the democracy-seeking opposition, right there in Britain. It was a great fear for the royalists. Isn’t that fascinating a realization?
A Giant Economic Footnote in History: The “Happy July 4” Story of Our Freedom
Thus, the landed gentry of Britain refused to enfranchise us and pushed us to the edge of revolt. The landed gentry “controlled the incumbent government.” they feared “making concessions to American colonies would intensify the pressure for democratic reforms…” This is turn jeopardized “their economic and political position.”
You can find out more about this vision of American freedom and how it happened at online reso
urce of the “The National Bureau of Economic History.” Ultimately, the ulta-controlling group, the landed gentry, was so against our desire for representation that they “pushed the colonies to rebellion and independence…”
At the same time the landed gentry helped to delay the development of the democratic movement in their own country. (And perhaps they thought the war was worth it. Although they lost the colonies, they did not quite lose the monarchy–even yet.)
Happy July 4, 2020: Our Terrific Take-Away for Independence Day
Therefore, in summary, July 4 means we still celebrate our independence and our freedom. They are beautiful and precious gifts bought by the blood and bravery ina time of great strife.
And, at Gavrilov & Co, we continue to be impressed with the little known fact that it wasn’t all about the money. Representation really was more important than the taxation.
We would be remiss if we did not add that in today’s world, you can count on Gavrilov & Co to help with your taxation and accounting concerns. And remember, whatever your taxation, we know that it’s bound to be more than 27 shillings. So, from our family to yours:
“Happy July 4, 2020! Stay Safe!”
Special Note for After the Holiday: Coming Attractions in this Blog
If you are a medical professional like a doctor, dentist or physician’s assistant, you will appreciate our upcoming series of blogs created with you in mind. At Gavrilov & Co, we are hearing the voices of medical professionals who are demanding more fiscal assistance than just a little seasonal help with taxes. We provide specialized business advice and tax strategy for the medial profession. We know you, as such a professional, might feel like you are too exhausted, too busy or too in debt to seek out assistance with strategizing your finances. At Gavrilov & Co, we are here to help.