James Otis


James Otis
James Otis, Jr. par J. Blackburn

James Otis Jr. (5 février 172523 mai 1783) était un avocat de la colonie du Massachusetts et l'un des penseurs de la Révolution américaine. On lui attribue généralement le slogan « Taxation without Representation is Tyranny[1] ». Il étudia les lettres classiques à Harvard[2].

En 1764, il s'oppose au Currency Act en rédigeant des pamphlets dans lesquels il énonce les principes de la Révolution américaine[3]. Il publie la même année Défense et démonstration des droits des colonies britanniques[4] dans lequel il défend les droits imprescriptibles et universels en invoquant le philosophe anglais John Locke. Il dénonce implicitement l’esclavage[2] et exige que les colons soient directement représentés au Parlement anglais, sans toutefois inciter à l'indépendance[2].

Source

  • Bernard Cottret, La Révolution américaine : La quête du bonheur 1763-1787, Paris, Perrin, 2003, (ISBN 2262018219).

Notes

  1. Taxation without Representation is Tyranny que l'on peut traduire par « Taxes sans représentation, c'est de la tyrannie. » Ce qui signifie qu'imposer à un peuple des impôts sans que celui-ci ne soit représenté politiquement, d'une manière ou d'une autre, est le fait d'un tyran.
  2. a, b et c Cottret, p. 50
  3. Cottret, p. 381
  4. J. Otis, Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved, Boston, 1764.

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