The Stamp ActThe Stamp Act was an important act introduced by the Britishprime minister George Grenville and it was passed in March 1765 by theBritish Parliament.
It’s purpose was to raise money for the British armystationed in the American colonies. The Stamp Act required tax stampsfor public documents such as, newspapers, legal documents, customsdocuments, licenses, playing cards, deeds, and almanacs. Since Britainwas left with a large national debt from the Seven Years’ War, theBritish government felt that since the colonies benefited that theyshould contribute to the expenses. The American colonies actedstrongly against this matter.During the Summer of 1765, there were many protests in thecolonies. These protests involved everyone from civic leaders to streetmobs.
In many cities and towns the slogan became “no taxation withoutrepresentation.” The Sons of Liberty were a secret organization thatoften organized these protests. Many acts of violence and a lot ofpressure was centered towards the Stamp Agents. By fall almost allstamp agents resigned.
The Virginia Assembly declared that the Stamp Act was unjustand illegal. The assembly passed resolutions against taxation’s by theBritish Parliament. The Massachusetts House of Representatives invitedall of the colonies to send delegates to a general congress. The coloniesthat accepted the invitation and sent delegates to the general congresswere New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, RhodeIsland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Massachusetts.In October of 1765 in New York City a Stamp Act Congress washeld. It represented nine colonies.
The Stamp Act Congress declaredthat stamp taxes could not be collected without the people’s consent andthat the colonists’ right to be taxed was only by their own electedrepresentatives. Merchants agreed not to import British goods until thelaw was repealed. That lead to the British Parliament being bombardedby petitions from English merchants not importing their goods. ManyEnglish political leaders argued that the law was unenforceable. Finally on March 4, 1766 the Stamp Act was repealed by theBritish Parliament. The unity of the American colonists in theiropposition towards the Stamp Act contributed to the Americannationalists.
The conflict between the British government and theAmerican colonists over the Stamp Act is considered one of the causesof the American Revolutionary War.