Introduction - Stamp ActThere were many events leading to the American Revolution and Britain's passing of the Stamp Act in 1765 was a major one. This act enraged the American colonist and would result in uniting them against the British like nothing up until that point. Below you will find a list of facts with interesting information about the Stamp Act of 1765 including why it angered the American colonist and how it united them against Britain.
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Basic Stamp Act Facts
- In 1763 the French and Indian War (also called the Seven Years War) ended in victory for Britain over France. This victory was a costly one and Britain needed to raise money. They decided to levy taxes on the American Colonist who in their opinion should help pay for the British troops stationed in America to protect them.
- On March 22, 1765 the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act. This law became effective on November 1st of 1765.
- This act required the colonist newspapers, legal documents and other printed materials be printed on special paper from England that had an embossed revenue stamp on it.
- The British, who were not willing to enforce the law with their military, repealed the tax in 1766.
Stamp Act Congress Facts
- Due to the Stamp Act the colonist organized the Stamp Act Congress which met in New York City in October of 1765.
- Twenty seven delegates from nine of the colonies attended the Stamp Act Congress. Over 10 years later four of these men would sign the Declaration of Independence.
- The congress resulted in a document called "The Declaration of Rights and Grievances" which was submitted to the British government. It listed several grievances that the colonist had with Great Britain including the Stamp Act.
- The Stamp Act Congress and the resulting "Declaration of Rights and Grievances" is the first time the colonist took action against what they deemed an unfair act of the British government.
Interesting Facts about the Stamp Act
- Many colonists felt the British had no right to tax them without the approval of their colonial representatives.
- So mad at this tax were the Americans that they forced all the stamp agents, who were responsible for collecting the tax, to resign through intimidation and threats.
- The famous group of patriots known as the Sons of Liberty was formed in order to fight the Stamp Act. They would play a crucial role in the American Revolution and included such great patriots as John Adams, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams.
- The tax levied on the colonist by the Stamp Act was actually not that expensive; however the Americans believed if they did not fight against it that it would open the door for more taxation.
- The colonist could not use their colonial money to pay the tax it had to be paid with British currency.
- As a message to the uncooperative colonist the British Parliament passed the Declaratory Act on the same day they repealed the Stamp Act. This act declared that the British Parliament had authority over the American colonies and that the colonist would have to obey their laws and pay taxes they levied.