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The Stamp Act

Jamie Brissette Hist310 Tue/Thur 9am #2 paper The Stamp Act Riot, 1765 Francis Bernard wrote the document “Stamp Act Riot, 1765” about the colonies response to Parliaments stamp act.The colonies or the Stamp Act Congress questioned whether it was right for Parliament to tax the colonies.In doing so Parliament created a rebellion within the colonies who only wanted a say in their Government and decisions being made.

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If Parliament had treated the colonies better, respected their rights to govern themselves, and had given them a say maybe this would not have contributed to the series of events leading up to the Revolutionary War. Bernard 106) The Stamp Act was an important act introduced by the British Prime Minister George Grenville and it was passed in March 1765 by the British Parliament. (Henretta 137) Its purpose was to raise money for the British army stationed in the American colonies. The Stamp Act required tax stamps for public documents such as newspapers, legal documents, customs documents, licenses, playing cards, deeds, and almanacs. Since Britain was left with a large national debt from the Seven Years’ War, the British government felt that since the colonies benefited that they should contribute to the expenses.

As Francis Bernard describes the American colonies acted strongly against this matter. This all took place in Boston Massachusetts. During the summer of 1765, because of the Stamp Act, there were many protests in the colonies. These protests involved everyone from civic leaders to street mobs. In many cities and towns the slogan became “no taxation without representation”. The Sons of Liberty were a secret organization that often organized these protests. Many acts of violence and a lot of pressure centered towards the Stamp Agents, by fall almost all Stamp Agents resigned.

The Virginia Assembly declared that the Stamp Act was unjust and illegal. The assembly passed resolutions against taxation by the British Parliament. The Massachusetts House of Representatives invited all of the colonies to send delegates to a General Congress. The colonies that accepted the invitation and sent delegates to the General Congress were New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Massachusetts. In October of 1765 in New York City a Stamp Act Congress was held. It was represented by nine colonies.

The Stamp Act Congress declared that stamp taxes could not be collected without the people’s consent and that the colonists’ right to be taxed was only by their own elected representatives. Merchants agreed not to import British goods until the law was repealed. That led to the British Parliament being bombarded by petitions from English merchants not importing their goods. Many English political leaders argued that the law was unenforceable. (Bernard 106) Finally on March 4, 1766 the Stamp Act was repealed by the British Parliament. The unity of the American colonists in their opposition towards the Stamp Act contributed to this appeal.

The Stamp Act was one of the many events leading up to colonist having enough and wanting to govern themselves. This Act and the protests leading up to the appeal help create American Nationalists who wanted to separate from Britain. The conflict between the British government and the American colonists over the Stamp Act is considered one of the causes of the American Revolutionary War.

Sources www. online-literature. com www. wikipedia. com Documents for American History Chapter 5, 5-4 “The Stamp Act Riot, (1765) by Francis Bernard, pages 106-107 America A Concise History by James A Henretta pages 137-138

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