The Impact of the Stamp Act on the American Revolution
The Stamp Act was essentially a tax on all printed materials and commercial documents. This also included newspapers, pamphlets, bills, legal documents, licenses, almanacs, dice, and playing cards. These materials had to carry a special stamp which needed to be purchased. This tax, along with the Boston Port Act, Massachusetts Government Act, Administration of Justice Act, Quartering Act, and the Quebec Act, made up the Intolerable Acts. The Stamp Act was created to help cover the 10,000 soldiers left in the colonies after the French and Indian War. The war had put Britain over £130,000,000 by 1764. It was created by George Grenville and went into effect on November 1, 1765. This was the first direct tax imposed on the colonists by the British. When news of the Stamp Act reached the colonies in May, the Virginia House of Burgesses stayed in session to pass a set of resolutions protesting the tax. More newspapers throughout the colonies circulated Virginia’s Resolves. As it made its way around the colonies, resolutions grew more numerous and radical. Massachusetts’s legislature circulated a call for a unified response. In October 1765, 27 delegates from 9 colonies met in New York City. This group came to be known as the Stamp Act Congress. On October 19th, the congress adopted 14 resolutions. These resolutions were then forwarded on to the King and the Parliament. It was repealed on March 18, 1766. This was the same day the Declaratory Act passes. This act gave Parliament the right to make any law for the colonies. Unrest in the colonies died down after the Stamp Act was repealed, but the committees that it had created remained. These committees included the Committees of Correpondence, Sons of Liberty, and the boycotts were refined and used later to protest future British taxes. These acts along with the issue of taxation without representation led to the American Revolution.
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