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The Stamp Act Essay

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The Stamp Act

The passing of the Stamp Act by Parliament in 1765 caused a rush of angry protests by the colonists in British America that perhaps "aroused and unified Americans as no previous political event ever had." It levied a tax on legal documents, almanacs, newspapers, and nearly every other form of paper used in the colonies. Adding to this hardship was the need for the tax to be paid in British sterling, not in colonial paper money. Although this duty had been in effect in England for over half a century and was already in effect in several colonies in the 1750?s, it called into question the authority of Parliament over the overseas colonies that had no representation therein. When the news of the passage of this…show more content…

Lastly, That it is the indispensable duty of these colonies, to the best of sovereigns, to the mother country, and to themselves, to endeavour by a loyal and dutiful address to his Majesty, and humble applications to both Houses of Parliament, to procure the repeal of the Act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, of all clauses of any other Acts of Parliament, whereby the jurisdiction of the Admiralty is extended as aforesaid, and of the other late Acts for the restriction of American Commerce.

Simply by suggesting that Parliament had overstepped its implied boundaries, the colonists were considered to be boldly defiant. The Resolutions were sent to the king and Parliament, where they were met as warmly as the Stamp Act itself was in the colonies.
Many Englishmen held their own opinions of these, including Soame Jenyns, a member of Parliament from 1741-1780. Jenyns wrote a pamphlet entitled The Objections to the Taxation of our American Colonies by the Legislature of Great Britain, briefly consider?d. The excerpt in the text argues for Parliament?s right to tax the colonies and discusses briefly the theory of virtual representation. He begins by censuring those questioning the jurisdiction of Parliament:
The right of the Legislature of Great-Britain to impose taxes on her American Colonies, and the

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Stamp Act

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The Stamp Act

     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. It’s 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. The American colonies acted
strongly against this matter.
     During the Summer of 1765, 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 was 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’s 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 represented 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 lead to the British Parliament being bombarded

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by petitions from English merchants not importing their goods. Many
English political leaders argued that the law was unenforceable.
     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 the American
nationalists. 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.



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