Quick Facts About Stamp Act
The Stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765.
The Stamp Act required that a stamp be purchased and placed on all legal documents and printed material such as newspapers and pamphlets, and even playing cards.
Money collected from the Stamp Act was to be used to help pay the costs of defending and protecting the American colonies along the western frontier.
Unlike previous revenue acts enacted by Parliament, which raised money by regulating trade, the Stamp Act was the first direct tax that Parliament imposed on colonial Americans.
Americans objected to the Stamp Act on the grounds that it was imposed by a governing body (Parliament) in which they had no representation.
In Virginia, the House of Burgesses adopted Patrick Henry’s Stamp Act Resolves on May 30, 1865, which declared that Virginians should enjoy the same liberties and privileges as other Englishmen.
The legislatures of numerous colonies, including Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Connecticut sent letters to England protesting the Stamp Act.
As a result of the Stamp Act, on June 8, 1765, the Massachusetts Assembly sent a circular letter to the legislatures of the other colonies to “;consult together on the present circumstances of the colonies”;. On October 7, 1765, delegates from 9 of the 13 colonies assembled at a meeting in New York, known as the Stamp Act Congress, to discuss the Stamp Act.
On October 19, 1765, the Stamp Act Congress adopted a Declaration of Rights and Grievances, which stated among other things that 1) only the colonial assemblies had a right to tax the colonies, 2) trial by jury was a right, and the use of Admiralty Courts was abusive 3) colonists possessed all the Rights of Englishmen, and 4) without voting rights, Parliament could not represent the colonists.
In addition to legislative protests, Americans throughout the colonies resorted to street violence, harassment of tax collectors, and the destruction of property to express their opposition tot he Stamp Act.
On March 18, 1766, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, but on the same day passed the Declaratory Act, which asserted that Parliament “;had, hath, and of right ought to have, full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America…in all cases whatsoever.”;