The Stamp Act was passed on March 22, 1765 by the British Parliament. This tax was imposed on all American colonists and required them to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used. This included legal documents, licenses, newspapers, other publications, and even playing cards!
Symbol of the Stamp Tax at the time
Description of the Stamp Act from a formal document at the time
More than the actual price of the tax itself, what angered the colonists the most was the fact that Britain imposed this tax without the approval of the colonial legislature. The colonists felt that they had no say in the matter, which they didn't, and were forced to pay this duty. Not only was it unconstitutional and an invasion of their rights, but Britain was using this money to pay the debt in which they had gotten themselves into during the Seven Years War. They were just looking to America as a source of revenue.
Letter between two people complaining about the tax
The anger towards Britain over this tax spread throughout the colonies. Propaganda against this act came in many different forms; songs, posters, and violence. There were many mobs that attacked the tax collectors. Many people also decided to boycott buying any printed paper, but this was a difficult task.
Colonists attacking tax collectors
Americans wanted the same rights as the people in England, to be taxed only by their own representatives. This was the backing behind the Stamp Act Congress, a group of men that met in New York who were against the Stamp Act. Their slogan was...
"No taxation without representation"
After Britain realized all of the violence going on, they repealed the Stamp Act in 1766, only to replace it with the Declaratory Act, which gave Parliament the same authority to tax over the colonies, like they could in Britain. This was one of the many reason that built up to cause the start of the Revolutionary War.
"Stamp Act." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 16 Nov. 2016. <http://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/stamp-act>.
"A Summary of the 1765 Stamp Act." The Colonial Williamsburg Official History & Citizenship Site. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2016. <http://www.history.org/history/teaching/tchcrsta.cfm>.
"The Stamp Act, 1765." Gilder Lehrman Institute. The Gilder Legrman Institute of American History, 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2016. <https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/road-revolution/resources/stamp-act-1765>.