Stamp Act (1765) also called ‘Duties’ in American Colonies Act was passed by the British Parliament in 1765. It was given Royal Accent on 22 March 1765 and came into power on 1 November 1765.
The main feature of the act was that colonies were dictated by the British Parliament to publish all printed materials like newspaper, magazines and legal document on stamp papers. These stamp papers were used to collect stamp duties from the colonies. The stamp papers were published in London and had an embossed revenue stamp. The British expected that colonist should pay taxes only in the British currency and not the colonist currency.
British view was that after the Seven Day War British troops in North America were deployed to protect the colonies. The colonies were the primary beneficiary of the British military presence, so the colonies should pay taxes for the British troops.
Colonial Response to Stamp Act
Colonies had no representative to the British parliament and thus they viewed this tax as illegitimate. There were no policy maker from their side and the decision to impose tax was completely one sided. Many colonies also considered it as violation of their rights as Englishmen to be taxed without their consent.
The Stamp Act Congress
The Stamp Act Congress was the first unified meetings of the colonist to express their protest against the British Taxation. It was held between October 7 and October 25, 1765 in New York City. The delegates from 9 colonies participated in the meeting. The Stamp Act Congress petitioned Parliament and the King
Colonial Protest against Stamp Act
Major protests were led mainly by the colonial merchants and landowners. An organization called sons of liberty carried very violent protest throughout the east coast. The stamp tax distributors were forced to resign and taxes were never properly collected
Outcome of Stamp Act of 1765
The colonial merchants stopped importing British goods. Thus, the British merchants were in terrible situation as a result they pressurized the British parliament to repeal the law. The Stamp Act was repealed on March 18, 1766.
Nevertheless the British parliament passed the Declaratory Act to show that it is still powerful. According to this law parliament could make laws binding the American colonies “in all cases whatsoever.”