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Monday, June 30, 2008

The Stamp Act

So I have received some great feedback on where I could start to look for more information on The Stamp Act. The first website I checked out was suggested to me by Rick from the Stow Minutemen Company. He suggested I check out this blog post:

It was there that I discovered a picture of one of the few examples of what a stamp looked like. This stamp was supposed to appear on any papers of any kind, and of course you had to pay for the stamp, so every time you used a piece of paper, you were paying money to the English crown.

This picture is from an exhibit at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum. The stamp was on loan from Massachusetts Historical Society. Here is the write-up that went with the photo:

The Stamp Act of 1765 taxed all paper products - legal documents, business records, even playing cards - and specified that taxes be paid in "hard money." This Act threatened every single American and would drain all coinage from the colonies.

Love the picture!!

Rick also suggested another site that my lovely husband had already suggested to me.

This is a quick write-up on The Stamp Act from the Colonial Williamsburg website. This write-up explains the result of The Stamp Act, which we saw from the link above, but it also gave me some insight as to why the British had decided to pass it. It seems that there were going to be 10,000 troops placed near the Appalachian Mountains to help protect that area. The money that was raised from the sale of these stamps would help fund this.

Again this little article iterates that the cost of the stamps was not the issue whatsoever for the colonists, it was the fact that the British felt they could raise funds in America without any approval by the legislatures set up here. The colonists didn’t mind paying taxes, they were already doing that for some time, what they minded was paying taxes for things they didn’t necessarily approve of. And if the colonists just rolled over and accepted this particular tax, they were afraid that it would set precedence for future taxation from England.

Patrick Henry had his Stamp Act resolves, which he tried to get passed through the House of Burgess in Virginia. They stated that Virginians should not pay any taxes unless the House of Burgess passed them. That Americans should have the same rights as the English, which meant they had the right to be taxed only by their representatives. Most of these resolves were turned down, but four of them did pass. However, the Governor did not approve and he dissolved the House of Burgesses as a response to the passing of the four Stamp Act resolves.

This is some great information and really gives me a little more insight into what The Stamp Act was and why the colonists met it with such disdain. I feel like I have only hit the tip of the iceberg here though. I have a few more suggestions for websites and books that I will be sharing in some future posts. I will also be trying to do some more research into more specific aspects of all of this.

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