October 7, 1765: Stamp Act Congress; New York City.
November 1, 1765: Stamp Act takes effect.
March 18, 1766: Parliament repeals Stamp Act.
May 1, 1766: Stamp Act Repeal takes effect.
Following the French and Indian War, England wanted the American colonies to help pay the costs of maintaining a standing army in America. In March 1765, Parliament passed the Stamp Act. It required that a stamp be purchased and placed on all printed material such as newspapers and pamphlets, as well as legal documents and even playing cards. It was the first direct tax on the imposed on the colonies.
Coming on the heels of the Sugar Act and Currency Act, which had taken effect in 1764, the colonies complained that they could not afford the tax. Since the tax was an extension of a tax that had been used on and off in England, the colonies soon shifted to 'no taxation without representation'. The Sons of Liberty were organized. They used intimidation and mob tactics to force many new stamp agents to resign.
On October 7, 1765, the Stamp Act Congress convened in New York City with delegates from nine colonies. Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia did not send representatives, while New Hampshire sent word that they would sign whatever statement came from the Congress. The Stamp Act Congress passed fourteen declarations and three petitions, which stated that Parliament could not tax the colonies, since the colonies had no direct representation there. Only colonial legislatures had the power to tax. On October 17, 1765, these grievances were passed as Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress
On November 1, 1765, the Stamp Act took effect, but only Georgia attempted limited enforcement of the tax. Elsewhere, intimidation precluded stamp agents, while courts closed or refused to use the stamps. Rhode Island's governor refused to enforce the act. Back in England, even before the Stamp Act took effect, William Pitt had begun efforts to have it repealed. Merchants now also petitioned for its repeal, because of a colonial boycott of English goods. On March 18, the Stamp Act was repealed by Parliament, taking effect on May 1, 1766. In their celebration, the colonies overlooked the passage of the Declaratory Act.
2. Boatner, Michael; Encyclopedia of the American Revolution
Topic Last Updated: 8/5/2001
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