Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Stamp Act turns 240

On November 1st, 1765 the British Parliament signed into law the "Stamp Act". it was a tax code meant to defray the cost of the Seven Years War, known as the French and Indian War here in the colonies.

TO the Yankees, this act was seen as unfair taxation. The law placed a tax on paper items like newspapers, playing cards, legal documents and other items that people used on a daily basis. Basically, a user fee. Today these taxes are concealed in the end cost of the product, but in 1765 they affixed a stamp. Ironically, the stamps were red. I have several period newspapers in my collection and the stamps are the color of blood stains.

Ultimately, the uproar over the stamp act (called the "intollerable acts" here in the colonies) would lead to disent and civil unrest. To make a long story short, the most notable of the civil unrest incidents was the Boston Tea Party, during which three shiploads of tea owned by the East India Company were destroyed. This is just one of many events that led up to the American Revolution and our ultimate separation from Great Britain.

You can read more about the Stamp Act here:



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