Stamp Act facts
The British Parliament made a decision to install the Stamp Act on March 22, 1765 but it was not schedule to take effect until November 1st. This gave the colonist half a year to let the government know their opinion.
A Stamp Act duty was in place in Britain since 1694.
Massachusetts briefly experimented with a stamp duty before 1765.
Currently in the UK a transfer tax derived from the stamp duty, “stamp duty land tax” (SDLT) taxes land transactions. “Stamp duty reserve tax” (SDRT) taxes transfer of shares and other securities.
Currently in the US, certain states impose a real state transfer tax derived from the old stamp tax. Various documents such as deeds, notes and other transactional documents carry similar tax.
American colonies were obliged to pay a fee on almost every piece of paper used for legal documents, licenses, etc.
List of items that were taxed: Legal documents, ship’s papers, licenses, newspapers, pamphlets, advertisement, bills of sale, almanacs, calendars, playing cards.
People who created public documents had to pay a tax on blank paper they bought. Officials would place a stamp as prove of payment.
The purpose of the collected funds was to protect the American frontier near the Appalachian Mountains. The majority of the cost was to maintain the contingent of 10,000 British troops.
The total amount intended to be raised by the new tax was £60,000 per year, this is not even 20% of the total amount of £350,000 per year required to maintain the troops.
The tax was payable in gold and silver only and not in paper money as was the common method of payment in the colonies.
The significance of the Stamp act was due to the fact that for the first time the tax was installed not to regulate commerce and trade, but to directly squeeze money out of colonists. Moreover the tax was introduced by a direct order from England without approval of the colonial legislature.
The passage of the Stamp Act in British Parliament can be considered a complete failure. After its introduction the British revenues from colonies actually diminished. Colonial businesses refused to import the goods from Britain reducing the overall volume of trade and the base of collecting other taxes. The violations of the law in the colonies were so widespread that even courts would not enforce the use of stamps on legal documents.
The people most affected by this act were lawyers, printers, merchants and ministers – some of the most influential people in society.
Forging or counterfeiting stamps was a crime punishable by death.
Transactions conducted without stamps would be enforced by confiscating property or land involved in such transaction.
Of course there is always a counterpoint. The money raised by the tax was intended to stay in the colony. Also the British Parliament granted colonists the right to select American tax collectors for the job.
By passing the law Britain actually helped to organize colonial protests to such extend that the Act is considered as one of the most significant immediate causes of American Revolution.
The actions of Americans to protest the Stamp Act led to its repeal by the British government on March 1766.
We need to fight the unjust taxes in the streets and write about them in the papers. If our government doesn't learn from the mistakes of England's past they will receive the same response. We must revive the spirit of the Sons of Liberty if we are to Reclaim Our Nation.
To review the entire article: www.reclaimingournation.com The Stamp Act of 1765 and The Sons of Liberty