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History of the British Colonial Tax Stamp

On March 22, 1765, the English Parliament passed the dreaded “Stamp Act”.
All printed materials were taxed and required to bear a stamp: newspapers, magazines, bills, legal papers, almanacs, licenses, playing cards and dice. The cost of the stamps ranged from ½ penny to ten pounds paid in silver, and set to go into effect November 1, 1765.

This was King George III's attempt to get the colonies to bear some of the costs of the French and Indian War, fought between the British and the French (1754-1763) on American soil.

The Sons of Liberty in the colonies had a different idea. They burned the stamps and threatened the stamp agents. “Taxation without representation” was a violation of their rights.

On November 1, 1765, the colonists refused to buy the stamps and business came to a standstill. The revolution had begun.


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