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Stamp Act Research Paper Topic Suggestion

Paper Masters gives the following suggestion for starting a research paper on the Stamp Act.

Following the Seven Years’ War, the British Government attempted to defray the cost of carrying out the war in North America by imposing a series of taxes that ultimately led to resistance and revolution. One of the more unpopular taxes was the Stamp Act of 1765, requiring all printed material in the colonies be:

  • Produced on specific paper
  • Produced in London
  • Carry an official stamp
Stamp Act

the Stamp Act and the Colonies

The Stamp Act met with almost immediate opposition in the Colonies. Duties were placed on things such as playing cards and newspapers, but placed higher taxes on legal documents. The tax also was required to be paid in hard currency, such as silver which was frequently scarce in the colonies, as opposed to paper currency, which was plentiful.

The major objection that many colonists had against the Stamp Act was the idea that the British Government could impose these duties on the colonies without Colonial representation in Parliament. This is the genesis of the “taxation without representation” charge that focused much of the American animosity towards the British Government and eventually led to the American Revolution a decade later.

In response to the Stamp Act, in June 1764, Massachusetts established a Committee of Correspondence to coordinate action and information with the other colonies, a vital first step towards the First Continental Congress of 1774. Mass protests against the Stamp Act also led to the formation of the Sons of Liberty.

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