Stamp Act Protests
1765 became the year when the first Stamp Act occurred in American colonial history. It was an attempt of the British parliamentary to increase income by means of direct taxation of all colonial legal papers, cards, periodic printing, commercial papers, pamphlets and so on.
In addition to the huge defense burdens after from Great Britain’s victory (1763) in the French and Indian War, there were new burdens after ruinous and exhausting Pontiac’s War (1763–64) that colonial frontier settlements needed to cope with. Sir George Grenville the secretary of the Exchequer had a plan to cover at least the half of these expenses through Sugar Act of 1764 and the Stamp Act applied to the North American colonial settlements. However, he didn’t expect that these acts will cause such a wave of social disaffection. People, exhausted by the historical events of the past decided not to take part in such policy, and refused from stamps, went for riots. Colonists claimed that since they are Englishmen they can be taxed solely by their representative assemblies, and only after they agree upon it, according to the common law of that time. They refused not only to use the colonial stamps, moreover they burnt and diminished the stamps of colonial distributors.
In October 1765, the Stamp Act Congress was held, with chosen representatives of 9 colonies in order to maintain the precise structure of taxation and to create “rights and grievances” resolutions and to address the request to royals and Parliament to cancel the measures that led to colonial protests. Also, there was an essential pressure from British retailers and manufacturers whose colonial exports had largely decreased. As the result, the Parliament had to cancel the Stamp Act 1766, against the wishes of the House of Lords. However, though the Stamp Act itself was annulled, the Parliament issued a Declaratory Act which stated that anywhere on the territory of empire the direct taxation is possible in any cases. But the process of Stamp Act protests united the people and helped them to stand for themselves, which lead to a declaration of independence in a very short period of time.