Ye Olde Activity Three

The Stamp Act, 1765

Historical Background:

In 1765, the British Parliament enacted the Stamp Act as a means of raising money to help pay for the cost of the French and Indian War, which was fought in North America. It was the first direct tax imposed by Britain on its American colonies. This law placed a tax on newspapers, almanacs, pamphlets, playing cards and legal documents.

Some of the colonists were angry about this. They felt that this was an attempt by King George and the Parliament to raise money in the colonies without the approval of colonial people. Patrick Henry, in the Virginia House of Burgesses stated, "No taxation without representation." This became the slogan of the day. Patriotic groups, known as the Sons of Liberty, were formed to organize resistance to the tax. To show their anger, patriots debated the taxes in the colonial legislatures. They also wrote articles and songs which spoke out against the taxes. Some patriots even tarred and feathered tax collectors. Merchants pledged to stop the import of British goods, and the people vowed to stop buying English products until the tax was repealed.

Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.

1. What are the people protesting?

2. Who do the dolls hanging from the trees represent?

3. How did the colonists protest the tax?

4.  What is meant by "No taxation without representation"?