In the 18th century, the British fought France in the French and Indian war. when the war was over, the British owed a lot of money for all of the war materials it used. To get the money, they decided to tax the colonists. they brought on a bunch of acts to get back the money. The colonists disagreed with these acts because they didn’t believe in taxation without representation. In reaction to the acts, the colonists sparked violence and protests to get the acts repealed.
The prime minister, George Grenville, enforced the stamp act as a way to pay back the loans to the French and Indian war. This act was the act in which colonists were taxed on all paper goods. whenever the colonists bought paper goods such as the newspaper, legal documents, or even playing cards, they were required to buy a stamp or seal for the goods. This was how the British taxed the colonists on these kinds of products. The stamps themselves weren’t very expensive, but it was the fact that the colonists didn’t agree to pay these taxes is what got them to react so violently.
When the stamp act was brought on to the colonists, they didn’t react well to it. They believed that it was just an act to raise money for the British and not for the war. The colonists immediately reacted in anger. Resistance to the act immediately arose. Crowds and gangs of people broke out in violence and ways to repeal the act.
One of these groups of people had a big impact on the stamp act. Sons of Liberty, a group of shopkeepers and artisans, had a lot to do with the violence towards the stamp act. The group was put together by Samuel Adams to scare away the tax collectors. One of their attempts was hanging a model of Andrew Oliver in a tree to warn him not to collect the money. On one of the anniversaries of the repeal of the stamp act, a Letter, written by Sam Adams, states him commemorating all of the good things the Sons of Liberty did to fight the stamp act. One of the lines state “The resolute stand made by the Sons of Liberty against the detestable policy had more effect in bringing on the repeal than any conviction in the Parliament of Great Britain of the injustice and iniquity of the act .”
The stamp act was repealed in 1766. This happened to be just one year after Prime Minister Grenville left office. The violence had a lot to with the repeal, especially the Sons of Liberty. The violence against the tax collectors scared them into resigning. The problems with taxation without representation brought by the stamp act stressed every colony to the point where years later, the colonists rebelled against the British.
Other resoureces used: Call to Freedom text book