The Stamp Act was passed with regard to the American colonies early in 1765. The British were short of cash due to the French and Indian War, and they needed to raise money in a hurry. Taxes were one of the major ways of doing that, so Parliament decreed that...
The Stamp Act was passed with regard to the American colonies early in 1765. The British were short of cash due to the French and Indian War, and they needed to raise money in a hurry. Taxes were one of the major ways of doing that, so Parliament decreed that in November, the colonists would be required to have a tax stamp on a variety of items from newspapers to deeds to playing cards. The tax really wasn't that big, often around a half penny, but the principle behind the Stamp Act elicited strong protests from the colonists. They were not represented by voting members of Parliament, and therefore, Parliament should not be making decisions to tax them. What's more, the Stamp Act decreed that offenders who tried to avoid the tax would not be tried by a jury.
Pamphlets, speeches, resolutions, and petitions multiplied almost at once, clearly stating colonists' objections. The British simply ignored them. The colonists in the Boston area decided to make their point a bit more clearly. Led by the Sons of Liberty, peopled gathered in the streets on August 14, 1765, and the group quickly turned into a mob. They hung and beheaded an effigy of Andrew Oliver, the man appointed to collect the tax in that area. They also ransacked his house. Oliver resigned almost at once. The mob thereby expressed their extreme opposition to the Stamp Act and those who cooperated with it.
Protests and violence spread to other areas as well and were usually directed against tax collectors. Many of them resigned. Mobs also stood out against the British ships arriving with the hated stamps on board, and people boycotted British goods. By the time November rolled around, resistance had reached such a level that the Stamp Act could not be enforced. Parliament repealed it early in 1766. The colonists were successful this time around, but their fight was far from over.