Why did the colonists react so much more strongly to the Stamp Act than to the Sugar Act? How did the principles that the Stamp Act raised continue to provide points of contention between colonists and the British government?

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Let's start with the Sugar Act. This tax certainly did upset many colonists. By putting a tax on the importation of sugar and molasses, this act threatened the thriving rum manufacturing business in New England. What irked many was that this act was passed by Parliament, a legislative body in which the colonists had no representation. Overall, though, this tax did not illicit a united protest from the colonies as only a small population of colonists were directly affected by it. There had been taxes on commerce for a long time in the colonies. Most colonists were used to having to pay some sort of tax on certain items.

The Stamp Act took things even further and, as the question suggests, elicited a very strong reaction from the colonists. As a tax on anything printed, colonists saw this as putting a price tag on free speech and any form of official business. Since all colonists relied on the dissemination of written works, used contracts, and so forth, this was seen as a real burden...

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