(1765) British parliamentary measure to tax the American colonies. To pay for costs resulting from the French and Indian War, the British sought to raise revenue through a stamp tax on printed matter. A common revenue device in England, the tax was vigorously opposed by the colonists, whose representatives had not been consulted. Colonists refused to use the stamps, and mobs intimidated stamp agents. The Stamp Act Congress, with representatives from nine colonies, met to petition Parliament to repeal the act. Faced with additional protests from British merchants whose exports had been reduced by colonial boycotts, Parliament repealed the act (1766), then passed the Declaratory Act.
An Emblem of the Effects of the STAMP, a warning against the Stamp Act published in
—Rare Books and Manuscripts Division, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
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