The last act we will be discussing is The Stamp Act.
The Stamp Act was passed on March 22, 1765. This act was passed to try to generate even more revenue for the British government by putting a tax on any official document or paperwork that the Americans would need. Every important document that was purchased also had to have a stamp that was purchased to be affixed to said document. This means that licenses, college diplomas, playing cards, advertisements, newspapers, and any legal documents such as deeds to lands or mortgages on property were taxed with an additional stamp.
Before this law was even in effect, outrage had ensued. In the Virginia House of Burgesses, Patrick Henry denounced the Stamp Act suggesting that the act would eventually force the colonies into revolt and be the downfall of King George III. All across the colonies, the cry “No Taxation, without Representation” was being heard loud and clear. This act was one of main causes of the Revolutionary War.
Here are some great historical documents from the Massachusetts Historical Society that explain why the Stamp Act was so awful and how it spurred the Revolution, with lesson plan questions:
The Formation of the Sons of Liberty
Liberty and No Stamp Act
The Badge of Slavery
Keeping the Peace
Certain Mutual and Reciprocal Agreements
Sensations of Freedom
Stamp Act History is an entire website devoted to the history of the Stamp Act. There are articles, documents, a timeline of events and videos.
Here are some great videos and songs to help you further learn about the Stamp Act and the beginning of the Revolution!
The Liberty’s Kids Collection is one of my absolute favorite resources for learning about The Revolutionary War! You can grab all 40 episodes for less than $7 on Amazon!