Tag Archives: Repeal of Stamp Act

Remembering History: Repeal of the Stamp Act (18 March 1766)

On 18 March 1766 the British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act to end a major uproar with the colonists in America.

Benjamin Franklin, 1783 attributed to Joseph-Siffred Duplessis (1725-1802)
National Portrait Gallery, London
Public Domain (via Wikimedia Commons)

The controversial act was passed on 22 March 1765 and required that every official document produced in the colonies have a British stamp on it. Official documents included legal documents but was expanded to include newspapers and even playing cards. The purpose of the act was to use the money to raise revenues for a standing army. In reaction to it, the Stamp Act Congress was created in the colonies to oppose it in October 1765. Opposition to the impending Stamp Act caused not only outrage but violence as well.  Calls to boycott British goods were made and attacks on customhouses and even homes of tax collectors occurred. Benjamin Franklin made a personal appeal to the House of Commons to repeal the act.

Faced with opposition to the Stamp Act, it was repealed but on the same day Parliament passed the Declaratory Act which stated the government had free and total legislative power over the colonies. This set in motion conflict with the colonists who began to assert they ought to have a voice in laws passed by Parliament. The famous phrase “No Taxation Without Representation” would become an important part of the revolt that was coming.

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