The Stamp Act Crisis of 1765

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By, Surabhi Ashok
With midterm elections having just passed, we see how integral the voting processes in the United States are. People vote for representatives that align with the policies and ideologies they most want to see implemented and protected in the government. This desire for representation actually dates all the way back to colonial times, a time when many Americans wanted a say in administrative actions but didn’t receive it.
During the late 1700s, the British monarchy ruled all 13 colonies in America under the Parliament. After the Seven Years’ War and the resulting financial crisis, the Empire’s governing body took on a more direct role in the colonists’ lives imposing loftier taxes and more restricting policies. One such tax was the Stamp Act of 1765.
The Stamp Act of 1765 required colonists in America to only use the paper and printed materials like newspapers and documents provided by Great Britain. This of course made many colonists angry as they were being taxed “without representation.” There was no one from America elected into Parliament, and therefore they had no voice in regards to what was passed and what affected them.
In response to the Stamp Act, a series of resolutions were adopted by the House of Burgesses that detailed that the American colonists were entitled to the same rights as British citizens. The passage also suggested that local governments of each state should be given the ability to make their own laws as it would ensure the prosperity of the colonies as well as Britain itself.
While these resolutions were in no way severing ties with Britain, Parliament reacted poorly to them, essentially declaring that the American colonies were bound to the British Empire’s rule and could not question it regardless. This statement only brought the individual colonies closer together as frustrations against the monarchy grew. Eventually, these frustrations would boil over into an official declaration of independence, paving the way for future revolution with the help of partnerships with countries like France.