1765 STAMP ACT 250th

2015 marked the 250th anniversary of that most (in)famous of post-1763 British measures to raise revenues from the American colonies, the Stamp Act of 1765. This unprecedented direct tax on transactions by individual colonial British Americans was intended by London to generate revenue for “further defraying the expences [sic] of defending, protecting, and securing” the “British colonies and plantations in America,” territories vastly expanded under the 1763 Paris treaty. While not (as often erroneously claimed) designed to help pay down Britain’s war debt, the Act was certainly driven by debt-related fiscal anxieties, as well as by concerns that–in the wake of wartime jurisdictional disputes with colonial legislatures–Parliament’s authority over America needed to be reasserted. The explosion of colonial anger the Act triggered opened a dangerous rift between America and London even though Parliament ultimately rescinded the controversial measure.

In recognition of the 250th anniversary of this legislative child of the “French and Indian” or Seven Years War, links to websites exploring the Stamp Act’s history or publicizing commemorative plans are presented here:

COMMEMORATIVE ACTIVITIES

“Annapolis Sons of Liberty Week” October 2015 programs marking the 250th anniversary of Stamp Act resistance in Maryland’s colonial capital

“Exploring the Stamp Act” Old South Meeting House September 2015 lecture series information

“Taxes, Riots and Revolution,” Boston By Foot tours exploring the urban landscape of Boston’s Stamp Act protests

Providence Journal coverage of Newport Historical Society’s August 29 Stamp Act Riots 250th reenactment

Boston Globe coverage of Boston’s August 15 Stamp Act Riots 250th commemoration

Revolution250-Liberty Tree Boston 1765-2015 Facebook page

HISTORY AND ANALYSIS

Library of Congress blog post on the 250th anniversary of the “Virginia Resolves” opposing the Stamp Act

National Constitution Center “Constitution Daily” blog entry on Stamp Act 250th

Boston1775 blog entries on the origins and history of the Stamp Act Crisis

“Ben Franklin’s World” podcast interview with “Boston1775” historian-blogger J.L. Bell on the origins and history of the Stamp Act Crisis

Bostonian Society “On King Street” blog post “Boston’s Liberty Tree Illuminated”

Mass Humanities “Public Humanist” blog post “Boston’s 1765 Stamp Act Riots, a 250-Year Perspective”

EXHIBITIONS ONLINE

‘No Taxation Without Representation’ 2005 UK Parliamentary Archives exhibit marking Stamp Act’s 240th

Massachusetts Historical Society exhibition “God Save the People! From the Stamp Act to Bunker Hill”

Boston Public Library/Norman B. Leventhal Map Center exhibition “‘We are One’: Mapping America’s Road from Revolution to Independence”

PRIMARY SOURCES

Full text of “An Act for Granting and Applying Certain Stamp Duties, and other Duties, in the British Colonies and Plantations in America,” March 22, 1765

Massachusetts Historical Society’s contemporary published text of “An Act for Granting and Applying Certain Stamp Duties, and other Duties, in the British Colonies and Plantations in America …”

And more to come, please check back for updated links!