Fact of the day: 18th March

On this day in 1766 The British Parliament repeals the Stamp Act. (A bit late for that if you ask me :P).

The Stamp Act 1765 imposed a direct tax by the British Parliament specifically on the colonies of British America, and it required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London, carrying an embossed revenue stamp.

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Opposition to the Stamp Act was not limited to the colonies. British merchants and manufacturers, whose exports to the colonies were threatened by colonial economic problems exacerbated by the tax, also pressured Parliament. The Act was repealed on March 18, 1766 as a matter of expedience, but Parliament affirmed its power to legislate for the colonies “in all cases whatsoever” by also passing the Declaratory Act. There followed a series of new taxes and regulations, likewise opposed by the colonists.

The episode played a major role in defining the grievances and enabling the organized colonial resistance that led to the American Revolution in 1775.

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