Talk:Stamp Act 1765

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Article name[edit]

Shouldn't this be moved to Stamp Act, 1765 or some such? There were several Stamp Acts in Britain as the Inland Revenue website attests]. Other Commonwealth countries had their own ones too and the concept of passing a law to impose duties is pretty common. adamsan 22:49, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

You have a point. The title of this article reveals a US-centric viewpoint. I would support moving this to a more specific name, BUT... you would need a disambig page at Stamp Act to list all the acts, and all of this would ONLY be useful IF there ARE any other Stamp Act of xxx articles. --Bill W. Smith, Jr. 03:21, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

tax difference source(s)[edit]

Would someone document the source for the taxation difference between the English and the colonists? SLM —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 4 December 2005.


"1765 Stamp Act HEELP i dont understand! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:46, 15 November 2010 (UTC)


Why does the section on protest/repeal not talk about the repeal? something should be done about that, and unfortunately, I do not know enough about the subject to do it myself. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 19 September 2006. hey this is for old people —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:11, 5 January 2011 (UTC)


Some idiot changed the page and i do not know what was there to begin with. Would whoever wrote this page please restore it to its original form? (note) i tried to guess at what it should have been, but I may be wrong Beefpelican 21:37, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Major Revision (9-24-2007)[edit]

The main effect of the changes are obviously more detail and the addition of sources and footnotes. The final "Later Effects" section of the article still needs to be rewritten and expanded on, and I intend to do that at some point. The only place that I am aware of where I changed the actual substance of the previous article involved the purpose of the Stamp Act -- I attempted to make it clear that while the British debt had been a prime factor in general British policy, the funds from the Stamp Act were to be earmarked strictly for expenses of the British military in America. —Preceding unsigned comment added by North Shoreman (talkcontribs) 15:56, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Wow, nice expansion! I'll try to copyedit and clean up the article, and maybe we can bring it to GA/FA status. Nishkid64 (talk) 00:39, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Proposed Merger Involving Stamp Act Congress[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

After over a month only two opposing opinions have been expressed nd there have been no comments in almost four weeks. Closed w/oconsensus to merge. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:03, 4 March 2008 (UTC)


The current article on the Stamp Act, considering the importance of the subject and WP:Article size, is of an appropriate size. The existing section on the Stamp Act Congress is an integral part of the existing article. The editor who tagged this section for elimination has provided no justification for his actions. If any changes are warranted, it would makes much more sense to eliminate the short, poorly written, largely undocumented, and non-encyclopedic article on the Stamp Act Congress and merge it into the Stamp Act main article. WP:MERGE makes this case when it says, “If a page is very short and is unlikely to be expanded within a reasonable amount of time, it often makes sense to merge it with a page on a broader topic. For instance, parents or children of a celebrity who are otherwise unremarkable are generally covered in a section of the article on the celebrity, and can be merged there.” Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:42, 2 February 2008 (UTC)


This section and the Stamp Act Congress article concern the identical subject. The Stamp Act Congress article has content which is not in this article and this article contains content which is not in the Stamp Act Congress article. The Stamp Act Congress article would substantially benefit from the addition of content from this article. With the additional of this additional content the Stamp Act Congress would become a substantial article. To avoid needless duplication of content the size of the section in this article could be reduced. BradMajors (talk) 07:53, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

The only thing in the Stamp Act Congress not in the main article is a complete list of delegates. This can easily be added to the main article without any significant increase in size, and the balance of the Congress article can simply be made into a "redirect" page. Snce you have not made an argument that the Stamp Act article, by Wikipedia standards, is too long, there is no reason why material needs to be removed from it. You have also not made the case about why a separate article is even needed for the Congress when all of the material from that article can easily be included in the reasonably sized main article. Keeping the article "as is" helps to provide a more complete picture of American reaction to the Stamp Act-- the Congress section provides needed context and contrast to the immediately preceding section "Protest in the streets". Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 11:31, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
No argument is being made that the article should be split based upon the current size of this article. Also, the Stamp Act Congress article is of substantial size and content and there is no reason it should be eliminated based upon its size. A common technique used when two articles discuss the same topic is for one article to be the "main" article and the referring article to contain a summary of the "main" article. BradMajors (talk) 04:59, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
You need to make it clear exactly what your goal is here. The "common technique" you refer to has nothing to do with WP:MERGE and everything to do with WP:SUMMARY. You have proposed a merge -- this would involve elimination of the entire section. If this is not your goal, then the merge tag should be removed IMMEDIATELY. if this IS your goal, then defend it. What you still fail to make the case for is why ANYTHING should be removed from the current article. You now acknowledge that this has nothing to do with size.
I have referred you to WP:SUMMARY before. In the section titled “Rationale” this article provides:
“The length of a given Wikipedia entry tends to grow as people add information to it. This cannot go on forever: very long entries would cause problems. So we must move information out of entries periodically. This information should not be removed from Wikipedia: that would defeat the purpose of the contributions. So we must create new entries to hold the excised information."
Since size is NOT the issue, it seems clear based on the above that if the Congress article did not already exist, there would be no reason for creating it. The issue that needs to be addressed, since you decided to make a point of it, is whether maintaining that article serves any real purpose. As I stated earlier and you have not contested, there is only a small amount of material in the Congress article that is not already in the main article. WP:MERGE clearly states as a reason to merge is when “There are two or more pages on exactly the same subject and having the same scope.” This is exactly the situation we face here-- there is no reason for a separate article since ALL of the substance from that article can be incorporated into the main article -- the only thing not in the main article is the list of delegates. You said earlier “ To avoid needless duplication of content the size of the section in this article could be reduced.” In fact, the easiest way to “avoid needless duplication” is to eliminate the article Stamp Act Congress in its entirety. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 13:43, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Opposition to Proposed Merger Involving Sons of Liberty[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

After over a month only two opposing opinions have been expressed nd there have been no comments in almost four weeks. Closed w/oconsensus to merge. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:08, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

The current article on the Stamp Act, considering the importance of the subject and WP:Article size, is of an appropriate size. The editor tagging this section wants to do an end run around the guidelines of WP:Summary style (which the editor opposes) in which the main article (Stamp Act) would retain some of the substance of the sub-article (Son’s of Liberty). WP:MERGE contains four reasons why a merge should be contemplated -- none of them apply to this situation. It seems with all the room there is for improvement on the various articles relating to the origins of the American Revolution (including the article on the Son's of Liberty) that editors could make a better use of their time than by trying to dismantle this well-written, well-researched article (which I largely wrote). Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:42, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

No explanation was offered at the time that this proposed merger was made, and no response has been made to my above objections even though the editor involved has responded to the other proposed merger. I will remove the proposed merger in the near future unless someone cares to defend the merger proposal. In particular, which of the four conditions for merger exist.Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 13:52, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Origin of Sons of Liberty[edit]

The article uses one citation which states that the use of "Sons of Liberty" precedes 1765, while I am aware of more than one reliable source which states that the use of "Sons of Liberty" started after February 1765. BradMajors (talk) 04:49, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

You misstate the issue. The Pauline Maier reference addresses the use of “sons of liberty” as a generic term -- I have now eliminated the capital letters to make this consistent. You had attempted to delete this fully sourced statement, and I have further clarified its accuracy by expanding the footnote information.
You had replaced the deletion with the following claim, “The term "Sons of Liberty" originated with with Barre's speech in February 1765.” You referenced this to page 130 in the Miller book. In fact, Miller DOES NOT say that the term originated with Barre, but rather says that Barre’s use of the term led to groups adopting this name. Barre’s use of the term was not original but, as Maier also notes, used by him “in the same rhetorical, descriptive sense” that was already common in the colonies. I have put the Miller information back in the article (as I had invited you to do) using the proper context. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 20:49, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
New version of the article in relation to "Sons of Liberty" is much improved. No objection to the new version. BradMajors (talk) 16:33, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Edits of 3-15-2008[edit]

Material had been changed with the edit summary "I believe the "necessity" of that tax was - shall we say - hotly contested, and in fact was what makes the Act notable at all." However the reference to necessity was not intended to be to the Stamp Act, but to the overall economic program of which the Stamp Act was just a part. The Stamp Act was not intended, as the edit sugested, to "alleviate Britain’s greatly increased national debt" but to pay for current and future expenses. While the body of the article makes this clear, the lede did not so I have rewritten it so that the point cannot be missed.

I removed the reference to an increased border size because I'm not sure it is accurate. The border size between French Canada and British North America had been totally eliminated, and I don't think that this reduction was offset by new borders that the British had acquired. In any event, the article is fully sourced and the sources used don't make the claim that total border area was a separate factor from the total size of the newly acquired. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 15:19, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Documentation -- "citation needed" tags placed by Hmains[edit]

I wrote most of the article and most of the tags added were unwarranted. I followed the practice of placing footnotes used in most works of history and allowed by Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Style guide#Citation styles which provides, "A single footnote may be used to provide citations for any amount of material; while they typically apply to one or a few sentences, they may also cover entire paragraphs or sections of text." All of the cited sentences, except for the ones in the conclusion of the article, are supported by the next footnote in the text. I did add one duplicate footnote where the cite is actually contained in a following paragraph -- I assume that occurred because another editor split my original paragraph in two. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 22:00, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

You may wish to re-read the guideline you are referring to, as quotations need direct citations, not just paragraph citations (see WP:MILMOS#CITE). The guideline also states "In general, any statement for which a citation has been explicitly requested by another editor should be provided with one as well". I haven't looked in detail at which statements were flagged with the {{fact}} tag, but the editor that added the tags may wish to confirm whether or not they are happy with paragraph citations in each case. Regards. Road Wizard (talk) 22:28, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
I did re-read the section WP:MILMOS#CITE. This main section tells us WHAT to footnote, and the section I quoted shows HOW to do it. The section you refer to states:
The nature of historical material requires that articles be thoroughly—even exhaustively—cited. At a minimum, the following all require direct citation:
1. Direct quotations of outside material
2. Paraphrasing or other borrowing of ideas from an outside source
3. Controversial or disputed statements
4. Subjective or qualitative judgements
5. Numerical quantities or statistics
Direct quotations are grouped together with four other types of material that require “direct citation”, with paraphrasing probably being the most common. There is no indication that I am aware of that “direct citation” somehow means citation immediately after a sentence (or immediately after the quote if it’s in the middle of the sentence). Nor is there any indication in the MOS that “direct quotations” should be treated differently than “paraphrasing”. In the two instances where quotes are used the footnoting would be adequate for any professional publication.
You quote, "In general, any statement for which a citation has been explicitly requested by another editor should be provided with one as well." Well, in this case the citations were already there. If the editor in question has any questions about the accuracy of the cites I will be glad to discuss them further. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 23:53, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
You may wish to look at Wikipedia:Citing sources: "You should always add a citation when quoting published material, and the citation should be placed directly after (or just before) the quotation, which should be enclosed within double quotation marks".
While the current method of footnoting would be adequate for "any professional publication", you have to remember that such publications cannot be edited by any member of the public. Given the ease with which random editors can add spurious claims into an already sourced paragraph it is sometimes necessary to have citations directly after quotations and statements of a questionable nature. Road Wizard (talk) 00:53, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

"Continental paper money"[edit]

This expression appears in the lede, with no wlink or no further reference in the body (except perhaps a reference to 'hard money' in some block text). Could we have a wikilink please? --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 17:26, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Impact on colonial economy compared to monetary values today[edit]

Although this should not be placed in the article itself, as a note to the impact on which these stamps would have had on the colonial economy, it may be stated using inflation templates, what the equivalent costs of these duties would be in today's English pound sterling to gauge this law's effect on the prices of items in that day.

The English pound sterling then consisted of 240 pence (the British penny was then abbreviated "d"), which was then broken into smaller denominations, including the shilling, which was 1/20 of a pound sterling, which consisted of 12d.

The major increments of English money of that day are shown below with their modern-day equivalents:

  • 1d = £0.52
  • 1s = £6.16
  • £1 = £123.27

Bill S. (talk) 07:01, 4 July 2011 (UTC)


For unknown reasons, this article invites more than the usual share of vandalism. Given the nature of the topic, this article may invite a disproportionate number of middle-school or elementary-school visitors who may find it amusing to make inappropriate modifications. I suspect, the only way to solve this problem is a long-term partial lock, blocking novices and anonymous edits. Alex.deWitte (talk) 23:36, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

local bias[edit]

This article says nothing about the impact of the act in colonies outside the present United States, specifically the Caribbean colonies (which were also affected), and the colonies now part of Canada. This would include economic and political consequences to the act, and reaction to the protests in the Thirteen. Magic♪piano 15:01, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

the economic impact was small everywhere because the tax was quite small. The principle, however, was quite large. Rjensen (talk) 04:56, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
The (intended) economic impact of the taxes may have been small, but that of the protest activity was not. Trade dropped off substantially due to the non-importation agreements, and was of serious concern to West Indies interests, who depended on North American trade for basics like food and lumber. American ships were under threat (or rumored threat) of seizure if they put into a port with unstamped papers. These forces were among those that made the (ultimately successful economic) case for repeal. Magic♪piano 23:36, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

quote by Samuel Adams[edit]

I'm wondering if the following quote by Samuel Adams really belongs to this article:

For if our Trade may be taxed why not our Lands? Why not the Produce of our Lands & every thing we possess or make use of? This we apprehend annihilates our Charter Right to govern & tax ourselves – It strikes our British Privileges, which as we have never forfeited them, we hold in common with our Fellow Subjects who are Natives of Britain: If Taxes are laid upon us in any shape without our having a legal Representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the Character of free Subjects to the miserable State of tributary Slaves

For one thing, he wrote this about the Sugar Act in May 1764, nearly a year before the Stamp Act was voted. Also, the quote starts with "for if our trade may be taxed", which disconnects the quote from the Stamp Act since it was not a tax on trade.

In fact, the whole passage that starts with "Debate in the colonies over the Stamp Act had actually begun in the spring of 1764" and ends with "Although the content of the messages varied, they all emphasized that taxation of the colonies without colonial assent was a violation of their rights." seems out of place. It deals with events that predate the Stamp Act, even though it is in the "Political responses" section.

I think it should be moved to a more relevant article, or into the Background section, though in my opinion the paragraph about taxation and representation in the Background section is sufficient as it is. LeCid (talk) 21:33, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

I think it explains Adams' position before the specific stamp act came up--and shows he did not change positions. Rjensen (talk) 21:43, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Declaratory Act[edit]

Not an expert on this, but the article as it stands now states, "Secretary of State Henry Conway introduced the Declaratory Act, which affirmed the right of Parliament to tax the colonies, ' all cases whatsoever'..." According to Barbara Tuchman in The March of Folly (1984) the Declaratory Act "...did not mention taxation, the whole point of the dispute." Charles Yorke, Attorny General of Great Britain, moved to insert "in cases of taxation," but was overruled, the sentiment being that "in all cases whatsoever" covered taxation. (p. 165) Seems to contradict what is said here.

The Stamp Act[edit]

This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

august body the Parliament of Great Britain. II.That His Majesty's liege subjects in these colonies, are entitled to all the inherent rights and liberties of his natural born subjects within the kingdom of Great-Britain. III.That it is inseparably essential to the freedom of a people, and the undoubted right of Englishmen, that no taxes be imposed on them, but with their own consent, given personally, or by their representatives. IV.That the people of these colonies are not, and from their local circumstances cannot be, represented in the House of Commons in Great-Britain. V.That the only representatives of the people of these colonies, are persons chosen therein by themselves, and that no taxes ever have been, or can be constitutionally imposed on them, but by their respective legislatures. VI.That all supplies to the Crown, being free gifts of the people, it is unreasonable and inconsistent with the principles and spirit of the British Constitution, for the people of Great-Britain to grant to His Majesty the property of the colonists. VII.That trial by jury is the inherent and invaluable right of every British subject in these colonies. VIII.That the late Act of Parliament, entitled, An Act for granting and applying certain Stamp Duties, and other Duties, in the British colonies and plantations in America, etc., by imposing taxes on the inhabitants of these colonies, and the said Act, and several other Acts, by extending the jurisdiction of the courts of Admiralty beyond its ancient limits, have a manifest tendency to subvert the rights and liberties of the colonists. IX.That the duties imposed by several late Acts of Parliament, from the peculiar circumstances of these colonies, will be extremely burthensome and grievous; and from the scarcity of specie, the payment of them absolutely impracticable. X.That as the profits of the trade of these colonies ultimately center in Great-Britain, to pay for the manufactures which they are obliged to take from thence, they eventually contribute very largely to all supplies granted there to the Crown. XI.That the restrictions imposed by several late Acts of Parliament, on the trade of these colonies, will render them unable to purchase the manufactures of Great-Britain. XII.That the increase, prosperity, and happiness of these colonies, depend on the full and free enjoyment of their rights and liberties, and an intercourse with Great-Britain mutually affectionate and advantageous. XIII.That it is the right of the British subjects in these colonies, to petition the King, Or either House of Parliament.

Lastly, That it is the indispensable duty of these colonies, to the best of sovereigns, to the mother country, and to themselves, to endeavour by a loyal and dutiful address to his Majesty, and humble applications to both Houses of Parliament, to procure the repeal of the Act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, of all clauses of any other Acts of Parliament, whereby the jurisdiction of the Admiralty is extended as aforesaid, and of the other late Acts for the restriction of American commerce.

– "Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress," 1765

Taxation in this manner and the Quartering Act (which required the American colonies to provide food and shelter for British troops) were soundly thrashed in colonial assemblies. From Patrick Henry in Virginia to James Otis in Massachusetts, Americans voiced their protest. A Stamp Act Congress was convened in the colonies to decide what to do.

The colonists put their words into action and enacted widespread boycotts of British goods. Radical groups such as the Sons and Daughters of Liberty did not hesitate to harass tax collectors or publish the names of those who did not comply with the boycotts.

Soon, the pressure on Parliament by business-starved British merchants was too great to bear. The Stamp Act was repealed the following year.

The crisis was over, but the uneasy peace did not last long. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:15, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

This is a page for the discussion of RS's for the improvement of the article. Your post has no point in this regard - asking an Administrator to 'hat' this post, please - thanks. HammerFilmFan (talk) 18:34, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Stamp Act 1765/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Last edited at 10:22, 13 April 2010 (UTC). Substituted at 06:52, 30 April 2016 (UTC)