The Stamp Act levied a tax on all legal documents in the American colonies. It was passed by the British parliament on March 22, 1765. The tax was not limited to documents; it covered any form of printed paper. Newspapers, licenses and all forms of publications were also taxed.
The British passed the Stamp Act to help pay the debt that they incurred during the Seven Years War. The revenue generated from the Stamp Act was also intended to offset defense expenditures brought upon by the defense of the western frontier of the colonies. It was finally repealed on March 18, 1766.