What Was the Significance of the Stamp Act Congress?
The Stamp Act Congress was significant because it was the first document with a list of demands that the colonists created to present to the British government. The Stamp Act Congress was also significant because it was in direct response to the first time that the British directly taxed the colonists, and was the first time that the colonists were being forced to operate under British governmental control.
Up until this point, the British had primarily left the colonists to govern themselves and had only imposed non-direct taxes. The British government created the Stamp Act initially because it was difficult to tax the trade within the colonies. This tax would apply to all things that involved paper in some form such as legal documents, licenses, playing cards, newspapers, books, diplomas and pamphlets. The British symbol was also stamped on to each item to help reinforce the idea of British control in the colonists' minds.
The Stamp Act was passed on March 22, 1765 by the British parliament. The American colonists responded quickly by forming the Stamp Act Congress. This congress was quick to talk about the problem of "taxation without representation," which would become one of the cornerstones of the American Revolutionary War. The colonists felt that they needed to have a say in the British governmental affairs if they were being forced to pay taxes to support those affairs.