Why was The Stamp Act enacted?


Quick Answer

The Stamp Act was enacted in order to fund the protection of the colonists' frontier areas along the Appalachian Mountains. The money primarily went to funding supplies for troops stationed along the frontier.

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Full Answer

The Stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765, according to Colonial Williamsburg. This act required colonists in the Americas to pay a tax on every piece of paper they used, including documents, licenses, legal papers and even playing cards. It was called the Stamp Act because when the taxes were paid, the paper was given a stamp certifying that the paper was legal.

Once the Stamp Act was enacted, the money collected went to funding more than 10,000 soldiers stationed along the American frontier in order to defend the colonists from Native American attacks. The cost of supporting these troops was almost £350,000 annually.

The colonists reacted poorly to this act. Even though the tax collectors would be colonists rather than British men, and even though the money was going to benefit the colonists, they still saw it as an infringement on their rights. The money collected wasn't that much, but the colonists argued that it was another way in which the British were regulating their trade and infringing upon their rights.

The result of the Stamp Act was adoption of Patrick Henry's Stamp Act Resolves, which were declarations of rights by the colonists.

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