The Stamp Act was supposed to raise money to pay off the country’s enormous debt following eight years of war, but instead it started a revolution.
The French and Indian War, fought on the North American frontier, cost Britain a king’s ransom, and Parliament thought the American colonists should help pay for it. The Stamp Act taxed most commercial and legal transactions in America. No ships could leave American ports, no newspapers printed, no court cases tried without stamped paper purchased from the taxman.
Colonists already hit hard by a post-war economic downturn erupted in protests. Ports closed and business came to a screeching halt, while protesters destroyed property and threatened royal officials.
Because of the firm leadership of Gov. James Wright, Georgia was the only colony that officially used the dreaded stamps, earning disdain among her sister colonies.
Parliament asserted its right to tax the colonies, but averted a full-scale war for a few years more when it repealed the notorious Stamp Act on March 18, 1766, Today in Georgia History.
Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.