The Stamp Act of 1765: A History in Documents
(From the Broadview Sources Series)
  • Publication Date: November 20, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781554812776 / 1554812771
  • 168 pages; 7" x 9"

Broadview eBooks are available on a variety of platforms. To learn more, please visit our eBook information page.

Note on pricing.

Request Exam Copy

Examination copy policy

Availability: Worldwide

The Stamp Act of 1765: A History in Documents

(From the Broadview Sources Series)

  • Publication Date: November 20, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781554812776 / 1554812771
  • 168 pages; 7" x 9"

When Parliament sought to raise funds through the passing of the Stamp Act in 1765, they did not anticipate the protests and staunch opposition to the new law that would ensue in the colonies. Though the crisis was eventually resolved, the larger questions raised by Parliament’s action and colonial resistance remained unanswered. What started as a debate over taxation would end in a struggle for independence. The Stamp Act Crisis, 1765–1766, marks the transition in United States history from the Colonial Era to the Era of the American Revolution. The full narrative of the Stamp Act includes political, social, economic, and cultural histories on both sides of the Atlantic.

This volume provides the reader with the opportunity to engage with the pamphlets, letters, speeches, legal documents, and other texts and images that people in the colonies and in London were themselves reading, debating, and reacting to at the time. The introduction incorporates recent scholarship and provides a fresh look at this key moment in American history, and the informative headnotes and rich annotations help orient the reader within the historical sources.


“This sharp and concise volume is a vivid resource for students hoping to understand the crisis that roiled the British Empire in 1764–1766 and inspired American arguments on behalf of their own rights. Students can analyze laws, speeches, essays, descriptions of crowd protests, tavern toasts, and a sermon. The volume even offers material objects, political cartoons, and other visual images for students to discuss. The accompanying text provides sure-handed guidance for thinking about the language, ideas, and actions that animated this important political moment in American history.” — Benjamin L. Carp, Brooklyn College, CUNY

“Jonathan Mercantini has provided a valuable resource for all of us who teach the American Revolution. The writing prompts and discussion questions at the end of each section make The Stamp of 1765 unique when compared to similar edited collections on the period. I am already thinking about the best way to use this text in my classroom.” — John Fea, Messiah College

Questions to Consider


  • 1. Parliament Increases Trade Regulations: Extracts from Revenue Act (1764)
    2. Parliament Plans to Increase Taxes on the Colonies: Extract from Charles Garth to South Carolina Committee of Correspondence (17 April 1764)
    3. Colonial Opposition to the Sugar Act: New York Assembly, Petition to the House of Commons (18 October 1764)
    Discussion Questions/Writing Prompts


  • 4. Defending the Stamp Act: Extracts from The regulations lately made concerning the colonies and the taxes imposed upon them considered, Thomas Whately (1765)
    5. A Member of Parliament Opposes the Stamp Act: Speech Made by Isaac Barré to Parliament (6 February 1765)
    6. Raising Taxes in the Colonies: Extracts from the Stamp Act (1765)
    7. Image: One-Penny Stamp Produced for North American Colonies
    8. Image: Deplorable State of America or Sc(otc)h Government Cartoon (1765)
    9. Virginia Questions Parliamentary Authority: Virginia Resolves on the Stamp Act: Text of Resolutions Debated by the Virginia Legislature (30 May 1765)
    10. Colonial Leaders Unite in Opposition: The Stamp Act Congress Resolutions
    Discussion Questions/Writing Prompts


  • 11. Report on the Boston Crowd: Francis Bernard to Board of Trade (15 August 1765)
    12. Boston Newspaper Describes the Protests: From the Boston Gazette and Country Journal (Monday 19 August 1765)
    13. Account of Attack on Thomas Hutchinson’s Home from Two Letters
    14. Continuing the Protests: Broadside by Sons of Liberty (17 December 1765)
    15. A Woman Comments on the Stamp Act Protests: From “Sophia Thrifty” (op-ed), New York Mercury (2 February 1765)
    16. Crowds in South Carolina: Henry Laurens to Joseph Brown (28 October 1765)
    17. Image: Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertiser (31 October 1765)
    18. Image: No Stamp Act Teapot
    19. Opinion in Other Parts of the Commonwealth: John Dickinson to Barbados Committee of Correspondence (1766)
    20. Imposing the Stamp Act: Governor James Wright to the Board of Trade (15 January 1766)
    Discussion Questions/Writing Prompts


  • 21. From the Examination of Doctor Benjamin Franklin, Before an August Assembly, Relating to the Repeal of the Stamp Act (13 February 1766)
    22. From William Pitt’s Speech to Parliament in Favor of Repeal (14 January 1766)
    23. Parliament Rescinds the Stamp Act: Repeal of the Stamp Act; the Declaratory Act (1766)
    24. Image: “The Repeal, or The Funeral of Miss AME-Stamp” (18 March 1766)
    25. Anticipating the Consequences of Repeal: Henry Laurens to John Lewis Gervais (12 May 1766)
    26. John J. Zubly, “The Stamp-Act repealed. A sermon, preached in the meeting at Savannah in Georgia” (25 June 1766)
    27. Patriotic Toasts Celebrating Repeal (1770)
    Discussion Questions/Writing Prompts

Glossary of Key Figures and Terms
Select Bibliography
Permissions Acknowledgements

Jonathan Mercantini is Acting Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Associate Professor of History at Kean University, and author of Who Shall Rule at Home: The Evolution of South Carolina Political Culture, 1748-1776, University of South Carolina Press.