Extracts from the Stamp Act (1765)


These extracts are from the Stamp Act, which was passed by the British parliament in March 1765. This act introduced a stamp duty on official documents in the American colonies:


“By an act made in the last session of Parliament, several duties were granted, continued, and appropriated, towards defraying the expenses of defending, protecting, and securing, the British colonies and plantations in America…

It is just and necessary that provisions be made for raising a further revenue within your Majesty’s dominions in America, towards defraying the said expenses: be it enacted that there be raised, levied, collected, and paid unto his Majesty, his heirs, and successors, throughout the colonies and plantations in America which now are, or hereafter may be, under the dominion of his Majesty, his heirs and successor… stamp duties on legal papers, commercial papers, liquor licenses, land instruments, indentures, cards, dice, pamphlets, newspapers, advertisements, almanacs, academic degrees, and appointments to office.

And be it further enacted… that all the monies which shall arise by the several rates and duties hereby granted (except the necessary charges or raising, collecting, recovering, answering, paying, and accounting for the same, and the necessary charges from time to time incurred in relation to this act and the execution thereof) shall be paid into the receipt of his Majesty’s exchequer, and shall be entered separate and apart from all other monies, and shall be there reserved to be from time to time disposed of by parliament, towards further defraying the necessary expenses of defending, protecting, and securing, the said colonies and plantations…”