The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Stamp Act

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STAMP ACT, an act for regulating the stamp duties to be imposed on various documents. In 1765 George Grenville, chancellor of the English exchequer, proposed a bill for taxing the colonies through a stamp duty. No serious opposition was expected. But the measure aroused great excitement in America as an attempt at taxation without representation. In the United States, a Stamp Act congress consisting of delegates from all the colonies except New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia, met at New York 7 Oct, 1765, and adjourned 25 October. The action of this congress consisted of an address to the king, petitions to Parliament and a declaration of the rights and grievances of the colonies. It protested that the colonies could only be taxed by their own representatives in the colonial assemblies; claimed the inherent right of trial by jury, and declared the Stamp Act to have a manifest tendency to subvert the rights and liberties of the colonies.