Episode 024: Stamp Act Repeal and Declaratory Act

December 24, 2017

The Stamp Act took effect on November 1, 1765.  But colonial opposition prevented the use of any stamps.  Protesters forced newspapers, courts, and ports to operate without stamped paper.  Creditors could not go to court to collect on debts and trading vessels stop going to England.  As a result, English merchants joined in opposition to the Act.

Prime Minister Rockingham replaced Grenville and immediately set about to repeal the law.  The problem was, Parliament did not want to look like it was backing down in the face of mob violence, or sending the message that it accepts colonial assertions that Parliament cannot impose taxes on the colonies.  After months of wrangling and infighting, King George let it be known that he supports the repeal.  Parilament passed the repeal, but on the same day also passes the Declaratory Act which says Parliament still has the authority to pass such laws whenever it wants.  

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