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Lesson One

Reading 1

deeds, commercial agreements, almanacs, newspapers, books, pamphlets, calendars, academic degrees, warrants for surveying, liquor licenses, playing cards, dice, and appointments to office.) . . .

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that if any person shall forge, counterfeit, erase, or alter any such certificate, every such person so offending shall be guilty of felony, and shall suffer death as in cases of felony without the benefit of clergy. . . .

And be it further enacted . . . that all the monies which shall arise by the several rates and duties hereby granted . . . 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, toward further defraying the necessary expenses of defending, protecting, and securing the said colonies and plantations. . . .

Source: The Annals of America, Vol. 2, 1755–1783 (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1976), pp. 143–47.

Questions

  • 1.

    Why did the colonists protest the imposition of a stamp tax?

  • 2.

    For what purpose were the taxes raised by the Stamp Act to be used?

  • 3.

    What was the punishment for violation of the Stamp Act?

  • 4.

    What was taxable under the Stamp Act? In your opinion, would the act have been less

controversial if it had not been so comprehensive? Explain.

5. What were the alternatives colonists could take in opposition to the Stamp Act?

ca. 1765–66 (Library of Congress, General Collections)

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