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American colonists unsettled by British Parliament’s far-reaching Stamp Act tax

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BOSTON (MARCH 23, 1765) — The British government levied a new tax yesterday on the North American colonies in the wake of the territories won from the French in the Seven Years’ War.

Parliament passed the Stamp Act without any debate. The act, proposed by Prime Minister George Grenville, a Whig, will impose a tax on all American colonists, requiring them to pay an additional fee for every piece of paper purchased.

The tax will apply to all ship’s papers, legal documents, licenses, newspapers, and other publications. Playing cards are subject to taxation, too.

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