On February 6th, 1765 George Grenville rose in Parliament to offer the fifty-five resolutions of his Stamp Bill. A motion was offered to first read petitions from the Virginia colony and others was denied. The bill was passed on February 17, approved by the Lords on March 8th, and two weeks later ordered in effect by the King.
March 22, 1765
No crisis had yet been reached. Otis andHenry had each made more than a local reputation at the expense of British authority, and they had both won. Whereas, by an act made in the last session of Parliament several duties were granted, continued, and appropriated toward defraying the expenses of defending, protecting, and securing the British colonies and plantations in America; and whereas it is just and necessary that provision bemade for raising a further revenue within your majesty's dominions in America toward defraying the said expenses;
His object, as he said, was to consult the colonial agents and even the colonial assemblies, requesting them to propose some better method, if possible, for raising the necessary revenue. No doubt Grenville, like most British statesmen, felt piqued at the evasion of the navigation lawsin America and at the failure of the writs of assistance; but there is no proof that he desired to humble the colonists with an army and with stamps.
Viewing the matter calmly from this distance, it must be confessed that no better or more equitable method of taxing the colonies could have been found than by means of stamps, if it be conceded that England had the right to tax them at all. Butthis was exactly what the colonists denied. "Taxation without representation is tyranny," became their battle cry.
And also a duty of one shilling for every twenty shillings, in any sum exceeding fifty pounds, which shall be given, paid, contracted, or agreed for, with, or in relation to, any such clerk or apprentice...
And be it further enacted ..., That all books and pamphletsserving chiefly for the purpose of an almanack, by whatsoever name or names intituled or described, are and shall be charged with the duty imposed by this act on almanacks, but not with any of the duties charged by this act on pamphlets, or other printed papers ...
Provided always, that this act shall not extend to charge any bills of exchange, accompts, bills of parcels, bills of fees, orany bills or notes not sealed for payment of money at sight, or upon demand, or at the end of certain days of payment....
And be it further enacted ..., That the said several duties shall be under the management of the commissioners, for the time being, of the duties charged on stamped vellum, parchment, and paper, in Great Britain: and the said commissioners are hereby impowered andrequired to employ such officers under them, for that purpose, as they shall think proper....
March 5, 1770
The Boston Massacre was a street fight that occurred on March 5, 1770, between a "patriot" mob, throwing snowballs, stones, and sticks, and a squad of British soldiers. Several colonists were killed and this led to a campaign by speech-writers to rouse the ire of thecitizenry.The presence of British troops in the city of Boston was increasingly unwelcome. The riot began when about 50 citizens attacked a British sentinel. A British officer, Captain Thomas Preston, called in additional soldiers, and these too were attacked, so the soldiers fired into the mob, killing 3 on the spot (a black sailor named Crispus Attucks, ropemaker Samuel Gray, and a mariner named JamesCaldwell), and wounding 8 others, two of whom died later (Samuel Maverick and Patrick Carr).
A town meeting was called demanding the removal of the British and the trial of Captain Preston and his men for murder. At the trial, John Adams and Josiah Quincy II defended the British, leading to their acquittal and release. Samuel Quincy and Robert Treat Paine were the attorneys for the prosecution....