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The Stamp Act was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain that imposed a direct tax on the colonies of British America and required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London, carrying an embossed revenue stamp Printed materials included legal documents, magazines, playing cards, newspapers, and many other types of paper used throughout the colonies. Like previous taxes, the stamp tax had to be paid in valid British currency, not in colonial paper money purpose of the tax was to help pay for troops stationed in North America after the British victory in the Seven Years’ War and its North American theater of the French and Indian War. The Americans said that there was no military need for the soldiers because there were no foreign enemies on the continent, and the Americans had always protected themselves against Indians. They suggested that it was a matter of British patronage to surplus British officers and career soldiers who should be paid by London.
The Stamp Act was very unpopular among colonists. A consensus considered it a violation of their rights as Englishmen to be taxed without their consent—consent that only the colonial legislatures could grant. Their slogan was “No taxation without representation.” Colonial assemblies sent petitions and protests. The Stamp Act Congress held in New York City was the first significant joint colonial response to any British measure; it petitioned Parliament and the King. Local protest groups led by colonial merchants and landowners established connections through Committees of Correspondence, creating a loose coalition that extended from New England to Maryland. Protests and demonstrations initiated by a new secret organization called the Sons of Liberty often turned violent and destructive as the masses became involved. Very soon, all stamp tax distributors were intimidated into resigning their commissions, and the tax was never effectively collected.
The Declaration of Independence gave birth to what is known today as the United States of America. The document is symbolic of American democracy and one of the free charters of freedom. The words stated in the Declaration rallied support from colonists at home, and colonists living abroad. The effects of the Declaration of Independence today can be seen and felt within the United States of America and among many foreign nations. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness the Declaration of Independence gave birth to many other freedoms in the United States of America that may never have even been intended. One of the more immediate effects felt by the Declaration of Independence was the Emancipation of black slaves. Some say that Abraham Lincoln interpreted the Declaration in his own way and understanding. Some say he was inspired to do so. Either way, it brought about the Emancipation Proclamation which gave black slaves their freedom.
Paine asserts that mankind was originally in a state of equality, and, therefore, present inequalities must have been brought about by some circumstance. Paine says that a common distinction that lacks any natural or religious basis, is the division between kings and their subjects. This distinction, unlike those between male and female or good and evil, is not one “of heaven,” and Paine wishes to inquire into its origin and its consequences.
Originally, Paine says, there were no kings in the world. Then, the ancient Jews copied the custom from the “heathens” who surrounded them. This was a grave mistake, and Paine maintains that in establishing a king for themselves, the Jews sinned. Man is supposed to have only God ruling over him, and to introduce a king, who is ruling over the people is like a God, is a grave misdeed. Eventually, Paine says, the Jewish people asked the prophet Samuel for a king. Samuel attempted to dissuade the people, but they insisted that they wanted to have a King like the other nations, and God assented, even though he thought it evil that the people should want someone other than God to rule over them.
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