Resolutions of the Commons House of Assembly in South Carolina Responding to the Stamp Act, November 1765

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Document Description:

In March of 1765 Parliament passed the Stamp Act.  This legislation, which called for a tax to be paid primarily on paper and goods made from paper, was aimed at collecting revenue from the colonists to support military operations in the colonies. It was one of many Parliamentary efforts to force the colonists to pay for their own military defense in the face of rising debt after the Seven Years' War. The colonists argued that the British Parliament should not be able to lay taxes on them, as they had no representation in the governing body. Proponents of the tax argued that the colonists were in fact virtually represented, a theory which was based on Thomas Whately's argument that while at least 75% of British males were not directly represented because of property qualifications or other reasons, Parliament still represented all of their interests. Colonists did not accept this theory because they also had colonial assemblies where they were represented and argued that only those legislatures could levy taxes upon them. Protests ensued.

This document illustrates South Carolina’s response to the Stamp Act.  It outlines the colony’s concerns about the act but also affirms the colony's allegiance to the crown.  This document helps to understand the confrontations between the colonies and Great Britain leading up to the Revolutionary War. 


Journal of His Majesty’s Council 12 November 1765.  South Carolina Stamp Act Resolutions.   S 171002.  South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina.

Correlating SC Social Studies Academic Standards:

Standard 3-3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the American Revolution and South Carolina’s role in the development of the new American nation.

Indicator 3-3.1 Analyze the causes of the American Revolution—including Britain’s passage of the Tea Act, the Intolerable Acts, the rebellion of the colonists, and the Declaration of Independence—and South Carolina’s role in these events. (H, P, E)

Standard 4-3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the conflict between the American colonies and England.

Indicator 4-3.1 Explain the political and economic factors leading to the American Revolution, including the French and Indian War; British colonial policies such as the Stamp Act, the Tea Act, and the so-called Intolerable Acts; and the American colonists’ early resistance through boycotts, congresses, and petitions. (E, P, H)

Standard 8-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the American Revolution - the beginnings of the new American nation and South Carolina’s part in the development of that nation.

Indicator 8-2.1 Explain the interests and roles of South Carolinians in the events leading to the American Revolution, including the state’s reactions to the Stamp Act and the Tea Act; the role of Christopher Gadsden and the Sons of Liberty; and the role of the four South Carolina signers of the Declaration of Independence—Edward Rutledge, Henry Middleton, Thomas Lynch Jr., and Thomas Heyward Jr. (H, P, E)

Standard USHC-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the establishment of the United States as a new nation.

Indicator USHC-2.1 Summarize the early development of representative government and political rights in the American colonies, including the influence of the British political system, the rule of law and the conflict between the colonial legislatures and the royal governors. (P, H)


Additional Flash Versions:

Stamp Act Resolutions, page 1. Stamp Act Resolutions, page 2. Stamp Act Resolutions, page 3.
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Lessons Using this Document:

Wake Up King George!


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