Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July: A Spark from History

Our expatriate celebration of Fourth of July here in Britain will be a little subdued; without fireworks, barbecues or a day off it's not as much fun as celebrating back home. But there is something interesting about living in England that I'd like to share with you, and that is the image above, of the stamps issued as a result of Stamp Act 1765, which were issued by the British government to collect monies from the American colonists to contribute towards the costs of defending the colonies from the French (the French and Indian War, 1754-1763). 

"The tax was mainly of legal documents, licences, newspapers, pamphlets and almanacks in the thirteen Colonies, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Florida, the Bahamas and the West Indian Islands. Opposition to the tax was swift, protest meetings were held, major rioting took place and the cry of no taxation without representation was made.
So unpopular was the tax that it was abandoned some months later, but relations with the American Colonies had been greatly damaged and this contributed to the background of the War of Independence in 1775."
These, my friends, are the actual stamps that kicked off the American Revolution, which I have seen with my very own eyes at the British Library. The world is a funny place, with many wondrous things in it. Happy Fourth of July, everyone! 

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