British Act of Parliament, made law in March 1765. The Stamp Act applied to the North American colonies, and imposed a stamp duty on court documents, customs papers, pub licenses, and newspapers; the revenue from this duty was to be used to reduce public debt which had been incurred during the French-Indian War, 1754-1763.
The colonists recognised the right of Parliament to regulate trade through the imposition of customs duties, but not the right to tax. In the wake of violent protests, the law was recalled the following year. However, the political mobilisation it had created in the colonies was reactivated, every time that Parliament thereafter tried to establish taxation. The political crisis surrounding the Stamp Act is therefore often seen as a precursor to the American Revolution.