The Stamp Act Riots and the Beginning of Revolution

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August 2015 marks the 250th anniversary of the beginning of the American Revolutionary conflict, as Bostonians began to use violence, both symbolic and shockingly real, to protest Britain’s Stamp Act tax. On the evening of August 13, 1765, an effigy of newly appointed stamp commissioner Andrew Oliver was hung on what would come to be known as Boston’s Liberty Tree. This symbolic protest would soon lead to a real riot, as crowds attacked Oliver’s home, causing him to resign. The colonists would continue to threaten, and sometimes attack, royally appointed colonial officials as their dissatisfaction with British imperial policies grew.

Christopher Hannan, AAHS board member and professor of history at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, will discuss the impact of the Stamp Act Riots on the road to revolution.