Department Chair

Andrew D. Nicholls, Ph.D., Professor of History

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

History, M.A.


History and Social Studies Education Department


David A. Carson, Ph.D.

Department Home page

First Reader

David A. Carson, Ph.D.

Second Reader

Andrew D. Nicholls, Ph.D.

Third Reader

Kevin J. Miller, Ed.D.


Prior to the first battles of the American Revolution, the BritishParliament imposed several duties on the American colonies to fund the expenses of the French and Indian War, continued attacks on the American frontier, taxed American colonists to assist with British finances, and garrisoned troops throughout America. One of these duties, the American Stamp Act, was passed and enacted in early 1765 throughout the North American British colonies. The correlation between battles, campaigns, and acts such as imposed duties, are all interrelated. Many historians traditionally view the colonial reaction to the Stamp Act as one singular political event or overshadowed by the battles fought in the war for American independence.

This thesis has been written to examine the social and economic impact of the American Stamp Act of 1765, and to investigate the enforcement practices and reactions of those affected by the act, specifically in the colony of New York, and its impact on the subsequent war for American independence. The materials utilized in this study include both primary and secondary sources. The secondary sources aim to ensure a rounded understanding of the Stamp Act and pre-Revolutionary thought, while primary sources have been examined to understand specific localities as issues surrounding the Stamp Act unraveled.

In this study, a more in-depth examination into the authority that enforced the Act, the relationship, and interactions between those affected and those who collected the levy, the various motives of opposition, and the eventual formation of organized resistance and action within New York in the broader context of colonial America are explored.