Click here to download the full lesson with attached handouts. Stamp Act Reactions
“The most important tax imposed by Parliament was authorized by the Stamp Act. This act placed a tax or a duty on paper, such as legal documents, playing cards and newspapers which the colonists paid directly. Taxes prior to this one were indirect taxes, paid by the merchants. Incensed colonists protested “No taxation without representation.” because colonists did not have their own representative in Parliament and therefore believed that they had no colonial voice in Parliament, except as Englishmen. Colonists wanted the rights of their own colonial assemblies to impose taxes to continue. Colonists organized a Stamp Act Congress and a boycott on British goods that led to the repeal of the Stamp Act. They also organized the Sons and Daughters of Liberty in order to protest British taxes.”
South Carolina Social Studies Support Document, Grade 8, 2008 http://ed.sc.gov/agency/Standards-and-Learning/Academic-Standards/old/cso/social_studies/social.html
South Carolina Standards
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, Arthur Middleton, Thomas Lynch Jr., and Thomas Heyward Jr.
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.
- Students will examine South Carolina’s reaction to the Stamp Act.
- Students will analyze several primary newspaper articles to explore how South Carolinians reacted to the arrival of Stamps in South Carolina.
Time Required Recommended Grade Level
1 class period Elementary/Middle
- 1765 SC Gazette article available from USC’s Digital Collections Library
- Access the articles in advance from the collection. Zoom in to the desired portion of text.
- Transcribe the portion of the text needed for students.
- Have older students try to transcribe the first highlighted paragraph from the Oct. 31, 1765 article. For younger students, print a transcribed copy and/or read aloud.
- Place the definition of the word “effigy” on the board. (A rough model of a particular person, damaged or destroyed as a protest or expression of anger.)
- Explain to students the purpose of the Stamp Act.
- Read the first paragraph from the article aloud. Ask students to summarize what happened. Give students time to answer aloud.
- Read the second paragraph from the article aloud. Ask students to summarize what happened. Give students time to answer aloud.
- Answer any questions that students may have about the document.
- Ask: What does this article tell us about the time period leading up the American Revolution? Allow time for student responses.
Have students write one paragraph that answers the following question. How did some South Carolinians react to the stamps as they arrived in the colony?
Lesson Extension Options
- Use the Stamp Act Resolutions available at teachingushistory.org as a second example of how South Carolinians responded to the Stamp Act.
- Check out and read the book, Can’t You Make Them Behave King George? by Jean Fritz to help build background for students prior to introducing the article.
- Have students draw a picture to show how people in South Carolina reacted to the Stamp Act.
Digital Collections Information
This lesson plan is based on images and/or documents derived from the K-12 Pilot Project Collection available from the University of South Carolina’s Digital Collections Library.