cddstamps on stamps

my thoughts on stamps, stamp collecting, philately in general and maybe a few other topics !

Monday, October 06, 2014

What a strange sequence of events.  Paul Revere, taxes and stamps.

I got my tax bill today and Paul Revere died.

That is the Paul Revere of 1960/70s band Paul Revere and the Raiders. Some good tunes.

Anyway there was another Paul Revere. From the USA back in the late 1700’s.

That was what got me thinking of the two events.  The 1700’s Paul Revere was an early revolutionary from Boston.   You may also know that he participated in what were called the Stamp Act Riots of 1765.   Yes I know they didn’t have postage stamps back then, but you see the connection. 

The Stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765. The new tax was imposed on all American colonists and required them to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used. Ship's papers, legal documents, licenses, newspapers, other publications, and even playing cards were taxed. The money collected by the Stamp Act was to be used to help pay the costs of defending and protecting the American frontier near the Appalachian Mountains.

What made the law so offensive to the colonists was not so much its immediate cost but the standard it seemed to set.  In the past, taxes and duties on colonial trade had always been viewed as measures to regulate commerce, not to raise money. The Stamp Act, however, was viewed as a direct attempt by England to raise money in the colonies without the approval of the colonial legislatures. If this new tax were allowed to pass without resistance, the colonists reasoned, the door would be open for far more troublesome taxation in the future.

And here we are nearly 250 years later and guess what, we pay taxes to raise money for governments, not sure we can say it is to spend on regulating commerce though.

Thanks to the first Paul for trying, and to the second for some good music.

Enjoy your stamps.   Michael


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