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September 30, 1765. Almost a decade before the American Revolution, delegates from four colonies gather in the first, unofficial meeting of the Stamp Act Congress. The congress has been called to respond to a new British tax on the colonies, the Stamp Act. It’s essentially a tax on paper, and Congress’ response will be the first official act of dissension by the colonies against the British. Unofficially though, the people are rioting in the streets. And it’s this popular protest, more than Congress’ tempered response, that will bring the Stamp Act down. How did the Stamp Act riots become a spark that would ignite the American Revolution? And what does it mean that we’ve been protesting for change since before America’s founding?

Special thanks to our guest, Dr. Christopher R. Pearl, Associate Professor of History at Lycoming College and author of Conceived in Crisis: The Revolutionary Creation of an American State.


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