Sons of Liberty - the Stamp Act
The Stamp Act was a direct British tax in the form of a stamp required on all newspapers and legal or commercial documents. Contracts, licences, diplomas, calendars, pamphlets and even playing cards required a stamp. Basically anything printed on paper, except books, was taxed.
The Sons of Liberty
There were many workers associations, or fraternal organizations, that provided fellowship for craftsmen (artisans), apprentices, and common laborers in Boston. There was often conflict between these organisations as every trade had its own agenda. The Stamp Act effected every single person, regardless of their trade, wealth or standing in the community. The taxes levied by the Stamp Act were not to regulate commerce and trade, but to directly grasp money out of colonists. Samuel Adams, a prominent Boston Patriot and political activist, persuaded these organizations to stop fighting amongst themselves and unite in opposition to the Stamp Act. The members of this united brotherhood became known as the Sons of Liberty.
The Aims and Objectives of the Sons of Liberty
The initial aims and objectives of the Sons of Liberty were to prevent collection of the stamp tax, to enforce the Nonimportation Agreements (agreements by merchants not to purchase British goods) and to stimulate a consciousness of colonial grievances against British rule. The Sons of Liberty organisation continued to oppose British rule for as long as it lasted. Outwardly, the Sons of Liberty proclaimed their unfaltering loyalty and allegiance to King George III of Great Britain and emphasized their support of the English Constitution, their issues were with the British Parliament, not the king. Others held more radical views but initially the idea of revolution was not held by the majority of Sons of Liberty. As events unfolded the more conservative members of the Sons of Liberty adopted the radical views. The working class people despised the 'lame' protests of the elite colonists - they favored more extreme measures...