The Public Humanist

The Public Humanist contributor: Donald C. Carleton, Jr.

Donald C. Carleton, Jr. is the Director of the 1763 Peace of Paris Commemoration Project.

Boston’s 1765 Stamp Act Riots, a 250-Year Perspective

Tax Stamps (London, 1765) Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Two hundred and fifty years ago this month—on August 14 and 26, 1765—tax riots convulsed Boston and changed the course of American history. As many as 3,000 people took to the streets to protest a tax recently enacted in London for “defraying the Expenses of defending, protecting and securing the British Colonies and Plantations in America,” territories vastly expanded by the 1763 Peace of Paris, which ratified sweeping British victories over France and Spain in the “French and Indian” or Seven Years War.