Bonus: The Boston Stamp Act Riots


“No Taxation Without Representation!”

August 14, 2015 marks the 250th anniversary of the first Boston Stamp Act riot.

Today’s bonus episode commemorates the anniversary with a conversation about the Stamp Act, the Boston riots, and the American Revolution with J.L. Bell, proprietor of


About the Show

Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.

It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.

Each episode features a conversation with an historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.

Episode Summary

J.L. BellToday’s bonus episode commemorates the 250th anniversary of the Boston Stamp Act riots with J.L. Bell, proprietor of, a well-known and well-established blog about all things New England during the American Revolution.

During our conversation, John reveals details about the American Revenue Act of 1764, better known as the Sugar Act or the act that came before the Stamp Act; Why Parliament passed the Sugar and Stamp Acts; And, details about the Boston Stamp Act riots and how they influenced the course of the American Revolution in Boston and throughout the thirteen colonies.


What You’ll Discover

  • What inspired J.L. Bell to start the blog
  • Why John investigates everyday people, events, and objects of revolutionary New England
  • Is it Sam Adams or Samuel Adams?
  • Details about the American Revenue Act of 1764 (Sugar Act)
  • Stamp Acts before the Stamp Act of 1765
  • Why Parliament passed the Sugar and Stamp Acts
  • Origins of the phrase “No Taxation Without Representation!”
  • How you search for the first use of a phrase like “No Taxation Without Representation!”
  • History of Boston’s Liberty Tree
  • Origins of Liberty Trees throughout the thirteen colonies
  • Overview of the Boston Stamp Act riots, August 14 & 26, 1765
  • Description of effigies hanging from Boston Liberty Tree
  • Andrew Oliver
  • How the protests over the Stamp Act represented a new form of protest in the British Empire
  • Thomas Hutchinson
  • Who organized the Boston Stamp Act riot on August 14, 1765
  • How Andrew Oliver got the position of stamp distributor
  • Why Lt. Governor Thomas Hutchinson decided to enforce the Stamp Act
  • Whether the Boston Stamp Act riots served as a template for other riots in colonial America
  • The importance of the Stamp Act riots to the way the American Revolution moved forward in Boston
  • What the Stamp Act taxed
  • Stamp Act riot-related sites to visit in Boston
  • Book recommendations about the Stamp Act riots
“The Bostonians Paying the Excise Man,” 1774 print, attributed to P. Dawe


Links to People, Places, and Publications


Time Warp PlainTime Warp Question

In your opinion what might have happened if the Loyal Nine had not hung the effigies in the Liberty Tree on August 16, 1765? Do you think Bostonians still would have violently protested the Stamp Act? How would the history of Boston and the American Revolution be different?


Questions, Comments, Suggestions

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