Was passed in March of 1765. Parliament passed the Stamp Act stating that colonists have to purchase specially watermarked paper for newspapers and various official documents (Boyer). However, the colonist didn’t think that Parliament should be able to tax them, they believed that only people from the colonies had the right to tax them. The colonist felt like they only had two options, either give up self-government or state the issue. Some colonist didn’t feel like they had a say so they began writing.
An example of a colonists writing is the poem, “A Poetical Dream. Concerning Stamped Papers, 1765”, written by an anonymous author stating how the stamp act affected the colonist.
The poem was written by an anonymous narrator. It was published in Connecticut and was definitely a colonist who disagreed with the stamp act because during the poem he/she used phrases such as, ‘From being hurt by this Calamity. Both Men and Women I have fought to win” referring to the stamp act as the calamity.
However, since the author was anonymous, we do not know if he/she was educated and the poem was not written with good literature. However, they could read and write to get their point across.
The Poem was intended for the colonist to read. The author is sharing their experience with the Stamp Act and how it is impacted their life to other colonists. However, I also feel like the author is hoping that their poem will get to Parliament based on a line at the end of the poem where he/she imagines a day where they repeal the Stamp Act and explains what the colonist would feel like, “And eas’d their Burden; and repeal’d those Laws Which were so grievous.
Oh what sudden Joy Fill’d all their Hearts! at once they all employ Their Tongues and Pens to celebrate the Fame Of KING and Parliament; and all proclaim Their Wisdom, Justice, Tenderness and Love Shewn to these Colonies.May GOD above Save GEORGE our gracious King, and always smile On all the Rulers of the British Isle!”
The poem is a conversation the author over heard and translated into poetic form. It starts with protests about how the colonist grievances are just being ignored. It then leads into how they do not believe the lawyers will win because no one will fight for their cause. Next, they debate whether they should fight against the “Rich and Great. Then, they state that they cannot stay silent anymore. It continues stating that the Act is only making life harder and giving examples. At the end of the document the author writes about their dream, a day where the Stamp Act is repealed and they celebrate but then realizes that it is just a dream and not reality.
During the Stamp Act crisis many colonists felt useless. Instead of sitting back and watching Parliament get whatever they desired they began writing. This poem was written to give examples of how the Stamp Act interfered with their life. It also expresses their thoughts and feelings. They felt like the lawyers were useless. “Into the Hands, many a J: Lawyers’ We’ve slily put, that so their Tongues might go. slily: slyly And can they find no Tongues to plead our Cause,” However, they felt like they could not give up and even said they would rather be dead. “The Licence Paper next, with ruddy Face, No longer can, in Silence, keep his Place; National Humanities Center “A Poetical Dream. Concerning Stamped Papers,” 1765__ 3 But cries (with Spirits high, and Blood inflam’d) “Think I’ll be st–pt! I’ll sooner much be!”
This document is a poem. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary poetry is “writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm.” The author is explaining his/her experience with the Stamp Act and using literary elements such as rhyme scheme. The author makes a riming pattern with each line of poetry. Poetry is a different way to get an author’s point across. The poet was trying to get an emotional response from the people reading the poem.
Some of the assumptions the author made in this poem is who would take the colonist side about repealing the act. In the poem the poet states that, “We’ve slily put, that so their Tongues might go. And can they find no Tongues to plead our Cause,” Another assumption the poet made was at the end of the poem he explains in detail what he/she believes would happen if Parliament repealed the Stamp Act. “Their Tongues and Pens to celebrate the Fame Of KING and Parliament; and all proclaim Their Wisdom, Justice, Tenderness and Love Shewn to these Colonies.May GOD above Save GEORGE our gracious King, and always smile On all the Rulers of the British Isle! I echo’d to this Pray’r and clap’d my Hands,”
The document is believable because he/she gives real life examples and quotes from people as to how the stamp act is affecting their life. For example, a person questions why should they suffer if they are useful to all the people, “Must I (the Bond cries) suffer the Abuse First document to “speak”: bond Of being st–pt, when I’m of so much Use st–pt: stamped To Men of all Professions, rich and Poor,” The document however is not reliable becasue we are not sure who wrote it. We cannot assume the author is credible because he/she could have just been writing to put their opinion on paper.
The society during this time was very scared and angry. At the beginning of the poem the author says, ‘One night, as I lay slumbering in my Bed, Dark Images crouded into my Head.” As the poem goes on several other claims are made saying why they should work so hard just to be ignored and lied to. The society also felt politically oppressed. They feel like Parliament is going to take away their right for self-governed if they do not do something about. However, they feel like the fight is useless because they do not believe anyone would take their side. This poem is important because it shined a light on what the colonist was feeling during this time. It exemplifies the worried thoughts that were going through their minds while the crisis was going on. It might not have been a document that was major in history but it was published in Connecticut to give the colonist a voice.