Posted by Lewis on May 09, 2003
In Reply to: Stamp duties posted by esther laventhol on May 05, 2003
: : Hi,
: : I am not quite sure about the meaning of the bracketed sentence. Could anyone do me a favor?
: : The stamp duties, like the ongoing prosecutions for seditious and blasphemous libel, hepled to realize this aim, but did not succeed in curbing the influence of the illegal unstamped press entirely. (Rather, it was the convergence of these interests with those of advertisers which proved to be even more effective in soliencing oppositional voice).
: : Thank you very much.
: : Mei
: Does what you are reading refer to the Stamp Act of 1765 when the British imposed duties (taxes) on most forms of paper used by the American colonists, including newspapers? The tax had to be paid to secure the stamp.
Stamp Duty still exists - it is a tax on legal transactions such that unless certain docuemnts have an official stamp, they are not to be relied upon as evidence. I have seen old documents where the signatures were written over a postage stamp although that practice has largely disappeared. transfers of land incur stamp duty and the present day stamp is an orange coloured embossment.
In those days, it is likely that the validity tax of documents is being discussed, which may have applied to printed matter at the time.