The Virginia resolves was the culmination of American public opposition in the British colonies. Speaking out against some of the king’s unjust laws, according to the Americans, one of the fighters for independence, Patrick Henry, came forward with a resolution on May 29, 1765, which initiated the formation of independent states of America.


The controlled presence of the British colonies in America could not last forever, and in the second half of the eighteenth century became particularly tense. The situation was complicated by the introduction of new laws, such as the stamp duty of 1765.

News of the impending introduction of the law was met with strong opposition from the colony’s legislative assemblies: Virginia was the first to protest. On May 29, 1765, attorney Patrick Henry introduced a resolution to the Virginia Assembly, and Virginia resolves stated that only Virginians could add new taxes and that the decision of the English Parliament on stamp duty was illegal.

The text of the Virginian resolutions clearly expressed the credo of American patriots who demanded the abolition of taxes without local representation. Moreover, Virginia resolves of 1765, which so strongly rejected the power of Parliament, had also been enthusiastically adopted by the radical wing of the patriots. But Henry and his supporters were still far from denying all the power of the metropolis in principle.

It is important to note that the resolution proposed by Patrick Henry against the introduction of the stamp duty met with strong opposition from the conservative delegates of the Virginian Assembly. It was adopted the next day, May 30, 1765, by only a small majority and in a reduced form: the section that England had no right to tax the colonies was omitted.

But this was an essential step in the future formation of independent states in America because no other legislative assembly had passed a resolution like Virginian.