townshend act significance

He also sent a letter to Massachusetts Governor Francis Bernard, instructing him to have the Massachusetts House rescind the Circular Letter. The legislation also taxed paper, paint, lead and glass, which were not produced in the Colonies. View our ADA Accessibility Policy. Announcing our NEW encyclopedia for Kids! It lowered commercial duties on tea imported to England by the East India Company and gave the company a refund of the duty for tea that was then exported to the colonies. It gave Royal naval courts, rather than colonial courts, jurisdiction over all matters concerning customs violations and smuggling. [64] The acts were so unpopular in Boston that the Customs Board requested naval and military assistance. Since tea smuggling had become a common and successful practice, Parliament realized how difficult it was to enforce the taxing of tea. The subsequent arrival and quartering of additional troops in the city was one of the factors that led to the Boston Massacre in 1770. In fact, the modification of the Townshend Duties Act was scarcely any change at all.[81]. Lord Charles Townshend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, after whom the Townshend Acts were named, had died suddenly in September, 1767. A notice from New York merchant Simeon Coley on July 22, 1769, publicly acknowledging his violation of the nonimportation agreement that had been established by colonists in response to the duties imposed under the Townshend Acts. Infoplease is a reference and learning site, combining the contents of an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas and several almanacs loaded with facts.

Like the Stamp Act of the same year, it also was an assertion of British authority over the colonies, in disregard of the fact that troop financing had been exercised for 150 years by representative provincial assemblies rather than by the … It created a new Customs Board for the North American colonies, to be headquartered in Boston with five customs commissioners. This led to the Boston Massacre.[15]. It also created the American Board of Customs Commissioners and new admiralty courts to reinforce trade acts and collection of duties. Townshend Acts. Listen to a recorded reading of this page. With John Adams serving as his lawyer, Hancock was prosecuted in a highly publicized trial by a vice-admiralty court, but the charges were eventually dropped. [34], To better collect the new taxes, the Commissioners of Customs Act 1767 established the American Board of Customs Commissioners, which was modeled on the British Board of Customs. The Thirteen Colonies drilled their militia units, and war finally erupted in Lexington and Concord in April 1775, launching the American Revolution. [59], Merchants in the colonies, some of them smugglers, organized economic boycotts to put pressure on their British counterparts to work for repeal of the Townshend Acts. Copyright © 2020 Historic Tours of America®, Inc. All rights reserved.

"The Townshend Acts crisis, 1767–1770." They were named after Charles Townsend, who was then the British Chancellor of the Exchequer. By imposing these taxes, Townshend made the eventual revolution more likely besides making the colonists angry all over again. The Townshend Acts were passed between 1767 and 1768. Named after Charles Townshend, the Townshend Acts taxed certain consumer goods with the purpose of raising revenue. The British government continued to tax the American colonies without providing representation in Parliament. One ominous result was that colonists now began to believe that the…, …then chancellor of exchequer, levied duties on certain imports into the colonies, including a duty on tea, and linked this proposal with plans to remodel colonial government. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. [26] The Indemnity Act repealed taxes on tea imported to England, allowing it to be re-exported more cheaply to the colonies. Compensating for the loss of revenue brought about by the Indemnity Act was another reason for the imposition of the Townshend duties. The Boston Tea Party soon followed, which set the stage for the American Revolution. Charles Townshend, chancellor of the exchequer, shown here in a 1765 painting by Joshua Reynolds, instituted the Townshend Revenue Act of 1767 in order to raise money to support the British military presence in the colonies.

The New York Restraining Act was never implemented because the New York Assembly acted in time. According to historian John C. Miller, "Townshend ingeniously sought to take money from Americans by means of parliamentary taxation and to employ it against their liberties by making colonial governors and judges independent of the assemblies. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login).

The Americans claimed they were not represented in Parliament, but the British government retorted that they had "virtual representation", a concept the Americans rejected. Updates?

[52] Dickinson warned colonists not to concede to the taxes just because the rates were low, since this would set a dangerous precedent. Gave British officials the right to search colonists' houses and businesses. Chaffin, Robert J. This series of legislative acts, which became known as the Townshend Acts, included the Revenue and Indemnity acts of 1767. The Acts led to outrage among the colonists … Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. Implicit in the Stamp Act dispute was an issue more fundamental than taxation and representation: the question of the extent of Parliament's authority in the colonies. • The subsequent boycotts and protests forced the British government to send and quarter more troops in American cities like Philadelphia, New York and Boston. The 1767 Townshend Acts imposed new taxes on certain consumer products to raise revenue to pay salaries of colonial officials. Our editors update and regularly refine this enormous body of information to bring you reliable information. [35] The Board was created because of the difficulties the British Board faced in enforcing trade regulations in the distant colonies. The answer came a year later. Infoplease is part of the FEN Learning family of educational and reference sites for parents, teachers and students. The Townshend Acts led to more protests by the colonists, including agreements not to import products from Great Britain. The Townshend Acts' taxation on imported tea was enforced once again by the Tea Act of 1773, and this led to the Boston Tea Party in 1773 in which Bostonians destroyed a shipment of taxed tea. Due to the distance, enforcement was poor, taxes were avoided and smuggling was rampant. By a vote of 92 to 17, the House refused to comply, and Bernard promptly dissolved the legislature. Although the Stamp Act was repealed, the Declaratory Act proclaimed that Parliament’s power was absolute. Omissions? • The taxes, levied to recoup some of the costs associated with the French and Indian War, were called duties in an attempt to avoid arousing anger in the American Colonies. But with the Sugar Act of 1764, Parliament sought, for the first time, to tax the colonies for the specific purpose of raising revenue.

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