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Townshend Acts

From Academic Kids

The Townshend Acts were passed in 1767 by the British Parliament, having been proposed by Charles Townshend as Chancellor of the Exchequer just before his death. These laws placed a tax on common products, such as lead, paper, paint, glass, and tea. In contrast to the Stamp Act, the laws were not a direct tax but a tax on imports. There was opposition to this in the British colonies of North America, using the slogan "no taxation without representation" spoken by James Otis.

Smugglers avoided the taxes by importing goods without the taxes and by organizing a boycott of the legitimate imports. Samuel Adams of Boston was a notable supporter of the boycott. To protect the British East India Company's trade, the three-penny tax on tea was removed in the Tea Act, and the adverse economic consequences for the smugglers led to the Boston Tea Party.

Eventually, John Dickinson raised support to repeal the Townshend Acts by a series of 12 letters addressing himself as "The Farmer."

The Townshend acts also created three new admirality courts to try Americans who ignored the law. The acts led to outrage among the colonists and may have helped spark the Liberty seizure and riots of 1768.

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