Townshend Acts(redirected from Townsend Act)
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Townshend Acts,1767, originated by Charles TownshendTownshend, Charles,
1725–67, English statesman; grandson of the 2d Viscount Townshend. Distrusted for his marked instability, he held relatively minor offices until the 1st earl of Chatham made him chancellor of the exchequer in 1766.
..... Click the link for more information. and passed by the English Parliament shortly after the repeal of the Stamp ActStamp Act,
1765, revenue law passed by the British Parliament during the ministry of George Grenville. The first direct tax to be levied on the American colonies, it required that all newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents, commercial bills, advertisements, and other papers
..... Click the link for more information. . They were designed to collect revenue from the colonists in America by putting customs duties on imports of glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea. The colonials, spurred on by the writings of John DickinsonDickinson, John,
1732–1808, American patriot and statesman, b. Talbot co., Md. After studying law in Philadelphia and in London at the Middle Temple, he developed a highly successful practice in Philadelphia.
..... Click the link for more information. , Samuel AdamsAdams, Samuel,
1722–1803, political leader in the American Revolution, signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. Boston, Mass.; second cousin of John Adams. An unsuccessful businessman, he became interested in politics and was a member (1765–74) and clerk
..... Click the link for more information. , and others, protested against the taxes. The Boston merchants again boycotted English goods, the Massachusetts Assembly was dissolved (1768) for sending a circular letter to other colonies explaining the common plight, and British troops sent to enforce these laws and keep peace were involved in unpleasant incidents, notably the Boston MassacreBoston Massacre,
1770, pre-Revolutionary incident growing out of the resentment against the British troops sent to Boston to maintain order and to enforce the Townshend Acts. The troops, constantly tormented by irresponsible gangs, finally (Mar.
..... Click the link for more information. . The boycott decreased British trade, and in 1770 most of the Acts were repealed, but retention of the tea tax caused the Boston Tea PartyBoston Tea Party,
1773. In the contest between British Parliament and the American colonists before the Revolution, Parliament, when repealing the Townshend Acts, had retained the tea tax, partly as a symbol of its right to tax the colonies, partly to aid the financially
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