(1767) British parliamentary measures to tax the American colonists. The series of four acts imposed duties on imports of lead, paint, glass, paper, and tea and established a board of customs commissioners to enforce collection. Colonial quartering of British troops was also revived. The colonists protested the new measures as taxation without representation and resisted compliance. Nonimportation agreements among colonial merchants cut British imports in half by 1769. In 1770 all the duties except the tax on tea were repealed.
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The Townshend Acts represent the continued efforts of Parliament to place a portion of the large debt incurred by French and Indian War on the American colonies where it had been fought. However, the Acts provoked only further outrage among American colonists and helped spark the Liberty seizure and riots of 1768, their opposition best stated by the phrase "No taxation without representation" originally spoken by James Otis. Smugglers, who were negatively affected by the Acts, avoided the taxes by importing illegal goods and by organizing a boycott of the legitimate imports, of which Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty of Boston were notable supporters. Women also contributed by producing their own goods or relying on domestic products, e.g. spinning their own yarn and cloth, as well as participating in their own organizations such as the Daughters of Liberty. John Dickinson helped also raised support among the colonists through a series of 12 essays entitled "Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania", addressing himself as "A Farmer". These tax things like tea, glass, paper, lead, and paint, exported and imported.
In April 1770, this Act was repealed, with the exception of a tax that was retained on tea (which would eventually lead to the Boston Tea Party).