In 1767, Parliament introduced the Townshend Acts in the American colonies to cover the expenses of running the colonial government. From 1756 to 1763, the British government had incurred major financial debts during the Seven Years' War, and earlier efforts to regain those funds failed when the Stamp Act caused colonial revolt and was repealed. British legislators also believed an indirect tax would be better received than another direct tax.Continue Reading
Many American colonists, such as Benjamin Franklin, resisted unfair taxation because they had no representation or vote in Parliamentary matters. Colonists had previously set a precedent of rejecting direct taxes imposed on internal goods by the authority of Parliament, instead of the colonies' own representative assemblies. For example, the Stamp Act was considered unconstitutional because it taxed paper goods in the colonies for the sole purpose of raising money for the British government.
In contrast, the Townshend Acts were envisioned as an indirect tax, placing duties on popular imported goods, such as tea, glass, paint, lead and paper. The British government aimed to use the Townshend Acts and future legislation to reassert dominance over the colonies. Yet, the colonists still viewed these new taxes as an abuse of power and circulated a letter encouraging their representative assemblies to take action against the Townshend Acts. By April 1770, all of the Townshend Acts were repealed, except the tea tax.Learn more about US History
The cause of the Townshend Acts, a series of measures imposed upon the American colonists, was the British desire to raise revenue, punish the colonists and assert the authority of the British Parliament. The effects of the acts were widespread dissatisfaction, protests, a boycott of British goods and other civil unrest leading up to the Boston Massacre, at which five American civilians were killed by British soldiers.Full Answer >
The Townshend Acts, a number of laws imposed upon Britain's American colonists to impose taxes and extract revenue, met with overwhelming opposition in the colonies and caused the dissenting colonists to call for a boycott on taxed items. The colonists then followed the boycott with both verbal and violent protests, prompting British soldiers to kill five American civilians in the Boston Massacre of 1770.Full Answer >
Enacted in 1766, the Declaratory Act extended the authority of Parliament to the American colonies, and it stated that the government had the right to pass laws that impacted the colonies. It was a repeal of the Stamp Act of 1765 and a change to the Sugar Act of 1764. The act was a response to boycotts from the colonies, and it was a way for the British government to save face.Full Answer >
The Townshend Revenue Acts of 1767 were five acts that raised taxes on glass, paint, oil, lead, paper and tea. Their purpose was to raise revenues for British administration of the American colonies.Full Answer >