What Were the Terms of the Townshend Act?


Quick Answer

The Townshend Acts placed duties on tea, glass, lead, paint and paper imported into the American colonies. The British Crown enacted the Townshend Acts in an attempt to counteract the administrative costs of governing the American colonies.

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Full Answer

The British also hoped to curtail the "clandestine running of goods" into the colonies and plantations by implementing the Townshend Acts. In other words, the British Crown hoped that the Townshend Acts would allow them to effectively enforce trade regulations that Britain had imposed on the colonies. With this intention, the text of the Townshend Acts established the exact amount of tax to be collected per unit of measurement for the above-mentioned items imported into the colonies. For example, the terms of the Acts established a tax of three pence for every pound of tea as the official duty to be collected for the importation of tea into the colonies.

The Townshend Acts were so unpopular with the colonies that the British Crown repealed the majority of them in April 1770, with the exception of the tax on tea. This led to diminishing hostilities between the colonies and the crown until 1772, when a group of colonists burned a British patrol boat in protest of the tea tax.

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