The Patriot Resource - American Revolution

Townshend Acts

July 2, 1767: Townshend Act is passed by Parliament;
July 2, 1767: New York Restraining Act is passed by Parliament;
October 1, 1767: New York Restraining Act dissolves the New York Assembly;
November 20, 1767: Townshend Act takes effect;
April 12, 1770: Townshend Act is repealed by Parliament;

After the failure of the Stamp Act, Parliament again tried to come up with a way to defray the expenses of maintaining a standing army in the American colonies. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Charles Townshend proposed importation duties on glass, paint, paper and tea. This tax would be an external tax, as opposed to the internal tax of the Stamp Act. On July 2, 1767, Parliament passed the Townshend Act imposing the tax.

On the same day, it also passed the New York Restraining Act. This act suspended the New York Assembly until it complied with the Quartering Acts, which had been passed in 1764. They had refused full compliance complaining that because Lt. General Thomas Gage was headquartered in the colony, it would be unfairly burdened. This act took effect on October 1, 1767. A new assembly was elected and also dissolved when it would not comply either. A third assembly was elected in 1769, but its compliance was considered betrayal by Patriots.

In response to the Townshend Act on February 11, 1768, the Massachusetts House of Representative adopted a Circular Letter which would be circulated among the assemblies of all the colonies. It stated grievances similar to those adopted by the Stamp Act Congress in 1765. The colonies again boycotted English goods, which contributed to tensions that resulted in the British occupation of Boston on October 1, 1768. On April 12, 1770, Parliament repealed the importation duties of the Townshend Act on all materials except tea.

2. Boatner, Michael; Encyclopedia of the American Revolution

Topic Last Updated: 8/5/2001

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