The Townshend Acts


Summary of the Act

  • Issued by the Parliament of Great Britain
  • Named after Charles Townshend, who proposed the programme.
  • 5 main laws mentioned such as:
  • The Revenue Act of 1767
  • The Indemnity Act
  • The Commissioners of Customs Act
  • The Vice Admiralty Court Act
  • The New York Restraining Act
  • Purpose of Act was to raise revenue and pay governors and judges within colonies.
  • Also to enforce compliance in trade regulations and punish NY for not complying with the 1765 Quartering Act.
  • Established the precedent that the British had the right to tax.

Colonist response

  • A series of 12 essays by John Dickinson entitled "Letters from a Farmer in PA"
  • There was no difference between "internal" and "external" taxes.
  • The taxing of colonies was unconstitutional.
  • Promoted the Boston Massacre of 1770.
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