TOWNSHEND ACT PowerPoint Presentations (PPT's)

dshistory | 21-05-17 | History The Townshend Acts were a series of British acts passed beginning in 1767 and relating to the British American colonies in North America. The acts are named after Charles Townshend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who proposed the program. Historians vary slightly in which acts they include under the heading "Townshend Acts", but five acts are often mentioned: the Revenue Act of 1767, the Indemnity Act (1767), the Commissioners of Customs Act (1767), the Vice Admiralty Court Act (1768), and the New York Restraining Act (1767).The purpose of the Townshend Acts was to raise revenue in the colonies to pay the salaries of governors and judges so that they would remain loyal to Great Britain, to create a more effective means of enforcing compliance with trade regulations, to punish the province of New York for failing to comply with the 1765 Quartering Act, and to establish the precedent that the British Parliament had the right to tax the colonies.The Townshend Acts (1767) were met with resistance in the colonies, prompting the occupation of Boston by British troops in 1768, which eventually resulted in the Boston Massacreof 1770

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 had been impressing local sailors, began to riot. Customs officials fled to Castle William for protection. With John Adams serving as his lawyer, Hancock was prosecuted in a highly publicized trial by a vice-admiralty court, but the charges were eventually dropped.

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Slide1

Slide2

The 

Townshend Acts

 were a series of British acts passed beginning in 1767 and relating to the British American colonies in North America. The acts are named after Charles Townshend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who proposed the program. Historians vary slightly in which acts they include under the heading "Townshend Acts", but five acts are often mentioned: the Revenue Act of 1767, the Indemnity Act (1767), the Commissioners of Customs Act (1767), the Vice Admiralty Court Act (1768), and the New York Restraining Act (1767).The purpose of the Townshend Acts was to raise revenue in the colonies to pay the salaries of governors and judges so that they would remain loyal to Great Britain, to create a more effective means of enforcing compliance with trade regulations, to punish the province of New York for failing to comply with the 1765 Quartering Act, and to establish the precedent that the British Parliament had the right to tax the colonies. The Townshend Acts (1767) were met with resistance in the colonies, prompting the occupation of Boston by British troops in 1768, which eventually resulted in the Boston Massacre of 1770 .

Slide3

TOWNSHEND ‘S PROGRAM

The first of the Townshend Acts, sometimes simply known as the Townshend Act, was the Revenue Act of 1767. This act represented the Chatham ministry's new approach for generating tax revenue in the American colonies after the repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766. The British government had gotten the impression that because the colonists had objected to the Stamp Act on the grounds that it was a direct (or "internal") tax, colonists would therefore accept indirect (or "external") taxes, such as taxes on imports. With this in mind, Charles Townshend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, devised a plan that placed new duties on paper, paint, lead, glass, and tea that were imported into the colonies.

These were items that were not produced in North America and that the colonists were only allowed to buy from Great Britain.

The colonists' objection to "internal" taxes did not mean that they would accept "external" taxes; the colonial position was that any tax laid by Parliament for the purpose of raising revenue was unconstitutional. "Townshend's mistaken belief that Americans regarded internal taxes as unconstitutional and external taxes constitutional", wrote historian John Phillip Reid, "was of vital importance in the history of events leading to the Revolution." The Townshend Revenue Act received the royal assent on 29 June 1767. There was little opposition expressed in Parliament at the time. "Never could a fateful measure have had a more quiet passage", wrote historian Peter Thomas.

Slide4

AMERICAN BOARD OF CUSTOMS COMMISSIONERS

To better collect the new taxes, the Commissioners of Customs Act of 1767 established the American Board of Customs Commissioners, which was modeled on the British Board of Customs. The Board was created because of the difficulties the British Board faced in enforcing trade regulations in the distant colonies. Five commissioners were appointed to the board, which was headquartered in Boston. The American Customs Board would generate considerable hostility in the colonies towards the British government. According to historian Oliver M. Dickerson, "The actual separation of the continental colonies from the rest of the Empire dates from the creation of this independent administrative board."

Slide5

REACTION

Townshend knew that his program would be controversial in the colonies, but he argued that, "The superiority of the mother country can at no time be better exerted than now."The Townshend Acts did not create an instant uproar like the Stamp Act had done two years earlier, but before long, opposition to the

programme

had become widespread. Townshend did not live to see this reaction, having died suddenly on September 4, 1767.

Slide6

BOYCOTTS

Merchants in the colonies, some of them smugglers, organized economic boycotts to put pressure on their British counterparts to work for repeal of the Townshend Acts. Boston merchants organized the first non-importation agreement, which called for merchants to suspend importation of certain British goods effective 1 January 1769. Merchants in other colonial ports, including New York City and Philadelphia, eventually joined the boycott. In Virginia, the non-importation effort was organized by George Washington and George Mason. When the Virginia House of Burgesses passed a resolution stating that Parliament had no right to tax Virginians without their consent, Governor Lord Botetourt dissolved the assembly. The members met at Raleigh Tavern and adopted a boycott agreement known as the "Association".

Slide7

UNREST IN BOSTON

The newly created American Customs Board was seated in Boston, and so it was there that the Board concentrated on strictly enforcing the Townshend Acts.

 The acts were so unpopular in Boston that the Customs Board requested naval and military assistance. Commodore Samuel Hood complied by sending the fifty-gun warship HMS 

Romney

, which arrived in Boston Harbor in May 1768.

On June 10, 1768, customs officials seized the 

Liberty

, a sloop owned by leading Boston merchant John Hancock, on allegations that the ship had been involved in smuggling. Bostonians, already angry because the captain of the 

Romney

 had been impressing local sailors, began to riot. Customs officials fled to Castle William for protection. With John Adams serving as his lawyer, Hancock was prosecuted in a highly publicized trial by a vice-admiralty court, but the charges were eventually dropped.

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