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Word Count: 591
The Townshend Act The Townshend Acts repeal of the Stamp Act left Britains financial problems unresolved Parliament had not given up the right to tax the colonies and in 1767 at the urging of chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Townshend it passed the Townshend Acts which imposed taxes on lead glass tea paint and paper that Americans imported from Britain In an effort to strengthen its own authority and the power of royal colonial officials Parliament at Townshends request also created the American Board of Customs Commissioners whose members would strictly enforce the Navigation Acts Revenue raised by the new tariffs would be used to free royal officials from financial dependence on colonial assemblies thus further encroaching on colonial autonomy Once again the colonists protested vigorously In December 1767John Dickinson a Philadelphia lawyer published 12 popular essays that reiterated the colonists denial of Parliaments right to tax them and warned of a conspiracy by a corrupt British ministry to enslave Americans The Sons of Liberty organized protests against customs officials merchants entered into nonimportation agreements and the Daughters of Liberty advocated the nonconsumption of products such as tea taxed by the Townshend Acts The Massachusetts legislature sent the other colonies a circular letter condemning the Townshend Acts and calling for a united American resistance British officials then ordered the dissolution of the Massachusetts General Court if it failed to withdraw its circular letter the court refused by a vote of 92 to 17 and was dismissed The other colonial assemblies initially reluctant to protest the acts now defiantly signed the circular letter outraged at British interference with a colonial legislatureIn other ways British actions again united American protest The Board of Customs Commissioners extorted money from colonial merchants and usedflimsy excuses to justify seizing American vessels These actions heightened tensions which exploded on June 21 1768 when customs officials seized Boston merchant John Hancocks sloop Liberty Thousands of Bostonians rioted threatening the customs commissioners lives
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