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Townshend Acts Facts and Numbers

  • The acts were passed in June 1767 and were to be effective on November 20th, 1767.
  • The Townshend Acts consisted in a revenue measure; the New York restraining Act; the appointment of a 5 member American Board of Commissioners of Customs with headquarters in Boston; and the expansion of the Admiralty Courts to Boston, Philadelphia, Charleston in addition to the existing one in Halifax.
  • The revenue measure imposed new tax on wine, fruits, chinaware or ceramic, white lead, painter’s colors, paper and pasteboard. They were expected to raise £43,420.
  • Charles Townshend estimated that china earth ware would bring £8,000; glass £5,000; paper and pasteboard products £9,000; lead and painters’ colors £3,000. Most of the revenue would come from tea.
  • After November 20th 1767, organized bythe Sons of Liberty 24 towns in Massachusetts joined Boston in the non importation agreement; they were immediately joined by other colonies.
  • The influential 12 Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania was published in 19 of the 23 colonial English language newspapers.
  • 4,000 troops were occupying Boston in October of 1768. A large number considering that Boston’s population was only about 20,000 at the time.
  • Civilian unrest led to the Boston Massacre on the evening of March 5, 1770. 5 civilians died as a result of the incident, 3 died on the scene and 2 died later.
  • Because of the non importation agreement trade with Britain had decrease from £2,378,000 to £1,634,000 by 1769.
  • On March 5th 1770, Lord North asked parliament to repeal the Townshend duties, it was in April when parliament actually partially repealed the act.
  • Duties on all goods were repealed except for the duty on tea.


Related Information


Description of the Townshend Acts

Named after Charles Townshend, the Townshend Acts taxed certain consumer goods with the purpose of raising revenue. It enforced the Navigation Acts, set the American Customs Commissioners with headquarters in Boston and new admiralty courts in Boston, Pennsylvania, Charleston in addition to the existing one in Halifax.

Townshend Acts crisis and resistance

Political and economical resistance that unified colonial residents and defined leaders who fought towards American independence.

Partial repeal of the Townshend Acts and the Boston Massacre

Residents were outraged that the acts had brought in new measures to keep tight control of the population. The occupation of Boston by British soldiers led to violence and to the Boston Massacre. Violence and economic pressure led to the partial repeal of the Townshend acts.

Timeline of the Townshend Acts

Chronological events of the Townshend Acts.


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