To protest "taxation without representation," American revolutionary Sam Adams forces a stamp officer to resign.
Illustration by Louis S. Glanzman, National Geographic

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  • On June 29, 1767, the British Parliament approved the Townshend Acts, a series of taxes aimed to raise revenues in the British colonies in North America. The Townshend Acts forced colonists to pay an extra fee whenever they bought imported goods such as glass, paint, paper, or tea. This extra money was used to pay governors and judges in the colonies.

    The new taxes were wildly unpopular. A year later, merchants and farmers from Boston to New York City to Philadelphia led boycotts of British goods. In Virginia, the boycott was led by influential farmer and politician George Washington.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    fee Noun

    price or cost.

    parliament Noun

    legislature, usually a democratic government's decision-making body.

    substantial Adjective

    large amount.