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The American Revolution
British Reforms and Colonial Resistance
Boston Merchants, December 6, 1769

The Townshend Duties on paint, paper, glass, and tea were enacted by Parliament in 1767. These new taxes were greeted with even more hostile reactions than the hated Stamp Act had generated. In the following notice by Boston merchants, what arguments are made? What actions were urged?

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THE, Merchants and Traders in this Town, in the Agreement subscribed by them the 17th of October last, engaged that the Orders they might send for Goods to be shipped them from Great-Britain should be on Condition that the Acts imposing Duties for the Purpose of raising a Revenue in America should be totally Repealed, at the signing of which Agreement it was expected that the Merchants in New-York, Philadelphia, and other Colonies would come into a similar Agreement; but the Merchants in the other Colonies having already ordered their Goods to be shipped in Case the Act imposing Duties on Tea, Glass, &c. is repealed, for this and other Reasons mentioned in their Letters decline concurring with us at present, but have proposed to join us in any Plan that may be thought prudent to pursue for obtaining the Repeal of the Acts of the 4th & 6th of GEORGE the Third--Therefore the Merchants here thinking it of the utmost Importance that the Traders in all the Colonies should act upon the same Plan, have agreed to write their Correspondents that the Goods they have or may send for should be shipped on this express Condition, that the Act imposing Duties on Tea, Glass, Paper and Colours, be totally repealed, and not otherways--And have directed their Committee to confer with the Committees of the other Colonies relative to their Proposal above-mentioned.

This Notice of the Proceedings of the Merchants, at their last Meeting, is now sent to the Gentlemen in Trade for their Government, in Case they should send any Orders for Goods.

Boston, December 6th, 1769.

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