American Revolution
The Townshend Acts

The Townshend Acts
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.53

     challenging words:    showing, reconsider, best, society, status, further, indispensable, likable, devise, defeat, advisor, halt, protest, advantage, revenue, nobleman
     content words:    King George III, One British, Lord Charles Townshend, King George, Lord Townshend, Stamp Act, New World

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The Townshend Acts
By Jane Runyon

1     When King George III ruled in England, he needed a lot of help. One British nobleman decided to take advantage of this situation to further his own ambitions. His name was Lord Charles Townshend. In order to keep his status in society and continue to receive invitations to the best parties, he decided to make himself indispensable to King George as his advisor. Lord Townshend had a very likable personality and endeared himself to the king by agreeing with everything the king said.
2     One of the more significant problems the king had to deal with was that the British treasury was getting low. It was up to the king to devise a plan by which the treasury could be replenished. King George and Lord Townshend decided that the best way to get money was to tax the citizens. Not only would they tax the British citizens who were already having a hard time making a living, but they would also tax the colonists in America. They rationalized that part of the reason the treasury was low was because British soldiers had to be sent to the colonies for the protection of the British citizens who had settled there. To be more specific, they would tax items that had to be shipped to the colonies from England. The colonists would have to pay the costs of transporting the goods across the Atlantic; they would also be obliged to pay an extra fee to the king.
3     In 1765, the first tax was put into place. Every piece of printed paper the colonists used would be required to have a stamp showing that a tax had been paid on it. The taxed items included legal documents, playing cards, pamphlets, advertising, and newspapers. The colonists called it the Stamp Act. They did not like the idea of having a tax like this and sent a strong message to the king about their feelings. When the king sent British officials to the colonies to collect the revenue from this tax, some were met by angry colonists who covered the king's officials with sticky tar and feathers. This was a very humiliating act. The tax collectors urged the king to reconsider his decision. One year later the tax was repealed.

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