This was the second of the five Townshend acts, passed on 26 June 1767. It placed taxes on glass, lead, painters’ colors, paper, and tea. It gave customs officials broad authority to enforce the taxes and punish smugglers through the use of “writs of assistance”, general warrants that could be used to search private property for smuggled goods. There was an angry response from colonists, who deemed the taxes a threat to their rights as British subjects. The use of writs of assistance was significantly controversial since the right to be secure in one’s private property was an established right in Britain.

(via Wikipedia)

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