{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

History Review2 - Chapter 5 Writs of assistance Writs of...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Chapter 5 Writs of assistance- Writs of assistance were court orders that authorized customs officers to conduct general (non-specific) searches of premises for contraband. The exact nature of the materials being sought did not have to be detailed, nor did their locations. The writs were first introduced in Massachusetts in 1751 to strictly enforce the Acts of Trade , the governing rules for commerce in the British Empire. Merchants in much of New England were skillful at evading the system and many had become masters of smuggling. The powerful new court orders enabled officials to inspect not only shops and warehouses, but also private homes. It quickly became apparent to many colonists that their homes were no longer their castles. In 1761, James Otis represented Boston merchants in their challenge to the renewal of the writs. He failed to convince the court, but gained public prominence in arguing that the writs violated the colonists’ natural rights . The writs of assistance again drew public attention with the enforcement of the Townshend Duties in 1767. Courts continued to uphold the constitutionality of the orders into the 1770s, but as time passed and popular passions heated, few officials had the courage to use them. The writs were one of a list of grievances that the Americans harbored against the Crown and contributed to the process of changing loyal colonists into advocates for independence. North Carolina Regulators - Farming interests in western North Carolina resented the actions of local court officials. This feeling was particularly strong in Anson, Granville, Halifax, Orange and Rowan counties. Efforts to reform the assessment of taxes and fees were unsuccessful; the courts and assembly were not responsive and seemed to favor the causes of the wealthy tidewater elements. Regulator groups arose to close down local courts (which in this era were analogous to county commissions) and suppress tax payments; rioting broke out in several counties. In May 1771, Governor William Tryon led militia forces against the Regulators and defeated them handily at Alamance Creek. Most of the rebels were pardoned, but seven of the leaders were hanged. The movement did not survive, but tensions between east and west remained. Gaspée Incident - The repeal of the Townshend duties in the Spring of 1770 did much to soothe strained relations between the American colonies and the mother country. For the next three years a surface harmony prevailed, but several incidents occurred that served to indicate not all was well. One such event occurred in Rhode Island where local forces resorted to violence and property destruction to oppose the enforcement of unpopular British trade policies. The British revenue cutter Gaspee had served in American waters since 1764 and early on had drawn resentment by impressing a number of American colonists. This uneasy situation became worse in 1772 when the ship was under the command of Lieutenant William Dudingston and was assigned to the New England coast in a crackdown on
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
smuggling. Narragansett Bay was then the center of a thriving illegal trade. Dudingston
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern