Non-Importation Agreements

The impact of the Boston non-import agreement and all similar agreements has been considerable. About 60 merchants and merchants signed the agreement on August 1, 1768, and within two weeks, all but sixteen Boston merchants, merchants and business owners had joined the boycott. Boston craftsmen, craftsmen and other merchants signed the agreement with joy in the hope that the boycott would generate business for them. In the space of weeks and months, almost all ports and regions of the Thirteen Colonies adopted similar boycotts to protest and undermine the Townshend Revenue Act, although many merchants and traders in the South with loyalist tendencies refused to cooperate. Smuggling was widespread in the colonies. The effects of British merchants who acted with the American colonies were alarming. Traders lost money that shipped their goods to the colonies, where they would not be received. Most of the time, the goods were never left ashore. If they were, they would rot on the docks or in warehouses, or were looted by the settlers.

The situation was a nightmare for customs officers who could not collect taxes on goods that were not left ashore or were never sold. NONIMPORTATION AGREEMENTS were a series of trade restrictions introduced by American settlers to protest british income policy before the American Revolution. The British Stamp Act of 1765 triggered the first non-import agreements. In protest at the unrepresentation tax, New York merchants agreed to a collective embargo on British imports until Parliament lifted stamp duty, and they persuaded traders in Boston and Philadelphia to do the same. Under pressure from British exporters who lost their business, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act within a year. The non-import agreements of the late colonial era were important precursors of the American Revolution. The agreements have stoked tensions that have led to violence. The negotiation of the agreements propelled the Boston Patriots to the forefront and demonstrated to the settlers the potential for unified action. At a deeper level, the agreements have helped awaken settlers to their emerging national identity as Americans, helping them promote their cultural value of austerity on the national stage. However, a change in the British Department`s foreign policy to promote trade, export and production only partially repealed the Townshend Act. Subsequently, the settlers partially repealed their own non-import policy.