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 Under pressure from British exporters who lost their business, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act within a year. Although patriots like to say otherwise, not everyone agrees with non-import and non-consumption movements. Some settlers agreed with them, buying, importing or selling British products. In August 1769, the offenders were revealed on the front page of the Boston Chronicle. The news of the violations has devastating effects on the boycott, as does the importation of traders who mock patriots and their search for “tiny packages” that could contain contraband. The non-import agreement expired on January 1, 1770.
Many traders want to go out: they have warehouses for sale with British products and they are eager to resume their trade. In the hope of being “zealous on the merits” – despite the people among them – Bostonians write to the Massachusetts colonial agent in London to assure him that they are more determined than ever to force the hand of Parliament. Once again, the settlers were outraged. In response, twelve of the thirteen colonies formed the First Continental Congress, where they drew up a list of complaints against the Crown and the provisions they would make until the legislative power was changed. One of these provisions was the non-consumption agreements, which ensured that the colonies would not import British products and would not export goods to Britain and its colonies if Britain did not rescind its previously adopted laws. 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. On November 20, 1767, the Townshend Acts came into force in America. Settlers must now be subject to tariffs on the excl. donerisch, paper, lead, color and tea, which are imported from the UK. The current non-consumer movement will soon take a political tone, as boycott measures are encouraged to save money and force Britain to lift tariffs. Traders are considering a non-import movement in the hope that a drop in sales of British products will force their British counterparts to commit to the lifting. In Boston, merchants voted in March 1768 to block English trade.