How was the writs of assistance signifanct?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The writs were basically another factor in addition to such issues as the Stamp Act and other forms of taxation that lead to discontent amongst certain colonists in America. You could say they served as one of the numerous catalysts which started the American Revolution. I've included a summary you might find helpful, below.

    I believe this is the information your looking for:

    The writs played an important role in the increasing difficulties that led to the American Revolution and the creation of the United States of America. In 1760, Great Britain began to enforce some of the provisions of the Navigation Acts by granting customs officers these writs. In New England, smuggling had become common. Massachusetts' new governor, Sir Francis Bernard, ordered the writs be created for the customs collectors. While the Navigation Acts might affect only external commerce, the customs duties were viewed as an internal tax.

    The colonists had several problems with these writs as they were applied. They were permanent and even transferable: a writ holder could assign them to another. Any place could be searched at the whim of the holder, and searchers were not responsible for any damage they caused. This put anyone who had such a writ above the law. When the writs were challenged in court, Bernard's attorney general James Otis resigned rather than defend them. In fact, Otis became the lead attorney for the other side.

    The arguments advanced colonial thinking about rights and their relation with Britain. While some use of the writs was suspended, their role in raising tax revenue was later supplemented by taxes on sugar, tea, and the Stamp Act. Further efforts to enforce them a decade later led to martial law. Boston was occupied and General Thomas Gage became the military governor in 1774.

    In response to the much-hated writs, several of the colonies included a particular requirement for search warrants in their constitutions when they declared independence in 1776. Several years later, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution also contained a particularity requirement that completely outlawed writs of assistance (and all general search warrants) in the United States.

    Hope this info helps you out!

    Source(s): M.H. Smith, The Writs of Assistance Case (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978)
  • 4 years ago

    Writs Of Assistance

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    The Writ of Assistance was a general search warrant for British Soldiers. They could go into any of the colonists houses and search for anything, and they were not responsible for damage caused. This violated the colonists' right to privacy and personal property.

  • 1 decade ago

    your asking a lot of history questions,why don't you just do your homework so you could learn something.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.