jun 1, 1760 - Writs of Assistance
A writ of assistance was a general search warrant that granted British officials the ability to search colonists’ homes for smuggled goods without specifying either the house or the goods. They were first used in the colonies in Massachusetts in 1760 to enforce the Navigation Acts and counteract smuggling problems. Five years later, the Townshend Acts reauthorized the writs, which was universally hated in America, and was challenged in the superior court of all thirteen colonies. The outrage produced by the Writs of Assistance led to the protection against "unreasonable search and seizures" in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.
Added to timeline:
E Pluribus Unum: How Tyranny United the Colonies
by Daniel Kaplan and Cole Graham