American History: The Intolerable Acts of 1774

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After the Boston Tea Party, the British responded with a series of acts called the intolerable acts. The British believed that these acts would push the colonies into submission and would squash the rebellion that was brewing. However, the British severely miscalculated and that miscalculation would drive England and its Colonies headfirst into the maelstrom of war that would end with American Independence.

The intolerable acts, also called the coercive acts were passed in 1774, just two years before the American Revolution. There were five acts passed, four in direct response to the Boston Tea Party:

Boston Port Act: This act closed the port in Boston after the Boston Tea Party. It remained closed until the East India Company was payed back for all of the tea lost during the tea party.

Massachusetts Government Act: Through this act the British government took control of the government in Massachusetts. The British government would appoint most positions to be held in Massachusetts.

American History: The Intolerable Acts of 1774

Administration of Justice Act: The British government did not believe that British officers or citizens could receive fair trials in Massachusetts. This act gave the judge discretion to move the trial to another colony or even to Great Britain itself.

Quartering Act: This was a new version of a previous quartering act. This act allowed the governors to quarter soldiers in abandoned houses in the colony if ample housing was not available.

Quebec Act: This act enlarged the boundary of the province of Quebec. This act was unrelated to the Boston Tea Party, but the timing of it led many to believe that the British were trying to oppress the colonists.

Since these acts were passed without representation in Britain and without the permission of the colonists, the colonists believed that their constitutional rights had been violated. Britain tried to alienate the radicals in the colonies by taking extreme measures to silence them. This plan backfired since moderates and some loyalists found it hard to support Parliament with some of their actions. Ultimately, it led to the creation of the First Continental Congress which then led to the American Revolution.