Why did Parliament pass the Coercive Acts (Intolerable Acts) in 1774?
The Coercive Acts, called the “Intolerable Acts” by the colonists, were a series of laws passed by the British on the Colonists as a result of the Boston Tea Party. [ The acts infuriated the colonists who felt that they were being robbed of their civil liberties. They would soon after alarm the colonists into beginning the frantic fight for freedom from Britain’s tyrannical
The first of the Coercive Acts was the Boston Port Bill. The bill ordered that the Boston Harbor be closed off from any incoming or outgoing trade by a blockade of the British navy. The blockade was to remain in effect until the Bostonians paid Britain for the ruined tea.
The second Coercive Act was the Massachusetts Government Act. It successfully revoked the colony’s charter and allowed an excessive amount of royal control. Severe limits were placed on the powers of town meetings, an important part of American self-government. Most government offices in the colony were also to be filled with royal appointees, not with popularly elected officials.
The third Coercive Act was the Administration of Justice Act. The act stated that British officials accused of capital crimes in suppressing riots or collecting taxes in Massachusetts could avoid hostile local juries and their cases be heard in England. Angry colonists labeled this the “Murder Act,” because it let accused murderers to escape colonial justice.
The fourth Coercive Act was the Quartering Act. Under the terms of the Quartering Act the colonists were forced to provide for the basic needs of British soldiers stationed there including bedding, cooking utensils, firewood, beer or cider and candles. This law was expanded in 1766 and required the colonists to also allow soldiers to lodge in their taverns and unoccupied houses. The reaction of the colonists was largely negative. They believed that the soldiers were there only to ensure their obedience with the unpopular Coercive Acts.
The Quebec Act was not part of Lord North’s Coercive Acts but is usually considered one of them anyway, making it the fifth and final act. ]
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