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Intolerable Act of 1774

Referencing Styles : APA | Pages : 1

Intolerable Acts of 1774

The Intolerable Acts were a kind of castigatory laws that were passed by the British Parliament in the year 17774 just after the Boston Tea Party. The law was meant to punish the Massachusetts colonists as a result of their insolence in the Tea party protest. The law was brought in order to bring changes in the taxation by the British on colonial goods. These laws were known as the Coercive Acts in Great Britain. The act resulted in the loss of self-governance and all kinds of rights of the Massachusetts triggering the outrage of the Thirteen Colonies. Five of the Acts that were passed under the Intolerable Acts reversed the trend of colonial resistance to the parliamentary authority. The Five Acts consisted of the following:

1. Boston Port Act

The Boston Port Act was the first of the Intolerable Acts that were passed in the year 1774. It was meant to directly punish the city of Boston for the Tea Party. The act resulted in the closing of the Boston port for all ships until and unless the colonists paid for the tea that they dumped into the harbor. According too many, the act was quite unfair as it punished all the citizens of Boston for a cause that was committed by only few of the citizens.

2. Massachusetts Government Act

The passing of the Massachusetts Government Act changed the colony of Massachusetts giving more power to the governor appointed by the British while taking away the power from the colonists. Many of the government officials who were elected by the people would now  be get elected by the governor. The acct also included to held only one town meeting in a year.

3. Administration of Justice Act

The Administration of Justice Act was meant to allow the governor to move their capital trials against officials of Great Britain. The colonist felt that with the introduction of this act, the government officials were given more protection. Witnesses would need to travel all the way to Britain to test against the officials making it impossible to convict. This act was known as the Murder Act by some of the colonists as they thought that the officials would get away with murder.

4. Quartering Act

The Quartering Act of 1774 is the fourth most Intolerable Act expanding over the original Quartering Act of 1765. The acct says that the colonies will provide barracks to the British soldiers and in case the barracks were not available, they can take shelter in other buildings such as barns, homes or hotels.

5. Quebec Act

The Quebec Act of 1774 expanded over the British Canadian Territory to the south of Ohio Valley and led to the expansion of a catholic province called the Quebec Province.

Although this act was not passed in response to the Boston Tea party it was passed alongside with all other acts. The act led to the anger among the American colonists who were not at all happy about losing the control over the land in Ohio and having a separate catholic province to their north.

Significance of the Act:

The Intolerable Acts that were passed presented an attempt to impose strict action over the American colonies by the British government. The passing of the Intolerable Acts alarmed the colonists while they realized that these kind of similar laws can be implemented throughout their colonies at any time. The law brought corruption among the custom officials where they accused the ship owners, merchants in smuggling cases and later confiscated their ships and cargoes. In the year 1768, one of the custom officials seized a ship that was owned by Hancock one of the prosperous merchant of that time. The commissioners then escaped to an island in Boston for military protection and were later sent to regiments. The Intolerable act of 1774 was an important factor contributing towards the American Revolution where the colonists felts that this type of legislation violated their rights as Englishmen as well as their natural rights as human beings. Great Britain hoped that the passing of the intolerable acts would led to isolation of the radicals in Massachusetts causing the American colonists to concede the parliament authority over their elected assemblies. It was a risk that back fired the harshness of some of the acts that made the acts more difficult for the moderate colonies to speak in the parliament. The intolerable acts promoted the sympathy for the Massachusetts while encouraging the colonies to diverse their colonies to form committee of correspondence

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