Coercive Acts 1774

The Coercive Acts (which were known also as the ‘Intolerable Acts’) were enforced upon the American colonies after the Boston Tea Party. It had five distinct parts:

  • The Boston Port Act. This closed down the Boston Harbor until the full cost for the damaged tea was repaid
  • Massachusetts Government Act. This took away the colonists right to elect an executive council and instead gave the British government more authority in Massachusetts. In the words of Lord North the act was created in order “to take the executive power from the hands of the democratic part of government”.
  • Administration of Justice Act. This Act allowed British officers and soldiers who were charged with a crime from performing duties to be tried in an alternative court (e.g. in another British colony or in Great Britain); making decisions more favorable to the Crown
  • An update of the Quartering Act. This required colonial assemblies to house troops in vacant buildings.
  • The Quebec Act. Land in the Quebec region was given to the French. This aroused anti-Catholic sentiment as lands which the colonials had fought for during the French-Indian war were given to the French.

The Coercive Acts led to galvanization among the colonies through the introduction of the Continental Congress.  In addition the Suffolk Resolves were passed by the Continental Congress and stockpiling of weapons and creation of militias occurred through the Committees of Supplies and Committees of Safety, respectively.