The Intolerable Acts or the Coercive Acts are names used to describe a series of five laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774 relating to Britain's colonies in North America. The acts triggered outrage and resistance in the Thirteen Colonies that later became the United States, and were important developments in the growth of the American Revolution.
After the Seven Years’ War in 1763, relations between the Colonists and the British had worsened. The British were in a great debt, and so the Parliament decided to take a series of measures to increase tax revenue from the colonies. They thought that this was the legitimate way of having the colonists pay for their part of maintaining the Empire.
The colonists argued that they wouldn’t pay taxes if they had no direct representation in the Parliament. This was expressed in their slogan: “No taxation without representation”. And then, after the Townshend Acts, the Colonists even began to think that the Parliament had no sovereignty at all over the Colonies. This events led to the American Revolution.
1. The Boston Port Act: the first of the acts that passed in response to the Boston Tea Party. This Act closed the port of Boston until the Colonists hay paid the destroyed tea to the East India Company.
2. The Massachusetts Government Act: this Act made the Colonies come under British control. Under the terms of the act, almost all positions in the colonial government were to be appointed by the governor or the king and it also limited the activities of the Town Meetings.
3. The Administration of Justice Act: this act allowed the governor to move trials of accused royal officials to another colony or even to Great Britain if he believed the official could not get a fair trial in Massachusetts. George Washington call this the “Murder Act” because he believed that it allowed British official to harass Americans and the escape justice.
4. The Quartering Act: this Act was applied to all of the colonies and it obligated the colonists to provide housing for British troops in America (in a more effective method). In a previous act, the colonies had been required to provide housing for the soldiers, but colonial legislatures had been uncooperative in doing so.
5. The Quebec Act: was a piece of legislation unrelated to the event in Boston, but it was passed around the same time that the other Acts were passed, making the colonists believe that it was part of the punishment. The act enlarged the southern boundaries of Canada and gave them the liberty to choose their faith.