Intolerable Acts

(1774)

As a direct response to the Boston Tea Party, the British ministry during the early months of 1774 brought before Parliament a string of bills that became known in the American colonies as the Intolerable Acts, or the Coercive Acts. Within a year, the British government's attempt to enforce the Intolerable Acts had developed into the conflict that became the Revolutionary War.

The Intolerable Acts closed the port of Boston, altered the government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony to centralize British authority, allowed for British officials accused of crimes to be tried in another colony or in England, and sanctioned the billeting of British troops in unused buildings. The British ministry considered the acts as crucial to restoring Parliament's authority in the colonies. Americans perceived them as arbitrary and unreasonable attacks on fundamental British rights. Among the Intolerable Acts, Americans included another bill, the Quebec Act, because it protected the Roman...

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The Boston Tea Party, which led directly to four of the five Intolerable Acts (Library of Congress)

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