kids encyclopedia robot

Intolerable Acts facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

The Intolerable Acts are laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774.

The British Parliament passed these laws to punish the Massachusetts colony for the Boston Tea Party.

  • One of the laws closed Boston Harbor until the colonists paid for the destroyed tea.
  • The Quartering Act allowed Britain to house troops wherever it wanted. This one was for all the colonies, not just Massachusetts.
  • The Administration of Justice Act allowed the trials of accused royal officials to take place in Great Britain if the Governor decided that the defendant could not get a fair trial in Massachusetts.
  • The Quebec Act gave the Ohio country to Canada.

These laws were so harsh that the colonists called them the Intolerable Acts.

Other colonies offered Massachusetts their support. They sent supplies to Boston. The Committees of Correspondence also called for a meeting of all colonies. This meeting would decide what to do about their problems with Britain, which led to the Continental Congress.

The Acts

  • The Boston Port Act was the first of the laws passed in 1774 in response to the Boston Tea Party. It closed the port of Boston until the colonists paid for the destroyed tea and the king was satisfied that order had been restored. Colonists objected that the Port Act punished all of Boston rather than just the individuals who had destroyed the tea, and that they were being punished without having been given an opportunity to testify in their own defense.
  • The Massachusetts Government Act provoked even more outrage than the Port Act because it took away Massachusetts' charter and brought it under control of the British government. Under the terms of the Government Act, almost all positions in the colonial government were to be appointed by the governor, Parliament, or king. The act also severely limited town meetings in Massachusetts to one per year, unless the Governor called for one. Colonists outside Massachusetts feared that their governments could now also be changed by the legislative fiat of Parliament.
  • The Administration of Justice Act allowed the Royal governor to order trials of accused royal officials to take place in Great Britain or elsewhere within the Empire if he decided that the defendant could not get a fair trial in Massachusetts. George Washington called this the "Murder Act" because he believed that it allowed British officials to harass Americans and then escape justice. Many colonists believed the act was unnecessary because British soldiers had been given a fair trial following the Boston Massacre in 1770.
  • The Quartering Act applied to all of the colonies, and sought to create a more effective method of housing British troops in America. In a previous act, the colonies had been required to provide housing for soldiers, but colonial legislatures had been uncooperative in doing so. The new Quartering Act allowed a governor to house soldiers in other buildings if suitable quarters were not provided.
  • Although unrelated to the other Acts, the Quebec Act, passed in the same Parliamentary session, was considered by the colonists to be one of the Intolerable Acts. The Act expanded the territory of the Province of Quebec into much of what is now the American Midwest, which appeared to void the land claims of the Ohio Company on the region. The guarantee of free practice of Catholicism, the majority religion in Canada, was seen by colonists as an "establishment" of the faith in the colonies which were overwhelmingly Protestant. Furthermore, colonists resented the lenient provisions granted to their erstwhile enemies who they had fought hard against during the French and Indian War.
kids search engine
Intolerable Acts Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.