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Quartering Acts facts for kids

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Quartering Act is the name given to two Acts of the British Parliament in the 18th century. These acts ordered the local governments of the American colonies to give British soldiers housing and food when they needed it.

Each of the Quartering Acts was an amendment to the Mutiny Act. The Parliament renewed them each year. The Acts were passed to solve the problems of the French and Indian War. They caused tension between the Thirteen Colonies and the government in London. These problems led, in part, to the Revolutionary War.

Quartering Act 1765

This first Quartering Act was given Royal Assent on May 15, 1765, and provided that Great Britain would house its soldiers in American barracks and public houses, as by the Mutiny Act 1765. Colonial authorities were required to pay the cost of housing and feeding these soldiers.

When 1,500 British troops arrived at New York City in 1766 the New York Provincial Assembly refused to comply with the Quartering Act and did not supply billeting for the troops. The troops had to remain on their ships. With its great impact on the city, a skirmish occurred in which one colonist was wounded following the Assembly's refusal to provide quartering. The New York Assembly allocated funds for the quartering of British troops in 1771.

This act expired on March 24, 1776.

Quartering Act 1774

The Quartering Act 1774 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.

Quartering in time of war

During the French and Indian War Britain had forcibly seized quarters in private dwellings. In the American Revolutionary War, the New York Provincial Congress barracked Continental Army troops in private homes. The Americans were against the quartering of British troops.

On May 3, 1765 the British Parliament met and finally passed a Quartering Act for the Americans. The act stated that troops could only be quartered in barracks and if there wasn't enough space in barracks then they were to be quartered in public houses and inns. If still not enough space then the governor and council were to find vacant space, but at no time was it legal to quarter troops in private homes.


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