What were the Coercive (Intolerable) Acts?
The Coercive Acts, known as the Intolerable Acts in the colonies, were a series of enactments by Parliament in response to the Boston Tea Party. They were designed to punish and also bring to heel the people of Boston. Among the acts:
- The Boston Port Act: closed the Port of Boston as of July 1, 1774 until the tea destroyed in the raid was paid for.
- Act for Imperial Administration of Justice: provided that the Royal Governor could transfer the trial of any British official or soldier to England for disposal. It was believed that colonial juries might easily convict such persons on a technicality.
- Second Quartering Act: Provided that if no suitable quartering could be provided, British soldiers should be housed in private homes.
Massachusetts Government Act: Provided that all colonial offices in the colony would no longer be elective; but rather appointed by the Royal Governor. It also provided that juries would be chosen by the Sheriff, and that town meetings could be held only with the consent of the Royal Governor. Shortly after the Act was passed, General Thomas Gage was appointed governor, which in essence placed Massachusetts under military rule.
The Coercive acts of 1774 was the British response to the Boston Tea Party. They are also known as the "Intolerable Acts". Parliament closed the ports and reduced the power of self-government in the Massachusetts colony. These acts also provided for the quartering of troops on the colonists' barns and empty houses.