The Grievances of the Colonists

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What was the colonists' reaction to the Quartering Act?

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The colonial reaction to the Quartering Act was negative, to say the least. Basically, the colonists didn't take too kindly to the act at all. To them, it was an infringement on the 1689 Bill of Rights, which forbade taxation without representation.

The colonists were angry that they had not been consulted before the Quartering Act of 1765 was passed. Today, many people believe that the Quartering Act forced civilians to house British soldiers in their private homes.

In truth, this wasn't a wide practice. The Quartering Act did, however, require the colonists to pay for housing British soldiers in military barracks and public buildings. If space ran out, the colonists were supposed to put the soldiers up in inns, barns, alehouses, and other public spaces.

Either way, the colonists were angry that the Quartering Act inflicted more financial burdens on them. In New York, the Provincial Assembly refused to comply altogether. As a result, the British Parliament suspended the Governor's right to sign new legislation into law (at least until the Quartering Act was complied with). Eventually, the New York Assembly decided to allocate some money towards the quartering of soldiers in barracks and public spaces. Its legislative authority was then returned.

Meanwhile, other colonies did their best not to comply with the law at all. The Quartering Act was a major contributing factor to the onset of the Revolutionary War.

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