How Did The Colonists React To The Quartering Act?
The American colonists strongly condemned the Quartering Act.
The act almost bounded American people to provide shelter to the British troops in their private homes.
Most importantly, the act bound them to do that even against their will.
|Amazing Fact: Keeping in mind the colonists’ plight, American leaders like Benjamin Franklin suggested the English troops find shelter in public homes in the suburbs rather than interfering with the colonists’ private life.|
American colonists argued – providing support to the troops during wartime (French & Indian War) was a completely different matter & had logic. But in peacetime, they believed it was horrible and exploiting.
Even leveraging the power of the act, sometimes British troops forcefully occupied the private homes of the colonists.
This was the most harassing thing for them. Either way, they feared a lot about that.
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For the British government 1765 and 1774’s quartering acts were necessary.
But colonists seemed it differently. For them, the acts were bad and against their civil rights.
They believed the acts were taking away their rights of living like the English people of the mainland.
On the other hand, the British Parliament already created the Mutiny acts in 1723, 1754, and 1756.
These laws prohibited the British troops from quartering at private homes against citizens’ will.
But the British army kept ignoring those laws.
Due to the violation of the laws by the British soldiers, the colonists were forced to think that their liberty was being destroyed.
To get rid of the problem, some leaders like Benjamin Franklin suggested the British soldiers another option.
They suggested that troops could quarter in the suburbs rather than interfere in colonists’ private lives.
So, this was how did the colonists react to the quartering act.
Why Was The Quartering Act Passed?
The story of the Quartering Act began during the period of the Seven Years’ War (or the French & Indian War).
At that time, it was hard to find shelter for soldiers while marching from one place to another.
So, then the Commander-In-Chief of the British army, General Thomas Gage, and General James Robertson requested British Parliament to take some immediate initiative over the issue.
To solve this problem, some assemblies like the New York assembly passed acts.
However, their acts expired earlier in January 1764.
But over time, the British government found many benefits in this system.
For this reason, in 1765, they brought a completely new act, named the Quartering act.
Colonists and local leaders were unhappy with this new law. Because the war was over long ago and France was defeated.
They believed that keeping soldiers there was cruel and an unnecessary decision by the British Parliament.
[Did You Know? 1774’s Quartering Act Was One Among The Five Intolerable Acts. The Other Four Acts Were The Boston Port Act, Massachusetts Government Act, Administration of Justice Act, And Quebec Act. These Intolerable Acts Led Colonists To The Revolutionary War of Independence]