What Was The Massachusetts Government Act?
The Massachusetts Government Act was an act passed by the Parliament of Great Britain to change the ongoing governance system of America’s Massachusetts province.
Through this new act, Britain tried to transfer Massachusetts’ governance power from local’s hands to their own governor’s hand.
The Parliament of Britain passed this law in 1774 and it got the royal assent on 20th May.
But what was so special in this act?
This act significantly increased the power of royally appointed Governor in Massachusetts province and abrogated 1691’s, Massachusetts Charter.
American colonists identified it among one of these five Intolerable Acts.
What Was The Purpose of the Massachusetts Government Act?
This was one of the five Intolerable Acts of 1774.
They passed it to punish Bostonians for the guilt of the Boston Tea Party.
Because after the Boston Tea Party incident, Boston became the center of growing unrest in the 13 colonies.
British afraid that the unrest would be spared to the other colonies also. And if it would happen, the condition would become critical to control for English authorities.
Therefore to contain it within Boston, they brought this new act.
Simply the act transferred the power of Massachusetts governance from the local leaders to the hand of the British Empire.
Before the Massachusetts Government Act passed, the people of the province enjoyed a special ability to elect their members of the executive council.
Through the council, local people were able to participate in their governance system and can elect their civil officers.
But the act abrogated it completely. Because this new act widely increased the power of royally appointed Governor.
And Governor now became able to appoint civil officers and dissolve the locally formed council at any time.
How The British Empire Implemented This Law?
In the month of October 1774, English Governor Thomas Gage dissolved the provincial assembly.
Later local leaders of Massachusetts highly criticized this action.