What Were The 4 Intolerable Acts? :(Step-By-Step)


What Were The 4 Intolerable Acts?

The 4 Intolerable Acts (The year 1774) were:

  • Boston Port Act
  • Massachusetts Government Act
  • Administration of Justice Act
  • Quebec Act

Now, let’s make a discussion on each one of them, step by step.

The 4 Intolerable Acts – Step-By-Step

1. Boston Port Act

The Boston Port Act was the very first Intolerable Act among the four.

But what was the British authority trying to achieve through this act?

Actually, through this act, the British Parliament intended to close all the trades that happened through Boston Harbor.

Their main goal via this new law was to punish the people of Boston for the Boston Tea Party. They decided that they wouldn’t repeal it until colonists pay compensation to the British East India Company.

Parliament passed it on 31st March and came into full effect from June 1st, 1774. 

British government’s other intentions through the act were something like this:

1. They intended to make colonists oblige for paying all the compensation for the tea party incident. The compensation value was around 1 million dollars (present-day’s estimation).

2. The British government wanted the colonists to apologize for the sin to the British King George III.

3. Their third objective was to increase the presence of British soldiers in the city of Boston again. Because after the Boston Massacre in 1770, they had to withdraw their military presence from the whole city.

[Interesting Fact: Did You Know? To Enforce The Boston Port Act In A Powerful Way, The British Authority Appointed North America’s Commander-In-Chief Thomas Gage As The New Governor of Massachusetts Province. Thomas Gage Controlled The Boston Harbor Via Starting The Royal Navy’s Regular Patrol At The Mouth of The Harbor]

What Were The 4 Intolerable Acts
What Were The 4 Intolerable Acts

2. Massachusetts Government Act

The Massachusetts Government Act significantly changed the way the province was governed before.

But how?

Under the Massachusetts Charter of 1691, the province enjoyed some special treatments, through which local leaders could broadly play their role in its governance system.

The province’s governance system was quite independent type than the other 12 colonies. But this new act abrogated the privilege completely.

Now, the parliament of Great Britain centralized its governance power and put it into the hands of a royally appointed governor. The English parliament passed the act on 20th May 1774 and on the very same day, it received royal assent.

[Interesting Fact: Did You Know? Utilizing The Power of The Massachusetts Government Act, In October 1774, Governor-General Thomas Gage Dissolved The Locally Appointed Provincial Assembly. However, The Colonies’ Patriots Disagreed With His Decision, Which As A Result, Provoked Them To Form Their Own Alternative Government. This Alternative Government Controlled Stuffs Outside of The City And Remained Active Until 1778]

 Intolerable Acts

3. Administration of Justice Act

Infamous as the ‘Murder Act’ or ‘Murdering Act’, the Administration of Justice Act was the worst among all the 4 Intolerable Acts.

Through this law, the British parliament indirectly allowed royally appointed officials to commit crimes in the 13 colonies and run away to any other part of the English Empire.

To make that happen, parliament gave full power to their governors. Using the act’s power, the royal Governor could send accused royal officials, if he believes that they couldn’t get a fair trial in the colonies.

This became law on 20th May 1774. Patriots from all over the 13 colonies named it differently. For example, patriots like George Washington named it Murder Act.

[Interesting Fact: The British Parliament Primarily Brought This Law To Contain Growing Unrests Within The Land Segment of Boston, Massachusetts]


4. Quebec Act

The Quebec Act was created with two main purposes.

The first one was to increase religious distances between Christian Catholics and Protestants by providing special privileges to Catholics.

Secondly, it was created to include many American colonies’ land areas in the Quebec province of British Canada.

The Act was formally known as ‘The British North America Act of 1774’. It got royal assent on 22nd June 1774.

After US independence, it was repealed in 1791.

[Interesting Fact: Did You Know? The Quebec Act Expanded Canada’s Quebec Province’s Land Segments Towards The 13 Colonies’ Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, And Minnesota Regions]



However, Quartering Act was also a part of the Intolerable Acts.

But many historians consider it as the 1765’s Quartering Act’s second version. So, here we haven’t made any discussion on it.

I hope now your doubt is clear on what were the 4 Intolerable Acts.

Regarding this, if you still need any other assistance, then please let me know in the comments.



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