What Were The 5 Laws of Intolerable Acts?


What Were The 5 Laws of The Intolerable Acts?

The British Parliament created all 5 laws of the Intolerable Acts to punish American colonists; especially, for punishing Bostonians for the Boston Tea Party.

The British Parliament passed all these laws within the year 1774. 

Now we need to see what the 5 laws were and how they were imposed on the colonists.

So let’s dive right in.

Answer In Short & Quick:

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

What Were The 5 Laws of The Intolerable Acts

The 5 Laws of The Intolerable Acts

1. The Boston Port Act

The Parliament of Great Britain passed the Boston Port Act to close all the trades through Boston Harbor, Massachusetts.

The Parliament’s main motive through this act was to make Bostonians oblige for paying all the compensation for the loss during the Boston Tea Party. 

The bill became a law on March 31st, 1774, and came into effect from 1st June 1774.

The British authority also demanded colonists to say sorry to King George III for the guilt they have made.

However, colonists never stepped down. Contrary, their demand made them angry.

Even they objected that the parliament was imposing the laws with a feeling of vengeance towards them.

Their objection was – Not all people of Boston were involved in that Tea Party. So there was no reason for the British government to try to punish all the people that way.

Colonists blamed that the parliament was trying to violate their rights of being English citizens.


2. Massachusetts Government Act

Massachusetts Government Act mainly passed intending to take away and abrogate the Massachusetts Charter of 1691.

Under this law, the British authority appointed their military general as the new governor of this province.

The new act got royal approval on 20th May 1774.

It almost took away all the powers of colonists to effectively participate in their own governance system.

The law allowed the British governor, parliament, and the English king to appoint all significant positions in the colonial government of Massachusetts.

Especially, using the power of this law, the royally appointed governor could easily dismantle the provincial assembly.

For example, in October 1774, English Governor Thomas Gage dissolved the provincial assembly without any big reason.

Though it was enacted only in Massachusetts, it caused fear in the other 12 colonies also.

According to many historians, the British brought it to contain the growing unrest within the land segment of Massachusetts, especially within Boston city.

The English authority was afraid that if the unrest would get spread to the other parts of the whole 13 colonies, it would become tough for them to calm it down again.

So, they found taking control of the governance system a much better idea.

The Five Intolerable Acts

3. Administration of Justice Act

Act for the Impartial Administration of Justice, infamously known as the Administration of Justice Act of 1774, was the cruelest act in the group of the Intolerable Acts.

This was also known as the Murder Act or Murdering Act.

The parliament of Great Britain passed it on 20th May 1774.

The act allowed Royal Governor to send accused British officials to Great Britain or any other places of their Empire if he believes that the defendant could not get a legitimate trial in the province of Massachusetts.

For this reason, patriotic leaders like George Washington named it the Murder Act.

They believed, if the offender is taken away to some other place, then the person who has been victimized by that crime would fail to get justice.

In other words, the act encouraged royally appointed officials to commit crimes in the 13 colonies and run away.

Under this law, the British authority intended to contain the growing unrest of the American Revolution within the land segment of Massachusetts province.


4. Quartering Act

Quartering Act of 1774 was the 2nd version of 1765’s Quartering Act.

This law again allowed British troops to find shelter in colonists’ private homes during the time of war and peace.

Even it privileged English soldiers to forcefully occupy colonists’ private homes.

The Quartering Act of 1765’s responsibility was given to local legislatures. However, they were not cooperative in its enforcement.

So, in 1774, the responsibility transferred to the royally appointed Governor’s hand.

This act came into effect in Massachusetts province, and the British applied it for all the 13 colonies.

This law was quite scary for the people living in the colonies.


5. Quebec Act

The British North America Act, also known as the Quebec Act, got royal assent on 22nd June 1774.

This one intended to increase the land area of Canada’s Quebec province towards the 13 colonies’ midwest region.

Present-day, the areas are associated with Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin states.

The act also tried increasing religious distances between Christian Catholics and Protestants.

Its main reason was, the act tried providing more beneficial facilities to the Christian Catholics than other communities.

On the other side, it also attacked the faith of the Protestant people, such as via removing the Protestant oath of allegiance for officials.

The leaders of the 13 colonies were afraid that the law would cause religious clashes in the upcoming decades.

American Colonists considered it one of the worsts Intolerable acts.


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