Why Colonists Called Coercive Acts As Intolerable Acts?


Why Did The Colonists Call The Coercive Acts The Intolerable Acts?

If the five bad laws of 1774 were called Coercive Acts in Britain, then why did the colonists of the 13 colonies call them ‘Intolerable Acts’?

Its main reason was, the British Parliament passed all those laws for its self-benefit only. Those laws were completely against the American colonists’ interests.

Answer In Short:

Before independence, the colonists living in 13 North American colonies considered themselves British citizens.

Colonists always wanted the British government to treat them the same way, as they did the other common people living on the mainland.

But in 1774, when the English Parliament passed the 5 Intolerable Acts, colonists considered the move as an injustice to them.

They believed that the British Parliament was violating the rights of the people living in the 13 colonies by passing retaliatory laws. 

This was the main reason, why even though Parliament named the five laws “Coercive Acts”; colonists named them “Intolerable Acts”.

Read in-depth below.

Why The British Parliament Had To Impose The Bad Laws?

Great Britain imposed all the laws on colonists as an act of revenge for the Boston Tea Party. The Boston Tea Party caused heavy economic losses to the British East India Company.

At the same time, the event was a major challenge for the authority of Great Britain over the 13 colonies. Therefore, even though not all colonists were involved in that incident, those acts targeted all the colonies; especially Bostonians.

Colonists rationalized that the Parliament was trying to abrogate their Englishmen’s rights. Because if they would really consider colonists as English citizens, they wouldn’t even think to impose those bad laws on colonists’ heads that way.

So, this was the reason why the Coercive Acts were named Intolerable Acts by the colonists.

Why Colonists Called Coercive Acts As Intolerable Acts

How It Changed The Mindset of Colonists?

Before all these problems began, most of the people in the 13 colonies considered themselves British citizens.

After all, Great Britain was their mother country. Earlier, they never even thought they would rebel against their mother country to achieve full independence.

In summary, they were quite happy as English citizens. But when the English Parliament started bringing these types of punitive laws to punish the colonists, nothing was left behind to understand that England had no good feelings towards their emotions.

They learned that English King George III had no sympathy towards them. The 13 colonies were just a source of wealth and money for England, but not an actual part of them.

Hence, as a result, it provoked them to choose the path of rebellion and achieve full independence.

On July 4th, 1776, the 13 colonies declared independence from Great Britain and formed a new nation via the Declaration of Independence. Of course, no doubt, it is our United States of America.

Next, let’s see what those five Intolerable Acts were.


What Were Those Coercive Acts?

1. Boston Port Act: This act closed all the trades that happened through Boston Harbour, Massachusetts. Under this law, the Parliament demanded compensation for the Boston Tea Party.

2. Massachusetts Government Act: This one transferred all the ruling power from Massachusetts’ local leaders’ to the hand of the royally appointed British governor. The act abrogated the Massachusetts Charter of 1691.

3. Administration of Justice Act: This act indirectly allowed British officers to do criminal activities in the colonies and run away to other parts of the British Empire.

4. Quartering Act: This law again allowed British troops to forcefully find shelter in colonists’ private homes.

5. Quebec Act: Through the Quebec Act, they tried to decrease the land area of America’s Midwest region.


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