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Intolerable Acts

Intolerable Acts, name given by American patriots to five laws (including the Quebec Act) adopted by Parliament in 1774, which limited the political and geographical freedom of the colonists. Four of these laws were passed to punish the people of Massachusetts for the Boston Tea Party. The Boston Port Bill closed the port until such time as the East India Company should be paid for the tea destroyed. Other acts changed the royal charter of Massachusetts; provided for the quartering of troops—the New York assembly had earlier (1767–69) been suspended for refusing to make provisions for British troops—in the colony without provincial consent; and gave royal officials in conflict with colonial authorities the right to trial in England. American opposition to these laws and to the Quebec Act was felt in all the colonies, since the actions taken against Massachusetts might be extended to any colony and the Quebec Act was considered a violation of the sea-to-sea grants of many colonial charters. The outcome was the First Continental Congress.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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