Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Those Intolerable Acts -- and e-book giveaway, by Susan Page Davis


   During the years prior to the American Revolution, the colonists found a lot to complain about. Uppermost were the laws the British Parliament seemed to delight in passing—laws that interfered with colonists’ business and made their everyday living less pleasant.

   Usually these laws caused more discomfort in some colonies than others. For instance, the Quartering Act was enacted in 1765. It required that the colonies provide housing for troops in the settled parts of North America. For places where there were no British troops, this caused no trouble at all. But in New York, it was another story.

   The British Army’s headquarters in North America was in New York City at that time, and this new law did not go over well there.

   New Yorkers hadn’t minded providing housing and some supplies during the French and Indian war—the redcoats were there to do them a service and protect them from the French. But in the mid-1760s, it was a different matter.

   Now the British requisitioned supplies from the colonists, but they were not protecting them from a foreign enemy. Parliament attempted to compel New York to build or maintain barracks. They requisitioned food, beverages, candles, and fuel for the troops. New York’s legislature refused to vote the funds in 1766.  They said they would consider the crown’s requests, but would not pledge to honor them all.

   This led to another law, forbidding the New York legislature to take any actions until it complied.

   Later, when the British troops became more active, the Quartering Act reached out to annoy more people. If public barracks, vacant buildings, or taverns were not available where the soldiers went, the colonists were still required to house them. Sometimes this meant troops staying in private homes. The colonies were required to contribute cider or beer, firewood, candles, and other supplies for the British soldiers. They had to furnish wagons and carts for military transport at prices fixed by the British.

Many colonists felt these laws went too far, stripping them of their rights as Englishmen and requiring them to pay taxes they’d had no say in (“taxation without representation”).

   After the Boston Tea Party in 1774, Parliament passed a series of laws that came to be known in the colonies as the Intolerable Acts. Some of these laws were clearly meant to punish the city of Boston.

Boston was singled out for several penalties. The colonists had dumped 342 chests of tea belonging to the British East India Company into the harbor. In response to this wanton destruction, Parliament passed the Coercive Acts. The Boston Port Bill took effect on June 1, 1774. Under this new law, the Boston harbor was closed to everything but British ships until the British East India Company was compensated for its loss. Nothing was allowed to be taken into the city but food and firewood. 

In addition, the Massachusetts Government Act said the British governor would now be in charge of all town meetings in Boston, which effectively did away with town meetings. The authority of the royal governor was increased—and General Gage, the British commander of the troops in North America, was appointed governor. There was no more self-government in Boston.

Samuel Adams wrote in a letter, “…it appears that we have been tried and condemned, and are to be punished…”

Also part of the Intolerable Acts was the Administration of Justice Act, which said British officials could not be tried for crimes in colonial courts. They would be taken back to Britain for trial. This stripped the colonists of power over the officials sent to them by Britian. Even if the officials murdered colonists, the Americans couldn’t take them to trial.

   The Quebec Act was also passed during this time, extending the boundary of Quebec into the Ohio Valley, and thus shutting off expansion by the 13 colonies south of Quebec. It recognized the Roman Catholic Church as the established church in Quebec, which many of the predominantly Protestant colonists took as an affront. Direct rule for Quebec was a further insult to the other colonies, to which it was denied.

Up and down the Atlantic coast, British colonists in America were fighting mad.
 

Thanks for stopping by! Today I’m giving away three copies of my new novella, Revolution at Barncastle Inn. Modern day folks get a glimpse of what the Quartering Act meant to the colonists when “redcoats” are quartered at their hotel. Add a little romance, faith, and fun. Comment below with your email contact info to enter. This e-book can be downloaded to your Kindle, Nook, computer, or other reading device.

 

38 comments:

  1. Wow I didn't know any of this but no wonder the colonists were mad I would be too. Thanks so much for sharing and I would love to read your new ebook.
    ausjenny at gmail dot com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Jenny! Nice to see we have an "Aussie" reading about our history. You're entered!

      Delete
    2. Oh I love American History. I am coming to America in less than 2 weeks and doing a tour, historical highlights including Valley Forge, Harpers Crossing and Gettysburg, also the liberty bell. I am so excited to see these sites and learn more. Also my friend lives near Chattanooga and a battle field there.
      I am so excited. I love learning about your history.

      Delete
    3. I never got a chance to study history at school but always was fascinated in it. I would have loved to have study both Australian and American history. The Civil war always fascinates me but so does this war. Thanks to great authors like Gilbert Morris who has written great series on both wars and more recently MaryLu Tyndall with the 1812 (did I get the date right) war I have learnt so much about both wars.

      Delete
    4. Yes, you got it right. We fought the British again in 1812-1814.

      Delete
  2. Great reminder of how the stage was set for the Revolution. Thanks for a chance to win one of your awesome books!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Merry! I actually was history-nutty enough in college to take an entire course on the American Revolution, and I still have the big, fat textbook. Good to see you here. Your name is going in the drawing.

      Delete
  3. Excellent information, Susan. Now I want to research further into New York state in 1765! I am hooked. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I didn't know about much of this. Thanks for the fascinating information! I can understand better why the American Revolution took place.

    ReplyDelete
  5. How fun to read a little more of this. One of my sons studied this recently and i couldn't keep my nose out of the book. LOL. Fun post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kathleen, Vickie, and Debbie Lynne! It really was in intriguing time in our history. I have been writing more about the West recently, but I also love the colonial period, and my new novella was a lot of fun. It's a contemporary, but the people are re-enacting some of these colonial events. Not deep historically, but a reminder of how good we have it now.

      Delete
  6. As our freedoms slip further and further in America, I find myself thankful that they have not reached the point the colonists suffered. We are still blessed to live in the most free country on earth, thanks to those who fought to attain those freedoms, and to keep them!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I absolutely agree, Bethany. It's good to review those things now and then and give thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That was interesting information some of which I had forgotten about. I love your books and hope I win this one.

    deamundy(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Deanna! I've just been reading some of the other posts on this blog and furthering my education. What a great variety of historical topics we've had this month!

      Delete
  9. I think I learn more here (with all you wonderful authors) than I ever had in school! :) Thank you for that history lesson. I loved reading it.
    Susan
    farmygirl at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. You are making OUR history come alive! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you, Susan and Jan! We are having a ball doing this.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for the entertaining history lesson, Susan.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I remember learning about the Quartering Act, but I had never heard of the Quebec Act. The colonial period is one of my favorite's to read about (probably thanks to the American Girl series and "Liberty's Kids" tv show I loved reading and watching as a girl). =)

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    jafuchi7[at]Hawaii[dot]edu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, now I feel really old! My KIDS watched Liberty's Kids. It was a good show, though, and I'm glad it helped you love history. Thanks!

      Delete
  14. It's great to read about our history again. I had history in school and took some American history classes in college, but it's wonderful to be reminded. Thank you!
    barbmaci61@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ooh, sounds great! Learned a lot about this time period through books and TV shows as a kid. thanks! kristia4(at)hawaii(dot)edu

    ReplyDelete
  16. Very nice post about the Intolerable Acts. I'm a DAR member and love this time period. My great-great+ grandfather fought in the revolution as did my great+ uncle. I visited their graves a few years ago in Pennsylvania and left them a note in a jar. It was quite an experience to do that and felt like I was back in time with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also belong to the DAR, Karla. Thanks for coming by. My Patriot ancestors were in Maine and Massachusetts. It's easy to forget what they went through.

      Delete
  17. I love historical fiction and reading about things makes you feel so connected.
    Looking forward to reading this .
    Blessings
    Linda Finn
    faithfulacres7@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. That is so interesting...thanks for the reminder!

    truckreford(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Interesting details I didn't know. Would love to read your book.

    mcline(at)vistabeam(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Interesting info I didn't know about the past - I'm thinking that maybe some of the problems we face as modern-day citizens aren't big as we think they are!

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. You may be right, Bonnie. Sometimes it helps to put things in perspective. As George Santayana said, Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. But then, Henry Ford said, History is more or less bunk. Henry was a great guy, but I agree with George.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is most interesting! I would love the opportunity to read this book.

    bettimace(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Loved reading this post. Thank you.
    godblessamerica.jan(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hmmm...interesting. Would like the opportunity to read your book.
    God bless
    debsbunch5[at]jesusanswers[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks, everyone who took part. Today's winners are: Jenny, Deanna, and Bonnie. I will email you individually. Also, SURPRISE: I am taking part in another giveaway that will be drawn at the end of the month. Anyone who commented here and left their contact info is entered in that random drawing as well. May the best reader win!

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a great post - so interesting.

    truckredford(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. This era of history is always so fascinating to hear about. Thanks for the awesome post!!

    ReplyDelete