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The Quartering Act was passed by the British Parliament. It was an extension of the 1686 Mutiny Act. The Act provided housing and provisions for British soldiers. However, the Provincial Assembly of New York refused to comply with the Act and to accommodate lodges for the British soldiers, resulting in the soldiers needing to remain on their ships. Failing to abide with the Act, the New York Parliament Assembly suspended the legislature until the Quartering Act expired on March 24, 1767.
See the fact file below for more information on the Quartering Act or alternatively, you can download our 19-page Quartering Act worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Quartering Acts Background
- The British national debt of £72 million had increased to almost £130 million during the French and Indian War.
- British officers, including the commander-in-chief of forces in British North America, Lieutenant-General Thomas Gage who fought in the French and Indian War, found it hard to convince the Colonial Assemblies to pay for the quartering and provisioning of troops on the march.
- To provide the troops with adequate food and shelter, Gage requested the Parliament find a solution.
- Following the victory of the British in the French and Indian War, British King George III issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763 intending to prohibit settlements from crossing west over the Appalachian Mountains wherein the Proclamation Line (massive boundary between the colonist and the native indians) required the manning of posts along the boundary of the Native Americans, in which, for the defence of the colonists, the British administration argued for the Quartering Act to be implemented.
- To pay the British national debt, the British administration needed a strong military presence to enforce new tax measures in the colonies, and the only act that would help them achieve this was the Quartering Act.
On March 24, 1765, the Quartering Act was passed by the British Parliament.
Quartering Acts 1765 Provisions
- To collect taxes from the colonists and to protect the borders of the colonies, the British sent an additional 40,000 troops to the colonies.
- The Americans provided the British soldiers with barracks and public houses.
- It further stated that if the soldiers outnumbered the barracks and the housing available, then they would have to accommodate the British soldiers in their local inns and provide them with their basic needs such as utensils, wines, liquors, food, candles, and bedding, all without compensation.
- And, if there were not enough inns available, soldiers could be housed in uninhibited houses, outbuildings, barns, and private homes.
American Colonists opposed
- In 1766, 1,500 British troops arrived in New York City. However, the New York Provincial Assembly refused to observe the Quartering Act and did not provide houses and accommodation for the British soldiers.
- The British soldiers had to remain on their ships.
- The New York Colonial Assembly felt that the Act violated the 1689 English Bill of Rights.
- To pay for the provisions, barracks, and food for the British soldiers, the colonists were being taxed without their consent, which they felt unfair.
- Some colonists suspected that the standing army might be used against them.
- Despite the colonist’s efforts and protests, the British soldiers used force to enter homes and inns.
- The New York Provincial Assembly remained defiant until 1771 when they finally allocated funds for the quartering of the British troops.
The Boston Massacre
- With the help of the Quartering Act, the Townshend Acts were passed by the British Parliament in 1767. It was named after Charles Townshend who sponsored them.
- The Townshend Act taxed goods (paper, paint, lead, glass, and tea) imported to the colonies. However, the colonies, who had no representation, felt it was an abuse of power.
- The Americans protested the new Act, which led to the civil unrest in the city. The British Government ordered the British redcoats to post in Boston.
- Due to the provisions of the Quartering Act, in March 5, 1770, on King Street in Boston, a street brawl occurred between the colonists and the British soldiers, throwing snowballs, stones, and sticks that quickly escalated to manslaughter.
- Eight people were wounded and five colonists were shot and killed (a black sailor named Crispus Attucks, ropemaker Samuel Gray, a mariner named James Caldwell, Samuel Maverick, and Patrick Carr) by the the British soldiers. The event was widely known as the “Boston Massacre”.
- The British soldiers were accused of manslaughter and murder. The two soldiers were found guilty for manslaughter while British Officer Captain Thomas Preston and his other men were released
The Boston Tea Party
- On December 16, 1773, at Griffin’s Wharf, members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawk Indians with their axes, smashed and dumped 340 chests (over 92,000 pounds) of British East India Company Tea into the Boston Harbor in a span of 3 hours.
- The Boston Tea Party directly led to American Revolution.
The Quartering Act of 1774
- On January 2, 1774, the British Parliament made an addition to the 1765 Quartering Act, in which the authority was in his Majesty’s service in North America for providing suitable quarters for officers and soldiers.
- This Act ensured that the Governor had control of Boston and not the American colonists.
Quartering Act of 1774 – The Intolerable Acts
- The Quartering Act of 1774 was a revival of the Quartering Act of 1765. In contrast to the previous Act, this was applied to all the colonies and not just Massachusetts.
- The revised law authorized billeting soldiers to occupy facilities, including private homes and allowing British officials to stand trial in Britain.
- The Intolerable Acts were made due to the Boston Massacre and punishment for the destruction wrought during the Boston Tea Party.
- It was made to avoid a repetition of the defiant actions taken by the Province of New York. Less than a year after the Quartering Act of 1774, the American Revolution erupted.
- It became one of the Intolerable Acts in the series of British Laws. The other British measures were the Administration of Justice Act, the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, and the Quebec Act.
- On October 14, 1774, the Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress was adopted.
- The American Revolution erupted following the Quartering Act of 1774.
Quartering Act Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Quartering Act across 19 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Quartering Act worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Quartering Act which was passed by the British Parliament.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- The Quartering Act Facts
- The Quartering Act
- Causes of Quartering Act
- Quartering Act Provisions
- Effects of Quartering Act
- Boston Massacre
- Tax Protest
- British soldier
- My Point of View
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Link will appear as Quartering Act Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 3, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
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