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02 June, Renewal of the Quartering Act



This Day in History: Renewal of the Quartering Act

On this day in 1774, the British Parliament renews the Quartering Act.
The original Quartering Act was passed on March 24 1765, which outlined the locations and condition which British soldiers would room and board in the American colonies. Which established that the localities were to accommodate the soldiers in local inns, livery stables, ale houses, victuallying houses, and the houses of sellers of wine. Not so much in their private housing in action.
The original act read:

"Should there still be soldiers without accommodations after all such publick houses were filled, the colonies were then required to take, hire and make fit for the reception of his Majesty's forces, such and so many uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings as shall be necessary".


For obvious reasons, the Colonist were not to happy with this idea of being commanded to provide quarter to the British troops without consent. And thus, they refused to comply. Which led to additional acts being drafted, such as the New York Restraining Act of 1767. This act not directly impacted the colonist, but did impact the governor of New York limiting his power of legislation until the Colonist were forced to comply, which lasted until 1769. Though the Governor convinced parliament that they had complied.
Meanwhile in Massachusetts, where barracks already existed on an island. With the local population already riled up by the Townshend Revenue Acts, the British officers chose to quarter their soldiers in public places and not in private homes. Which meant camping out in tents on the Boston Common. But, being in such proximity to the locals still led to street brawls and eventually the Boston Massacre of 1770.
Though this later Re-newel of the Quartering act on June 2 of 1774 was one of four other acts known as the Coercive Acts or also known as the Intolerable Acts in the eyes of the American colonies. Along with the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, and the Administration of Justice Act ( the Quebec Act is sometimes included). Though arguably the result of the Boston Tea Party which happened in December of 1773. Regardless the British Parliament quickly began passing these Coercive Acts After hearing about this destruction of British property.
This re-newel, also expanded the housing to include citizens private dwellings versus just being required to provide barracks. It also was an attempt to reassert British control over the colonies, as well as a means to punish them for the insurrection. Along with the other Coercive acts, which led to even more colonial resistance and eventually the meeting of the First Continental Congress to address the parliament as British citizens of the crown. Which as we all know changed from asking to be treated as equals, to telling the Crown that we shall govern our selves.
The Quartering Act is the reason behind the third amendment. Being held to house soldiers which were often done to act as spys among the colonist, especially during this time of upheaval. There was also the question by many on who would be required to pay for the living expenses of the soldiers which was never really addressed. Where the British going to pay for the food and board, or was it up to the private citizen to accommodate not only space but cost for housing of the soldiers.


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