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1774 Boston Port Act: The First of: Intolerable Acts

Intolerable Acts

Published by William Strahan, London (1774)

Used First Edition

Quantity Available: 1

From: Gordon Hopkins Americana (Yardley, PA, U.S.A.)

Bookseller Rating: 5-star rating

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Item Description: William Strahan, London, 1774. Book Condition: Excellent. First Edition. The first law passed by the British government in response to the Boston Tea Party, was the punishing Boston Port Act, on March 31, 1774. It begins: "An Act to discontinue, in such Manner, and for such Time as are therein mentioned, the landing and discharging, lading or shipping, of Goods, Wares, and Merchandise, at the Town, and within the Harbour, of Boston, in the Province of Massachusetts Bay in North America." The entire Act is printed in a bold black-letter font. With title page, and comprises p-515 - 522; complete. (pp517 and 520 misnumbered 417 and 420 respectively) A most historic Act.and marked a point of no return for the coming conflict. Size: Folio - over 12" - 15" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000958

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Item Description: London. March 31 - June 22, 1774., 1774. Five works bound in one volume, as detailed below. Folio. Antique-style three-quarter calf and contemporary marbled boards. Internally clean. Near fine. The Boston Tea Party of Dec. 16, 1773 unified both the protesting colonists in America and the forces of reaction in Great Britain in their respective positions. News of it arrived in London in January 1774. From the point of view of the English government of Lord North, which commanded a firm majority in Parliament, the Tea Party represented an outrageous act of defiance which must be quashed. As soon as news arrived in London, legislation was prepared to punish the defiant colonists and bring the colonies, especially Massachusetts, firmly to heel. Their goal was to punish Massachusetts for the Tea Party and extend direct Royal control at the expense of popular liberty. Between March 31 and June 22, 1774 five acts were passed which became known collectively as the Coercive or Intolerable Acts. As news of each reached America, with troops to enforce them, a new spirit of defiance was kindled. 1) The first law passed, on March 31, was the Boston Port Act: ANNO REGNI GEORGII III. DECIMO QUARTO. CAP. XIX. AN ACT TO DISCONTINUE, IN SUCH MANNER, AND FOR SUCH TIME AS ARE THEREIN MENTIONED, THE LANDING AND DISCHARGING, LADING OR SHIPPING, OF GOODS, WARES, AND MERCHANDISE AT THE TOWN, AND WITHIN THE HARBOUR, OF BOSTON, IN THE PROVINCE OF MASSACHUSET'S BAY, IN NORTH AMERICA. London: Charles Eyre & William Strahan, 1774. Caption title, pp.515-522 (pp.517 and 520 misnumbered 417 and 420). The Port Act closed the port of Boston to all shipping, strangling its commerce. This was particularly aimed at the merchants, such as John Hancock, who were seen as the ringleaders of the dissent. For a city such as Boston, which lived on maritime trade, it was a crippling blow. The Port was to remain closed until the East India Company was reimbursed for the tea that had been destroyed in the Tea Party. 2) The Administration of Justice Act: ANNO REGNI GEORGII III. DECIMO QUARTO. CAP. XXXIX. AN ACT FOR THE IMPARTIAL ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE IN THE CASES OF PERSONS QUESTIONED FOR ANY ACTS DONE BY THEM IN THE EXECUTION OF THE LAW, FOR THE SUPPRESSION OF RIOTS AND TUMULTS, IN THE PROVINCE OF MASSACHUSET'S BAY, IN NEW ENGLAND. London: Charles Eyre & William Strahan, 1774. Caption title, pp.991-998. The Administration of Justice Act was passed on May 20, 1774. Its provisions were, if anything, more frightening than the Port Act. The Act allowed those charged with crimes in Massachusetts to be sent to England for trial, away from sympathetic local juries and into a legal mechanism easily manipulated by the British Administration. Implicitly it threatened leaders of the colonists with facing treason charges under hostile circumstances. 3) The Massachusetts Government Act: ANNO REGNI GEORGII III. DECIMO QUARTO. CAP. XLV. AN ACT FOR THE BETTER REGULATING THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PROVINCE OF MASSACHUSET'S BAY, IN NEW ENGLAND. London: Charles Eyre & William Strahan, 1774. Caption title, pp.1047-1062. Also passed on May 20, the Massachusetts Government Act altered the Charter of the colony, providing that the King, not the Governor, appoint Council members, and stipulating that town meetings could only occur annually and to discuss local matters. The goal of the Act was to take away any local control of the government of the colony and allow any large meetings to be broken up as riotous assemblies. 4) The Quartering Act: ANNO REGNI GEORGII III. DECIMO QUARTO. CAP. LIV. AN ACT FOR THE BETTER PROVIDING SUITABLE QUARTERS FOR OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS IN HIS MAJESTY'S SERVICE IN NORTH AMERICA. London: Charles Eyre & William Strahan, 1774. Caption title, pp.1251-1252. The Quartering Act, passed June 2, 1774, was the final legislation aimed specifically at Massachusetts. It allowed for the lodging and billeting of British soldiers with families and on private property. This shifted some of the cost of maintaining an army in t. Bookseller Inventory # WRCAM 47209

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