Teaching Students About the Intolerable Acts: Understanding Colonial Grievances

The Intolerable Acts were a series of laws passed by the British Parliament in response to the Boston Tea Party in 1773. These acts were designed to punish the colonists and to reaffirm British authority in America. These acts were seen as intolerable by the colonists and were a major factor in the outbreak of the American Revolution. Teaching students about the Intolerable Acts is an important part of American history education.

The first step in teaching students about the Intolerable Acts is to provide them with an overview of the events leading up to the acts. This includes the Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts and the Boston Tea Party. Students should understand the tension that existed between the British government and the colonists. They should also understand the economic and political reasons behind these acts.

When teaching about the Intolerable Acts, it is important to address the acts themselves and their impact on the colonies. The acts included the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, the Administration of Justice Act, and the Quartering Act. Students should understand the specific provisions of each act and how they affected the lives of colonists.

The Boston Port Act closed the port of Boston until the colonists paid for the tea they dumped in the harbor. The Massachusetts Government Act placed stricter controls on the colonial government, including the appointment of the governor rather than elected officials. The Administration of Justice Act allowed British soldiers accused of crimes to be tried in Britain rather than the colonies. The Quartering Act required colonists to house and provide for British soldiers.

Teaching students about the Intolerable Acts should also involve discussion of the colonial response. Colonists organized boycotts and protests in response to the acts. The First Continental Congress was also convened in response to the acts. Students should understand how these acts brought the colonists together and united them in their resistance to British rule.

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