38 Quartering Acts Facts For Kids: Simplified British History | Kidadl


38 Quartering Acts Facts For Kids: Simplified British History

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

The Quartering Acts were a series of laws passed by the British Parliament that required American colonists to house British soldiers and make arrangements to feed, provide utensils, and supply other essentials. The colonists were expected to do this without any compensation.

This act further added fuel to the fire in the hearts of many American colonists. There was a raging resentment against British forces. The act contributed to a chain of events that culminated in the American Revolution.

Let's learn more about the history behind this act!

What were the Quartering Acts?

The Quartering Acts were passed separately, once in 1765 and again in 1774, as British Parliament sought to solve the British soldiers' housing problem. These acts were a part of a series of traditional acts known as the Mutiny Act. In 1763, Great Britain spent a lot of its power and resources to gain supremacy over its arch-rival, France. As a result, a large number of British soldiers were recruited to strengthen the British army and win the battles fought in America.

  • In 1763, Great Britain fought alongside Native Americans in the French and the Indian war, British soldiers successfully won two of the most important battles that shaped America's history. Unfortunately, they were unaware of the consequences of this war.
  • The British government had drained a huge amount of their wealth in conquering their enemies. Their debts amounted to a whopping sum of £122 million.
  • To protect the border of the American colonies, additional British officers and soldiers had to be sent.
  • To maintain their position, Great Britain needed more British officers in America. This meant that British soldiers needed more provisions to maintain themselves, and that meant more tax needed to be collected from the colonial governments.
  • One of the major issues that the British Parliament faced was not the recruitment of British soldiers but, housing them, in America.
  • To solve this problem, the Quartering Act was created.
  • According to the Quartering Act, it was the responsibility of American colonists to provide barracks for the soldiers. It was also stated that in the event of a shortage of barracks, Americans should house soldiers in local inns, houses not occupied by many people, ale houses, barns, and so on. If all options were exhausted, then private homes would be the last resort.
  • Americans were also required to make arrangements for food, utensils, and transportation without any compensation. Parliament declared that these arrangements had to be made as the British soldiers fought wars on behalf of the American colonists.
  • The Provisional Assembly of New York City refused to comply with the provisions of the Quartering Act which led to the resistance of colonial authorities against the Crown.

What was the purpose of Quartering Acts?

The British government had lost a huge amount of its resources while fighting two historic battles in the French and the Indian war. Even after winning those battles, they had to recruit more soldiers to supplement their standing army. They did this to protect the vast area of North American territories.

  • To solve the issue of their financial needs, Parliament implemented heavy taxes on American colonists through a series of laws. The Quartering Act was one of them.
  • As a new strategy to collect taxes, the British Parliament did not tax Americans directly instead, they demanded food and private homes for their soldiers to cut down on expenditure.
  • In 1765, the Stamp Act was introduced. It was yet another infamous act that levied taxes on printed materials.
  • The Provincial Assembly of New York felt that the act was unfair because they were being taxed without their consent. The only state to comply with the Quartering Act was Pennsylvania.
  • After the Boston Tea Party, the second Quartering Act was passed in 1774, introducing a new provision.
A young adult man in knightly armor rides a horse

Did the Quartering Acts create many problems?

Some of the provisions in the Quartering Act, articulated by the British Parliament, were seen as harsh and unfair to American colonists. They were already paying large sums on the taxes levied by the British Parliament. They already felt the inequality of the situation and still had to provide free lodging to British soldiers.

  • Stationing British soldiers during peacetime piqued the suspicion of American colonists who felt that the British Parliament could use their soldiers against them.
  • When the Colonial Assembly of New York refused to comply with the provisions of the Quartering Act, the British soldiers and the colonials got into a skirmish which resulted in injuries.
  • The Townshend Acts were passed by British Parliament in 1767, with the help of the Quartering Act.
  • The Townshend Acts levied a tax on goods such as tea, paper, glass, and other items of importance. The episode led to further resentment of the British rules. The Americans felt that without representation, it was an exploitation of power.
  • The main purpose of the Quartering Act was to exercise strong control over the American colonies.
  • Another outcome of the Quartering Act was that the act violated the American colonists' rights to refuse to accommodate the soldiers in their personal property. The rights of the colonists were introduced by the English Bill of Rights in 1689.
  • Americans held strong opinions against these taxes and objected to them with the slogan 'No Taxation Without Representation'.
  • The act coupled with other laws led to the start of the American Revolution.

What led to the Quartering Act?

The Quartering Act was introduced two times in America, first in the year 1765 and then in 1774. However, when it was reintroduced it was accompanied by three more acts.

  • These three acts were the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Act, and the Administration of Justice Act. All these acts appeared to be hegemonic as the acts violated the natural and constitutional rights of the Americans. These acts were accompanied by Quebec Act.
  • Soon after the French War, the British parliament shifted its attention towards American colonies.
  • To secure and strengthen the boundaries of the British empire from invaders' attacks, British soldiers need to be shifted to the American colonies.
  • The Quartering Act was passed to solve the problems of accommodating large numbers of British troops sent to the American colonies.
  • American colonies had to make arrangements to provide barracks and houses to the soldiers. In the event of a shortage of space, Americans were required to house British soldiers in the local inns, inhabitant houses, ale houses, barns, and so on.
  • Americans found some of the provisions of the Quartering Act and the other Acts, especially the provisions to collect taxes, unfair and started to protest them.
  • Great Britain's need to have a stronghold over the American colonies led to differences of opinion that led to conflict between both governments.
  • The British believed that wars were fought on behalf of the colonies therefore, the colonists should also contribute, in the form of taxes.
  • Americans believed that they had already made their contribution in past years and suffered huge losses, even though they didn't owe anything to the British Crown.
  • Moreover, the Americans didn't want to follow British laws due to fear that British Parliament would take away their autonomy.
  • On March 5, 1770, during the protest of the Quartering Act in Boston, an incident took place between British soldiers and colonists. Many people were injured and five people lost their lives.
  • These protests further laid the foundation of the Boston Tea Party. On December 1773, rebels dumped around 340 chests of tea into the Boston harbor. This came to be known as the Boston Tea Party.
  • British Parliament tried to implement more laws to increase their tax collection as this was the only way to overcome the losses. They introduced Sugar Act in 1764 and again in 1765. Then they introduced the Stamp Act, which forced colonies to pay even more taxes to the government.
  • These taxes only contributed to growing resentment. Eventually, the incident in Boston led to the start of the American Revolution.
  • Because of their provisions, the Quartering Act was known as the Coercive Act in Britain and the Intolerable Act in America.
  • The Quartering Act helped fuel the anger and resistance among the American colonists.
Written By
Joan Agie

<p>With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?