King George was furious when he heard about the Boston Tea Party. Enough was enough! Parliament passed even stricter laws to punish the colonists. British leaders hoped these laws would make the colonists back down. Their ideas didn’t work.
- The colonists called the strict laws “The Intolerable Acts.” Almost 1,000 people attended a protest in Connecticut. The town executioner read a copy of the Intolerable Acts aloud and then burned it.
- On June 1, 1774, British warships arrived in Boston Harbor, closing it to all ships. The colonists were worried. They made their living by fishing and trading on the sea. How would they get food and supplies into the city?
- But people all over colonial America sent horsedrawn carts full of barrels of corn, wheat, rice, and fish. Farmers brought sheep, cattle, and goats. A committee decided that men must work to get a portion of the food. One of the jobs they did was to pave the streets of Boston with pavers. Visit there and you might see some of the roads they laid.
- The people of Boston hated the redcoat soldiers and often fought with them.
- People across the colonies were ready for war. George Washington said he would raise 1,000 men, pay for their expenses himself and march as their leader.
- General Thomas Gage brought 4,000 redcoats to occupy Boston. He thought he would quickly defeat the colonists but he was wrong. He wrote in a letter, “If you think 10,000 men enough, send twenty; if a million is thought enough, give two.”
- Parliament: the law-making arm of the British government, similar to our House and Senate
- Intolerable: horrible, not to be tolerated
- Paver: a brick or stone used to pave roads
Questions and Answers
Question: Were the British soldiers well-trained?
Answer: Some of them were, but not all. And they were accustomed to the European style of war, which was orderly and structured. The colonists had learned from Native Americans to fight by hiding behind trees and ambushing troops. Additionally, many of the colonists were expert marksmen who had learned to use weapons hunting game on the frontier.
One farmer watched the British soldiers firing at a target. None of the soldiers could hit it. The farmer asked for a turn and hit the target every time. He said his young son could throw an apple in the air and shoot out the seeds as the apple was coming down.
Watch a video about the Intolerable Acts.
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Tobin, Declan. (2020). The Intolerable Acts – Revolutionary War. American History for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/after-the-boston-tea-party/