The Prohibitory Act was passed by Great Britain in 1775 as a response to the American colonies' creation of a Continental Army. This act left the colonies without protection from Great Britain, banned trade with them and allowed the seizure of any colonial ship for any reason.
The act further damaged the relations between the colonies and Britain. In a response to the act, the Continental Congress gave American privateers the authority to arm their ships and act as a supplemental force to the Continental Navy. Ironically, when the act was passed, the conservative members of the Continental Congress were working to soothe the tensions with Britain.