What Are Some Facts About the Quartering Act?

The Quartering Act of 1765 made it obligatory for American colonies to house and feed British soldiers in various types of stipulated accommodation at the colonists' expense. After the Boston Tea Party, the Quartering Act was renewed in 1774 as part of the Coercive Acts passed by Parliament to punish the uncooperative colonists.

During the French and Indian War, British soldiers had seized accommodation in private homes by force. The Quartering Act of 1765 stated that the colonists should instead supply barracks for the soldiers, and in the absence of barracks soldier could lodge in inns, ale houses, stables, uninhabited houses, barns and other buildings. Most colonies refused to comply with the act. For instance, when 1,500 British troops arrived at New York City in 1776, they had to remain on board their ship because the New York Assembly would not house them.

The Quartering Act of 1774 did not require that soldiers be given provisions; it only required that they be provided with accommodation. It expanded the type of buildings that could be considered suitable quarters. The American colonists called the Coercive Acts the Intolerable Acts, and the passing of these measures, including the Quartering Act, by Parliament was one of the main reasons the colonists convened the First Continental Congress, which eventually led to the Revolutionary War and American independence.