The Coercive Acts - sometimes called the "Intolerable Acts" - were a series of laws passed by British Parliament in response to the Boston Tea Party. Among other things, these laws replaced the elected Massachusetts Legislature with an appointed one, and closed Boston Harbour until the East India Company was reimbursed for the tea - which, let's be honest, was never going to happen. The Acts were a major blow against Massachusetts' economy and self-government.

The acts got their name because British Parliament hoped that the crackdown would 'coerce' the citizenry into behaving like good little Colonists, and stop the violent protests - lest the same thing happen to them. Unfortunately, the acts had the opposite effect - it made it easier for Whigs to argue for independence, and difficult for the Loyalists to argue that Parliament had their best interests at heart.

It seems nobody likes a bully.

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