October 20

This Day in History

American Revolution

Oct 20, 1774:

Congress creates the Continental Association

On this day in 1774, the First Continental Congress creates the Continental Association, which calls for a complete ban on all trade between America and Great Britain of all goods, wares or merchandise.

The creation of the association was in response to the Coercive Acts—or "Intolerable Acts" as they were known to the colonists--which were established by the British government to restore order in Massachusetts following the Boston Tea Party.

The Intolerable Acts were a set of four acts: The first was the Boston Port Act, which closed the port of Boston to all colonists until damages from the Boston Tea Party were paid. The second, the Massachusetts Government Act, gave the British government total control of town meetings, taking all decisions out of the hands of the colonists. The third, the Administration of Justice Act, made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in America and the fourth, the Quartering Act, required colonists to house and quarter British troops on demand, including in private homes as a last resort.

Outraged by the new laws mandated by the British Parliament, the Continental Association hoped that cutting off all trade with Great Britain would cause enough economic hardship there that the Intolerable Acts would be repealed. It was one of the first acts of Congress behind which every colony firmly stood.

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