Massachusetts Government Act

From Academic Kids

The Massachusetts Government Act, passed by the British Parliament and becoming law on 20 May 1774 is one of the measures (variously called the Intolerable Acts, the Punitive Acts or the Coercive Acts) that were designed to secure Britain's jurisdiction over her American dominions.

The act did away with elections for the councilors and assistants in the Massachusetts' Bay Colony, making the positions appointive, the appointments to be made by "his Majesty's commission, under the great seal of Great Britain", the positions to be held "during the pleasure of his Majesty".

It also provided that his Majesty's governor would appoint "all judges of the inferior courts of common pleas, commissioners of Oyer and Terminer, the attorney general, provosts, marshals, justices of the peace, and other officers to the council or courts of justice belong", and "every vacancy of the offices of chief justice and judges of the superior court of the said province, from and after July 1, 1774".

It also provided that the meetings of freeholders and inhabitants (which were the effective local government of the Colony), except for an annual meeting to choose selectmen in March or May, and meetings filling selectmen's positions that might become vacant, would henceforth require the permission of the governor in writing, with no matter to be discussed that had not the governor's approval.

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