28
Mar
09

On This Day, March 28: The Coercive Acts

March 28, 1774

British Parliament adopts the Coercive Acts

Upset by the Boston Tea Party and other blatant acts of destruction of British property by American colonists, the British Parliament enacts the Coercive Acts, to the outrage of American Patriots, on this day in 1774.

The Coercive Acts were a series of four acts established by the British government. The aim of the legislation was to restore order in Massachusetts and punish Bostonians for their “Tea Party,” in which members of the revolutionary-minded Sons of Liberty boarded three British tea ships in Boston Harbor and dumped 342 crates of tea—nearly $1 million worth in today’s money—into the water to protest the Tea Act.

Passed in response to the Americans’ disobedience, the Coercive Acts included:

“The Boston Port Act,” which closed the port of Boston until damages from the Boston Tea Party were paid.

“The Massachusetts Government Act,” which restricted Massachusetts; democratic town meetings and turned the governor’s council into an appointed body.

“The Administration of Justice Act,” which made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in Massachusetts.

“The Quartering Act,” which required colonists to house and quarter British troops on demand, including in their private homes as a last resort.

A fifth act, the Quebec Act, which extended freedom of worship to Catholics in Canada, as well as granting Canadians the continuation of their judicial system, was joined with the Coercive Acts in colonial parlance as one of the “Intolerable Acts,” as the mainly Protestant colonists did not look kindly on the ability of Catholics to worship freely on their borders.

More important than the acts themselves was the colonists’ response to the legislation. Parliament hoped that the acts would cut Boston and New England off from the rest of the colonies and prevent unified resistance to British rule. They expected the rest of the colonies to abandon Bostonians to British martial law. Instead, other colonies rushed to the city’s defense, sending supplies and forming their own Provincial Congresses to discuss British misrule and mobilize resistance to the crown. In September 1774, the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and began orchestrating a united resistance to British rule in America.

“British Parliament adopts the Coercive Acts.” 2009. The History Channel website. 28 Mar 2009, 05:56 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=324.

 

On This Day

1834 – The U.S. Senate voted to censure President Jackson for the removal of federal deposits from the Bank of the United States.

1865 – Outdoor advertising legislation was enacted in New York. The law banned “painting on stones, rocks and trees.”

1898 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a child born in the U.S. to Chinese immigrants was a U.S. citizen. This meant that they could not be deported under the Chinese Exclusion Act.

1917 – During World War I the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was founded.

1921 – U.S. President Warren Harding named William Howard Taft as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.

1933 – In Germany, the Nazis ordered a ban on all Jews in businesses, professions and schools.

1938 – In Italy, psychiatrists demonstrated the use of electric-shock therapy for treatment of certain mental illnesses.

1939 – The Spanish Civil War ended as Madrid fell to Francisco Franco.

1941 – The Italian fleet was defeated by the British at the Battle of Matapan.

1945 – Germany launched the last of the V-2 rockets against England.

1968 – The U.S. lost its first F-111 aircraft in Vietnam when it vanished while on a combat mission. North Vietnam claimed that they had shot it down.

1979 – A major accident occurred at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. A nuclear power reactor overheated and suffered a partial meltdown.

1990 – Jesse Owens received the Congressional Gold Medal from U.S. President George Bush.

 

March 28, 1776

De Anza founds San Francisco

Juan Bautista de Anza, one of the great western pathfinders of the 18th century, arrives at the future site of San Francisco with 247 colonists.

Though little known among Americans because of his Spanish origins, Anza’s accomplishments as a western trailblazer merit comparison with those of Lewis and Clark, John Fremont, and Kit Carson. Born and raised in Mexico, Anza joined the army when he was 17 and became a captain seven years later. He excelled as a military leader, displaying tactical genius in numerous battles with the Apache Indians.

In 1772, Anza made his first major exploratory mission, leading an arduous but successful expedition northwest to the Pacific Coast. Anza’s expedition established the first successful overland connections between the Mexican State of Sonora and northern California. Impressed by this accomplishment, the Mexican viceroy commissioned Anza to return to California and establish a permanent settlement along the Pacific Coast at San Francisco Bay.

Although seagoing Spanish explorers had sailed along the northern California coast during the 16th and 17th centuries, the amazing natural harbor of San Francisco Bay was only discovered in 1769. The Spanish immediately recognized the strategic importance of the bay, though it would be seven years before they finally dispatched Anza to establish a claim there.

Anza and 247 colonists arrived at the future site of San Francisco on this day in 1776. Anza established a presidio, or military fort, on the tip of the San Francisco peninsula. Six months later, a Spanish Franciscan priest founded a mission near the presidio that he named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi-in Spanish, San Francisco de Asiacutes.

The most northerly outpost of the Spanish Empire in America, San Francisco remained an isolated and quiet settlement for more than half a century after Anza founded the first settlement. It was not until the 1830s that an expansionist United States began to realize the commercial potential of the magnificent natural harbor. In the wake of the Mexican War, the U.S. took possession of California in 1848, though San Francisco was still only a small town of 900 at that time. With the discovery of gold that year at Sutter’s Fort, however, San Francisco boomed. By 1852, San Francisco was home to more than 36,000 people.

The founder of San Francisco did not live to see it flourish. After establishing the San Francisco presidio, Anza returned to Mexico. In 1777, he was appointed governor of New Mexico, where he eventually negotiated a critical peace treaty with Commanche Indians, who agreed to join the Spanish in making war on the Apache. In declining health, Anza retired as governor in 1786 and returned to Sonora. He died two years later, still only in his early 50s and remembered as one of greatest trailblazers and soldiers in Spain’s northern borderlands.

“De Anza founds San Francisco.” 2009. The History Channel website. 28 Mar 2009, 05:59 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4472.

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