1686 Mutiny Act

The Glorious Revolution - William and Mary

The Glorious Revolution - William and Mary

This article on the Mutiny Act in Colonial America provides fast facts and information about the effects of these laws and taxes. 

  • What was the 1689 Mutiny Act?
  • The Meaning and Definition of the Mutiny Act
  • The purpose of the Mutiny Act
  • The effect of the Mutiny Act
  • The Mutiny Act,  suitable as an educational Social Studies resource for schools and kids
Taxation in the Colonies
Quartering Acts of 1765 and 1774
American Colonies Index

History of the 13 Colonies and the laws & taxes that sparked rebellion against the British

The definition and purpose of the 1686 Mutiny Act and the cry of "No taxation without representation!"

Definition of the 1689 Mutiny Act
The Meaning and Definition of the Mutiny Act: The Mutiny Act was a British Law, passed by the Parliament of Great Britain 1689, following the Glorious Revolution. The Glorious Revolution was a blood-less coup in England which led to the overthrow of King James II in 1688 and the establishment of William and Mary as monarchs. The 1689 Mutiny Act was passed in response to the mutiny of a large portion of the army which stayed loyal to James II upon William III taking the crown of England.

Common law did not make mutiny a crime because it governed civilians but not military forces. Therefore no legal action could be taken to stop mutineers. The English Parliament reacted to this problem by passing the Mutiny Act of 1689. The Mutiny act made desertion, mutiny, and sedition of officers and soldiers crimes. Such crimes would be subject to a trial by court-martial and punishable by death.

The 1689 Mutiny Act also had clauses relating to the billeting of British troops in barracks and public houses in the American colonies - these clauses were extended in the Quartering Acts of 1765 and 1774 impacting the path of the American Revolution

 

British Troops - Boston Massacre

British Troops

 

The Mutiny Act, the Bill of Rights & the American Colonies
The Glorious Revolution led to the 1689 English Bill of Rights and the 1689 Mutiny Act. The Glorious Revolution abolished absolutism and established a constitutional monarchy in England in which parliament had basic sovereignty over the king. There were two clauses in the 1689 Bill of Rights that were very important to the American colonies. The first was that taxation raised through anything else other than Parliament was banned - this stopped any monarchs imposing taxes without the consent of Parliament. The second clause banned any standing army being raised during peacetime without Parliament’s consent. The Bill of Rights was followed by the 1689 Mutiny Act which limited the maintenance of a standing army during peacetime to one year.

Mutiny Act - The Mutiny Act, Maintaining a Standing Army
The Mutiny Act was primarily designed to halt mutiny and desertion from the British army. The Mutiny Act was a law passed in March 1689 which granted the King power to enforce martial law, in other words, to maintain a standing army, for one year at a time, and no longer. The Mutiny Act in 1689 limited the maintenance of a standing army during peacetime to one year. The Mutiny Act was therefore reviewed, and subsequently renewed, each year by the British Parliament.  The Act also included provisions for the payment of the army and their quarters. The Mutiny Act gave Great Britain the right to quarter troops in barracks and public houses in the American colonies.

  

Colonial America - The Land of the Brave

  

Mutiny Acts - Annual Renewal
The Bill of Rights prohibited the existence of a standing army during peacetime without the consent of Parliament. In order to ensure this clause in the Bill of Rights was followed the content of the Mutiny Act was expressly limited to one year's duration. As a result, Parliament was asked annually to approve a new Mutiny Act for the coming year. The Mutiny Act was therefore reviewed and renewed on a yearly basis. An example of the wording that reflected this was as follows:

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid
that this act, and everything herein contained, shall
continue and be in force in all His Majesty's dominions in
North America, until [review date is then quoted]

The Mutiny Act leads to the Quartering Acts
The Quartering Acts of 1765 and 1774 were amendments / additions to the 1689 Mutiny Act requiring additional quartering requirements for British troops in the American Colonies following the passing of the unpopular Townshend Acts which set new import taxes on British goods which led to the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party.

Mutiny Act - British Laws and Taxes
Discover interesting  facts and information about the Taxes in the 13 Colonies, which were imposed on the colonists of Colonial America by the British government via parliament.

 

Mutiny Act

  • Meaning and Definition of the Mutiny Act
  • History of the Mutiny Act of 1689
  • Fast Facts and info about Mutiny Act
  • The Mutiny Act article is a great history resource for kids
  • Social Studies Homework help for kids on the Mutiny Act of 1689

Colonial America - The Land of the Brave

 

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