MUTINY ACT. The Mutiny Act of 1765 was a routine parliamentary measure that included a provision for quartering of troops in the American colonies. This feature, like the Stamp Act, was designed to shift the burden of supporting British troops in America from British taxpayers to the colonists. It required provincial legislatures to provide barracks, fuel, and other necessities for soldiers stationed in their colonies. Colonial Whigs feared that the Mutiny Act would pave the way for a standing army to enforce the Stamp Act, but after the repeal of the Stamp Act, colonists protested that the Mutiny Act violated the principle of no taxation without representation. Most colonies attempted to evade the act.
Edgar, Gregory T. Reluctant Break with Britain: From Stamp Act to Bunker Hill. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1997.
Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763–1789. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.
John C.Miller/s. b.
See alsoBilletting ; Coercive Acts ; Colonial Policy, British ; Parliament, British ; Quartering Act .
Before the Glorious Revolution
, James II had collected a large army on Hounslow Heath to intimidate London. The Bill of Rights
in 1689 declared that a standing army in peacetime was illegal without parliamentary consent and the procedure was adopted of passing an annual Mutiny Act which authorized the imposition of military discipline. The navy had been under statutory authority since 1661 and was less politically delicate since the fleet could hardly be used to threaten public liberties. In 1784 the Fox–North coalition toyed with the idea of rejecting the Mutiny Bill as a means of getting rid of William Pitt's
minority government, but flinched from so drastic an action. The system was reorganized by the Army Discipline and Regulation Act of 1879.
J. A. Cannon