England and France had warred against each other centuries when that war spilled over into the American colonies. In the early 1750s, the French began to make headway settling into the Ohio river valley area, but this didn’t sit well with the British who felt that they had claim to all of the western frontier at the time.
In 1754 and 1755, skirmishes occurred between the British and French in the Ohio area. In one of those skirmishes, a young British officer by the name of George Washington was soundly defeated by the French.
In 1756, the British formally declared war against the French. It was easy for the French to befriend the local Indian tribes, since they also hated the British. For the next seven years, the British fought against the French and Indians until a peace accord was reached in 1763. Terms of the peace accord meant that France gave Canada over to the British but were allowed to maintain control of their sugar producing islands in the West Indies. Spain gave control of Florida over to the British in exchange for receiving control of the Louisiana Territory.
When the French and Indian War ended, Great Britain kept most of their military forces in the colonies, but needed to find a way to provide for them. They tried raising money to pay for the maintenance of their troops with the Sugar Act and Stamp Act, both of which created a lot of unrest among patriotic colonists.
On the day, March 24, 1765, the British Parliament passed the Quartering Act. This act required the colonists to provide free room and board for all British troops. Housing the troops entailed barracks, inns, livery stables, victualling houses (victualling houses were places where food and other supplies were stored) and stores that sold wine. Basically, any public building, if needed, would be opened up to house the British soldiers. If there were insufficient places to house them, the colonists were required to do whatever necessary to provide quartering including constructing buildings or opening up their private homes.
Although the Quartering Act was passed on March 24, it wasn’t official until King George III put his royal stamp on the act on May, 15, 1765. By time the king approved the act, word had already reached the colonies and angered many patriotic colonists.
The reactions of the colonists and resulting conflicts will be discussed on May 15, the anniversary of the enactment of the Quartering Act.
Sources for the above includes: The Quartering Act; Quartering Act Facts; Parliament passes the Quartering Act; Parliament imposes Quartering Act on Colonies, March 24, 1765; Quartering Act; French and Indian War.