Boston Tea Party



Tea Issue

Tea Act of 1773

The ‘Sons of Liberty’

The Event

Aftermath; The Tea Party and the War:


The ‘Boston Tea Party’ (1,2) wasn’t actually a party, despite its name, (11) but was the culmination of (9) OR part of the resistance movement throughout British America against the Tea Act. (9,14) It and (Samuel Adams (9) and others for many years afterwards just called it “the Destruction of the Tea (9,11) in Boston”. (9)) It was a (1,2) violent (1,5) political (9) protest against (1,2) King George III (5,12) of England’s (1,5) OR the British government’s (10) rule in America, (1,2) resulting from (6) the financial problems the East India Company faced at the time (5,6) and the argument about the right of British Parliament to put taxes on colonies. (6,14)

Starting in the 1470s European countries had discovered the rest of the world. (7) Some of them took possession of the places they discovered. (7) They sent some of their people to control these places. (7) The places were called ‘colonies’ and the people were called ‘colonists’. (7) The British discovered and took possession of the east coast of the present United States. (7) They quarrelled with the Native Americans (whom they called ‘Indians’) and with the French, who were trying to take the same land. (7) The British beat the French in the Seven Years’ War. (7) The war was expensive, so (7,17) the British decided to tax the ‘colonists’ to pay for it. (6,7) but this quickly led to a souring in relations between colonists and mother country. (12)

During the mid-1700s, (5,13) royal ineptitude compounded the problems left over from the Seven Years’ War. (17) The British sought to regain control over the colonial governments that had become increasingly independent while the Crown was distracted by the war. (17) A series of actions including the Stamp Act (1765), the Townshend Duties (1767) and the Boston Massacre (1770) agitated the colonists, straining relations with the mother country. (17) The British parliament agreed to taxes such as (6,7) the Stamp Act of 1765 for this purpose, (6,11) The Act was intended by Parliament to provide the funds necessary to keep the peace between settlers and the Native American populations in the wilderness’ (12) It was loathed throughout the colonies. (12) While its repeal in Parliament a year later was applauded by Americans, the British Government quickly enacted other provisions designed to fulfill the same function. (12) Each was met with resistance in America. (12) The colonists did not have MPs in the British parliament which had passed the taxes. (6,7) They said that it was unconstitutional for the Parliament to put taxes on colonies that were not represented by elected officials in Britain. (6,7) They said “No taxation without representation.” (9,13) In what were known as the ‘Townshend Acts’(13,17) of 1767, (13,17) England levied many new taxes on the American colonists, (5,13) on various products imported into the British colonies (13) such as wine, paper, sugar (5) and tea. (4,5) They raised a storm of colonial protest and noncompliance (13,17) The colonists refused to pay the levies required by the Townsend Acts claiming, as with the Stamp Act, that they had no obligation to pay taxes imposed by a Parliament in which they had no representation. (17) In response, Parliament retracted the taxes (13,17) in 1770 (13) with the exception of a duty on tea – a demonstration of Parliament’s ability and right to tax the colonies. (13,17)

Tea was introduced into England from China in 1657. (17) The British East India Company (5,6) OR Trading Company (11) sold tea, (5,6) and controlled all tea trading between India and the British colonies; (8) tea was a major source of its income. (10) The merchants of Boston circumvented the act (13) by continuing to receive tea smuggled in by Dutch traders. (6,8) In 1773, (5) the Company was in financial difficulty. (5,6) It was suffering losses because smuggled Dutch tea was sold cheaper, (6,8) both in Britain itself and (6) in the colonies. (6,8) The smuggling left the (8) British East India Company with (8,11) large stocks of (8,15) unsold tea, (8,11) and the company was in danger of going out of business. (8,15) The British were determined to prevent this, (6,8) to preserve its valuable position in India. (14) They allowed the Company to continue operating (5,6) at reduced rates of tax (6) OR without having to pay any taxes or duties. (5) The colonies were told they could only buy tea from this one company. (10) To make up for the loss of money through the reduced duties paid by the Company, the British shifted the burden to the colonists who bought it in the form of a tea duty of three pence per pound. (6)

In an effort to force the colonists to buy their tea, (6,8) Prime Minister North and (8) the British parliament passed the Tea Act (6,8) on April 27th. (16) It received the Royal assent from King George III (16) on May (8,9) 10th, (9,16) 1773. (6,8) It was designed to aid the financially troubled East India Company (13,16) by granting it a monopoly on all tea exported to the colonies. (13,16) The tea sent to the colonies was to be carried only in East India Company ships and sold only through its own agents, (13) who would sell the tea directly to the colonists, (8,15) bypassing the independent colonial shippers and merchants. (8,13) The East India Company was exempted from having to pay (13,15) OR subject to a lower rate than (16) the existing (13,15) high (10) export tax, (13,15) of 3d/lb, (6) which was normally imposed on the colonial merchants, who had traditionally served as the middlemen in such transactions (15) and who would still have to pay it. (6) This tax had been imposed by the Tea Act to help raise extra money. (11,14) OR The law provided no new tax on tea. (15) The Company was allowed a “drawback” (refund) on duties owed on certain surplus quantities of tea in its possession. (13) The colonists felt that giving the East India Company a monopoly (5,13) was unfair. (5,10) Since the company could sell the tea at a less-than-usual price in either America or Britain; (13) it could undersell anyone else, (14) including the American merchants, (5,8) who had been selling the smuggled tea from Holland. (6,8) It was a clever move. (17) Tea was a favourite drink among the British and the colonies. (10,17) The British assumed (15,16) along with Lord North (15) that the colonists would (17) welcome the new law because it would reduce the price of tea to consumers (15,16) by removing the middlemen. (15) They would pay the tax rather than deny themselves the pleasure of a cheap cup of tea. (17) They would get their tea at a cheaper price than ever before, but if they colonies paid the duty tax on the imported tea they would be acknowledging Parliament’s right to tax them. (17)

The colonists were not fooled by Parliament’s ploy. (17) In spite of the lower price, (5,13) the perception of monopoly drove the normally conservative colonial merchants into an alliance with radicals led by Samuel Adams and his Sons of Liberty. (13) The colonial merchants were outraged, (16) because they now faced being replaced and bankrupted by a powerful monopoly. (15) The East India Company’s decision to grant franchises to certain American merchants for the sale of their tea created further resentments among those excluded from this lucrative trade. (15) The East India Company selected consignees in Boston, New York, Charleston, and Philadelphia, and 500,000 pounds of tea were shipped across the Atlantic in September. (14) There were unexpected protests from that cause, (1,5) because the British had not realized the power of the colonial merchants (16) nor the fact that the colonists would view this act as “taxation without representation.”(15,16) As with the Stamp Act, (6) and the Townshend Duties (17) the colonists argued that it was unconstitutional for the Parliament to levy taxes on colonies (6,8) inhabited by Englishmen (9) who were not represented by elected officials in Britain (6,8) as it would be the right of Englishmen to be. (9) The colonists viewed it this way because the Tea Act intentionally left in place a duty on tea that entered the colonies yet it removed the same duty on tea that entered England. (16) The colonists responded by boycotting tea. (15) Unlike earlier protests, this boycott mobilized large segments of the population. (15) Under pressure from Patriot groups, (14) various colonies made plans to prevent the East India Company from landing its cargoes in colonial ports. (15)

Dockworkers began refusing to unload the tea from ships (8,9) In three colonies apart from Massachusetts, (9) in such cities as New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, (13,14) colonists refused to buy the British tea. (5,8) Tea agents (13,15) were “persuaded” (15) to resign, and cancelled orders, and (13,15) merchants refused consignments. (13,14) New shipments of tea were be returned to England. (10,15) When the East India Company sent shipments of tea to Philadelphia and New York the ships were not allowed to land. (17) If not returned they might be warehoused, (15,17) as in Charleston where the tea-laden ships were permitted to dock but their cargo was confiscated. (17) It remained in a warehouse there for three years until it was sold by patriots in order to help finance the revolution. (17) These activities linked the colonies together in a common experience of mass popular protest. (15) Particularly important to the movement were the activities of colonial women, who were one of the principal consumers of tea and now became the leaders of the effort to the boycott. (15) The colonies once again demanded that the British government remove the tax on tea, (8) The stage of unrest had been set. (5)

In 1774, (6) after thirteen years of increasing British oppression (14) it seemed that there would be yet another year of taxes imposed without input from the colonies. (6) In Boston, unlike other cities, (14,15) the agents refused to resign (15) and the chosen merchants (14,15) (including two of (14) Royal (9,13) Governor of Massachusetts (9,10) Thomas Hutchinson’s (9,12) sons as well as his nephew)(14) refused demands to reject the British tea (14,15) regardless of opposition. (15) Four ships laden with tea set sail for Boston, (16) and preparations were made to land incoming cargoes. (15) In December, 1773 (1,5) the British sent three (3,4) OR four (16) ships loaded with tea (3,4) to Boston harbour (4,5) in Massachusetts. (11,12) The first tea ship, Dartmouth, reached Boston in late November (14,16) on November 27th. (14) The Americans could have the tea if they paid the tax on it. (7) Tension mounted as Samuel Adams and his Patriot groups tried to persuade the consignees and then the governor (14) to demand that the tea be sent back to England with the duty unpaid. (10,14) The embattled (9) Hutchinson (9,12) demanded that the tea be unloaded (8,13) and not returned to Britain. (9,13) He also demanded that the people pay the taxes and duty on tea. (8,13) ‘The Sons of Liberty’ (2,3) was a secret society of (11) American colonists (1,3) led by Samuel Adams, (2,10) who decided to send a clear message to Britain (6,7) that they wanted to fight (3,11) taxation by the British government (10,11) OR for American independence (3) Several (14) mass meetings were held in Boston. (10,14) On November 29th, Adams called for a meeting at Faneuil Hall to discuss the Tea Act. (16) However, so many people attended that the meeting was moved to the Old South Meeting House. (16) Adams introduced a resolution that would force the captain of the Dartmouth to return the unloaded ship to England without paying the requisite duty; under British law, if a ship didn’t unload and pay the import duties owed within twenty days the local customs officials were then able to appropriate the cargo. (16) In addition to the resolution at the meeting, approximately twenty-five men were assigned to stand watch and make certain that no tea was unloaded from the Dartmouth. (16) Although the resolution passed (as it had it Philadelphia and New York) Massachusetts’ Governor Thomas Hutchinson denied the Dartmouth permission to leave unless the duty was paid. (16) In the meantime two more ships, (14,16) the Eleanor (on December 2nd) and the Beaver (December 16th) also arrived in Boston Harbor loaded with East India Company tea. (14,16) (A fourth ship, the William was caught in a storm and ran aground off of Cape Cod. (16))

December 16th was the Dartmouth’s 20th day in port. (16) A large (10,16) meeting (10,14) organised by Samuel Adams, (10) took place early on 16th December (10,14) at the Old South (14,16) Church (14) OR Meeting House (16,17) in Boston. (14,16) Several (16,17) OR Seven (17) thousand (16,17) agitated (17) people (16,17) attended (16) OR milled about the wharf where the ships were docked. (17) The meeting was told of Hutchinson’s final refusal. (14,16) The people at the meeting were angry (4,7) and frustrated (4) at Hutchinson’s attitude to (14) the new tax on tea. (4,5) They resolved that the tea ships should leave the harbour without payment of any duty. (17) A committee was selected to take this message to the Customs House to force release of the ships out of the harbour. (17) The Collector of Customs (17) OR the Governor (16) refused to allow the ships to leave without payment of the duty. (17) Stalemate. (17) The committee reported back to the mass meeting and a howl erupted from the hall. (17) Upon learning that the Governor was still refusing to let the ships leave, (16) Adams is reported to have announced that “This meeting can do nothing further to save the country.” (16) Many believe this was a pre-arranged signal to the Sons of Liberty to start the tea party. (16) Having failed to turn back the three ships in the harbour, Samuel Adams now staged a spectacular drama. (15) ) OR No one is quite sure if Samuel Adams planned the destruction of the tea or if a bunch of people just got mad and went and did it unplanned. (10) Samuel Adams did later say that it was the act of people defending their rights and not the act of an angry mob.” (10)


It was now early evening (17) and people immediately began to leave the Old South Meeting House to prepare for what would become known as the ‘Boston Tea Party’. (16) The patriots planned to show the British (2,7) Parliament (2) how they felt (2,7) about the Tea Act, (2,6) by throwing the tea into the ocean. (10 In defiance of the Tea Act, (6,7) on (1,2) the evening (8,15) OR night of (3,5) OR at about midnight on, (14) December 16th, 1773, (1,2) encouraged (13) OR watched by a large crowd (13,14) of Bostonians, (13) Samuel Adams and (14) about 60 (13) OR about 100 OR 150 (5,15) OR about 200, (17) male (5,8) colonists, (1,2) in a large (16) group of (5,8) OR in three companies (15,17) of fifty men each, (15) and calling themselves the “Sons of Liberty” (8,11) disguised themselves (4,10) or some of them disguised themselves (17) by dressing up (2,6) in blankets and (13) painting their faces and (11) wearing full feathered (2) Indian headdresses, (2,13) OR with a couple of feathers in their hair to look a bit like Indians, OR Mohawk (4,5) Native Americans (3,4) (Picture 1 has ‘couple of feathers; Picture 2 has ‘full feathered headdresses’). (2) These demonstrators, (6,13) assembled on a nearby hill from which, whooping war chants, they (17) marched (13,17) in order, two-by-two (17) to Griffin’s (13,17) wharf, (13,17) and boarded, (2,3) illegally, (3) and by force, (5) three (3,4) British (3,4) East India cargo (3,6) ships (1,3) (Dartmouth (2,4) Eleanor, and Beaver), (4,8) which were docked (2,16) in Boston Harbour. (1,2) It took nearly three hours (14) OR three hours (16,17) for them to (14) break open (5) or throw (1,2) all (9) 340 (11) OR 342 containers (1,4) (either ‘trunks’ (1) OR ‘chests’ (4,5)) or the entire load (2,6) OR ‘all the contents’ (5) OR 45 tons (3,8) OR 90,000 pounds (10,14) OR over 92, 000 pounds (16) of the cargo of tea (1,2) that was on the ships (3,4) (OR ship (2) into Boston Harbor, (1,2) or Harbour, (4,5) OR ‘into the ocean’, (10) rather than let the tea be landed. (3) They were surrounded by British armed ships, but no attempt was made to resist them. (17) On the following morning, after they had cleared the ships of the tea, it was discovered that much of it was floating upon the surface of the water. (17) To prevent its being saved for use, a number of small boats were manned by sailors and citizens, who rowed them into those parts of the harbour where the tea was visible, and beat it with oars and paddles so (17) that the tea was ruined and could not be used. (11,17) Its value is estimated to have been around £10,000, (5) OR £18,000 (13) (in today’s money about a million dollars). (10,14)

Most colonists applauded the action, (17) and as the electrifying news of the Boston “tea party” spread, other seaports followed the example and staged similar acts of resistance of their own (5,15) as ships of tea arrived. (5) The reaction in London was swift and vehement. (9,17) The patriots refused to pay for the tea they had destroyed. (5,15) The Bostonians had disguised their faces to protect against retribution by the British, (16) but the Mohawk costumes didn’t fool anyone. (10) The British knew who had destroyed the tea. (10) Hardliners in the British government, looking for reasons to clamp down on the Bay colony, used the ‘Tea Party’ as an excuse (12) OR a reason (15) to punish the colonists (5,7) harshly. (9) In London, Massachusetts’ agent to the British government, Benjamin Franklin felt the wrath of the British government. (12) Franklin was excoriated in Parliament’s Privy Council by Scottish barrister Alexander Wedderburn for his role in publishing some private correspondence damaging to Hutchinson. (12) For his part, Franklin stood stoically through the ordeal, but was heard to mutter “I shall make your king a little man for this,” to Wedderburn as both left the council at the end of the day. (12) To Parliament, the Boston Tea Party confirmed Massachusetts’s role as the core of resistance to legitimate British rule, (14) though by dressing as Indians indigenous to North America the Sons of Liberty had actually sent a clear message that they identified with America. (16) In response to the Boston Tea Party, the British acted quickly given the amount of time it took for word to travel from the colonies to Great Britain. (16) King George III of England (5,9) and (12) the Prime Minister Lord North (15) OR, Parliament (13) responded decisively to the ‘Tea Party’, (12) passing (5,9) the series of (5,13) four (15) punitive measures known in the colonies as the Intolerable Acts (9,13) or Coercive Acts (14,15) of 1774. (9,14) These “acts” increased British control over the colonists and colonies; as well as reducing their rights as individuals. (16) Self-government in Massachusetts was ended (6,9) OR drastically reduced (15), Royal officers could be tried in other colonies or in England when accused of crimes, and troops could be quartered in the colonists’ barns and empty houses. (15) They included the Boston Port Bill, (13) of April 1st, 1774, (12,16) which shut off the city’s sea trade (13,14) by closing the port (9,11) to all ships, (11) pending payment for the destroyed tea. (13) The Royal Navy sent warships to patrol the area and make sure no one went in or out. (11) These were intended to bring the colonists back into line (5,14) by punishing the colony in general. (14) OR These acts applied only to Massachusetts (15,16) and Boston in particular, both for the Tea Party and for the pattern of resistance it exemplified. (14) Four British regiments were sent to Boston, along with new Governor General Thomas Gage, who would replace (12,16) the much-maligned (12) Thomas Hutchinson. (12,16) The tea party, Franklin’s roasting in Parliament and now the closing of Boston Harbor exemplify the hardening of positions on both sides of the Atlantic. (12)

Closing the Port of Boston made the residents very angry as they thought that everyone was being punished when it was only one group of people, the Sons of Liberty, who had destroyed the tea. (11,13) This pushed the two sides closer to war. (14) The British government’s action led to protests in the other colonies. (5,6) These grew in size and scope. (5,9) Emotions ran high, and a sense of gloom encompassed Massachusetts, and other colonies in America. (12) One patriot mournfully observed, “Our cause is righteous and I have no doubt of final success, but I see our generation, and perhaps our whole land, drowned in blood.” (12) The colonists convened the First Continental Congress, which petitioned the British monarch for repeal of the acts and coordinated colonial resistance to them. (9) The protests eventually led to the Revolutionary War (6,7) which began near Boston (9) on April 19th (11) 1775. (6,7) The United States of America declared independence from Britain in 1776. (5) The ‘Tea Party’ was one of the key events leading up to the American Revolution, (10,11) and has become an iconic event of American history, to which other political protests such as the Tea Party movement after 2010 explicitly refer. (9)


  1. In the years following the French and Indian War, the British government increasingly sought ways to alleviate the financial burden caused by the conflict. (18) Assessing methods for generating funds, it was decided to levy new taxes on the American colonies with the goal of offsetting some of the cost for their defense. (18) The first of these, the Sugar Act of 1764, was quickly met by outcries from colonial leaders who claimed that it was “taxation without representation,” as they had no members of Parliament to represent their interests. (18) The following year, Parliament passed the Stamp Act which called for tax stamps to be placed on all paper goods sold in the colonies. (18) The first attempt to apply a direct tax to the colonies, the Stamp Act was met with widespread protests in North America. (18) Across the colonies, new protest groups, known as the “Sons of Liberty” formed to resist the new tax. (18) Uniting in the fall of 1765, colonial leaders appealed to Parliament stating that as they had no representation in Parliament, the tax was unconstitutional and against their rights as Englishmen. (18) These efforts led to the Stamp Act’s repeal in 1766, though Parliament quickly issued the Declaratory Act which stated that they retained the power to tax the colonies. (18) Still seeking additional revenue, Parliament passed the Townshend Acts in June 1767. (18) These placed indirect taxes on various commodities such as lead, paper, paint, glass, and tea. (18) Acting in opposition to the Townshend Acts, colonial leaders organized boycotts of the taxed goods. (18) With tensions in the colonies rising to a breaking point, Parliament repealed all aspects of the acts, except the tax on tea, in April 1770. (18) Founded in 1600, the East India Company held a monopoly on the importation of tea to Great Britain. (18) Transporting its product to Britain, the company was required to sell its tea wholesale to merchants who would then ship it to the colonies. (18) Due to a variety of taxes in Britain, the company’s tea was more expensive than tea smuggled into the region from Dutch ports. (18) Though Parliament aided the East India Company by reducing tea taxes through the Indemnity Act of 1767, the legislation expired in 1772. (18) As a result of this, prices rose sharply and consumers returned to using smuggled tea. (18) This led to the East India Company amassing a large surplus of tea which they were unable to sell. (18) As this situation persisted, the company began to face a financial crisis. (18) Though unwilling to repeal the Townshend duty on tea, Parliament did move to aid the struggling East India Company by passing the Tea Act in 1773. (18) This reduced importation duties on the company and also allowed it to sell tea directly to the colonies without first wholesaling it in Britain. (18) This would result in East India Company tea costing less in the colonies than that provided by smugglers. (18) Moving forward, the East India Company began contracting sales agents in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston. (18) Aware that the Townshend duty would still be assessed and that this was an attempt by Parliament to break the colonial boycott of British goods, groups such as the Sons of Liberty, spoke out against the act. (18) In the fall of 1773, the East India Company dispatched seven ships loaded with tea to North America. (18) While four sailed for Boston, one each headed for Philadelphia, New York, and Charleston. (18) Learning of the terms of the Tea Act, many in the colonies began to organize in opposition. (18) In the cities south of Boston, pressure was brought to bear on the East India Company’s agents and many resigned before the tea ships arrived. (18) In the case of Philadelphia and New York, the tea ships were not allowed to unload and were forced to return to Britain with their cargo. (18) Though tea was unloaded in Charleston, no agents remained to claim it and it was confiscated by customs officers. (18) Only in Boston, did company agents remain in their posts. (18) This was largely due to two of them being the sons of Governor Thomas Hutchinson. (18) Arriving at Boston in late November, the tea ship Dartmouth was prevented from unloading. (18) Calling a public meeting, Sons of Liberty leader Samuel Adams spoke before a large crowd and called on Hutchinson to send the ship back to Britain. (18) Aware that law required Dartmouth to land its cargo and pay duties within twenty days of its arrival, he directed members of the Sons of Liberty to watch the ship and prevent the tea from being unloaded. (18) Over the next several days, Dartmouth was joined by Eleanor and Beaver. (18) The fourth tea ship, William was lost at sea. (18) As Dartmouth’s deadline neared, colonial leaders pressured Hutchinson to allow the tea ships to leave with their cargoes. (18) On December 16, 1773, with Dartmouth’s deadline looming, Hutchinson continued to insist that the tea be landed and the taxes paid. (18) Calling another large gathering at the Old South Meeting House, Adams again addressed the crowd and argued against the governor’s actions. (18) As attempts at negotiations had failed, the Sons of Liberty commenced a planned action of last resort as the meeting concluded. (18) Moving to the harbor, over one hundred members of the Sons of Liberty approached Griffin’s Wharf where the tea ships were moored. (18) Dressed as Native Americans and wielding axes, they boarded the three ships as thousands watched from the shore. (18) Taking great care to avoid damaging private property, they ventured into the ships’ holds and began removing the tea. (18) Breaking open the chests, they tossed it into Boston Harbor. (18) In the course of the night, all 342 chests of tea aboard the ships were destroyed. (18) The East India Company later valued the cargo at £9,659. (18) Quietly withdrawing from the ships, the “raiders” melted back into the city. (18) Concerned for their safety, many temporarily left Boston. (18) In the course of the operation, no one was injured and there were no confrontations with British troops. (18) In the wake of what became known as the “Boston Tea Party,” Adams began openly defending the actions taken as a protest by people defending their constitutional rights. (18) Though celebrated by the colonials, the Boston Tea Party quickly unified Parliament against the colonies. (18) Angered by a direct affront to royal authority, the ministry of Lord North began devising a punishment. (18) In early 1774, Parliament passed a series of punitive laws which were dubbed the Intolerable Acts by the colonials. (18) The first of these, the Boston Port Act, closed Boston to shipping until the East India Company had been repaid for the destroyed tea. (18) This was followed by the Massachusetts Government Act which allowed the Crown to appoint most positions in the Massachusetts colonial government. (18) Supporting this was the Administration of Justice Act which permitted the royal governor to move the trials of accused royal officials to another colony or Britain if a fair trial was unobtainable in Massachusetts. (18) Along with these new laws, a new Quartering Act was enacting which allowed British troops to use unoccupied buildings as quarters when in the colonies. (18) Overseeing implementation of the acts was the new royal governor, Lieutenant General Thomas Gage, who arrived in April 1774. (18) Though some colonial leaders, such as Benjamin Franklin, felt that the tea should be paid for, the passage of the Intolerable Acts led to increased cooperation among the colonies in regard to resisting British rule. (18) Meeting in Philadelphia in September, the First Continental Congress saw representatives agree to enact a full boycott of British goods effective December 1. (18) They also agreed that if the Intolerable Acts were not repealed, they would halt exports to Britain in September 1775. (18) As the situation in Boston continued fester, colonial and British forces clashed at the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. (18) Winning a victory, colonial forces commenced the Siege of Boston and the American Revolution began. (18)

  2. In simplest terms, the Boston Tea Party happened as a result of “taxation without representation”, yet the cause is more complex than that. (19) The American colonists believed Britain was unfairly taxing them to pay for expenses incurred during the French and Indian War. (19) Additionally, colonists believed Parliament did not have the right to tax them because the American colonies were not represented in Parliament. (19) Since the beginning of the 18th century, tea had been regularly imported to the American colonies. (19) By the time of the Boston Tea Party, it has been estimated American colonists drank approximately 1. (19) 2 million pounds of tea each year. (19) Britain realized it could make even more money off of the lucrative tea trade by imposing taxes onto the American colonies. (19) In effect, the cost of British tea became high, and, in response, American colonists began a very lucrative industry of smuggling tea from the Dutch and other European markets. (19) These smuggling operations violated the Navigation Acts which had been in place since the middle of the 17th century. (19) The smuggling of tea was undercutting the lucrative British tea trade. (19) In response to the smuggling, in 1767 Parliament passed the Indemnity Act, which repealed the tax on tea and made British tea the same price as the Dutch. (19) The Indemnity Act greatly cut down on American tea smuggling, but later in 1767 a new tax on tea was put in place by the Townshend Revenue Act. (19) The act also taxed glass, lead, oil, paint, and paper. (19) Due to boycotts and protests, the Townshend Revenue Act taxes on all commodities except tea were repealed in 1770. (19) In 1773, the Tea Act was passed and granted the British East India Company a monopoly on tea sales in the American colonies. (19) The smuggling of tea grew rampant and was a lucrative business venture for American colonists, such as John Hancock and Samuel Adams. (19) The Townshend Revenue Act tea tax remained in place despite proposals to have it waived. (19) American colonists were outraged over the tea tax. (19) They believed the Tea Act was a tactic to gain colonial support for the tax already enforced. (19) The direct sale of tea by agents of the British East India Company to the American colonies undercut the business of colonial merchants. (19) The smuggled tea became more expensive than the British East India Company tea. (19) Smugglers like John Hancock and Samuel Adams were trying to protect their economic interests by opposing the Tea Act, and Samuel Adams sold the opposition of British tea to the Patriots on the pretext of the abolishment of human rights by being taxed without representation. (19) The Beaver, Dartmouth, and Eleanor were moored at Griffin’s Wharf in Boston. (19) It is at this location where the December 16, 1773 destruction of the tea occurred. (19) The original location of the Boston Tea Party no longer exists because of extensive landfills that destroyed the location. (19) This was caused by the city of Boston’s rapid expansion in the 19th century. (19) In 18th century Boston, Griffin’s Wharf was a bustling center for maritime commerce and shipping. (19) The exact location of the original Griffin’s Wharf is open to debate, but the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, located on the Congress Street Bridge, is located near the approximate area where the Boston Tea Party took place. (19) A historical marker commemorating the Boston Tea Party stands on the corner of Congress and Purchase streets. (19) The Boston Tea Party was organized and carried out by a group of Patriots led by Samuel Adams known as the Sons of Liberty. (19) The Sons of Liberty were made up of males from all walks of colonial society, and among its membership were artisans, craftsmen, business owners, tradesmen, apprentices, and common laborers who organized to defend their rights, and to protest and undermine British rule. (19) Famous Boston Patriots who were members of the Sons of Liberty included John Adams, John Hancock, James Otis, Josiah Quincy, Paul Revere, and Dr. Joseph Warren. (19) Incited by the Sons of Liberty, over 5,000 people gathered at the Old South Meeting House, the largest public building in Boston at the time, at 10:00 AM on December 16, 1773, to decide what was to be done about the tea and to plan the Boston Tea Party. (19) It is estimated that hundreds took part in the Boston Tea Party. (19) For fear of punishment, many participants of the Boston Tea Party remained anonymous for many years after the event. (19) To date it is known that 116 people are documented to have participated. (19) Not all of the participants of the Boston Tea Party are known; many carried the secret of their participation to their graves. (19) The participants were made up of males from all walks of colonial society. (19) Many were from Boston or the surrounding area, but some participants are documented to have come from as far away as Worcester in central Massachusetts and Maine. (19) The vast majority was of English descent, but men of Irish, Scottish, French, Portuguese, and African ancestry were documented to have also participated. (19) The participants were off all ages, but the majority of the documented participants was under the age of forty. (19) Sixteen participants were teenagers, and only nine men were above the age of forty. (19) Many of the Boston Tea Party participants fled Boston immediately after the destruction of the tea to avoid arrest. (19) Thousands witnessed the event, and the implication and impact of this action were enormous ultimately leading to the start of the American Revolution. (19) In an effort to hide their true identities, many of the Sons of Liberty attempted to pass themselves off as Mohawk Indians because if caught for their actions they would have faced severe punishment. (19) Reports from the time describe the participants as dressed as Mohawks or Narragansett Indians. (19) The disguise was mostly symbolic in nature; they knew they would be recognized as non-Indians. (19) The act of wearing “Indian dress” was to express to the world that the American colonists identified themselves as “Americans” and no longer considered themselves British subjects. (19) They were not dressed as Indians in the classic sense with headdresses and full authentic regalia; rather they wore wool blankets matchcoat style, painted their faces with soot, and employed other modes of dress commonly known at the time as “Indian dress”, which had been adopted by soldiers during the French and Indian War. (19) An observer of the Boston Tea Party, John Andrews wrote the following in 1773: “They say the actors were Indians… Whether they were or not to a transient observer they appear’d as such, being cloth’d in blankets with the heads muffled and copper color’d countenances, each being arm’d with a hatchet or ax, and pair pistols, nor was their dialect different from what I conceive these geniusses to speak, as their jargon was unintelligible to all but themselves.” (19) Boston Tea Party participant George Hewes recorded the following: “It was now evening, and I immediately dressed myself in the costume of an Indian, equipped with a small hatchet, which I and my associates denominated the tomahawk, with which, and a club, after having painted my face and hands with coal dust in the shop of a blacksmith, I repaired to Griffin’s wharf, where the ships lay that contained the tea. (19) When I first appeared in the street after being thus disguised, I fell in with many who were dressed, equipped and painted as I was, and who fell in with me and marched in order to the place of our destination.” (19) On the night of the Boston Tea Party, three ships that had sailed from London carrying cargoes of British East India Company tea were moored in Boston Harbour. (19) The three ships were the Beaver, Dartmouth, and Eleanor. (19) The Dartmouth arrived in Boston on November 28, 1773, the Eleanor on December 2, and the Beaver on December 15. (19) Each of the three ships carried more than one hundred chests of British East India Company tea. (19) The Sons of Liberty on the night of December 16, 1773, offloaded the tea cargoes of all three ships. (19) There were to be four ships sailing from London carrying cargoes of British East India Company tea to Boston, but the William ran aground off Cape Cod on December 10, 1773 in a violent storm. (19) The cargo of 58 chests of British East India Company tea was salvaged before the William was abandoned. (19) A portion of the salvaged tea cargo ended up in Boston and was later destroyed by the Sons of Liberty. (19) Samuel Adams recorded the following about the fate of the William: “The only remaining vessel which was expected with this detested article, is by the act of righteous heaven cast on shore on the back of Cape Cod, which has often been the sad fate of many a more valuable cargo. (19) ” Contrary to popular belief, the British East India Company tea the Beaver, Dartmouth, and Eleanor transported to Boston was not from India. (19) The tea the Sons of Liberty dumped into Boston Harbour was in fact from China. (19) In addition to India, the British East India Company had extensive dealings in China because of the lucrative opium trade. (19) The tea destroyed during the Boston Tea Party was described as “Bohea” type. (19) In the 18th century tea trade, black tea was referred to as “Bohea. (19) ” Traditionally, the Bohea variety of black tea came from the Wuyi Mountains in the Chinese province of Fujian, but the term “Bohea” was hijacked by the tea trade to refer to all black tea varieties. (19) The black teas (“Bohea”) the Beaver, Dartmouth, and Eleanor transported were of the Bohea, Congou, and Souchong varieties. (19) Additionally, they also transported Hyson and Singlo teas, which were both green teas from the Chinese province of Anhui. (19) The shipment of British East India Company tea the three ships delivered to Boston consisted of 240 chests of Bohea, 60 chests of Singlo, 15 chests of Congou, 15 chests of Hyson, and 10 chests of Souchong. (19) Contrary to popular belief, the British East India Company tea the Beaver, Dartmouth, and Eleanor transported to Boston was not from India. (19) The tea the Sons of Liberty dumped into Boston Harbour was in fact from China. (19) In addition to India, the British East India Company had extensive dealings in China because of the lucrative opium trade. (19) The tea destroyed during the Boston Tea Party was described as “Bohea” type. (19) In the 18th century tea trade, black tea was referred to as “Bohea. (19) ” Traditionally, the Bohea variety of black tea came from the Wuyi Mountains in the Chinese province of Fujian, but the term “Bohea” was hijacked by the tea trade to refer to all black tea varieties. (19) The black teas (“Bohea”) the Beaver, Dartmouth, and Eleanor transported were of the Bohea, Congou, and Souchong varieties. (19) Additionally, they also transported Hyson and Singlo teas, which were both green teas from the Chinese province of Anhui. (19) The shipment of British East India Company tea the three ships delivered to Boston consisted of 240 chests of Bohea, 60 chests of Singlo, 15 chests of Congou, 15 chests of Hyson, and 10 chests of Souchong. (19) 340 chests of British East India Company tea, weighing over 92,000 pounds (roughly 46 tons), onboard the Beaver, Dartmouth, and Eleanor were smashed open with axes and dumped into Boston Harbour the night of December 16, 1773. (19) The damage the Sons of Liberty caused by destroying 340 chests of tea, in today’s money, was worth more than $1,700,000 dollars. (19) The British East India Company reported £9,659 worth of damage caused by the Boston Tea Party. (19) According to some modern estimates, the destroyed tea could have brewed 18,523,000 cups of tea! The destruction of the tea was a very costly blow to the British. (19) Besides the destruction of the tea, historical accounts record no damage was done to any of the three ships, the crew or any other items onboard the ships except for one broken padlock. (19) The padlock was the personal property of one of the ships’ captains and was promptly replaced the next day by the Patriots. (19) Great care was taken by the Sons of Liberty to avoid the destruction of personal property – save for the cargo of British East India Company tea. (19) Nothing was stolen or looted from the ships, not even the tea. (19) One participant tried to steal some tea but was reprimanded and stopped. (19) The Sons of Liberty were very careful about how the action was carried out and made sure nothing besides the tea was damaged. (19) After the destruction of the tea, the participants swept the decks of the ships clean, and anything that was moved was put back in its proper place. (19) The crews of the ships attested to the fact there had been no damage to any of the ships except for the destruction of their cargoes of tea. (19) No one died during the Boston Tea Party. (19) There was no violence and no confrontation between the Patriots, the Tories and the British soldiers garrisoned in Boston. (19) No members of the crews of the Beaver, Dartmouth, or Eleanor were harmed. (19) This was the first organized act of rebellion against British rule, and the Sons of Liberty were very careful about how the Boston Tea Party was planned and executed. (19) In fact, only one member of the Sons of Liberty, Francis Akeley, was caught and imprisoned for his participation. (19) He was the only person ever to be arrested for the Boston Tea Party. (19) For weeks after the Boston Tea Party, the 92,000 pounds of tea dumped into the harbour caused it to smell. (19) As a result of the Boston Tea Party, the British shut down Boston Harbour until all of the 340 chests of British East India Company tea were paid for. (19) This was implemented under the 1774 Intolerable Acts and known as the Boston Port Act. (19) The Intolerable Acts outraged and unified the American colonists even more against British rule. (19) In addition to the Boston Port Act, the Intolerable Acts also implemented the Massachusetts Government Act, the Administration of Justice Act, the Quartering Act, and the Quebec Act. (19) American colonists responded with protests and coordinated resistance by convening the First Continental Congress in September and October of 1774 to petition Britain to repeal the Intolerable Acts. (19) The Boston Tea Party was the first significant act of defiance by American colonists. (19) The implication and impact of the Boston Tea Party was enormous ultimately leading to the sparking of the American Revolution which began in Massachusetts on April 19, 1775. (19) While he was in absolute favour of the revolution, George Washington did not approve of the destruction of the tea. (19) It was against his beliefs about property ownership. (19) The Boston Tea Party name did not come about until the early 1820’s. (19) Before that, the event was deemed a much less creative name, “the destruction of the tea.” (19) In March of 1774, 60 men disguised themselves and boarded the Fortune to threw 30 chests of tea overboard. (19) Being a much smaller protest, it did not get the attention of the original. (19) John Crane was thought to be dead when he was knocked unconscious during the Boston Tea Party. (19) His fellow patriots hid him under a pile of wood shavings in a nearby shop. (19) He regained consciousness a few hours later and was the only person injured during the protest. (19) Ben Franklin was a rich and generous man and as such, he offered to pay for the tea on the condition that Britain would reopen the harbour. (19) They refused, so they were never compensated. (19) There was a strict code of secrecy surrounding the events of the Boston Tea Party and as a result, no one ever identified who the participants were. (19) One person was named in an anonymous tip, and he was stripped, tarred and feathered. (19) After and since, no one else ever came forward with any information. (19) If measured in today’s financial terms, the value of the more than 92,000 pounds of tea dumped into the Boston harbour would be around $1 million. (19) The actual location of the Boston Tea Party is thought to be at the corner of Congress and Purchase Streets—once under water, it is now a busy intersection. (19)

  3. The Boston Tea Party arose from two issues confronting the British Empire in 1765: the financial problems of the British East India Company; and an ongoing dispute about the extent of Parliament’s authority, if any, over the British American colonies without seating any elected representation. (20) The North Ministry’s attempt to resolve these issues produced a showdown that would eventually result in revolution. (20) As Europeans developed a taste for tea in the 17th century, rival companies were formed to import the product from China. (20) In England, Parliament gave the East India Company a monopoly on the importation of tea in 1698. (20) When tea became popular in the British colonies, Parliament sought to eliminate foreign competition by passing an act in 1721 that required colonists to import their tea only from Great Britain. (20) The East India Company did not export tea to the colonies; by law, the company was required to sell its tea wholesale at auctions in England. (20) British firms bought this tea and exported it to the colonies, where they resold it to merchants in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston. (20) Until 1767, the East India Company paid an ad valorem tax of about 25% on tea that it imported into Great Britain. (20) Parliament laid additional taxes on tea sold for consumption in Britain. (20) These high taxes, combined with the fact that tea imported into the Dutch Republic was not taxed by the Dutch government, meant that Britons and British Americans could buy smuggled Dutch tea at much cheaper prices. (20) The biggest market for illicit tea was England—by the 1760s the East India Company was losing £400,000 per year to smugglers in Great Britain —but Dutch tea was also smuggled into British America in significant quantities. (20) In 1767, to help the East India Company compete with smuggled Dutch tea, Parliament passed the Indemnity Act, which lowered the tax on tea consumed in Great Britain, and gave the East India Company a refund of the 25% duty on tea that was re-exported to the colonies. (20) To help offset this loss of government revenue, Parliament also passed the Townshend Revenue Act of 1767, which levied new taxes, including one on tea, in the colonies. (20) Instead of solving the smuggling problem, however, the Townshend duties renewed a controversy about Parliament’s right to tax the colonies. (20) Controversy between Great Britain and the colonies arose in the 1760s when Parliament sought, for the first time, to impose a direct tax on the colonies for the purpose of raising revenue. (20) Some colonists, known in the colonies as Whigs, objected to the new tax program, arguing that it was a violation of the British Constitution. (20) Britons and British Americans agreed that, according to the constitution, British subjects could not be taxed without the consent of their elected representatives. (20) In Great Britain, this meant that taxes could only be levied by Parliament. (20) Colonists, however, did not elect members of Parliament, and so American Whigs argued that the colonies could not be taxed by that body. (20) According to Whigs, colonists could only be taxed by their own colonial assemblies. (20) Colonial protests resulted in the repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766, but in the 1766 Declaratory Act, Parliament continued to insist that it had the right to legislate for the colonies “in all cases whatsoever”. (20) When new taxes were levied in the Townshend Revenue Act of 1767, Whig colonists again responded with protests and boycotts. (20) Merchants organized a non-importation agreement, and many colonists pledged to abstain from drinking British tea, with activists in New England promoting alternatives, such as domestic Labrador tea. (20) Smuggling continued apace, especially in New York and Philadelphia, where tea smuggling had always been more extensive than in Boston. (20) Dutied British tea continued to be imported into Boston, however, especially by Richard Clarke and the sons of Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson, until pressure from Massachusetts Whigs compelled them to abide by the non-importation agreement. (20) Parliament finally responded to the protests by repealing the Townshend taxes in 1770, except for the tea duty, which Prime Minister Lord North kept to assert “the right of taxing the Americans”. (20) This partial repeal of the taxes was enough to bring an end to the non-importation movement by October 1770. (20) From 1771 to 1773, British tea was once again imported into the colonies in significant amounts, with merchants paying the Townshend duty of three pence per pound. (20) Boston was the largest colonial importer of legal tea; smugglers still dominated the market in New York and Philadelphia. (20) The Indemnity Act of 1767, which gave the East India Company a refund of the duty on tea that was re-exported to the colonies, expired in 1772. (20) Parliament passed a new act in 1772 that reduced this refund, effectively leaving a 10% duty on tea imported into Britain. (20) The act also restored the tea taxes within Britain that had been repealed in 1767, and left in place the three pence Townshend duty in the colonies. (20) With this new tax burden driving up the price of British tea, sales plummeted. (20) The company continued to import tea into Great Britain, however, amassing a huge surplus of product that no one would buy. (20) For these and other reasons, by late 1772 the East India Company, one of Britain’s most important commercial institutions, was in a serious financial crisis. (20) Eliminating some of the taxes was one obvious solution to the crisis. (20) The East India Company initially sought to have the Townshend duty repealed, but the North ministry was unwilling because such an action might be interpreted as a retreat from Parliament’s position that it had the right to tax the colonies. (20) More importantly, the tax collected from the Townshend duty was used to pay the salaries of some colonial governors and judges. (20) This was in fact the purpose of the Townshend tax: previously these officials had been paid by the colonial assemblies, but Parliament now paid their salaries to keep them dependent on the British government rather than allowing them to be accountable to the colonists. (20) Another possible solution for reducing the growing mound of tea in the East India Company warehouses was to sell it cheaply in Europe. (20) This possibility was investigated, but it was determined that the tea would simply be smuggled back into Great Britain, where it would undersell the taxed product. (20) The best market for the East India Company’s surplus tea, so it seemed, was the American colonies, if a way could be found to make it cheaper than the smuggled Dutch tea. (20) The North ministry’s solution was the Tea Act, which received the assent of King George on May 10, 1773. (20) This act restored the East India Company’s full refund on the duty for importing tea into Britain, and also permitted the company, for the first time, to export tea to the colonies on its own account. (20) This would allow the company to reduce costs by eliminating the middlemen who bought the tea at wholesale auctions in London. (20) Instead of selling to middlemen, the company now appointed colonial merchants to receive the tea on consignment; the consignees would in turn sell the tea for a commission. (20) In July 1773, tea consignees were selected in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Charleston. (20) The Tea Act retained the three pence Townshend duty on tea imported to the colonies. (20) Some members of Parliament wanted to eliminate this tax, arguing that there was no reason to provoke another colonial controversy. (20) Former Chancellor of the Exchequer William Dowdeswell, for example, warned Lord North that the Americans would not accept the tea if the Townshend duty remained. (20) But North did not want to give up the revenue from the Townshend tax, primarily because it was used to pay the salaries of colonial officials; maintaining the right of taxing the Americans was a secondary concern. (20) According to historian Benjamin Labaree, “A stubborn Lord North had unwittingly hammered a nail in the coffin of the old British Empire. (20) ” Even with the Townshend duty in effect, the Tea Act would allow the East India Company to sell tea more cheaply than before, undercutting the prices offered by smugglers, but also undercutting colonial tea importers, who paid the tax and received no refund. (20) In 1772, legally imported Bohea, the most common variety of tea, sold for about 3 shillings (3s) per pound. (20) After the Tea Act, colonial consignees would be able to sell it for 2 shillings per pound (2s), just under the smugglers’ price of 2 shillings and 1 penny (2s 1d). (20) Realizing that the payment of the Townshend duty was politically sensitive, the company hoped to conceal the tax by making arrangements to have it paid either in London once the tea was landed in the colonies, or have the consignees quietly pay the duties after the tea was sold. (20) This effort to hide the tax from the colonists was unsuccessful. (20) In September and October 1773, seven ships carrying East India Company tea were sent to the colonies: four were bound for Boston, and one each for New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston. (20) In the ships were more than 2,000 chests containing nearly 600,000 pounds of tea. (20) Americans learned the details of the Tea Act while the ships were en route, and opposition began to mount. (20) Whigs, sometimes calling themselves Sons of Liberty, began a campaign to raise awareness and to convince or compel the consignees to resign, in the same way that stamp distributors had been forced to resign in the 1765 Stamp Act crisis. (20) The protest movement that culminated with the Boston Tea Party was not a dispute about high taxes. (20) The price of legally imported tea was actually reduced by the Tea Act of 1773. (20) Protesters were instead concerned with a variety of other issues. (20) The familiar “no taxation without representation” argument, along with the question of the extent of Parliament’s authority in the colonies, remained prominent. (20) Samuel Adams considered the British tea monopoly to be “equal to a tax” and to raise the same representation issue whether or not a tax was applied to it. (20) Some regarded the purpose of the tax program—to make leading officials independent of colonial influence—as a dangerous infringement of colonial rights. (20) This was especially true in Massachusetts, the only colony where the Townshend program had been fully implemented. (20) Colonial merchants, some of them smugglers, played a significant role in the protests. (20) Because the Tea Act made legally imported tea cheaper, it threatened to put smugglers of Dutch tea out of business. (20) Legitimate tea importers who had not been named as consignees by the East India Company were also threatened with financial ruin by the Tea Act. (20) Another major concern for merchants was that the Tea Act gave the East India Company a monopoly on the tea trade, and it was feared that this government-created monopoly might be extended in the future to include other goods. (20) South of Boston, protesters successfully compelled the tea consignees to resign. (20) In Charleston, the consignees had been forced to resign by early December, and the unclaimed tea was seized by customs officials. (20) There were mass protest meetings in Philadelphia. (20) Benjamin Rush urged his fellow countrymen to oppose the landing of the tea, because the cargo contained “the seeds of slavery”. (20) By early December, the Philadelphia consignees had resigned and the tea ship returned to England with its cargo following a confrontation with the ship’s captain. (20) The tea ship bound for New York City was delayed by bad weather; by the time it arrived, the consignees had resigned, and the ship returned to England with the tea. (20) In every colony except Massachusetts, protesters were able to force the tea consignees to resign or to return the tea to England. (20) In Boston, however, Governor Hutchinson was determined to hold his ground. (20) He convinced the tea consignees, two of whom were his sons, not to back down. (20) When the tea ship Dartmouth arrived in the Boston Harbor in late November, Whig leader Samuel Adams called for a mass meeting to be held at Faneuil Hall on November 29, 1773. (20) Thousands of people arrived, so many that the meeting was moved to the larger Old South Meeting House. (20) British law required the Dartmouth to unload and pay the duties within twenty days or customs officials could confiscate the cargo. (20) The mass meeting passed a resolution, introduced by Adams and based on a similar set of resolutions promulgated earlier in Philadelphia, urging the captain of the Dartmouth to send the ship back without paying the import duty. (20) Meanwhile, the meeting assigned twenty-five men to watch the ship and prevent the tea—including a number of chests from Davison, Newman and Co. (20) of London—from being unloaded. (20) Governor Hutchinson refused to grant permission for the Dartmouth to leave without paying the duty. (20) Two more tea ships, the Eleanor and the Beaver, arrived in Boston Harbor (there was another tea ship headed for Boston, the William, but it encountered a storm and was destroyed before it could reach its destination ). (20) On December 16—the last day of the Dartmouth’s deadline—about 7,000 people had gathered around the Old South Meeting House. (20) After receiving a report that Governor Hutchinson had again refused to let the ships leave, Adams announced that “This meeting can do nothing further to save the country. (20) ” According to a popular story, Adams’s statement was a prearranged signal for the “tea party” to begin. (20) However, this claim did not appear in print until nearly a century after the event, in a biography of Adams written by his great-grandson, who apparently misinterpreted the evidence. (20) According to eyewitness accounts, people did not leave the meeting until ten or fifteen minutes after Adams’s alleged “signal”, and Adams in fact tried to stop people from leaving because the meeting was not yet over. (20) While Samuel Adams tried to reassert control of the meeting, people poured out of the Old South Meeting House to prepare to take action. (20) In some cases, this involved donning what may have been elaborately prepared Mohawk costumes. (20) While disguising their individual faces was imperative, because of the illegality of their protest, dressing as Mohawk warriors was a specific and symbolic choice. (20) It showed that the Sons of Liberty identified with America, over their official status as subjects of Great Britain. (20) That evening, a group of 30 to 130 men, some dressed in the Mohawk warrior disguises, boarded the three vessels and, over the course of three hours, dumped all 342 chests of tea into the water. (20) The precise location of the Griffin’s Wharf site of the Tea Party has been subject to prolonged uncertainty; a comprehensive study places it near the foot of Hutchinson Street (today’s Pearl Street). (20) Whether or not Samuel Adams helped plan the Boston Tea Party is disputed, but he immediately worked to publicize and defend it. (20) He argued that the Tea Party was not the act of a lawless mob, but was instead a principled protest and the only remaining option the people had to defend their constitutional rights. (20) By “constitution” he referred to the idea that all governments have a constitution, written or not, and that the constitution of Great Britain could be interpreted as banning the levying of taxes without representation. (20) For example, the Bill of Rights of 1689 established that long-term taxes could not be levied without Parliament, and other precedents said that Parliament must actually represent the people it ruled over, in order to “count”. (20) Governor Thomas Hutchinson had been urging London to take a hard line with the Sons of Liberty. (20) If he had done what the other royal governors had done and let the ship owners and captains resolve the issue with the colonists, the Dartmouth, Eleanor and the Beaver would have left without unloading any tea. (20) In Britain, even those politicians considered friends of the colonies were appalled and this act united all parties there against the colonies. (20) The Prime Minister Lord North said, “Whatever may be the consequence, we must risk something; if we do not, all is over”. (20) The British government felt this action could not remain unpunished, and responded by closing the port of Boston and putting in place other laws known as the “Coercive Acts. (20) ” Benjamin Franklin stated that the destroyed tea must be paid for, all ninety thousand pounds (which, at two shillings per pound, came to £9,000, or £1. (20) 03 million [2014, approx. (20) $1. (20) 7 million US]). (20) Robert Murray, a New York merchant, went to Lord North with three other merchants and offered to pay for the losses, but the offer was turned down. (20) The incident resulted in a similar effect in America when news of the Boston Tea Party reached London in January and Parliament responded with a series of acts known collectively in the colonies as the Intolerable Acts. (20) These were intended to punish Boston for the destruction of private property, restore British authority in Massachusetts, and otherwise reform colonial government in America. (20) Although the first two, the Boston Port Act and the Massachusetts Government Act, applied only to Massachusetts, colonists outside that colony feared that their governments could now also be changed by legislative fiat in England. (20) The Intolerable Acts were viewed as a violation of constitutional rights, natural rights, and colonial charters, and united many colonists throughout America, exemplified by the calling of the First Continental Congress in September 1774. (20) A number of colonists were inspired by the Boston Tea Party to carry out similar acts, such as the burning of the Peggy Stewart. (20) The Boston Tea Party eventually proved to be one of the many reactions that led to the American Revolutionary War. (20) [citation needed] In his December 17, 1773 entry in his diary, John Adams wrote: Last Night 3 Cargoes of Bohea Tea were emptied into the Sea. (20) This Morning a Man of War sails. (20) This is the most magnificent Movement of all. (20) There is a Dignity, a Majesty, a Sublimity, in this last Effort of the Patriots, that I greatly admire. (20) The People should never rise, without doing something to be remembered—something notable And striking. (20) This Destruction of the Tea is so bold, so daring, so firm, intrepid and inflexible, and it must have so important Consequences, and so lasting, that I cant but consider it as an Epocha in History. (20)

There was a repeat performance on March 7, 1774, but it was much less destructive. (20) In February 1775, Britain passed the Conciliatory Resolution, which ended taxation for any colony that satisfactorily provided for the imperial defense and the upkeep of imperial officers. (20) The tax on tea was repealed with the Taxation of Colonies Act 1778, part of another Parliamentary attempt at conciliation that failed. (20) According to historian Alfred Young, the term “Boston Tea Party” did not appear in print until 1834. (20) Before that time, the event was usually referred to as the “destruction of the tea”. (20) According to Young, American writers were for many years apparently reluctant to celebrate the destruction of property, and so the event was usually ignored in histories of the American Revolution. (20) This began to change in the 1830s, however, especially with the publication of biographies of George Robert Twelves Hewes, one of the few still-living participants of the “tea party”, as it then became known. (20) The issue was never the tax but how the tax was passed without American input; United States Congress taxed tea from 1789 to 1872. (20) The Boston Tea Party has often been referenced in other political protests. (20) When Mohandas K. (20) Gandhi led a mass burning of Indian registration cards in South Africa in 1908, a British newspaper compared the event to the Boston Tea Party. (20) When Gandhi met with the British viceroy in 1930 after the Indian salt protest campaign, Gandhi took some duty-free salt from his shawl and said, with a smile, that the salt was “to remind us of the famous Boston Tea Party. (20) ” American activists from a variety of political viewpoints have invoked the Tea Party as a symbol of protest. (20) In 1973, on the 200th anniversary of the Tea Party, a mass meeting at Faneuil Hall called for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon and protested oil companies in the ongoing oil crisis. (20) Afterwards, protesters boarded a replica ship in Boston Harbor, hanged Nixon in effigy, and dumped several empty oil drums into the harbor. (20) In 1998, two conservative US Congressmen put the federal tax code into a chest marked “tea” and dumped it into the harbor. (20) In 2006, a libertarian political party called the “Boston Tea Party” was founded. (20) In 2007, the Ron Paul “Tea Party” money bomb, held on the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, broke the one-day fund-raising record by raising $6. (20) 04 million in 24 hours. (20) Subsequently, these fund-raising “Tea parties” grew into the Tea Party movement, which dominated politics for the next two years, culminating in a voter victory for the Republicans in 2010 who were widely elected to seats in the United States House of Representatives. (20)

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