The Boston Tea Party – the infamous event in Boston that we’ve all heard about in elementary and even high school. Also known as the British Tea Party, this event was a great protest against Great Britain.
They were fighting against the fact that they were being taxed for their beloved tea.
The History Behind The Tea Party
In case you didn’t know, around the time of the Boston Tea Party in the late 1700’s, the colonies in the United States were still governed by Great Britain.
Although the colonists didn’t like this fact, they never put up much of a fuss. However, in 1765 the Stamp Act was put forth, along with the Townshend Acts in 1767.
What these acts said was that Parliament (the legislative body of Great Britain at the time) would be allowed to tax the Americans, strictly to make more money from them. Considering they were never taxed before, this caused quite an uproar in the colonies.
Because of this a man by the name of John Hancock, an American smuggler, ordered a boycott of tea. He told all the people in the colonies to stop buying tea sold from the British East India Company. This company at the time was the biggest monopoly in the entire world.
If you don’t think 1 or 2 men could put a big dent in a company of that size, think again. Sales in the colonies dropped from about 330,000 pounds to 520 pounds.
Imagine having a business in which your sales to a particular country were cut in half – more than 9 times. This created much debt in the company, so Great Britain fought back and imposed the Tea Act on the colonies.
This Tea Act made it possible for the East India Trading Company to sell directly to the colonies instead of through multiple dealers, which effectively ruined the careers of the smugglers in America such as Hancock.
This left Americans even more furious because they thought it was just another attempt by Britain to undermine their supposed freedom.
The Boston Tea Party – The Ultimate Protest
After many group meetings and protests, the Americans finally picked one infamous night to raid one of the ships coming in which was full of tea.
On December 16, 1773, a group of people known as the Sons of Liberty dressed up as Mohawk Indians and boarded the ships which were full of tea.
They hopped on board and carried each cask of tea and dumped it into the river. By the end of the night, over 90,000 pounds of tea were dumped into the river. It was estimated to be about a 10,000 pound loss in British money, but realize this was in 1773 . That would be millions in today’s money.
After The Party
After this happened, there were mixed reactions in the colonies. For example, Benjamin Franklin protested it and actually offered his own money to pay back what was lost.
Boston Tea Party Documents
More Acts and Documents were to follow as a result of the Famous Tea party! The British imposed more strict laws, such as the “Intolerable Acts” and the Americans continued to carry out acts of vengeance. The Americans also drank herbal infusions instead of real tea, but they couldn’t hold off. It was just too good!
The great thing about the Boston Tea Party is that it is believed to be the start of a series of events that lead to the American Revolution, which freed America from the rule of Britain.
Without this historical event the USA might be British today instead of Americans!