The Boston Tea Party
The importance of the event
The Boston Tea Party was the key-event for the Revolutionary War. With this act, the colonists
started the violent part of the revolution. It was the first try of the colonists, to rebel with
violence against their own government. The following events were created by the snowball
effect. There, all the colonists realized the first time, that they were treated wrong by the British
government. It was an important step towards the independence dream, which was resting in the
head of each colonist. They all flew from their mother country to start a new life in a new world,
but the British government didn't gine them the possibility by controlling them.
The causes for the Boston Tea Party
The events leading to the Boston Tea Party began already ten years before ( 1763 ), when the
English won the French-and-Indian War. The king of Britain passed taxes on the colonies to
make up for the loss of money because of the war. He did it in a line of acts, called the Sugar
Act ( tax to protect and secure the colonists ) and the Stamp Act ( tax on all licences, newspapers
and business papers ). The colonists reacted with protests against those acts, what made the
British Parliament to repeal the taxes within 5 months. Then they (the government ) passed taxes
on lead, paint, paper and tea. These acts were called the Townshed Duties, but the colonists
called them the "Insidious Acts". Mass meetings were held and people tried to influence others
not to buy English imported goods anymore. In the end the parliament removed all the taxes
except for tea. Actually the colonists easily didn't want to accept, to pay taxes to a government,
they don't really belong to anymore. Although this tax on the tea cost a colonial family just
pennies a year. Sam Adams, a kind of leader of the colonists, figured out, that the tax could be
raised or lowered by the parliament at will. ( Sam Adams: "The power to tax is the power to
destroy!" ).He also pointed out, that the colonists had no representation in the Parliament, and
that they can't be taxed without having a representation in there, to care for their interests and
wills. However, most people drank tea smuggled in from the Netherlands, so they didn't care
very much whether the parliament raises or lowers the taxes.
When the East India Tea company realized, that the colonists were drinking cheap, smuggled
tea, the Parliament gave them ( the company ) the monopoly to export tea without paying duties.
That way the tea could be much cheaper than the holland tea, even with the taxes. This act was
called the Tea Act, which was of great importance for the following Boston Tea Party.
The colonists reacted to this act by holding meetings to discuss it. Supporter of the revolution (
just to name some of them: John Adams, John Hancock, Dr. Joseph Warren ) wrote letters of
protest to the government's officials, but they didn't achieve anything. The tea ships arriving in
Boston still had to pay the full British tax.
The event ( its getting exciting )
In September, 1773, a radical group of colonists found out, that three East India tea cargo ships,
laden full with tea, were heading for Boston under full sail. They knew, that if the ships got
unloaded and the tax would be paid, it would be a crushing defeat.
The same radical group wanted to make the agents of the East India Company resign from their
job in front of a big crowd, but this part didn't work.
Over the following weeks speeches in form of propaganda were made, to get all colonists
informed about the events. People even quitted drinking tea ( what they did for their whole life )
and started drinking coffee.
The actual event
On November 18th, 1773, the ships arrived. Pamphlets were posted to arrange a meeting between
the citizens and the governor ( Hutchison ), called the "Committee of Correspondence". They
wanted him to call the ships back to Britain.
When he didn't agree, a bunch of men, disguised as Indians, went and stormed towards the
harbor, planning to throw the tea into the bay. They divided in three groups, each of them with
one leader. After they made the captain and his crew getting down below, they grabbed all the
boxes of tea, opened them and threw them overboard. Even some members of the crew helped
them to destroy the tea. A big crowed was created in the harbor, some of them even tried to steal
some tea. Altogether they destroyed 340 chests. At 10:00 pm the event was over, and the streets
of Boston were empty again.
The next day everybody was happy, and plans were made, to public the important event in all
colonies of America.
The reaction of the British Government
The reactions of the British Government were called the "Intolerable Acts". The Boston Harbor
was closed by 4000 British soldiers, so that Boston couldn't get any food or other important
goods. But this act failed it's mission, because the other colonists sent the Boston citizens food
and other life important goods. They also created a militia to protct themselves of the British
They also weren't allowed to held any meetings in Boston anymore.
These tries to get the colonies under their control again were the last ones with a view of
success. The connection between Britain and the new world
Word Count: 930
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Boston Tea Party by m. ems The Boston Tea Party is considered to be the boiling point in a series of events leading up to the revolutionary war against the British. When a group of devout colonists, boarded British tea ships and unloaded their cargo into the Boston harbor, America would be changed forever. What was, at first, seen as an act of mischievous rebellion, turned out to be one of the most influential events in America s revolutionary history. It not only crippled the already struggling British tea industry, but also, and more importantly, united the American people against British taxation and overall oppression. When the British increased taxes in America, the colonists responded with rebellious fury, most notably, the Boston Tea Party, but when Britain lashed back with even more force, it opened the eyes of Americans alike to the oppression they lived under.
For years, the American people opted to buy smuggled tea from Holland instead of paying the extra money on a taxed British tea. Not only was tea cheaper from Holland but many Americans did not want to pay the tax and contribute to British rule. When British Parliament passed the Tea Act in 1773, it allowed them to provide tea to America for cheaper than the smuggled tea. American tea merchants, unable to compete with this new low price, were put out of business. (Jones) This Act infuriated the colonial citizens who felt it unfair to favor their British tea dealers over American ones. In retaliation, Samuel Adams led a group of 150 or so men disguised as Mohawk Indians boarded three British tea ships and proceeded to dump 343 chests of British tea into the ocean. (Cornell) When Bostonian's refused to pay for the destroyed property, King George III and Parliament passed the so-called Intolerable Acts. One result was the closing of the port of Boston and forbid public meetings in Massachusetts.
Essentially, the Intolerable Acts shut down the Massachusetts government entirely. These acts of oppression sparked the desire for change in American people and were a major cause for the first continental congress, which took steps towards revolution and ultimately liberated the United States. During the revolutionary process, propaganda was key in spreading revolutionary ideas across America and one of the leading propagandists, and engineer of rebellion (Carruth, 86), was Samuel Adams. Adams devotion to calling attention of the people to British oppression earned him the title of penman of the revolution. He organized the first committee of correspondence in Boston, which paved the way for similar committees to form in all of Massachusetts and eventually other colonies. The committees main purpose was to spread propaganda through pamphlets and demonstrations.
Through spreading propaganda, they reached people eager to join in the rebellion. British merchants or other supporters were tarred and feathered frequently in protest of Britain oppression. The Boston Tea Party, the climax of the propaganda movement, showed the colonists that they could make things hard for Britain. Because of the Boston Tea Party, a major milestone in the revolution was reached.
For the first time, America practiced a full boycott of British goods. (Jansen) A complete boycott was an important step because it showed the common American citizen as well as British authority that America could stand on its own without assistance from the mother country. With the highly successful attacks on the British tea trade industry in ports up and down the coast, the American citizen gained power. Americans received word of the rebellion and how much damage it actually did. The East India tea Company had made its tea cheaper in a last attempt to avoid bankruptcy and when Americans refused to buy British tea and dumped what tea they could get their hands on, the company fizzled into almost nothing. (McGranahan) The East India Company was one of England s top revenue producers and when it went down England felt it. This, however, was not enough. In order to push the British into either separating from America or renouncing the oppressive restrictions, more support was necessary.
With the Boston Tea Party, Americans saw what they could do with a hundred and fifty or so men and were confident that if united, they could possibly take steps towards revolution. One problem remained, they were not united, but divided, and it would take a remarkable event to accomplish the enormous task. Britain s closing of Boston s port coupled with the Quebec Act, which gave desired land west of the Appalachians to the French, not to mention the rest of the Intolerable Acts, pushed American citizens into a frenzy. The suffering of Massachusetts and Boston in particular was received with a great sympathy by the southern colonies.
They were so sympathetic, they summoned a Continental Congress which met in Philadelphia. (PBS Online) The most influential member of the congress was John Adams. He persuaded the fellow members to narrowly pass a proposal for a species of American home rule under British direction. (Carruth, 88) Yet more significant, the Continental Congress created the Association which called for a complete boycott of all British goods. This step pushed Britain over the edge. They realized that they could no longer control America and moved closer towards war. The Americans did not want a revolution, simply a reprieve from oppressive legislation but as time went on they could also sense an inevitable conflict and continued their efforts in uniting their nation by spreading propaganda and readying their militias. The Boston Tea Party was one of the most effective pieces of political theatre ever staged.
It did so many things for America s independence; most importantly, the event gave Americans a sense of power and showed them that they could fight back and make a difference. The Tea Party served as the springboard to more revolutionary steps that eventually led to our independence. John Adams said about the event, There is a dignity, a majesty, a sublimity, in this last effort of the patriots that I greatly admire. It was a bold, risky, yet necessary action that legitimately established America as its own nation long before independence was achieved.
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