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. In , legally imported Bohea , the most common variety of tea, sold for about 3 shillings 3s per pound. This effort to hide the tax from the colonists was unsuccessful. In September and October , 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.
The protest movement that culminated with the Boston Tea Party was not a dispute about high taxes. The price of legally imported tea was actually reduced by the Tea Act of Protesters were instead concerned with a variety of other issues.
The familiar "no taxation without representation" argument, along with the question of the extent of Parliament's authority in the colonies, remained prominent. Colonial merchants, some of them smugglers, played a significant role in the protests. Because the Tea Act made legally imported tea cheaper, it threatened to put smugglers of Dutch tea out of business. In New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, protesters successfully compelled the tea consignees to resign.
In Charleston, the consignees had been forced to resign by early December, and the unclaimed tea was seized by customs officials. Benjamin Rush urged his fellow countrymen to oppose the landing of the tea, because the cargo contained "the seeds of slavery". In every colony except Massachusetts, protesters were able to force the tea consignees to resign or to return the tea to England. He convinced the tea consignees, two of whom were his sons, not to back down.
Thousands of people arrived, so many that the meeting was moved to the larger Old South Meeting House. 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. Governor Hutchinson refused to grant permission for Dartmouth to leave without paying the duty. Two more tea ships, Eleanor and Beaver , arrived in Boston Harbor there was another tea ship headed for Boston, William , but it encountered a storm and put aground at Cape Cod — where the tea cargo was successfully landed — before it could reach its destination  .
On December 16 — the last day of Dartmouth' s deadline — roughly 5,  to 7,  people out of a population of roughly 16,  had gathered around the Old South Meeting House.
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. 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.
While Samuel Adams tried to reassert control of the meeting, people poured out of the Old South Meeting House to prepare to take action. In some cases, this involved donning what may have been elaborately prepared Mohawk costumes. It showed that the Sons of Liberty identified with America, over their official status as subjects of Great Britain. That evening, a group of 30 to men, some dressed in the Mohawk warrior disguises, boarded the three vessels and, over the course of three hours, dumped all chests of tea into the water.
Whether or not Samuel Adams helped plan the Boston Tea Party is disputed, but he immediately worked to publicize and defend it. 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.
For example, the Bill of Rights of 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". If he had done what the other royal governors had done and let the ship owners and captains resolve the issue with the colonists, Dartmouth , Eleanor and Beaver would have left without unloading any tea.
In Britain, even those politicians considered friends of the colonies were appalled and this act united all parties there against the colonies. The Prime Minister Lord North said, "Whatever may be the consequence, we must risk something; if we do not, all is over". 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.
These were intended to punish Boston for the destruction of private property, restore British authority in Massachusetts, and otherwise reform colonial government in America. 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.
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 A number of colonists were inspired by the Boston Tea Party to carry out similar acts, such as the burning of Peggy Stewart.
This is the most magnificent Movement of all. The People should never rise, without doing something to be remembered—something notable And striking. 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. There was a repeat performance on March 7, , but it was much less destructive. In February , Britain passed the Conciliatory Resolution , which ended taxation for any colony that satisfactorily provided for the imperial defense and the upkeep of imperial officers.
The tax on tea was repealed with the Taxation of Colonies Act , part of another Parliamentary attempt at conciliation that failed. John Adams and many other Americans considered tea drinking to be unpatriotic following the Boston Tea Party.
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Tea drinking declined during and after the Revolution, resulting in a shift to coffee as the preferred hot drink. According to historian Alfred Young , the term "Boston Tea Party" did not appear in print until 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.
The Boston Tea Party
This began to change in the s, 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. The issue was never the tax but how the tax was passed without American input; United States Congress taxed tea from to The Boston Tea Party has often been referenced in other political protests. When Mohandas K. Gandhi led a mass burning of Indian registration cards in South Africa in , a British newspaper compared the event to the Boston Tea Party.
American activists from a variety of political viewpoints have invoked the Tea Party as a symbol of protest.
Boston Tea Party - Wikipedia
In , on the th 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. Afterwards, protesters boarded a replica ship in Boston Harbor, hanged Nixon in effigy, and dumped several empty oil drums into the harbor.
In , a libertarian political party called the " Boston Tea Party " was founded. It features reenactments, a documentary, and a number of interactive exhibits. The museum features two replica ships of the period, Eleanor and Beaver. Additionally, the museum possesses one of two known tea chests from the original event, part of its permanent collection. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For other uses, see Boston Tea Party disambiguation. Source: W. London: E. Newberry, Plate opposite p. Boston , Province of Massachusetts Bay.
Thirteen Colonies People of Boston. Revolutionary War. Declaration of Independence.
United States Constitution. A New Republic. Atlantic Revolutions Bicentennial. Further information: Townshend Acts. Main article: Tea Act. The Boston tea party. Th einstitute for humane studies and libertarianism. Retrieved April 20, The big box swindle. This kind of refund or rebate is known as a " drawback ". III c. Although more than half the narrative is dedicated to these earlier events, the author uses this space wisely by introducing those influential figures that supported — but also those that rejected — the resistance efforts and the Boston Tea Party. Beginning with the rivalry between Thomas Hutchinson and James Otis, which ignited over a political appointment, chapter one thoroughly details their falling out and subsequent differing opinions that led both men to choose their respective sides during the conflict.
Hancock, Adams, and the Sons of Liberty also receive equal but sometimes subjective coverage throughout the entire book. With these biographical sketches, the author offers a timeline of events that reveal divisive issues — taxes, but above all personal jealousies — that led these infamous Bostonians to draw the proverbial line in the sand between loyalty and patriotism. Eventually, the narrative reaches the climatic event and the latter portion of chapter eleven presents a minute-by-minute account of the dumping of the tea into the Boston Harbor.
The subsequent chapters focus on year one of the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence, and the final chapter offers informative insight on the post-revolutionary lives of those involved with the Massachusetts resistance movement. On balance, his portrayals are even-handed with the exception of Samuel Adams, of whom he is quite critical. Furthermore, while Adams certainly floated through the movement on the backs of others, his commitment to the cause and independence should be viewed as self-sacrificing, not one of self-interest.
Perhaps further reading on Samuel Adams by his contemporaries and current scholars might provide greater depth in understanding this complex, yet important revolutionary figure. Finally, the author offers a fair and sometimes sympathetic treatment of the Boston loyalists, Thomas Hutchinson and Andrew Oliver. The work would certainly benefit though, from a more careful citation of its sources as well as from a deeper engagement with current scholarship on the Boston Tea Party, John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Find us on: Facebook Twitter.