A History of the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773

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The Boston Tea Party occurred as a result of high prices of tea from the British government. The Tea Party occurred in the Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773. Three hundred and forty chests were seized by the Sons of Liberty and tossed into the water. From this act of civil disobedience came several Acts in the following months. The Tea Party also helped ignite the American Revolution that led America to become its own country; free from the rule of Britain.

The entire idea behind the Boston Tea Party came after many years of taxes being imposed on their tea due to luxury taxes. Britain had taken part in the French and Indian war taking several French territories. This was very costly to Britain though and growing issues of imperial governance were growing. The British government imposed a Revenue Act. Which placed taxes on many goods. Tea, which was only imported from China, was the most valuable and made it a luxury item (Black 1). The Revenue Act would pay the cost of the civil government in the northern colonies. North Americans were against this idea, but it helped the British East India Company which strengthened the empire. After competing sales by the Dutch, the Tea Act was passed which allowed the company to sell directly to America thus cutting the costs and helping bring sales back to Britain. This allowed the East India Company to sell with no tax from Britain (Browden). Americans still had to pay the duty which caused rifts from activists. The lower costs lowered the amount of smuggling that was occurring and was creating a monopoly on the tea market.

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The Tea Party was carried out by the Sons of Liberty. Samuel Adams ran the resistance and the group was made up of all males from all walks of life. Hundreds took part in the Tea Party. They dressed as Mohawk Indians in an attempt to disguise themselves. If they were caught severe punishment would have surely taken place. While a disguise, the also wore it to show that they were now Americans and no longer considered themselves under British rule. On the night of December 16, 1773. Hundreds of men dressed as Indians climbed aboard three ships; the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver. 340 chests of tea, weighing over 92,000 pounds, were smashed open and dumped into the Boston Harbor. The costs of the damages in 1773 was £9,659, $1.7 million in today’s currency (Boston Tea Party Facts). No physical damage was done to the ships, the crew, or any of the property other than a padlock that was replaced the next day by the Sons of Liberty. The Sons of Liberty even went as far as to clean up the mess they made before de-boarding the ships.

After the Tea Party the harbor was shut down until all 340 chests of tea were paid for. The 92,000 pounds of tea caused the harbor to smell for weeks after the event. The Intolerable Acts were made in order to get this money back from the Americans. In these Intolerable acts were the Boston Port Act (which allowed for the port to be closed until the price was paid), the Massachusetts Government Act (revoked the colony’s 1691 charter), the Administration of Justice Act (suspended the right of self-government), the Quartering Act (forced the local colonial governments to provide provisions and housing to British soldiers in the 13 colonies), and the Quebec Act (this gave Quebec territory west to the Mississippi and North to the Hudson Bay territory) (Intolerable Acts). This, of course, greatly angered the American colonists and unified them even more. The First Continental Congress was held in September and October of 1774 in order to petition Britain to repeal the Intolerable Acts. The Intolerable Acts were never repealed so the colonies ceased exports to Britain.

This among the colonies refusal to submit to the authority of the King led to the American revolution. The colonies population was split into three types of people. The Tories who were loyalists to the crown and condemned what the Patriots were doing. The Patriots who were fighting for local representation and a country free from Britain’s rule. The neutral who were on neither side of the fight and just wanted to live peacefully. The revolution started in 1775 and after 8 long years ended in 1783. As a result, America was free from British rule and had to start building the country for the future.

In conclusion, The Boston Tea Party was a culminating event that was at the forefront of the colonies of America succeeding from British rule and eventually becoming the United States of America. Some were against the event altogether. One of those being George Washington, who believed in property ownership. He was entirely in favor of the American Revolution.

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A History of the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773. (2022, Feb 01). Retrieved from


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