The Boston Tea Party

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When the British repealed the Townsend Act they removed all taxes and duties on goods, except for tea. This became the focal point of the colonists anger.

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Events Leading to the Tea Party

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The British East India Company had controlled all tea trading between India and the British colonies. As a result of the tea tax, the colonies refused to buy the British tea. Instead, they smuggled tea in from Holland. This left the British East India Company with warehouses full of unsold tea, and the company was in danger of going out of business.

The British government was determined to prevent the British East India Company from going out of business. It was going to force the colonists to buy their tea. In May 1773, Prime Minister North and the British parliament passed the Tea Act. The Tea Act allowed the British East India Company to sell tea directly to the colonists, bypassing the colonial wholesale merchants. This allowed the company to sell their tea cheaper than the colonial merchants who were selling smuggled tea from Holland.

This act revived the colonial issue of taxation without representation. The colonies once again demanded that the British government remove the tax on tea. In addition, the dockworkers began refusing to unload the tea from ships.

The Governor of Massachusetts demanded that the tea be unloaded. He also demanded that the people pay the taxes and duty on tea.

 

The "Boston Tea Party"

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Boston Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party
(Source: Library of Congress)
On the evening of December 16, 1773, a group of men calling themselves the "Sons of Liberty" went to the Boston Harbor. The men were dressed as Mohawk Indians. They boarded three British ships, the Beaver, the Eleanor and the Dartmouth, and dumped forty-five tons of tea into the Boston Harbor.

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