The Boston Tea Party


Many have heard the term “Boston Tea Party,” but it's unlikely that many people know exactly what the Boston Tea Party was.  By its name one might think that it was a tea party attended by the higher social classes but this was certainly not the case.

In the 1700's many British civilians left Britain and formed colonies in what we know today as the United States of America.  Many of those early settlers to the new world left Britain for a better life in the U.S., mainly on the east coast.  As the colonies grew in number, the British government tried to flex their political muscle by assuming control of these new colonies.

The Boston Tea Party is one example where American Colonists protested against British rule.  The colonies felt that  without representation in British Parliament, that the British Government had no right to exercise control over the colonies on American soil.

As the tensions between the government and the colonists escalated, so did riots between the two groups.  These tensions led to what we know today as the Boston Tea Party.  On Thursday, December 16, 1773, in a strong show of disapproval for the British Government, a group of colonists decided to take action.  As ships were docked in the Boston Harbor loaded with tea from the British East India Company, colonists made their move.  They proceeded to destroy many crates full of tea by throwing it into the harbor.

It was not just a coincidence that they chose to destroy crates of tea.  At that time the colonies had been importing tea from other countries which the British government found to be unacceptable since they received no customs payments.  To make their own British tea companies more attractive to purchasers, they were not charged customs.  This made British tea even less expensive as what was available to the colonies.  However, in an attempt to cripple the British tea company, the colonies boycotted any tea imported by a British company.   With no one to sell their tea to once it arrived in America, their debts accumulated quickly and they were forced to abandon their tea business in America.

Boston Tea Party

As ships sat loaded with British tea in the Boston Harbor angry crowds formed and proceeded to dump the tea into the harbor.  In today's dollars, almost 2 million dollars worth of tea was dumped into the harbor in one night.

It wasn't long after this event that the British government passed a resolution called the Conciliatory Resolution which effectively ended taxation to the colonies.  Now with British parliament in agreement that something had to be done, the Boston Harbor was closed by the British, which further escalated tensions.

Between the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre, these events helped lead to the American Revolutionary War, which would eventually end any power asserted by Britain upon American colonies.  Today some may see the Boston Tea Party as an act of defiance, however it is better described as an event that empowered common people to work together to end the power of the establishment and pave the way for citizens to live in freedom.