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Boston Tea Party

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Boston Tea Party

When the Boston Tea Party occurred on the evening of December 16,1773, it was the culmination of many years of bad feeling between the British government and her American colonies. The controversy between the two always seemed to hinge on the taxes, which Great Britain required for the upkeep of the American colonies. Starting in 1765, the Stamp Act was intended by Parliament to provide the funds necessary to keep peace between the American settlers and the Native American population. The Stamp Act was loathed by the American colonists and later repealed by parliament.

(http://www.bostonteapartyship.com/History.htm) However, the British government quickly enacted other laws designed to solve monetary problems. Each act was met with resistance. The Boston Tea Party was the final act of focused rage against a Parliamentary law.

The Americans were well organized to resist new financial demands placed upon them by the British Parliament. In 1765 the secret organizations known as the Sons and the Daughters of Liberty were created to boycott British products. By early 1773 the assemblies of Massachusetts and Virginia had created the Committees of Correspondence, which were designed to communicate within the colonies any threats to American liberties. In April 1773 the British Parliament passed the Tea Act, which allowed the East Indian Company to undersell colonial tea merchants in the American market. The stage was set for a confrontation. (Burns, B31)

In the first few months of 1773 the British East India Company found it was sitting on large stocks of tea that it could not sell in England. It was on the verge of bankruptcy, and many members of Parliament owned stock in this company. (USA, 1) The Tea Act in 1773 was an effort to save it. The Tea Act gave the company the right to export its merchandise without paying taxes. Thus, the company could undersell American merchants and monopolize the colonial tea trade. By October, the Sons of Liberty in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston threatened tea imports and pledged a tea boycott.

The Tea Act was incendiary for many reasons. First, it angered colonial merchants who feared they would be replaced and bankrupt by this powerful company. Second, the company chose to give exclusive privileges to certain merchants for the sale of their tea. Third, the Tea Act revived...

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...itish government. In Boston, the site of a bloody confrontation between British redcoats and Americans citizens less than 10 years before, emotions ran high. Boston was a center of agitation and finally on the night of December 16,1773, the course of world history was changed. A revolutionary event was on the horizon. As once patriot mournfully observed, “Our cause is righteous and I have no doubt of final success. But I see our generation, and perhaps out whole land, drown in blood.” (Liberty, 2) The rest is history.

Works Cited: Boston Tea Party

Burns, Robert E. Episodes in American History. Massachusetts: Ginn & Co., 1973.

Gilbert, Philip, and Norman Graebner. A History of the American People.

New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1971.

Hewes, George. “Boston Tea Party – Eyewitness Account”. The History Place.

http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/revolution/teaparty.htm (13 Mar. 2001)

“Liberty: High Tea in Boston Harbor”. PBS Online. 1997.

http://www.pbs.org/ktca/liberty/chronicle/episode1.html (13 Mar. 2001)

“USA: Boston Tea Party”. Department of Humanities Computing. 1997.

http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/E/teaparty/bostonxx.htm (10 Mar. 2001)