Boston Tea Party: A History
Throughout many historical periods there has always been one common facet, tea. From the private chambers of Chinese emperors, to the beautiful Hindu gardens in India, tea is one drink that has managed to not only survive but thrive through the eras. Used as both medicine and a refreshing beverage, the calming nature of tea makes it almost easy to forget its revolutionary routes in America.
As America was still young and forming under British rule one of the most notable issues were the heavy tax laws enforced by England, whose government was looking to regain the funds they lost during the Seven Years War. By this time colonists were already unrestful due to the Townshend Acts of 1767, which taxed essential items like paper, glass, lead, and paint.
In the year of 1773 the Tea Act was implemented, and while the tea was taxed the cost was actually cheaper, however this only applied to the British owned East India Tea Company. Essentially what happened was a monopoly was created making it impossible for other tea importers to compete.
In a time when the idea of complete independence was steadily bubbling under the surface, the colonists were not happy that England was, yet again, taxing them without letting them have a voice of their own. Under the rule of the Tea Act, shipments were sent to New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. Where they were met with groups of angry protestors who were aiming to put a stop to the selling of the tea. While British parliament had no doubts they would succeed in defeating the colonists, what they didn’t expect was the underground group of revolutionaries, The Sons of Liberty.
On the night of December 16th, 1773, rebel colonists disguised themselves as Mohawk Native Americans and boarded three ships, the Dartmouth, the Beaver, and the Eleanor. The men then opened the ship’s hatches, took out all the chests of tea and dumped them into the harbor. It took around three hours to empty the ships, all of which held more than 45 tons of tea, costing around a million dollars in today’s money.
While the Boston Tea Party is forever known as igniting the American Revolution, it's safe to say that you can enjoy your tea this Fourth of July thanks to the brave men and women of the original 13 colonies.
Cheers to the Bold Stripes, Bright Stars, and the Brave Hearts!