The Boston Tea Party


   The British Empire was the most powerful empire the world had ever seen in the 18th century, having landholdings in all habitable continents. Canada, India, Australia, Egypt, South Africa, Iran, and many more nations were all part of British domain. The might of the British Empire was indisputable as it was like nothing anyone had ever seen. But Britain’s gem in the crown of territorial control at the time was the thirteen colonies. And the colonies were beginning to remove themselves from that crown. 

   On the morning of the 16th of December, 1773, a meeting was taking place at the Old Meeting Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, where the members of the Sons of Liberty discussed a serious colonial matter. The Sons of Liberty was an anti-taxation group with many of its members becoming prominent American figures during and after the Revolutionary War, including Benedict Arnold, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, and John Adams. They were there to discuss the most destructive topic to the colonies, tea. 

   The reason why tea was such a heated topic at the time was because of its tax. During the 1760s and 1770s, the British instituted several taxes to help pay off their debt after fighting the French in the 13 colonies and the Ohio River Valley. To help relieve this tax, the British had passed the Stamp Act, requiring a paid stamp on every document, from playing cards to contracts. In 1767 the Townshend act took effect, which taxed essential items such as paper, paint, lead, sugar, glass, and other products. However, the most famous tax act was the Tea Act. The tax act would tax around 1.2 million pounds of tea in the colonies. 

   In  response to the new ask the colonist boycotted tea. Smuggling tea had also increased, with the biggest tea supplier being the Dutch East Indian Company. However, even after this boycott, the British continued the tax. They needed the money and claimed that the colonists needed to pay up for the French and Indian War. That is why on the 15th of December, the British Regional Governor demanded that the three ships in the Boston harbor, the Dartmouth, Beaver, and Eleanor, remove their cargo of tea from the British East Indian Company. 

   During their meeting the Sons of Liberty vowed not to allow any tea to dock in Boston. They decided that very night to destroy the tea that was aboard. That night, a small group of colonists wearing Native American garb and armed with tomahawk axes boarded the ships and destroyed 342 crates of tea. They chopped open the boxes and threw these crates overboard and into the harbor. The colonists rejoiced and cried with glee as they watched the tea fly over the railing and into the cold, salty harbor. Despite the successful “Tea Party,” the repercussions would push the colonists closer to war. 

   In response, the British Parliament passed the Coercive Act. This act closed down the Boston Harbor until all damages were paid off to the British East Indian Company. It ended free elections and allowed the British judicial system to become the only law of Massachusetts. It also enforced the law requiring private citizens to house British troops. This caused greater dissent in the Massachusetts colony and directed sympathy toward the citizens of Boston.

   The Boston Tea Party is often the first thing you think of when the American Revolution is mentioned. It is because of the great influence that the event had on the founding of the United States. It was the first act against tyranny in American history and helped inspire people to rise up around the world for their civil liberties. The Tea Party rained down support from all the colonies from all levels of power and put a new idea in their heads: freedom. 




Coming of the American Revolution: Boston Tea Party (

The Intolerable Acts []