On This Day in History – The Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party

By Cornischong at lb.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boston_Tea_Party_w.jpg)

Boston Tea Party

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A political protest by the Sons of Liberty (often popularly considered to be a large, organised group, but probably a name that was taken by any men resisting Crown taxes and laws, rather than one with definite leaders and plans) happened in Boston, in what were then the Thirteen Colonies, on 16th December 1773. The protest was, at the time, called “the Destruction of the Tea in Boston” by John Adams but is today more commonly known as the Boston Tea Party.

Tea, belonging to the East India Company, was destroyed by being thrown into Boston Harbour in a protest over the Tea Act of 1773. Many of the protesters were dressed as Native Americans – at that time more commonly referred to as American Indians; more specifically, the costumes were those of Mohawks. Partly, this was to disguise the perpetrators of what was an illegal act. The tea ship Dartmouth had arrived at Boston in late November, followed by two more ships, the Eleanor and the Beaver. The group numbered between 30 and 130 men – and the exact location of the protest is unknown – and they boarded all three ships, throwing 342 chests of tea into the water.

The origin of the Boston Tea Party was a protest over taxation – ironically, the Boston Tea Party is considered to be founding action of what is today a country of one of the highest rates of taxation on the planet.

The situation continued to escalate until the American Revolutionary War began in 1775.


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