December 3rd, 2011 The Boston Tea Party The Boston Tea Party made a change in history, a rebellion that has a cause and effect. It was a cold December night in Boston. There were three famous ships, the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver were sitting in Boston harbor, their holds full of tea that wasn’t being unloaded because of the angry residents of Boston were threatened not to buy or use the tea. The government of Great Britain had passes the Tea Act, a law that almost guaranteed that the American colonists would buy tea from the East India Company.
The law lowered the price on tea, resulting the East India Companies so much that it was the cheapest tea around. The price was so low that even other tea companies were shocked. This was beneficial to them because if American colonists were looking for way to cut down costs and save money, they would much rather choose a cheaper tea over the expensive one, in this case were the merchants. The law came out because the East India Company weren’t doing well and the British government wanted to help the company get back on its feet.
Other tea companies weren’t happy about the Tea Act, but the American colonists viewed it as another example of “taxation without representation”: In effect, the Tea Act was putting a tax on tea sold by companies other than the East India Company. As with the Stamp Act and other unpopular taxes, they were all voted in by Parliament, which was thousands of miles away, and the American colonists had no way to influence the law or speak out against it while it was being debated in government. So the colonists were angry.
They wanted to do something else to let the British know about the unhappiness that the Tea Act was causing. Some people wanted to keep things nonviolent; others wanted bloodshed. The result was somewhere in the middle. A group of colonists determined to make things change was the Sons of Liberty. Led by patriots as Samuel Adams and John Hancock, the Sons of Liberty had secret meetings at which they discussed how best to get their message across to Great Britain, that the American people wanted more of a role in governing themselves.
In the year 1773, and the colonists faced another year of unopposed and unrepresentative taxes. The Sons of Liberty decided to take action. Donning disguises that made them look like they were Native Americans, a large group of the Sons of Liberty on December 16 stormed aboard those three unsuspecting British ships and dumped 342 crates full of tea overboard. By any standards, that’s a lot of tea. These crates happened to be jammed full of tea, and so the companies that made that tea lost a lot of money that night.
Because the Sons of Liberty were disguised as Native Americans, they could claim that they were not guilty of dumping the tea. The British government knew better, of course, and grew angrier than ever at what it saw as Americans’ ingratitude. The very next year saw the passage of what came to be called the Intolerable Acts. The Intolerable Acts were series of laws by the British Prime Minister in response to the Boston Tea Party.
The laws were these: * Impartial Administration of Justice Act, which allowed the royal governor of a colony to move trials to other colonies or even to England if he feared that juries in those colonies wouldn’t judge a case fairly * Massachusetts Bay Regulating Act made all law officers subject to appointment by the royal governor and banned all town meetings that didn’t have approval of the royal governor * Boston Port Act, which closed the port of Boston until the price of the dumped tea was recovered, moved the capital of Massachusetts to Salem, and made Marblehead the official port of entry for the Massachusetts colony. Quartering Act, which allowed royal troops to stay in houses or empty buildings if barracks were not available * Quebec Act, which granted civil government and religious freedom to Catholics living in Quebec. The Boston Tea Party was a symbolic act, an example of how far Americans were willing to speak out for their freedom. Two short years later, Americans were willing to give their lives for their freedom, as shots rang out on Lexington Green.
In my opinion the Sons of Liberty were fed up with everything that was going on because of the Tea Act. They wanted to get the attention of Parliament and the King, but with them being so far away; by the time a letter got there could be ages. They knew they had to get their attention some way. The waited a long period of time to see if things would change, but things just got worse. They reacted, and the king was not happy, so he reacted by passing the Intolerable Acts. This brought major changes in Boston.
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