The Boston Tea Party was a political revolt in Boston, the capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, against the British Parliament in 1773.
Since the enactment of the Stamp Act in 1765 and the Townshend Acts of 1767, Britain could tax its thirteen American colonies. This decision was not well received by the colonists, because they were not represented in Parliament and Westminster and intended to enforce the principle that a country not represented could not be taxed (no taxation without representation).
One of the protesters was John Hancock, his small sloop Liberty was seized and he was charged with smuggling. He was then defended by John Adams (the future president of the United States) and the case was dismissed.
The British kingdom was then faced with heavy cash flow problems and King George III decided to significantly increase trade taxes against the colonies.
Tea, one of the products, which the tax was the most outrageous, became a symbolic point of contention between the metropolis and its colonies. Hancock organized a boycott of tea from China sold by the British East India Company, whose sales in the colonies rose from 145,000 kg (320,000 lb) to 240 kg (520 pounds).
From 1773, the Company had significant debts and huge stocks of tea, but few opportunities to sell them because of the smuggling that has eluded taxes. The British government was then passed the Tea Act, which relieved the Company from paying the tea tax. This measure allowed it to sell tea cheaper than other tea importers and smugglers. It caused the ruin of independent dealers and anger Americans. In New York, The Alarm posters are plastered: they criticize the East India Company and spoke in favor of American liberties. John Dickinson calls for a boycott of the company; sailors who unloaded tea from British ships went to tarring and feathering.
A total of six ships loaded with tea arrived at the ports of the colonies, one in New York, one in Philadelphia, one in Charleston, and three in Boston. The settlers prevented the cargo to be unloaded, and the boats had to go back to England with all their tea, except the ships anchored in Boston. Governor Thomas Hutchinson prohibited boats leave before having discharged their cargo.
December 16, 1773, sixty Bostonians called The Sons of Liberty climbed aboard three ships (the Dartmouth, Eleanor, and Beaver) dressed as Native Americans of the Mohawk tribe, because they created terror at that time. Silently, between 18 and 19 hours they opened the barrel and threw 342 chests of tea overboard.
Nothing was stolen or intentionally destroyed, except for 45 tons (90,000 pounds) of tea, worth £ 10,000.
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