You have heard of the Revolutionary War and of the Declaration of Independence and probably see these two events as instrumental in the establishment of the United States of America. On the Fourth of July you may celebrate America’s independence with barbeques, family and fireworks. You may even think of the forefathers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, or other instrumental people in our nation’s history. But did you ever stop to think about the Boston Tea Party and its effect on our country and the lives that we live today? If you don’t, you are not in the minority. Few people know just how much the Boston Tea Party has affected our lives today.
A short reminder of the history of the Boston Tea Party is as follows: In the late 1760’s and early 1770’s the British were trying to recover the costs that they had spent in war. The British were also trying to regain control of the colonies which they had neglected during the time when their focus was on fighting the war. The British Parliament decided to impose a number of taxes on the colonists in order to repay war debts and to remind the colonists that the British were who they were to remain loyal to. The colonists in America had gained great independence while the British were off fighting their war. Colonists were relatively self sufficient especially when it came to establishing leaders, organizing meetings, etc. The American colonists believed that they did not need the British and were angry about having to pay taxes to them.
The colonists were resourceful and tried to find ways around paying taxes. Specifically, they smuggled tea from the Dutch in order to avoid paying the British taxes on it. The British were upset that the colonists were not buying their tea and imposed a Tea Tax. In short, the Tea Tax gave the East India Company a monopoly on the sale of tea and put the colonists in a corner. Many colonists, and especially leaders such as John Hancock, were furious about the British’s persistence to carry through with their unjust taxation. After a sequence of meetings where more and more men were rallied to the cause of making a stand against the British, on the night of December 16, 1773 about 200 masked men decided that they would raid and destroy the tea shipment on three East India Company boats. Their action of throwing the tea overboard into the Boston harbor was meant to show the British and the Parliament that they could no longer use the colonies to their advantage through unjust means.
The Boston Tea Party made Parliament angry and they responded to the Boston Tea Party incident by implementing the Intolerable Acts which were just more ways to try to quiet and tame the colonists that they perceived as threats to the British government and rebels that needed to be taught a lesson.
The Americans were tired of the tyrannical mother country of Britain and continued to fight back. Eventually war became the only way to solve the dispute. The Boston Tea Party was an event that led to a republic based on liberty and justice. The Boston Tea Party was a spark in what some have referred to as the “fuse of America.”? This fuse eventually exploded into the Revolutionary War, and when all was ended, the colonies had their freedom.
The Boston Tea Party affects our lives today because it played a key role in leading to American Independence. Every right and privilege that you and I enjoy is a result of the bravery and determination of the early colonists. One such stand for justice was at Boston Harbor and the effects of the events that happened as a result of that December morning in 1773 are with us every day.