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The Boston Tea Party occurred in December 1773, prior to the American Revolution. The action was highlighted by an unprecedented public demonstration by American colonialists in Boston against the government of Great Britain's imposition of a tea tax (Krull 4). On that day, Boston residents impersonated Mohawk Indians and stormed British ships, throwing several containers of tea into the water. Later, the Tea Party was driven by the animosity of British colonialists toward the British, and the movement was motivated by protests by the Sons of Liberty group to voice their discontent with the activities. The specific actions of the Sons of Liberty included turning three hundred and forty chests of a tear to be taken away by the ocean. The valuation of the wasted tea, when converted to the current currency, would be equivalent to an estimated amount of $1,700,000. Even though the tea was in the American ships at the time of the event, it belonged to the British East India Company, which had been accused of monopoly over the sales of tea in the American Colonies. The outrage of the Patriots wasn't only as a result of the 'tea,' but also the lead oil, paint, and paper. The actions of systematic destruction of the tea harbor were led by Samuel Adams, who was believed to be a determined statesman.
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The primary cause of the Boston Tea Party was the issue of Taxation without representation whereby the government of the day imposes the tax on a group of citizens without allowing room for the opposition side to communicate their dissenting views during the decisive stages of the tax regulations (Skocpol and Williamson 41). The American Colonists could no longer control the anger, allowing the fate of the tax burden to be a decision of a group of irrelevant people who, according to they lacked the required exposure to see the conditions of the colony. Apparently, the decisions by the British government to impose taxes without consultations was as a consequence of greed and ignorance (Unger 57). British East India ratified an unfair tax scheme at the expense of the Americans, to fulfill their selfish gains.
The Boston Tea Party was a local move by the colonists to change the status quo which made a significant influence on the whole of the British Empire to gain independence and acquire self-governance (Karpowitz, Monson and Patterson 304).The Patriots' efforts to declare their independence was so bad because their focus was on republicanism philosophy, which had the greatest impact towards the development of current America. The vision of liberty, unalienable rights and the exclusion of inherited political power that the philosophy advocated for made people fight so hard. The philosophy advocated for the independence of the citizen's responsibility for own decisions.
Most of the values that the Americans enjoy today were consequences of the Boston Tea Party event. Besides, the activities began the tipping and dominos that finally resulted in the Revolution in the United States of America (Skocpol and Williamson 35). Even though the objective of the tax imposition was to regulate trade, maximize spending of the public on the goods and services, failure to consult made people develop a fear that the tax would just be used as an avenue of levying money upon them (Karpowitz, Monson and Patterson 305). Also, the revenue was to adjust the living standards of the citizens in the colonies; the newspaper articles had reported the citywide boycotts of the British imports, which had motivated the violence in the shipping ports. The colonists had no other alternative way of expressing their dissatisfaction apart from forming powerful cohorts to be helpful to each other towards conquering the unfair burdens. The reason was that they had failed to have representatives of the public opinions on the new taxes.
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Even before the Boston Tea party, there were underlying issues that had created disagreements between the people and the colonists. One of the problems being the Townshend Revenue Act of the year 1767 which was passed by the English parliament permitting the government to collect taxes from the Americans on some items (Krull 7). Many citizens did not welcome the move as they considered it as an abuse of power. However, the issue was reviewed after three years, leading to the withdrawal of the taxes except for the one on tea. The move created a bit of peaceful coexistence between the two groups for some time before the American Revolution, but the status changed abruptly when the Tea act came into place in the year 1773. According to the Regulation, the illegal position of the British India Company was granted a monopoly on the sale of tea to regularize the surpluses of tea.
Even as the tea prices went higher, so did the Sons of Liberty. In one of the incidences, the leader of the Sons of Liberty Samuel Adams was quoted saying that the in the ‘free states’ where the constitution is fixed, the legislature is more authoritative. Hence, it is impossible to bring the destruction of the constitutional structure without interfering with its foundation (Skocpol and Williamson 57). The statement implied that the British government was already destroying the constitution by doing the things that are not permitted. According to Adams, the Tea Act was a move by the government to bail out the British East India Company that was already on the verge of collapse.
Samuel Adams is remembered in the American history as one person who was very passionate about liberty, and a firm believer of self-governance, something that he demonstrated clearly through his leadership skills. In fact, history reveals that many Americans joined the Sons of Liberty movement in the period between resistance to the Stamp Act and the start of the Revolutionary War. The idea to adopt the name “Sons of Liberty” was as a result of the conference about the Stamp Act. The meeting was attended by the locals who believed that a well-organized resistance towards the British governance would be the best way to go about the ‘oppressive movements’ of the government (Skocpol and Williamson 69). The group had developed a firm belief that the taxation policies introduced by the British were utterly unfair, and something had to be done. The dedication and commitment to achieve by the Sons of Liberty finally overpowered the British, and on the realization that something better could come out through such avenues, their motivation became stronger, and that later culminated in the American Revolution.
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The primary question that is likely to arise is, how did the Sons of Liberty manage to overcome the British government? On the evening of the December 16th, 1773 the Sons of Liberty performed one of the best-choreographed robberies in the American history. Many young men were part of the group that conducted the activities of the night. Most of the Boston residents who were part of the event fled their homes for fear of arrest after the destructions. The organization of the raid was done in such a way that the members of the group were dressed like the American Indians to conceal their actual identity (Unger 23). The men dominated three ships that were belonging to the Americans and after which 92,000 pounds of tea were smashed out, and emptied into the Boston harbor. Because the Sons of Liberty never failed to remain careful in their actions, they did not damage any other thing apart from the tea, leaving the tea unharmed (Karpowitz, Monson and Patterson 305). The intention was to demonstrate to the British their frustrations with the unfair laws that had been in existence. Since British East Africa was aware that their actions against the people who had done nothing wrong were not right, they undertook to pay the price for undermining the people's rights.
The Boston Tea party was an essential occurrence in the pre-Revolutionary War since it was the first act of resistance that led to the destruction of a considerable amount of private property. The act of rebellion caused a lot of infuriation among the English people. In response to the Boston Tea Party, the British Parliament enacted five Intolerable Acts which led to the closure of the Boston harbor to all the shipping until the costs of the destroyed tea were settled (Karpowitz, Monson and Patterson 306). The British soldiers and other government officials were protected against any court trials for any act civil destruction committed in the course of suppressing the public disturbances of the Boston Tea Party. Consequentially, the parliament modified the Massachusetts charter and transformed the privileges of the lower house to elect the legislative chamber of the upper house. The governor was then offered the mandate to appoint the chamber members (Unger 73). The Massachusetts governor was also permitted the authority to quarter soldiers at Boston. Lastly, the Tea Party led to the extension of the boundaries of the Quebec province to River Ohio, allowing the Catholics in the region religious liberty and protection against the French and British Laws.
In conclusion, the Boston Tea Party is remembered in the American history as the most significant in the founding of America as a self-governed state. Many Americans are extremely passionate about their liberty, and many people are willing to die for it as was in the case during the Revolutionary wars. Despite the fact that the British Parliament felt aggravated, the message finally reached the intended destination, and this was an inspiration to many, who recognized the fact that the power to influence change lies with the people, and the right to freedom. For instance, the Tea Party led to many transformations including women starting to feel liberated as they were the people who served tea. Indeed, it took a long time and a lot of hard work to gain the current government set-up in America. Even though controversies are still in existence in the political sphere, it is true that the role of the forefathers was significant towards liberating Americans from the unruly British, and this secured America’s right to self-governance.
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Gunderson, Cory. Boston Tea Party. Minnesota: Abdo Publishing Company, 2010.
Karpowitz, Christopher F., et al. "Tea time in America? The impact of the Tea Party movement on the 2010 midterm elections." Political Science & Politics 44.2 (2011): 303-309.
Krull, Kathleen. What was the Boston Tea Party? London: Penguin, 2013.
Skocpol, Theda, and Vanessa Williamson. The Tea Party and the remaking of Republican conservatism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Unger, Harlow G. American Tempest: How the Boston Tea Party Sparked a Revolution. New York: Perseus Books Group, 2011.
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