The Boston Tea Party refers to a political protest organized to oppose the Tea Act that had been ratified in 1773 and that imposed what people referred to as unfair taxes on colonists in Massachusetts (Carp 34). The protest involved Sons of Liberty, an organization that had been founded to fight the oppressive rule of the British government. The act had been enacted by Parliament in efforts to boost the performance of East India Company that was failing. Protesters in other colonies held peaceful demonstrations. However, those in Boston went a step further and destroyed a tea shipment that had come from England.
The British government harassed the protesters and devised ways to stop the rebellion. This altercation resulted in the American Revolution that was an important event in the attainment of American independence (Walker 43). This paper will describe the protest and explore its historical significance in heralding the American Revolution and aiding to attain freedom for America. It will also discuss the most important events of the Boston Tea Party and their historical relevance.
The Boston Tea Party is one of the most important events in American history because it began protests that culminated in emancipation of Americans from British colonial rule.
The Boston Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party occurred on May 10, 1773 and was a protest against the unfair taxation imposed by the British government through the enactment of the Tea Act (Carp 34). Protesters in Boston destroyed a tea consignment that had been shipped by the East India Company resulting in an altercation with the British government. The protesters boarded the ship carrying the batch and threw 342 packaged boxes into the Boston Harbor (Walker 45). They destroyed the tea and that way sent a message to the British government about their readiness to fight for their freedom.
This act of defiance angered the British government that responded by passing Coercive Acts that aimed to punish members of Sons of Liberty and the whole colony. The protest was not a solitary event but a culmination of years of oppressive rule by the British government against the colonists in Massachusetts (Carp 38).
The protest emerged because colonists opposed the oppressive act. It imposed taxes even though they had no representatives in the British parliament. They felt that the government was oppressing them and violating their right to desist from paying taxes in case they were not represented in parliament. The requirement to pay taxes angered the colonists because they had no representatives.
Causes of the protest
The protest emanated from the British parliament’s efforts to salvage a failing East India Company in order to continue enjoying the financial benefits it afforded the government. Prior to the protest’s commencement, a wave of resistance throughout the colonies had emerged and was threatening the rule of the British government. Parliament passed the Tea Act that gave the East India Company competitive advantage over other tea dealers in the colonies (Volo 57). The act ensured that the company could undersell all merchants even those that were selling the commodity illegally.
The company had chosen consignees in different cities who were responsible for receiving tea consignments from the company. They received and transported it to designated locations for sale. However, during the protest, several consignees refused to accept the consignments because they were afraid of Patriotic groups that were determined to fight the new act. Consignees in Boston ignored the warnings of the Patriots and accepted them.
After the arrival of the tea in Boston, the consignees were asked to return it to its source but declined to heed to the calls. Refusal to return the consignments resulted in the destruction of the tea by members of Sons of liberty and Patriotic groups (Volo 59). After this event, the British government passed the Coercive Acts that would help them combat the resistance that was growing in the colony. In addition, the acts aimed to punish Massachusetts as a whole for resisting the British rule (Walker 48).
Coercive Acts and their significance
Coercive Acts refer to a set of laws passed by the British government after the destruction of a tea consignment by members of the organization Sons of Liberty (Kennedy 55). Massachusetts had been identified as a colony that defied the rule of the British government by destroying a tea consignment that belonged to the East India Company. The acts played an important role in awakening the wrath of the people because they abolished self-government in the colony and eradicated the people’s historic rights (Carp 64). Instead of squashing the colonists’ resistance, it heightened it.
The acts backfired on the British parliament and led to the outbreak of the American Revolution. The patriots disliked the new laws because they felt that they were violating their human and constitutional rights. Continued resistance from the colonists led to the First Continental Congress that culminated in a revolutionary war that freed America form colonial rule (Kennedy 57).
The Coercive Acts played an important role in the attainment of independence for Americas. They increased resistance against Britons because they convinced that the Coercive Acts were intended to deny them freedom and promote oppression throughout the colonies. Therefore, it empowered the colonists to revolt against Britain due to the severe violations of human and constitutional rights that the acts promoted.
Significance of the Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party played a key role in the emancipation of America from British colonial rule. The government of Great Britain did its best to ensure that its American colonies remained submissive to its oppressive rule that was a threat to their liberty. In order to promote and augment its rule, the British government imposed taxes that were opposed by the colonists who wanted to be free from colonial rule. The Boston Tea Party was a message to the British government that the colonists were unwilling to continue living under oppressive rule (Kennedy 64).
It indicated the extent to which they were willing to go in order to gain their freedom and independence. The protest angered the British parliament, which responded by enacting acts that increased oppressive rule against the people. The people had already made a choice to fight for their freedom and therefore increased resistance against the parliament. Tension between the two sides escalated to a point that war broke out.
The American Revolutionary War broke out in 1775 and lasted until 1783 (Volo 66). The reactions of the colonists and the British parliament are the most important in establishing the historical significance of the Boston Tea Party. The British parliament passed the Intolerable Acts and the colonists opposed violently. During the 1760s, the colonists were gradually becoming independent and were convinced that they could run their colony without Great Britain. This confidence in their ability to act independent of Great Britain gave them the impetus to resist further oppression.
The Revolutionary War broke out two years after the Boston Tea Party (Walker 51). The declaration of Independence was drafted during the Second Continental Congress meeting that is an important event in the history of America (Volo 69). The imposition of taxes by the British government on the colonies was the main reason for the revolutionary War that brought freedom to Americans. The Boston Tea Party was the starting point of a long struggle that emancipated America from colonial rule.
The Boston Tea Party refers to a protest that was organized to fight the Tea Act that was ratified by the British Government. The protest involved destruction of a tea consignment that had been shipped from England by the East India Company. The protest took place in the wake of the passage of the Tea Act by the British government. It was meant to save the collapse of the East India Company that was shipping tea to America.
However, the act imposed unfair taxes that the colonists opposed. This opposition resulted in the passage of Coercive Acts that aimed to punish Massachusetts for rebelling against British rule and destroying the tea consignment. The acts were oppressive and resulted in heightened tension between the British government and the colonies. This tension caused more rebellions that culminated in the Revolutionary war that emancipated Americans from colonial rule. The Boston Tea Party is a very significant event in American history because it marked the beginning of a string of events that resulted in the emancipation of America from colonial rule.
Carp, Benjamin. Defiance of the Patriots. New York: Yale University Press, 2010. Print.
Kennedy, Frances. The American Revolution: A Historical Handbook. London: Oxford University Press, 2014. Print.
Volo, James. The Boston Tea Party: The Foundations of Revolution. New York: ABC-CLIO, 2012. Print.
Walker, Ida. The Boston Tea Party. New York: ABDO, 2010. Print.