The Tea Acts

May 10, 1773

The Act Summaries

  • To reduce the massive surplus of tea held by the financially troubled British East India Company
  • To help the struggling company of East India to survive
  • To undercut the price of illegal tea smuggled into Britain's North American Colonies
  • To Convince the colonists to purchase Company tea on which the Townshend duties were paid, thus implicitly agreeing to accept Parliament's right of taxation

Colonist Reaction

  • Colonist in the Thirteen colonies recognized the implications of the Act's provisions.
  • a coalition of merchants, smugglers, and artisans similar to that which had opposed the Stamp Act of 1765 mobilized opposition to delivery and distribution of tea.
  • In many colonies successful efforts were made to prevent the tea from being landed in Boston.
  • This resistance culminated in the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773 when colonist ( some disguised as Native Americans) boarded tea ships anchored in the harbor and dumped their tea cargo overboard