Boston Tea Party

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American Revolution

Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party by Nathaniel Currier

The Boston Tea Party occurred on December 16, 1773. It was one of the key events leading up to the American Revolution.

Was it a big, fun party with tea?

Not really. There was tea involved, but nobody was drinking it. The Boston Tea Party was a protest by the American Colonists against the British government. They threw the ships' cargo of tea overboard into the ocean. They threw 342 chests of tea into the water.

Some of the colonists were disguised as Mohawk Indians, but the costumes didn't fool anyone. The British knew who had destroyed the tea.

Why did they do it?

The British company and the colonies were told they could only buy tea from this one company. They were also told they had to pay high taxes on the tea. This tax was called the Tea Act.

This didn't seem fair to the colonies as they were not represented in British Parliament and didn't have a say on how the taxes should be done.

Was it planned?

It's unclear to historians if the protest was planned. There had been a big town meeting earlier that day led by Samuel Adams to discuss the tea taxes and how to fight them. However, no one is quite sure if Samuel Adams planned the destruction of the tea or if a bunch of people just got mad and went and did it unplanned. Samuel Adams did later say that it was the act of people defending their rights and not the act of an angry mob.

It was just tea, what's the big deal?

It actually was a lot of tea. The 342 containers totaled 90,000 pounds of tea! In today's money that would be around a million dollars in tea.

US stamps of the Boston Tea Party

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