American History Essays Boston Tea Party

1147 words - 5 pages

Boston Tea Party: A Fight for Freedom

Imagine you are a merchant in Boston selling imported goods from England with a high tax on them, when three ships come in with 342 chests of tea without planning to pay the middleman tax. That's how it was for many merchants in Boston. The East India Tea Company went bankrupt due to the dropping rate of tea sales in America because of the increasing rate of smuggling. The government's lack of support, and the newly passed Tea Act, only kindled more resentment towards the British from the colonists. This finally resulted in approximately three groups of fifty men going aboard the three British ships and dumping the tea into the Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea Party was more an act towards self-government and displaying their rights rather a way to gain revenge at England.

The West India Tea Company found themselves bankrupt due to the amount of smuggled tea America was buying. People were buying smuggled tea because it was so much cheaper than the tea England was forcing them to buy. The company's plan was to select three major cities in America to get rid of their competition. They would hire other handlers in Philadelphia, Charleston, and New York. By having the tea sold in America, they could avoid the high taxes of England. After they had eliminated their other competitors, they would charge much more for the tea that they were selling (Francis 1). When the colonists heard that the East India Company was selling tea to these cities, almost all of them were furious and wanted England to be aware of it. The patriots worried that they would start liking England because of the better tea prices (Maier 516). Soon tea was shipped to America for distribution to agents of the company, who were given a monopoly on its sale. Bostonians feared the tea monopoly would put some patriotic merchants out of business. The colonists also thought that if they paid the duty on the tea, the British would impose other taxes on them. The smugglers were also angry because this would wipe out their entire illegal business (Funk 3). Even the people in England were upset because they weren't getting tea as cheap as in America for a short time. False rumors started to spread through the colonies that there was poison, bugs, and rat-tails in the tea (Francis).

The Tea Act and lack of help from government only caused more resentment towards the British. In 1767, the British Parliament placed duties on several items imported to America. Many colonists considered the taxes illegal and decided to not pay them by boycott. The government stopped all the duties except for imported tea. Parliament passed the Tea Act to help get the East India Tea Company out of financial trouble. This act allowed the company to sell tea in America for a much lower price. Three ships came into the Boston Harbor with 342 chests of tea without planning to pay the middleman tax to the store owners, which allowed them to make some profit due to the...

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