"The Boston Tea Party", Convinced The Colonists That Their Freedom Was In Jeopardy

2688 words - 11 pages

In the fall of 1773 seven shipping vessels crossed the North Atlantic Ocean to several ports on the American Coastline. Beneath the stormed beaten decks were six-hundred thousand pounds of tea. Delivering to the ports of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, the famous East India Company of London was assigned to transport the large amount of tea. Because of the controversy over the Townshend duties, the colonists refused the tea to be landed on shore. In New York and Philadelphia, the shipping vessels were ordered to turn back toward the Atlantic Ocean. In Charleston the tea was immediately seized by custom officials. But on the chilly evening of December 16, 1773 three-hundred-and-forty chests of tea was dumped into the harbor of Boston by antagonistic patriots, this rebellion was known as the Boston Tea Party. Significant in the coming of the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party convinced the colonists that their freedom was in jeopardy. American independence came by revolution, rather than evolution.Only familiar to the natives in China, tea was to be introduced around the world. In the 1660's, the beverage was not known to countrymen. Englishmen, a century after, soon became addicted to the exotic brew. The birth of tea began in China. The Chinese discovered the leaves of their native tea bush, also referred to as Camellia Sinensis, where it was cured and brewed into a tasty refreshing beverage. The rise of tea drinking had widespread effects to the economy of England. The East India Company grew rich from the control of importation, the National Treasury collected an ever increasing profit from strict custom duties The potters of Staffordshire, the West Indies' sugar planters, retailers and proprietors of tea and coffee shops profited from the public's thirst for tea. In the middle of the eighteenth century, England became a nation of tea drinkers. The upper class enjoyed tea at every social occasion. While socializing with guests, a hostess presents her silver and china. The middle class enjoyed drinking tea as well, if somewhat pretentiously. Samuel Johnson described himself as 'a hardened and shameless tea drinker who has for twenty years diluted his meals with only the infusion of this fascinating plant; whose kettle has scarcely time to cool, who with tea amuses the evening , with tea solaces the midnight, and with tea welcomes the morning' (Labaree p. 3).The first Europeans to try tea were presumably the Portuguese. No known importations into Europe took place until the Dutch East India Company ventured shipments in 1610. In the beginning of 1667, the English East India Company started to import tea. Twenty years later they entered the business diligently. Once firmly in the trade, the English East India Company quickly surpassed its adversary by purchasing tea directly from Canton, while the Dutch East India Company obtained tea at a greater cost from Chinese vessels sailing to Batavia. Tea was the most profitable line...

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