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Boston Tea Party

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The Boston Tea Party (referred to in its time simply as "the destruction of the tea" or by other informal names and not celebrated until half a century later) was a political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, a city in the British colony of Massachusetts, against the tax policy of the British government and the East India Company that controlled all the tea imported into the colonies. On December 16, 1773, after officials in Boston refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain, a group of colonists boarded the ships and destroyed the tea by throwing it into Boston Harbor. The incident remains an iconic event of American history, and other political protests often refer to it. The Tea Party was the culmination of a resistance movement throughout British America against the Tea Act, which had been passed by the British Parliament in 1773. Colonists objected to the Tea Act because they believed that it violated their right to be taxed only by their own elected representatives. Protesters had successfully prevented the unloading of taxed tea in three other colonies, but in Boston, embattled Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused to allow the tea to be returned to Britain. He apparently did not expect that the protesters would choose to destroy the tea rather than concede the authority of a legislature in which they were not directly represented.

Historical Figures

  • Colonial RebelA rebel who lived in Boston and one of the many who participated in the Boston Tea Party ...

  • British GuardTasked with guarding the ship "Dartmouth" along with other soldiers. ...

  • Samuel AdamsIn addition to being one of America's Founding Father's, Sam Adams was a prominent leader during the Boston Tea Party. ...

Historical Timeline

  • British Guard Why are all these Americans crowding around this boat? And why am I stuck guarding tea with my life?

    Wed, Dec 15, 1773 11:00AM
  • Samuel Adams This meeting can do nothing further to save the country...

    Thu, Dec 16, 1773 11:29AM
  • Colonial Rebel Meeting at the Old South later, I hope you don’t like tea…

    Thu, Dec 16, 1773 12:00PM
  • Colonial Rebel You heard the man; get your masks and we'll have a "tea party"!

    Thu, Dec 16, 1773 12:36PM
  • Samuel Adams Guys, since when did meetings officially end mid-rant?

    Thu, Dec 16, 1773 04:37PM
  • British Guard By the queen....the indians have taken Boston, they're everywhere!

    Thu, Dec 16, 1773 06:00PM
  • Colonial Rebel It's like they think we're actually natives or something...

    Thu, Dec 16, 1773 06:00PM
  • Colonial Rebel 1 down, 341 barrels to go!

    Thu, Dec 16, 1773 07:00PM
  • Samuel Adams Don't bother asking why the harbor smells like tea.

    Thu, Dec 16, 1773 08:00PM
  • British Guard Governor Hutchinson is not pleased at all. Who's up for paying for all that tea?

    Thu, Dec 16, 1773 08:10PM