[1773] - Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party refers to an act of protest by a group of American colonists that took place on the evening of 16 December 1773. Disguised as Mohawk Indians, the group led by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere boarded three ships and threw 342 chests of tea, belonging to the East India Company, into Boston Harbour.

Despite the repeal of the Townshend Acts in 1770, the tax on tea had been retained as the British parliament sought to affirm its right to impose duties on the colonies, and to alleviate the financial troubles of the East India Company. American colonists had responded by successfully preventing the importation of taxed tea in New York and Philadelphia. In Boston, however, Governor Thomas Hutchison refused to return the shiploads of taxed tea to Britain. Consequently, colonists destroyed the tea in an iconic act of political resistance.
The British parliament responded by passing the Boston Port Act (part of the Coercive Acts of 1774), which closed the port of Boston indefinitely until the East India Company had been fully recompensed for the destroyed tea. The Boston Tea Party escalated the tensions between Britain and the American colonists, leading to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary Wars which began near to Boston in 1775.

Useful Links and Further Reading