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On December 16, 1773, American colonists disguised themselves as Indians, and raided three ships in Boston Harbor. This came to be known as the 'Boston Tea Party'. The colonists emptied 342 chests of tea to keep from paying taxes to England.

The British Parliament has placed import taxes on several items to America in 1767. The colonists thought it was illegal and were determined not to pay them. All of the taxes were repealed by the British parliament in 1770 but one, the tea tax. Then, in 1773, they passed the Tea Act to help get the British Trading Company, East India company, out of financial trouble. It enabled them to ship tea to America for lower prices, but the import tax was still there. The colonists didn't want to pay the taxes, because they feared if they do, England would just impose more taxes on them.

The colonists tried to get the tea sent back to England, but with little help. Governor Thomas Hutchinson, the leader of the Boston Tea Party, rejected the efforts of the colonists to have the ships returned to England. So, perhaps as many as 100 men boarded the ships, probably on a signal from Samuel Adams, and dumped all the tea overboard. This caused the English to pass the Intolerable Acts rule in 1774, which led to the First Continental Congress, a gathering of representatives from all 12 American colonies.


The Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party and Ship Museum

The Boston Tea Party - 1773

History and Political Thought - Boston Tea Party

PBS: Boston Tea Party

Documents for 1773 and the Boston Tea Party

Boston Tea Party - Eyewitness account

Path to the American Revolution - The Boston Tea Party

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