The Boston Tea Party. Practically, everyone knows this phrase, but only a few people can remember from the course of the school curriculum what it means.
However, we are talking about the most important and symbolic event in the history of the United States. It is also very important for the British Empire and the whole world tea culture.
The fundamental historical events that shaped the face of modern civilization took place very suddenly. The economist and philosopher Nassim Taleb described it in his theory of the Black Swan. The Black Swan theory explains at first glance random events that radically changed history and had significant civilizational consequences.
The Boston Tea Party is a Classic Black Swan
At first glance, a slight protest against the tea tax increase was the catalyst for the war of the 13 North American colonies for independence from the British Crown.
The Boston Tea Party prerequisites
A permanent conflict between the North American colonists and the British Crown has been brewing for more than a century. It had been even before the legendary tea party took place Boston in 1773.
According to the English constitution, entities that have been subordinate to the British Crown do not have to pay taxes if they have not had elected representative in Parliament. The American colonists believed that they formally did not have to pay the fees and taxes to the British Empire. This happened because they had not elect members of the English Parliament who would have defend their rights and interests.
However, the British Parliament did not see this legal conflict
Therefore, it continued the policy of economic pressure on the North American colonies. The turning point of the conflict was the tea tax. It was the basis of the British Civilization and the main factor in the economic prosperity of the English Crown.
As you understand, the Chinese tea in the 18th century was the main source of the economy and the main driver of world trade. As oil became the one in the 20th century, and information technology has become in the 21st century.
Since the beginning of the 18th century, the British Parliament had granted a complete monopoly on the supply of Chinese tea to the East India Company in England.
Moreover, since 1721 the British Parliament had established a memorandum to buy tea only from the East India Company
It was made in order to supplant competitors. The law exempted purchased tea from the company from a tax of 3 pence per pound of tea. Meanwhile the colonial profit tax remained a priori.
The monopoly of the East India Company and the manipulation of taxes by the British Government only exacerbated the political situation on the American continent. In the colonies, business began to flourish with smuggled tea, which the French and Dutch illegally imported. Morover, it was much cheaper than British tea.
To save the situation and end the fight against smuggling tea, the British Parliament took an extreme step. Therefore, it passed the law on dumping tea. The famous “Tea Law” allowed the East India Company to halve tea prices and create the background for ruining smugglers and American tea merchants.
In fact, the “Tea Law” became the bifurcation point for the outbreak of war of 13 colonies for independence from the English Crown. With the adoption of the “Tea Law” in 1773, the price of tea in the colonies fell sharply. Meanwhile political risks and revolutionary sentiments increased.
The Americans believed that tea dumping was a skillful attempt by the British Empire to influence the domestic politics of the North American colonies. In addition, among the revolutionary colonists, tea smugglers consisted a significant part. As you have understood, the cheap British tea deprived them of profit and political influence.
Samuel Adams, an American political leader, political philosopher, and a Founding Father of the United States, was able to unite the revolutionary minds. The politician created the radical party “Sons of Freedom”. This party set the goal of ending the activities of the East India Company on the American continent.
The revolutionaries from the Sons of Freedom party set fire to warehouses, shops
They also killed merchants who did not support the radical protests and continued to trade with the East India Company.
Samuel Adams, the leader of the “Sons of Liberty”, took advantage of the situation and organized mass protests. More than 130 thousand protesters took part in this confrontation.
Radical colonists blocked the unloading of tea, which arrived in Boston with three English ships. Then the famous Boston Tea Party began on December 16, 7 days after the blockade of tea clippers.
Under cover of night, a group of 100 revolutionaries, dressed in Native American costumes, to maximize the American identity, threw into the ocean 350 boxes of tea for 15 thousand pounds. The current price is equivalent of it is $ 2 million.
The Boston Tea Party
Therefore, the American Revolution began for independence from the British Empire in such a spectacular and carnival style. The events in Boston became the catalyst for an open uprising of the colonies against the British Crown.
Moreover, 1.5 years after the Boston Tea Party, the conflict from the economic ground entered the stage of war
In addition, it provided the final separation of America from the British Union Jack.
It is worth noting that the Boston Tea Party radically influenced the gastronomic tastes of Americans. It shaped the coffee culture of the United States.
Therefore, the tea has become a symbol of evil and the personification of the British Empire. Drinking tea became unpatriotic and many Americans, in protest, refused enjoying the tea and switched to the coffee.