IntroductionThe Boston Tea Party was a non-violent resistance movement by U.S. patriots against the 1773 Tea Act by the British Parliament. The protest was headed by the Sons of Liberty who threw 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor. What resulted was a harsh response from the British. The Intolerable Acts where passed almost immediately afterwards, taking away self-government from the colonists. The Boston Tea Party was one of the main events leading to the American Revolution. More interesting information and detailed facts of what took place during this turbulent time in U.S. history are listed below in a kid-friendly format.
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Boston Tea Party General Facts
- After escalating tension with the British, the Boston Tea Party was an act of rebellion by the Sons of Liberty specifically against the Tea Act of 1773.
- The saying, "no taxation without representation" is a slogan that refers to the fact that the colonists of the thirteen colonies felt their rights were being taken away by the British Parliament because they were being taxed yet not being represented in Parliament.
- Although Governor Thomas Hutchinson of Massachusetts opposed the taxing of Americans, he was ultimately criticized for not demanding that the tea-carrying ships be sent back to England without payment.
- Angry colonists met at the Old South Meeting House on the morning the ships were due in the harbor. They agreed to send a message to the customs house at the harbor saying that the ships would not be paid for the tea.
- On the day of the Boston Tea Party, December 16, 1773, the political group, The Sons of Liberty, dressed up as Mohawk Indians and raided three ships docked in Boston Harbor carrying tea from the East India Company. Some where between 30 and 130 men took part in this event.
- The exact location of the Tea Party is uncertain it is believed to have been near the end of Hutchinson Street which is now named Pearl Street.
- A total of 342 chests of tea were destroyed in the raid and thrown overboard in an attempt to prevent the tea from being sold or consumed.
Conclusion - Boston Tea Party Facts
- The Massachusetts governor expressed his anger at the act of the Sons of Liberty and called it high treason.
- The British response to the Boston Tea Party was a series of acts aimed at punishing the colonists and restoring order, the first of which was the Boston Port Act. This act closed the port at Boston Harbor to further trade until the British were repaid for damages and for the tea.
- The Coercive Acts or Intolerable Acts followed, causing more protest among the colonists. These acts took away any and all self-governing rights of the colonists in hopes of making an example of Massachusetts and ending the colonist's resistance. Instead it escalated matters and resulted in the start of the American Revolutionary War in 1775.
- This event was not dubbed the Boston Tea Party until the early 1800s before that it was referred to as the "destruction of the tea".
- There is a Boston Tea Party Museum located in Boston. It houses many artifacts including an actual tea chest from the Boston Tea Party.