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The Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party was a political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 16, 1773. The event was a result of tensions between the British colonials and tyrannical King George III, who had passed the infamous Tea Act. This law charged the American colonists a tax on all tea imported from Britain.

The Boycotting of British Tea

In response to the Tea Act, Bostonians organized the boycott of all British tea. The boycott ultimately led to the Boston Tea Party. The Sons of Liberty, led by Samuel Adams, planned the protest. They wanted to send a message to the British government that they would not be subject to an unjust tax.

The Boston Tea Party

The Sons of Liberty boarded three merchant ships—the Beaver, Eleanor and Dartmouth—in Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773. The ships were filled with what was the equivalent of modern day millions of dollars of British tea. The colonists posed as Mohawk Indians, dressed in war paint and feathers, and dumped 342 chests of tea into the harbor.

Effects of the Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party outraged the British government. King George III responded with a series of laws known as the Intolerable Acts. These laws shut down Boston Harbor until the tea was paid for, gave the British government more control over the colonies, and further angered the colonists. It was a key event that sparked the American Revolution.

Legacy of the Boston Tea Party

Today, the Boston Tea Party is regarded as the seminal act of civil disobedience in American history. Its legacy lives on in the form of an annual reenactment, a memorial in the form of a museum, and as a reminder of the importance of civil liberties.


The Boston Tea Party was a pivotal moment in American history, when Americans made a statement that they would not be taken advantage of. It is a reminder of the power of peaceful protest and civil disobedience in the face of tyranny and oppression.


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