The Boston Tea Party was a political protest that took place on December 16, 1773, in Boston, Massachusetts. It was organized by the Sons of Liberty, a group of American colonists who opposed British taxation without representation. Around 150 colonists dressed as Native Americans boarded three British ships and dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. The participants of the Boston Tea Party were primarily American colonists who were angry about the Tea Act imposed by the British government. They wanted to show their resistance against British control and unfair taxation policies.
Did you know that the residents of Boston once organized a massive gathering in Boston Harbor? It was a revolutionary event that was quite different from the tea parties you might have with your friends during playtime!
On a chilly night in December 1773, a group of American colonists known as the Sons of Liberty — some of whom disguised themselves as Native Americans — boarded three British ships in Boston Harbor and threw 342 crates of tea into the water. This event, which later became known as the Boston Tea Party, was a crucial event leading up to the American Revolution.
Why did the colonists do this? It was their way of protesting against what they believed were unjust taxes imposed on them by Great Britain. They believed it was unfair that they were forced to purchase tea from the British company, the East India Trading Company, and pay high taxes on it (due to the Tea Act), all without having any representation or say in the British government.
The rallying cry for the colonists was “no taxation without representation.” They believed that if the British government wanted to impose taxes on them, they deserved to have representatives who would voice their opinions in the British government.
Initially, the colonists refused to pay taxes on the tea and requested that it be sent back to England. When the British government refused, they decided to dump the tea into the harbor. If you’re wondering why this was such a big deal, you should know that the tea weighed about 90,000 pounds, which would be worth around $1 million in today’s money!
Although many of the colonists disguised themselves, the British government knew who was responsible. In response, the British government imposed even more taxes and passed a set of laws known as the Intolerable Acts. Just two years later, the American Revolution began!
Here are some other interesting facts about the Boston Tea Party:
- The three British ships from which the tea was thrown overboard were the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver.
- Paul Revere was one of the participants in the Boston Tea Party.
- The tea that was dumped into Boston Harbor originally came from China.
Give It a Try
Can kids be involved in the political system today? Absolutely! If you’re unhappy with something your government is doing, let your elected representatives know about it.
You don’t have to search for a harbor with a ship full of tea to dump. Instead, peacefully express your opinions to those who vote on the issues in Congress.
If you’re unsure about who your representatives in Congress are, don’t worry! Just go online to Contacting the Congress and enter your address. You’ll find the names and contact information for your representatives in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Feel free to ask a friend or family member for assistance. Always be respectful in your letters to representatives and clearly state the issue you’re concerned about and your position. Learning to actively participate in your government is an important step towards becoming an engaged citizen!