Boston Tea Party Facts for Kids: By 1773, tensions were high between Great Britain and the American colonists. A slew of taxes and new acts in previous years had strained the relationship. The colonists were fed up with the new measures meant to control their actions and force them to pay taxes to reduce debt in Great Britain, all while they were denied representation in the British parliament.
- The tea act sought to save the British East India Company from financial ruin. While the act actually lowered the tax on tea, it hurt other tea suppliers and added more fuel to the fire as colonists grew increasingly angry.
- They continued the practice of buying smuggled goods to deny the British company sales of the popular drink. Even when the price of smuggled tea cost more than buying it from the British East India Company, they persisted. Their message was loud and clear.
- Meanwhile, a group of patriot revolutionaries led the charge against Great Britain and plotted ways to protest and sabotage British efforts. They called themselves the Sons of Liberty.
- On December 16, 1773, three British ships loaded with t sat at Gryphon’s wharf in Boston, Massachusetts on land. American colonists protested the British tax and voted to refuse the tea to be unloaded into the port.
- After nightfall, members of the Sons of Liberty dressed up as American Indians and surrounded the ships.
- Three hours later, 342 barrels of tea were dumped overboard into the harbour. The damage was worth nearly one million dollars in today’s currency. Reactions in the American colonies were mixed.
- Some prominent patriots applauded their efforts. Others saw the destruction of property as wrongful. The British government’s reaction was precise. It incensed the British parliament and King George III.
- In 1774, they imposed coercive acts called the intolerable acts. These acts closed the port of Boston to all trade and supplies until colonists paid for the damaged tea, restricted town meetings in Massachusetts, protected British officials from going to trial in Massachusetts courts, and required colonists to house British troops.
- Other colonists became inspired by the acts of the sons of liberty and dumped tea into harbours across the colonies.
- As Great Britain and the American colonies found themselves in increasingly hot water, Just a few short years later, trouble would brew into outright war, and the penalty would be steep.
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