Good morning, tea patriots! I hope that you are all having a wonderfully patriotic week as 4th of July is on the horizon and that you have been able to stay cool with these heat advisories that we keep waking up to! If you read our blog on Tuesday, you know that I just returned from a trip this past weekend to Boston. It was an absolutely lovely trip that combined perfect weather, a Yankees/Red Sox game, decadent Italian cuisine, absurd amounts of New England Clam Chowder, and you guessed it, a trip to the exact site where the Boston Tea Party took place. As we inch closer and closer to our red-white-and blue national holiday, I thought what better topic to discuss with you all today than this historic event that was conceivably the catalyst that eventually led to the American Revolutionary War and, ultimately, our own independence and freedom.
If you have never studied the Boston Tea Party, it is quite interesting and I do recommend doing some digging into the topic. It is very interesting and brings to light just how seriously people took their tea during colonial times. I will do a brief synopsis here, but I highly suggest checking out a previous blog that we put out concerning the Boston Tea Party, here.
Prior to December 16th, 1773, the day in which the Boston Tea Party took place, the British government found itself in immense debt. As a solution to this, the British Parliament thought, " Huh, we've got it. Let's just tax those colonists on absolutely everything that they use and that should take care of the debt rather quickly. But don't ask them about how they feel about it or give them a vote. They probably won't be too happy or let us get away with this." (Have you ever heard the rally call "No taxation without representation."? This is where that is from and what colonists revolted with.)
Acts such as, the Stamp Act that taxed colonists on virtually every piece of printed paper they used, from playing cards and business licenses to newspapers and legal documents, and the Townsend Act that taxed other essentials such as paint, paper, glass, lead and tea came into effect. Outrage arose among colonists and events such as the Boston Massacre ensued (I visited this site as well!). Due to increasing opposition and pandemonium in the colonies, the British Parliament repealed these acts and taxation; all aside from that placed upon tea. Colonists loved their tea and it was a very widespread good that British officials knew they could exploit for revenue. When colonists were continuing to be subjected to this tax on their tea, they formed what was known as the Sons of Liberty. It was a group of of colonial tradesmen and merchants that banded together to boycott the acts mentioned above or any other ways in which they were being unrightfully taxed. They started to smuggle teas from the Dutch and pursue any other way to avoid the unfair British taxing. One of these ways included the Boston Tea Party. On the night of December 16, 1773 numerous colonists, disguised with tomahawks as Native Americans, boarded three British ships, the Dartmouth, Eleanor, and Beaver in Griffin's Wharf Harbor of Boston and proceeded to dump 90,000 pounds or 342 chests of Chinese tea overboard. This is equivalent to about $1,000,000 in tea today. They used their tomahawks to severe the chests, ensuring that the tea would not be preserved once in the water. For days upon days, tea leaves would be seen floating in the harbor. No one was harmed in this display and participants were even said to be seen sweeping the decks of the ships at the conclusion. It was the first large display of opposition by the colonists and sent King George III and Parliament into a fury. This led to them instating things like the Coercive Acts (later known as the Intolerable Acts), which closed Boston Harbor until the tea lost in the Boston Tea Party was paid for, ended the Massachusetts Constitution and ended free elections of town official, moved judicial authority to Britain and British judges, basically creating martial law in Massachusetts, required colonists to quarter British troops on demand, and extended freedom of worship to French-Canadian Catholics under British rule, which angered the mostly Protestant colonists. While these Intolerable Acts were intended to squash colonial rebellion, they did the exact opposite. Colonies banded together in defiance and repulsion. Thus, not even a year later, the Declaration of Resolves was drafted by the infuriated colonists that included censuring Britain for passing the Coercive Acts and calling for their repeal, establishing a boycott of British goods, declaring the colonies had the right to govern independently, and rallying colonists to form and train a colonial militia. The American Revolution was born. Of course, this is a topic of its own and, you know, the rest is history.
What proves so incredibly interesting about this event is that colonists were so passionate about their tea and acquiring it without taxation that they literally went to war over it. Would you go to war over your tea? Only if it was Good Life Tea, right? The other perplexing part of this story for me is, do you know how cold it is in Boston in December? The fact that these individuals were in the harbor... for three hours... at night... IN DECEMBER, just sends a shiver up my spine! I'm cold just thinking about it! This dedication again affirms their refutal of the British taxation and commitment to independence. As a tribute to their efforts and ideals, I too threw a sample bag of our English Breakfast Tea into the harbor while there. I wanted to honor my forefathers and it felt like the perfect way to get a head start on my 4th of July celebrations! If you ever get the chance, I do highly recommend visiting this city, and this site specifically. It is wonderful! I hope that you all have a fun, safe, and star spangled weekend! We at Good Life Tea wish you a very, very Happy Independence Day! Happy sipping! - Kaytea :)