Tea Party the American Tea Party the Research Paper

  • Length: 10 pages
  • Sources: 7
  • Subject: American History
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #48526296

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Tea Party

The American tea party

The Tea Party is a populist movement that promotes several conservative values which include the following;

Limitations on the authority of the U.S. federal government

Reduction of government spending and the national debt

Reduction of personal and corporate taxes

This is a party that has been known over the historical moments to pull frustrated and concerned Americans together to protest against excessive government spending coupled with increased debt burden. This conservative group has it that the government's growing involvement in business and indulgence in individual freedom is a deviation from conservative values.

Since its inception to date, the mission of the Tea Party Coalition has been to organize and launch in a rapid response fashion special nationwide projects that will help to advance the goal of a return to a constitutionally limited government that does not go overboard, through whichever arm to disenfranchise the American citizens in whichever situation the country may find itself.

Background

The American tea party came into being way back in 1773. It was at the peak of victory over the long French- Indian war which was so instrumental and costly to Britain that Britain thought of implementing tea tax. This was to serve as a way of refinancing the economy. Since most people loved tea they were ready to part with the tax than part with a cup of tea.

In 1770 there was a mass demonstration in America against taxation that led the parliament to repeal the Townshend duties except for the duty that was imposed on tea. There was great dissatisfaction by the colonists on the decision and resorted to taking smuggled tea as a way of revolt leading to a drop of up to 70% of sales within three years (U.S. History, 2011). The British government was really determined to prevent the British East India Company from going out of business. It was therefore determined to force the colonists to buy their tea. In May 1773, Prime Minister North and the British parliament therefore passed the Tea Act. This Tea Act allowed the British East India Company to sell tea directly to the colonists, bypassing the colonial wholesale merchants. This allowed the company to sell their tea much cheaper than the colonial merchants who were selling smuggled tea from Holland.

A series of actions including the Stamp Act (1765), the Boston Massacre (1770) and the Townsend Acts (1767) and a series of other smaller and annoying taxes like on playing cards annoyed the masses and strained relations with the mother country. But it was the intentions to tax tea that pushed the colonists into taking action and acted as a preamble for the American Revolution that ultimately led to the American tea party.

The people refused to be fooled by the Parliament's ploy. When the East India Company sent shipments of tea to New York and Philadelphia the ships were denied the mandate to dock. However, in Charleston the ships laden with tea were allowed to dock but their cargo was detained in a warehouse where it stayed for three years until it was sold by patriots in order to help finance the revolution.

In Boston, the docking of three tea ships spurred a furious reaction. The crisis came to a peak in December 16, 1773 when an estimated 7,000 angry locals thronged the pier where the ships were docked. A mass meeting that was held at the Old South Meeting House that morning resolved that the tea ships should leave the harbor without paying any duties. This stand did not resonate well with the Collector of Customs who in turn refused to allow the ships to leave without payment of the duty. The committee reported back to the mass meeting and a disagreement ensued from the hall where the meeting was held. On December 16, 1773, late in the evening, a group of men widely known as "Sons of Liberty" converged at the Boston Harbor dressed like Mohawk Indians.

The 'sons of liberty' boarded three British ships, the Beaver, the Eleanor and the Dartmouth, and dumped about forty-five tons of tea into the Boston Harbor. Some disguised as Indian Mohawks assembled on a near-by hill. Singing war chants, the crowd descended upon the three ships and dumped their cargos of tea into the water. Most colonists welcomed the action chanting loud cheers while London vehemently condemned the action as intolerable (Eye Witness to History, 2002).

A popular song of the day was called "Revolutionary Tea. Its first stanza was as follows;

"There was an old lady lived over the sea, and she was an Island Queen; her daughter lived off in a new country, with an ocean of water between. The old lady's pockets were full of gold, but never contented was she, so she called on her daughter to pay her a tax, of three pence a pound on her tea, of three pence a pound on her tea."

The "Tea Party" was then quickly formed and also established in other port cities in America. This tended to polarize the opposing sides in the ever widening dispute between the Patriots and the Loyalists. Patriots and Loyalists became more fervent about their views in the wake of the revolutionary popularity of the Tea Party. The dominant view among many political leaders at that time was that the destruction of private property was not in order, but it was inevitable and understandable under the circumstances since it was done for the greater good of the people and a future America in general.

What followed the wanton destruction of property and a continuing revolts led by the tea party was the parliamentary decree passing very intolerable rules as well as closing the Port of Boston. This angered people even the more and sparked the struggle for liberty and independence of America.

In short, the Boston Tea Party was not in any way a preconception of lost tempers and hotheads. Though there was a lot of anger and resentment, history has it that the colonists had held many organized meetings to discuss the events that were unfolding in their cities. The Boston Tea Party is an important part of America's history. The establishment of independence from Britain did not happen overnight. A series of events led to the American Revolution. A turning point in history occurred that December morning in 1773 when the lobbyists decided that enough was enough of the injustices they were suffering from their mother country, the Great Britain. There was widespread violence that was perpetuated by the tea party and with each day the dispute between the mother country and the colonies grew (David W. Koeller, 1999).

The Revolution war in Boston and beyond

The Boston massacre acted as a significant starting point of the American Revolution. Crowds of civilians had taunted soldiers guarding the customs house and dared them to shoot, eventually the soldiers shot eleven people killing five among the eleven shot. This was in 1770 and these were treated as the fits martyrs of the revolution and they were accorded an elaborate burial procession.

The subsequent decisions that were made by the colonial masters made the situation even worse the tension that had already gripped the country during the tea tax revolts. These were known as the five intolerable Acts. These acts were passed in a bid to have control over the rebellious American population and they included suspension of the Massachusetts locals government, inauguration of a military rule in Boston, instilled fear among Americans by confirming the continuation of French civil law and system of governance as well as Catholicism for Quebec yet the locals were highly inclined towards Protestantism. These changes brought so much tension that the colonial representatives, through the correspondence decided to hold a meeting to respond to the crisis in Philadelphia in 1774.

As the tension grew further, there were three thousand troops deployed to take charge of Boston hence forcing the revolution spirit to spread to the rural areas where there was resistance to the new rules. The British passed a rule outlawing any further meetings but most towns simply ignored this directive and continued to meet as usual. In all counties there was a daily assembly of men who went to prevent the opening of any county courts and even coerced the jurists who were appointed by the crown to resign. The situation was a bit different in Suffolk as the massive number of troops guarded the courts and they continued to open as usual, however, the jurors themselves began to voluntarily resign one by one. The effect was that by August 1774, the local artisans and farmers in Massachusetts had taken control of virtually all the significant sectors, away from the control of the crown.

By and by, the citizens began to arm themselves and each man had to have at least two pounds of gunpowder incase there was an attack, judges who hitherto had been wiling crown appointees began to resign in…

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