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Boston Tea Party - Article Example

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The Boston Tea Party, an event in American pre-independence history where colonists disposed taxed tea shipped in from Britain by the East India Company. This had been a move in opposition to taxation laws imposed upon the civilians of British America. The tax law in particular that had triggered the incident was the Tea Act of 1773. …
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Download file to see previous pages The Indemnity Act of 1767 served to shield the British government from losing out to tea smugglers who sourced their tea from Holland. Holland did not impose taxes for its imported tea hence Dutch traders supplied it at cheaper rates. After establishing the Indemnity act, the East India Company was able to retrieve the 25 percent ad valorem tax it paid for tea that they exported to British colonies. Part of the act’s outcome was to permit export of tea to other British colonies by the East India Company. In addition to this, the act also reduced taxes paid by domestic consumers of tea in Britain. The overall idea here was to shift the taxation burdens from the homeland to the colonies.
The Townshend Act was Britain’s attempt at imposing tea taxes on its colonies. Constitutionally, this precise issue was the long, held bone of contention that drove up resistance from colonists to British authority in the colonial lands. The Whigs, who were a group of political activists in America, laid a case against the Townshend Act. Reason being that it forced American to pay taxes, which had no approval from their local elected representatives. The new taxes brought about by the passing of the Townshend act resulted in massive protests and boycotts from colonists. (Rowe, web). This eventually forced the government to repeal the taxes included in the Townshend Act. In 1772, after the Indemnity Act expired, the government reverted to taxes that they had offset from British people in 1767 (Rowe, web). On the reintroduction of taxes, sales of tea fell short, and there was a large surplus held by the East India Company. As a major driver of the British economy, the company received help from the government. The Tea act finally came as a solution to the crisis. It allowed the East India Company to sell directly tea to Americans at a price of their choosing. This was supposed to help reduce the overdue stock that was still in their warehouses. Because of this, tea prices for America significantly dropped in the hope of driving up sales. The taxes payable on importing the tea were paid, under much secrecy, to avoid reaction such as those that had been encountered before. The Actual Event It was not long before the arrangements to hide taxes were discovered by the American Whigs. The discovery came about while seven ships made their way to American harbors to offload large consignments of British tea. Three of these ships namely the Dartmouth, Eleanor and Beaver, headed for Boston while each of the others went to New York, Charleston and Philadelphia. After the three ships to Boston arrived, American protestors climbed onto them, opened up 342 chests that contained the imported tea and threw the tea into the sea (Lepore, web). This took no more than three hours to accomplish, and the colonists had disguised themselves as Indians to be mistaken for workers. The damaged product was worth 10000 pounds, and it would be unsalvageable for authorities to charge duty on it (Lepore, web). The ship’s owners had, however, been warned earlier on to retreat and return the ships to England through a meeting held in Boston with the protest’s leaders. Resolutions and Outcomes The British legislature after receiving news of the event decided to take disciplinary action against the entire populace of Boston. It passed the Boston Port Bill, which Boston harbor closed off until the East India Company had received due compensation for the destroyed tea. In addition, to this Parliament decided to amend the structure of the Massachusetts Council, which was largely elective in nature. They instead had the governor acquire ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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