Cause & Effect of the Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party was inspired by conflict over trade in tea.

The Boston Tea Party, initiated by colonialists in protest of British government action, was a key event for revolution in America. With the British East Indian Company becoming broke, the British government introduced laws which could allow the company to export tea directly from China to America, without passing through Britain. In doing this, the company could make more profits. This met with vigorous opposition from the American companies which had been exporting tea from Britain.

1 Background

To rescue the British East Indian Company from its financial problems, the British government introduced the Tea Act in 1773, which allowed the company to import tea directly from China to America, reducing taxes and increasing profits for the company. However, the introduction of this law failed to cater to the American companies, which had been importing tea from Britain to America. With the cheap prices of tea, they could not compete with the British company. As a result, most of the American companies began to collapse. The colonists saw as a channel the British were using to enrich themselves while Americans remained poor.

2 Protest

Most colonies refused the British ships from docking, but Boston allowed them. At the end of 1773, the Sons of Liberty disguised themselves as Mohawks, climbed aboard the ships and then dumped tea in the harbor as a protest to the selective tea law. To counter this, the British introduced new laws which were intended to punish for the activities of the Tea Party. The Boston harbor was closed by the British soldiers so that Boston citizens could not get food, but other colonies sent them food and other important products. They also formed militia for protection.

3 Quest for Independence

Colonists from all the American colonies realized that the British government was treating them unfairly. The Tea Party acted as an important stepping stone towards the dream of independence among many American citizens. Most people realized that they needed to be independent and rule themselves.

4 Declaration of Independence

In opposition against the coercive and the punitive laws which the British introduced, the Americans engaged in both protests and meetings. The colonists started choosing representatives who would deal with the crisis. Although it was hard to unite the leaders of all the 13 colonies under British rule, the acts of rebellion were simultaneous. As the revolts went on, under the guidance of George Washington, a "declaration of independence" was signed in 1776. At this juncture, the Americans proved the power of unification and the need for a representative democracy.

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Loise Kinyanjui has been writing since 2009. She works as a features writer with Kitabu Publishers and has contributed news articles to various magazines and newspapers including "Weekly Citizen" and the "Kenyan Times." Kinyanjui holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature from Baraton University.