2-17. Boston Tea

The British are taxing our tea! We’ll show them! Over the side with it boys! Let’s turn Boston Harbor into the biggest cup o’ tea in history!And so the story goes, and unlike many legends, this one is true. American colonists did raid several ships full of tea for the East India Company and throw it overboard. Some colonists even dressed as Native Americans to disguise themselves.So hooray for that American spirit! We should fight all instances of governments lowering taxes and providing cheaper tea.

Yes, that’s what really happened. The British government removed all duties from tea provided by the East India Company to the Americas, while maintaining the tax on Colonial importers. This meant that Americans would have cheaper tea across the board.

It was an ingenious plan. Cheaper tea makes the grumbly Americans happy. Check. Cheaper tea makes smuggling less profitable. Check. Cheaper tea makes it harder for the colonists businesses to grow and gives them less power. Check.

What could go wrong? Well, it wasn’t so much the everyday people who were up in arms about their new cheaper tea, it was the wealthy merchants and importers who demanded representation in matters concerning tax law. If they had that representation and were successful in swaying parliament, the East India Company would have been subjected to the same tax as everyone else, and the price of tea would have gone up.

So in reality, the Boston Tea Party was a revolt against larger corporations receiving lower taxes, which is just about the opposite of what the current Tea Party is in support of.

As for me, I’m a coffee drinker anyway.


East India Tea Company - They Pass on the Savings to You!

East India Tea Company – They Pass on the Savings to You!

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