History Of Women And The Boston Tea Party 1773

One of the most famous tea parties ever was held on December 16, 1773. This wasn't your normal tea party with a group of ladies sitting around sipping tea and eating scones. The Sons of Liberty really knew how to make a splash when they threw a party.

In 1769, 900,000 pounds of English tea was consumed in the Colonies. But by 1773, that had dropped considerably. Life in the colonies was very different from life in England. Colonists were not only from England. This, combined with the problems caused by Parliament passing the Tea Act of 1773, helped to bring about the changes necessary for the United States to be the country it is today.

The decrease in consumption was hard on the East India Company. In an effort to save the company from bankruptcy, Parliament passed the Tea Act of 1773. This did not have the intended effect, however. Colonists instead began to boycott English tea.

Colonists and even the American Indians had a passion for tea. The drink was quickly becoming even more popular even in the backwoods sections of America. Some enjoyed the drink that could be used to celebrate without causing intoxication. Parliament seems to have been under the erroneous assumption that the colonists would meekly accept a three-penny tax on tea that was only levied against the American colonists.

When looking back over history, it would appear that perhaps England did not take the colonists as serious as they should have. This tax was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. The colonists may not have been as organized, as many would have thought necessary to fulfill the destiny that they had coming to them. This somewhat lack of the appearance of organization made it even easier for England to not take the colonists seriously.

During this period in history, women were not often considered suitable to be involved in political matters. When a group of women colonists banned together and signed a pledge to boycott tea in an effort to show their support of the colonists, they depicted by a British Cartoonist as the Edenton Ladies Tea Party.

Now this may seem like a bit of insignificant information, but this pledge was the forerunner of the independence that women have today in the United States. Tea was a very popular drink amongst the colonist women, so this was a show of their belief in the colonist's fight against taxation without representation.

On November 17, 1773, the Dartmouth arrived in Boston Harbor. The colonists decided that the tea would be shipped back to England without payment of the duty. Customs regulations gave a 20-day waiting period before the tea would have become liable for seizure due to nonpayment of the duty.

On, December 16, 1773, 8000 colonists met to discuss the situation with the tea. The son of the owner of one of the ships came to the meeting and verified to Sam Adams that the ships would not be allowed to return to England without the duty being paid. Mr. Adams then gave the signal that a group of men had been waiting on. It was time to take action.

The men were members of the Sons of Liberty. The 50 men were not an unruly mob set out on destruction. They were very disciplined in their actions. They boarded the three tea ships that waited in the harbor at Griffin's Wharf. The ships were the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver. Between the three ships there were 342 crates of tea.

Throughout the night, the men worked diligently and carefully. They dumped the tea into the harbor but did not cause any other destruction on the ships. This act of defiance is well known as the Boston Tea Party.

This single act was not the only act of defiance. Within the next few months similar actions occurred up and down the coast. The colonists were beginning to show that they were not to be ignored or taken lightly. They also did not stop with just dumping tea into the harbors.

The boycott of tea spread over the colonies. The colonists resigned to give up tea. Even taverns boycotted the tea and instead offered the visitors coffee. To many of the colonists, coffee became the champion for liberty.

Although the women in this time were beginning to open the doors to the future women's independence, the fight for independence that is well known today was for the country. The women helped in many ways, many of which will probably never be remembered.

But on the night of December 16, 1773, one of the most famous tea parties of all was held, not by a group of women sitting around getting to know each other, but by a well disciplined and organized group of men. A group of men from the Sons of Liberty that were ready to say enough is enough. It's time that England took us seriously.

This great nation that now is known as the United States was formed in part due to a lack of respect for others that lived far away. Part of the reason we have the freedoms and treasures we have today is due to that group of men who had the courage to tell the British Parliament that enough is enough.

Although I feel blessed to live in such a wonderful country, I sometimes wonder if the colonial merchant, John Rowe, ever got the answer to his question, 'Who knows how tea will mix with salt water?'

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