Boston Tea Party Facts for Kids

The Boston Tea Party was a political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, Massachusetts. They were upset by the Tea Act of May 10, 1773, which allowed the British East India Company to sell tea from China in American colonies without paying taxes except for those imposed by the Townshend Acts. The Patriots were upset because the taxes in the Townshend Act were a violation of their rights. Three British East India Company ships carrying tea had already been prevented from landing in other American ports. In Boston, the British-appointed Royal Governor refused to allow the tea to be returned to Britain.

On December 16, 1773, the evening before the tea was supposed to be unloaded, the Sons of Liberty organized in three groups of 50 Boston residents each, boarded the ships, opened 342 crates of tea, and threw the contents into Boston Harbor. The whole event was remarkably quiet and peaceful. Some of the demonstrators were disguised as Native Americans. The British government responded harshly, and the events grew into the American Revolution, which began near Boston in 1775.

The Tea Party became a famous event in American history, and since then other political protests such as the Tea Party movement have referred to themselves as historical successors to the Boston protest of 1773. John Adams and many other Americans considered tea drinking to be unpatriotic following the Boston Tea Party. Tea drinking declined during and after the Revolution, resulting in a shift to coffee as the preferred hot drink of Americans. The issue was never the tax itself but how the tax was passed without American input. United States Congress taxed tea from 1789 to 1872.

Source: Boston Tea Party Facts for Kids
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