American Revolution Podcast

Episode 040: The Boston Tea Party

April 15, 2018

Parliament tries to win the fight over tariffs by greatly reducing the cost of tea, and maintaining only a nominal three pence per pound tax on tea.  Officials hope the lower prices will end the tea boycott. Radical colonial leaders see this, correctly, as London's attempt to establish that tariffs on imports to raise revenue are legal.

Patriots are caught off guard as the tea arrives only weeks after they learn about the terms. Officials think they have beaten the protesters. Once the ships enter the harbor, the tax must be paid. Otherwise, customs can seize the tea 20 days. On Dec. 16, 1773, the day before the tax is due, colonists dressed as Indians storm the three ships, break open the crates, and dump the tea into the harbor. A crowd of thousands, along with the British army and navy, stand by and watch.

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