The Boston tea party is seen as having played a gigantic role in providing impetus to the American Revolution. It refers to an incident that happened on December 16, 1773, pitting the colonists against the British. A group of Americans from Boston pretending to be natives dropped large consignments of tea in to the ocean as a form of protests against the selective and punitive taxation; it was a culmination of anger that had been building over the British policies. Earlier in 1770, the Townshend Duties had been done away with, following concerted protests by the colonists.
The Townshend Duties refer to a number of taxes introduced by Charles Townshend aimed at the colonists to finance tax cuts in England. The Townshend duties were repealed but the tea duty still remained (Hawkins, 33). To circumvent such punitive charges, the American population boycotted the British tea opting to buy the one smuggled from Portugal. This resulted to huge losses and debts to the East India Company that was importing the tea. In response to this boycott and to help the company survive, the British introduced the Tea Act. This act sought to remove taxes on tea imports.
The East India Company could now import the tea and sell it at a price below the smuggled one. The boycott though persisted with most colonists refusing the temptation of buying cheaper tea, as doing so would be bowing to the British and accepting the punitive tax. The smugglers were foreseeing a big dent in their ventures and were at the forefront with the boycotting campaigns. The call no taxation without representation took a new momentum (Ketchum, Richard, 19). The Tea Act was greatly opposed with most merchants opting to send it back.
In Boston however, this was not the course of action taken. The building up protests and strong opposition to the brutish taxation regimes was rife in the air. Bostonians led by a liberalist Samuel Adams, could not allow the offloading of the tea shipments and were demanding that it be taken back to England. Thomas Hutchinson, who was the governor then, was adamant that the ships had to pay the duty first. This is what prompted a group of Bostonians to secretly board the ship, emptying the contents in the sea harbour.
Over three hundred chests of tea were dropped in to the harbour sparking a huge outrage back in Britain with most politicians pressing for compensation. The colonists were unapologetic and the parliament vowed to introduce even more punitive policies and hence the Intolerable Acts. Intolerable Acts refers to a number of laws introduced by the British aimed at Bostonians, in retribution for the destruction of the tea imports. It is ironical for these laws were supposed to serve as a lesson to those states that wished to put up a defiant face.
However, in the real sense, they intensified resentment towards the British and helped fuel the calls to the American Revolution. The Boston tea party helped coalesce the colonist resentment and defiance against the British repressive laws and came at a time when liberalists were intensifying their clarion calls against the British. Though aimed at the Tea Act, it had an overall effect of awakening interests towards a revolution that was to take place a few years later. Works Cited Hawkins, A Retrospect of the Boston Tea Party, pp. 31-39. Ketchum, Richard, Divided Loyalties, How the American Revolution came to New York, 2002,19