Archive for August, 2012


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The Boston Tea Party

The British East India Company, which was the British joint-stock company in charge for the importation of British tea into the Americas, started to experience economic problems, and the fact of the colonists being on a boycott, just made this worst. In order to help the company, Parliament paased a law that allowed the company to sell its tea directly to the colonists. This way the Brittish tea would be sold at a cheaper price even with the tax, than the smuggled tea brought from Dutchland, and this shall lure the colonists to pay the tax imposed by the British.

But colonists aren’t foolish, they saw the trick that British were trying to pull off, and refuse to buy the tea from the British, even though it was cheaper than the smuggled one. This shows a true rebelion spirit; they won’t give up their efforts, just because the British offered them a better trade. They had already said “We will not accept taxation, without representation,” and they wouldn’t back down on their words, on their rights and their freedom.

On the night of December 16th, 1773, Boston Patriots took matters into their own hands. They all dressed as Mohawk Indians in order to avoid recognition, if by any chances they were caught by the British. They waited until the time was appropiate to board the British ships and then throw ALL the British Tea into the ocean. They also had forbidden to take any bag of tea, that was British with them; they all had to end up in the bottom of the ocean, and who ever was caught taking some tea with him, would be considered a traitor and tied up with a rope and thrown to the ocean, because as said before, “all the tea had to end up in the bottom of the ocean.”

Now this seems a very weird form of rebelion, just imagine all the tea that was wasted by being thrown into the ocean. I personally think it would have been best for them to confiscate all the tea and take it with them, and make the British forfeit all taxes imposed on the colonists without representation, before returning it to them (Remember they must not use or drink this tea, because they are rebeling at this point in order not to pay taxes they consider unfair, since no representation is given to them. They are not looking to provoke the British to start a war, or at least not for now). But who knows what would have happened in that case, probably the war between the Patriots and the British would have taken place earlier in history, because the British would have taken that as a serious insult. Maybe, if the patriots would have been disloyal to their word of not using the British tea, they would start to smuggle the British tea and this would have caused internal problems among the Patriots. Many outcomes could have ocurred, but The Boston Tea Party took place that way, and many people think that was the best way for it to happen, the best way for people in the Boston Colony to rebel against those unfair taxes.

The French and Indian war, or the Seven Years had doubled England’s debt. Money was spent faster than it could be brought. The general population of England was poor and each becoming poorer, and had no money to give to the government. The British Parliament looking for a solution, thought that they could tax the colonists to raise money; after all, British were giving military protection to the colonists and were spending money on the new lands taken from french near the colonies. This was undoubtedly a great mistake that will tense the relationship between the British and Colonists, and that consequently will cause the American Revolution.

Many taxes were devised by the Parliament and placed on the colonists. There was the Sugar Act, the quartering Act, but the most famous of all became the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act required colonists to pay taxes for every piece of paper used. Newspaper, letters, books, pamphlets, advertisements and even playing cards will become taxed. This act was passed in March 1765, but was coming to effect until November of that same year. This tax was insane and the colonists did not take it kindly at all. The colonists angrily protested thinking the act threatened the property and liberty of colonies. They argued that as they had no representation in the Parliament, the Parliament had no rights to raise taxes on them and apply such measures. Colonists believed in “No Taxation without Representation” and the Parliament, which had no representatives from the colonies, was violating this ideal by levying taxes, especially with the Stamp Act.

Colonist realized and started believing that if they accepted the Stamp Act, the Parliament was eventually going to come up with another tax and strip away their political rights. Parliament was puzzled by the colonists response and rejected the colonists arguments, calling them selfish and self-minded. The Parliament, seeing England need money, thought they could levy taxes on everyone they want. Because of all this tax resistances started occurring and protests broke out. Tax resistance and protest took three forms: Intellectual protests, Economics Boycotts and Violent Intimidations.

Regarding the Intellectual Protests, we find colonial leaders who wrote pamphlets, gave speeches and drafted resolutions to persuade the colonists to defy the new taxes. These people got ideas from the Enlightenment in Europe. Some of the ideas taken were the ideas of the Natural Rights, which Montesquieu and Locke argued that were the right to life, liberty and property. Another was John Locke’s idea that a good government would protect the natural rights and that the government existed for the common good of all the people. One of these people was Patrick Henry, a Virginia representative, that based on the Enlightenment Ideals drafted a radical document known as the Virginia Resolves. He presented his six resolves in the house of Burgesses, of which four were accepted and two denied. The notice of the resolves inspired 8 other colonies to also draft more resolves, making 9 out of 13 colonies to be protesting against taxes.

Regarding the violent intimidations, we find colonists who violently protested the Stamp Act by making harsh protests and also by attacking tax collectors. Before the Stamp Act came into action in November, colonists started working together creating a new American Unity. Those who opposed British taxes were called Patriots. Patriots formed an association called the Sons of Liberty. As the protests continue, angry crowds assaulted anyone who was in favor of taxes or that collected taxes. The Sons of Liberty lead mobs to tear down tax offices and the houses of tax collectors. Tax collectors were also captured and then, tarred and feathered. The mob even assaulted the house of governor Thomas Hutchinson for supporting the taxes. By the end of the year no one dared to support the taxes or to be a tax collector.

Regarding the economic boycotts, we find the Stamp Act Congress in New York City in October 1765, whose members encouraged the boycott from all the products coming from England. Local committees in the colony formed a nonimportation agreement. Women started to homespun to avoid buying textile material and contribute to the boycott. This women were known as The Daughters of Liberty.

All this three forces combined made the British back down. The effect of the three protests was great. The merchants and manufactures, as well as many others, pressured the Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act. The Parliament finally stand down and repealed the Stamp Act in 1766. But this was not the end. The Parliament, not learning from their mistake, decided to pass a law that “allowed” them to tax the colonists. New taxes appeared, tensing the situation and leading to new protests.

Hello world!

Welcome to our blog of the American Revolution. This is our very first post. We started it as a project for our U.S history class. In this blog we are planning to talk to you about the most relevant facts of the American Revolution, as well make the American Revolution enjoyable and easy to learn for everyone

Hope you enjoy it. Happy blogging!

Authors:
Christian Sabillon
Ivan Pastor
Mario Borjas

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