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Using Tea as a Protest
Something is brewing in the country.
Long ago in the year of 1773, the colonists’ ire against the Parliament and King George resulted in an uprising and a protest. This very public protest resulted in a huge outpouring and an American Revolution called The Boston Tea Party.
Is history repeating itself? Well depending on whom you may ask their answer may be a resounding yes!
At the end of The French and Indian war, King George III wanted to find ways to raise all of the monies that were lost fighting the war. The new American colonists were becoming very independent. They had endured many things that King George III had imposed on them, and the Boston Massacre of 1770 left three colonists dead and two others wounded badly. The colonists were not happy with the King and the king’s men. Finally, the king began to impose a taxation on tea; thinking that this would be a great way to recoup a significant amount of money.
The colonists began protests here and there and the king did repeal some of the impositions. However, the kings’ taxation of tea was never appealed. The colonists resented that the king did not remove the taxes on the tea. But the American colonists would not stop their protests saying that is” taxation without representation”. The king then; trying to control their protests came up with a scheme involving the East Indian Tea Company. This was the largest importer of the best quality of tea to America. The king and his parliament gave a monopoly to this company on their imports of tea. He was then able to lower the price of the tea to the colonists. Then he levied a duty tax on tea. Once the colonists bought and paid for tea and its new tax they inadvertently supported the king!
Tea was an American colonists’ staple and was drank everyday. The king showed that the colonists would much rather just pay the tax than go without the drinking of their tea. But the colonists were very bright. They figured out what the king was doing easily. So they simply started refusing acceptance of ships with tea from the East Indian Tea Company. And on one dock in New York state, the colonists held the cargo of at least one ship so that it could be used later for leverage if need be.
But it was in Boston upon the arrival of tea ships on the date of December 16, 1773, about seven thousand people gathered on the pier where the ships were docked. The colonists that were present there resolved that ships that contained tea would be turned away without the payment of the taxes. It came to a stalemate when the tax collector then refused to have the ships sent away.
The colonists then rose up and commanders ordered to open the hatches of the ships and remove all of the chests of tea and then to throw overboard all of that tea. Many of the colonists were dressed in Indian attire with full headdress and tomahawks. Those tomahawks were used to break open the tea chests. The colonists then destroyed all of the tea and sent a clear message to the king. They named this event The Boston Tea Party.
Fast forward to today. Recently a CNBC Analyst named Rich Santelli went on air and called for a “tea party” so that our current president would know how some Americans feel.
Many took his call to heart. One woman living in Tennessee that home-schools her children, wanted to exhibit an actual American Revolution against the stimulus package that was enacted by our new president. Currently for $5.00 this woman will mail a message and a giant tea bag to the White House in the purchasers honor. She will gather the tea bag purchases all together and intends to mail them on April 10th in hopes that they will arrive on tax day. Still many others around the United States have also promised to protest on July 4th with the tossing of tea bags in lakes!
I am not sure if any of their grass-roots efforts will amount to the likes of The Boston Tea Party, but these modern American colonists (protesters) have garnered some attention. They have hopes that the president may listen to their plight.
So whether it is tea mail or The Boston Tea Party, tea is used as a protest and is still considered quite valuable.