Presentation on theme: "Part 4 To Arms!. Starting in the early 1700’s, tea became a very popular drink in the colonies. However, the British East India Company which sold."— Presentation transcript:
Starting in the early 1700’s, tea became a very popular drink in the colonies. However, the British East India Company which sold its tea to colonial merchants, found itself in trouble because colonists weren’t buying tea. The tax on tea really wasn’t that much money, but colonists resented the idea of TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.
Parliament tried to help the tea company by passing the Tea Act. The Tea Company could now directly sell to the colonists and avoid working through the tea merchants. It made the tea cheaper, but many colonists saw it as a trick to get them to pay the tax. The boycott continues.
One colonial newspaper warned: “Do not suffer yourself to sip the accursed, dutied STUFF. For if you do, the devil will immediately enter into you, and you will instantly became a traitor to your country.” Many colonists brewed their own tea from raspberry leaves. The Sons of Liberty even tried to prevent the British East India Company from unloading cargoes of tea.
In late November of 1773, 3 ships loaded with tea arrived in Boston Harbor. The Governor ordered the captain to pay the taxes and sell the tea. If the taxes were not paid within 20 days, the cargo would be seized and sold. The deadline was set for Thursday, December 16 th.
Angry colonists did not even want the tea in their city. When the deadline approached, they wanted the Customs officers to let the ships go. The officers would not without permission from the governor. The governor would not let the ships sail, and the angry roar of the colonists could be heard on the streets of Boston.
The colonists knew that action now had to be taken. A group of men, dressed as Mohawk Indians, burst into the meeting they were having about the tea. At Griffin’s Wharf, about 50 or 60 men dressed as Indians boarded the ships. Some of the men were carpenters and barbers, while some were doctors or merchants.
On board the ships, the men worked quickly and quietly as a crowd silently watched them. They split open the tea chests, and dumped all of the tea into the harbor. The only sounds were the chinks of the hatchets and the splash of the tea landing in the water. No other cargo was damaged. By 10:00 they were done. When the British found out what had happened, they were absolutely furious!
Colonists had mixed reactions to the Tea Party. Some cheered the action, while others thought it might lead to lawlessness in the colonies. To punish the Bostonians for what they had done, Parliament passed some new laws that were very harsh. The colonists hated the laws, and called them the Intolerable Acts.
#1—The port of Boston was completely shut down until the tea was paid for. #2—Town meetings were limited to only one per year without permission from the governor. #3—Customs officers and other officials charged with crimes would be tried in Britain. #4—A new Quartering Act was passed.
Through the Committees of Correspondence, word spread quickly to the other colonies about what was happening in Massachusetts. Carts of food from the other colonies started rolling into Boston to feed the people. Church bells rang in some cities, and tolled slowly. Many colonists prayed and fasted to show their support.
In September of 1774, all colonies except Georgia, sent delegates to a meeting in Philadelphia. They decided to back up Massachusetts in its struggle. They agreed to boycott British goods, and to stop selling goods to the British. They also decided to have each colony set up its own militia, or army of citizen soldiers that would serve during an emergency.
In Massachusetts, newspapers called on citizens to protect American liberty. “MINUTEMEN” were volunteers who were ready to fight on short notice. More and more troops began arriving in Boston. In early 1775, the British heard that in the village of Concord, weapons were being stored.
On the night of April 18, about 700 troops left Boston to head toward Concord. The Sons of Liberty were watching, and were warned by two lanterns hanging from the Old North Church that the British were moving toward Concord by water — “One if by land, two if by sea.” Riders were sent out to warn the people of Concord. One of them, Paul Revere, shouted “The Redcoats are coming!”
The next morning, at a small village called Lexington, the British met up with about 70 Minutemen. They ordered them to leave, but they didn’t. A shot, that no one knows for sure who fired, went off. In the ensuing brief skirmish, 8 colonists died.
The British found nothing in Concord, but near the town they clashed with about 300 Minutemen, starting at a place called the Old North Bridge. The whole rest of the day, the British were chased back to Boston. 73 of them were killed, and 200 were wounded or were missing. Many wondered what would happen next.