The Boston Tea
• Despite the hopes of Patriots like Sam Adams, the Boston Massacre
did not spark new protests against British rule.
• Instead, the repeal of the Townshend duties led to a period of calm.
• There was still a small duty on tea, but Loyalists did not seem to be
bothered by it.
• As for Patriots, they could always drink Dutch tea that had been
smuggled into the country without paying duties.
• However, things did not stay peaceful for long.
• In 1773, a new law called the Tea Act prompted more protests.
What was happening before the Boston
Tea Party?
• The Tea Act, passed by Parliament on May 10, 1773, would launch the final
spark to the revolutionary movement in Boston.
• The act was not intended to raise revenue in the American colonies, and in
fact imposed no new taxes. It was designed to prop up the East India
Company which was floundering financially and burdened with eighteen
million pounds of unsold tea. This tea was to be shipped directly to the
colonies, and sold at a bargain price.
• The Townshend Duties were still in place, however, and the radical leaders in
America found reason to believe that this act was a maneuver to buy popular
support for the taxes already in force. The direct sale of tea, via British
agents, would also have undercut the business of local merchants.
• Colonists in Philadelphia and New York turned the tea ships back to Britain.
• In Charleston the cargo was left to rot on the docks.
• In Boston the Royal Governor was stubborn & held the ships in port, where
the colonists would not allow them to unload. Cargoes of tea filled the
harbor, and the British ship's crews were stalled in Boston looking for work
and often finding trouble.
• This situation led to the Boston Tea Party.
The Tea Act
The Boston Tea Party Society
Let’s Party
Definition: Series of laws sponsored by British Prime Minister Lord North and enacted in
1774 in response to the Boston Tea Party. The laws were these:
Impartial Administration of Justice Act, which allowed the royal governor of a colony to move
trials to other colonies or even to England if he feared that juries in those colonies wouldn't judge a
case fairly
Massachusetts Bay Regulating Act made all law officers subject to appointment by the royal
governor and banned all town meetings that didn't have approval of the royal governor
Boston Port Act, which closed the port of Boston until the price of the dumped tea was recovered,
moved the capital of Massachusetts to Salem, and made Marblehead the official port of entry for
the Massachusetts colony.
Quartering Act, which allowed royal troops to stay in houses or empty buildings if barracks were
not available
Quebec Act, which granted civil government and religious freedom to Catholics living in Quebec.
These Acts were the harshest so far of all the Acts passed by Parliament. The closing of Boston's
port alone would cost the colony (and the American colonies as a whole) a ton of money. The
Regulating Act was aimed at curtailing revolutionary activities. The Quartering Act angered
colonists who didn't want soldiers (especially Redcoats) in their houses. And the Quebec Act was a
direct insult to Americans, who had been denied the same sorts of rights that the Quebec residents
now got. Rather than keep the colonists down, the Intolerable Acts stirred the revolutionary spirit
to a fever pitch.
The Intolerable Acts
• The Intolerable Acts did not force the colonists to give in
to Britain.
• Boston Patriots declared they would “abandon their city
to flames” before paying a penny for the lost tea.
• Merchants in other cities showed their support by closing
their shops.
• Many colonies sent food and money to Boston so that its
citizens would not starve.
The Colonies Begin to Unite
• In Virginia, lawmakers drafted a resolution in support of
• The Virginians said that everyone’s rights were at stake. “An attack
made on one of our sister colonies,” they declared, “is an attack made
on all British America.”
• The Virginians also called for a congress, or meeting, of delegates
from all the colonies. The purpose of the congress would be to find a
peaceful solution to the conflicts with Great Britain.
• Not all Americans agreed with this plan. In every colony, there were
Loyalists who thought that Bostonians had gone too far and should
pay for the tea.
• If they were forced to choose, they would side with the King against
Sam Adams and his Sons of Liberty. To them, it was the misguided
Patriots who were causing all the trouble.
Their reaction
• In September 1774, some 50 leaders from 12 colonies met in
• The meeting brought together delegates from most of the British
colonies on the North American continent. For this reason, it was
called the First Continental Congress.
• The colonists were used to thinking of themselves as citizens of their
own colonies.
• Patrick Henry, a leader from Virginia, urged them to come together as
one people. “I am not a Virginian,” he declared, “but an American.”
But only strong Patriots like Sam and John Adams were ready to
think of themselves this way.
• Many delegates were strong Loyalists who still thought of
themselves as British.
• Still others, like George Washington, were somewhere in between.
Only one thing united the delegates – their love of liberty and hatred
of tyranny.
The First Continental Congress
• In spite of their differences, the delegates agreed to send a
respectful message to King George. The message urged
the King to consider their complaints and to recognize
their rights.
• The delegates also called for a new boycott of British
goods until Parliament repealed the Intolerable Acts.
Finally, they agreed to meet again the following May if
the boycott didn’t work.
• In towns and cities throughout the colonies, Patriots appointed
committees to enforce the boycott.
• In case the boycott didn’t work, they also began organizing local
• In New England, the volunteers called themselves Minutemen
because they could be ready to fight in just 60 seconds.
• Across the colonies, militias marched and drilled.
• In New Hampshire, unknown persons stole 100 barrels of gunpowder
and 16 cannons from a British fort. Similar thefts occurred in other
• Rather than forcing the colonies to give in, the Intolerable Acts had
brought the two sides to the brink of war.
The Colonies Form Militias
• The first shots starting the revolution were fired at Lexington,
• On April 18, 1775, British General Thomas Gage sent 700 soldiers to
destroy guns and ammunition the colonists had stored in the town of
Concord, just outside of Boston.
• The colonists moved the stock of weapons from Concord to
neighboring towns to prevent British capture.
• The colonists already had set up an early warning system set up to
alert them of British troop movement.
• They also planned to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock, two of
the key leaders of the patriot movement.
Lexington and Concord
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The Story of US: Rebels &
• On the evening of April 18, 1775, about 700 British troops left
Boston by boat bound for Cambridge and then the road to Lexington
and Concord.
• A warning signal in the old Church steeple arranged by Dr. Warren
warned Paul Revere that the troops were on their way.
• Dr. Warren also sent William Dawes on a longer land route to
Lexington. They were joined by Samuel Prescott who would ride to
Concord to alert the colonists. Along the route, they warned patriots
that the British Army was coming. Many of these patriots then began
riding to warn other patriots.
• In the now famous "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," he road his horse
from Boston to Lexington in order to warn John Hancock and
Samuel Adams that the British Army had begun their march from
Boston to Lexington.
• In response, they began to assemble the militia.
Paul Revere’s Famous Ride
A Visual Representation of
the Famous Ride

The Boston Tea Party