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The British Reaction to The Boston Tea Party

The small group responsible for planning and then carrying out the Boston Tea Party did so in order to protest against having to pay taxes and custom duties that they had not consented to in the first place. The protestors were strongly opposed to having to pay custom duties on tea imported from India especially as these were imposed upon them by the British colonial authorities without any sort of consultation taking place.

The protestors responsible for the Boston Tea Party destroyed a large not to mention valuable cargo of Indian tea by throwing it into the Hudson river in Boston. The British colonial authorities believed that the custom duties imposed on imports of tea upon the American colonies were fair as well as being legal. Besides the British colonial thought it was about time that the American colonies paid back some of the money in defending during the French and Indian Wars / Seven Years War.

However the wars of the eighteenth century were expensive and the British government believed that the American colonies had not contributed enough manpower and finances to the British war effort particularly during the Seven Years War. After all, the success of the British in capturing Quebec from the French had greatly improved the security of the American colonies as well as enhancing Britain’s imperial prestige.

Naturally enough the British reaction to the Boston Tea Party was not a very favourable one. The British believed that the American colonists were being ungrateful, as well as illegally destroying goods and refusing to pay custom duties. The British government saw the Boston Tea Party as an act of provocation as well as an act of defiance. It therefore decided to send reinforcements to its military garrisons in the American colonies and Canada to restore full control over the Thirteen colonies. Essentially the Boston Tea Party was a trap for the British government, a trap that it walked straight into.

The way in which the British government and colonial authorities arguably contributed to the beginning of the American Revolution / American War of Independence. However it would have been impossible for the British government to have reacted in other way to the Boston Tea Party.

Bibliography

Ashley M, (2002) A brief history of British Kings & Queens, Robinson, London

Churchill W S (1957) A History of the English Speaking Peoples 3 – The Age of Revolution, Cassell, London

Colvin J, (2004) Decisive Battles, Headline, London

Ferguson N, (2003) Empire – how Britain made the modern world, Penguin, London

Ward G, (2003) the Rough Guide History of the USA, Rough Guides Ltd, London

 

 

 

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