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How did the Boston Tea Party protest affect the British?


"The Boston Tea Party was a political protest that occurred on December 16, 1773, at Griffin's Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts. American colonists, frustrated and angry at Britain for imposing “taxation without representation,” dumped 342 chests of tea, imported by the British East India Company into the harbor".

Two simple questions:

  1. How did the colonists "get the British" by this behavior? It wasn't like the tea was owned by the crown.
  2. Why did they choose to ruin and dump such valuable tea, why didn't they just steal it for themselves?

  1. They prevented the tax from being paid, since it was paid on the sale. This paralleled the earlier boycotts on the much large number of items that Parliament attempted to tax.
  2. To make it clear that they were doing this as a protest and not just as simply theft. They even replaced the lock they had broken to get at the tea in order to make it clear.

Discussion of the damage here.