Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 1773 - The Boston Tea Party


240 years ago, a group of brave patriots decided they simply weren't going to take it anymore.

Today is the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.

What happened then has considerable resonance in our own times.

The colonies were under the thumb of a detached Ruling Class who decided that they could plunder their subjects at will. As part of that governance, the British parliament decided to forbid the colonists to but tea from anyone else but Britain in the 1773 Tea Act, and to pay a tax on it...without the American people having the slightest say in it.

The Tea Act and the tax were extremely unpopular, and protests had prevented the unloading of the taxed tea in three other colonies,New York, Charleston and Philadelphia. But the Massachusetts Bay Colony (as it was known then) was different.

There, the British appointed Royal governor Thomas Hutchinson, whose sons were tea merchants with a royal monopoly to sell it insisted that the tea be unloaded and distributed.

On the night of December 16th 1773, a gang of Bostonian patriots around 100 strong disguised as Indians boarded the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver and dumped 90,000 pounds of tea into Boston Harbor.Th efact that they chose to disguise themselves as Indians meant something besides merely concealing their identities. It meant that they were identifying themselves as Americans, a separate people.

It is worth noting something else here...this was an act of principle, not economics. Because the Tea Act eliminated various middle men and allowed the British East India company to sell directly to the crown appointed tea agents, the price actually lowered. What the colonists objected to was the right of the Crown to tax them at its whim without any representation in parliament. And when the governor refused to bow to the will of the people, they acted.

Parliament's response also showed that this was not about economics.No less than our own Benjamin Franklin declared that the destroyed tea should be paid for. Robert Murray, a New York merchant, went to then British Prime Minister Lord North with three other merchants and offered to pay for the tea, but the British government refused to accept payment.

Instead, the British responded in 1774 with the Coercive Acts, which ended and degree of local self-government in Massachusetts and closed off Boston's harbor. That led to further protests throughout the colonies and had the effect of unifying them, ultimately leading to the First Continental Congress which petitioned King George III for redress, and further united those colonists opposed to Britain's tyranny. Lexington and Concord followed and the American Revolutionary War began in 1775.

Today, our own Ruling Class sees the Tea Party as their 'subjects' in flyover country, a bunch of ignorant. knuckle dragging rubes who need to be ruled by their elite betters. That's pretty much how the British Crown saw those early Americans.

Both the men and women whom supported the original Tea Party of 1773 and its modern equivalent share frustration with elites who simply could care less about their concerns and attack our freedom with taxation and regulation the American people mostly have little or no say over. The very term 'Tea Partier' or in its nastier form 'teabagger' has become code within the media and the elites for racists, reactionary, gun toting Jesus lovin' morons.

It is high time that Americans who still care about freedom and see America as a bastion of freedom and human dignity took a good long look at how that freedom and dignity is being eroded every day by those whom have set themselves up as our Ruling Class. And became worthy of our ancestors by doing something about it.


louielouie said...

has become code within the media and the elites for racists, reactionary, gun toting Jesus lovin' morons.

why, thank you.
however, my criticism of the tea party is a lot more fundamental. imo, they are a bunch of "johnny come latelys".
where the hll have they been for the past 50 years?

B.Poster said...

"where the hll have they been the last 50 years?" Very good question. I may be able to offer some insight into this. At least it's a theory based upon how American society has changed over the last 30+ years. (50 years ago is a bit before my time.)

Even if we go back twenty years and compare that today, twenty years ago more people worked for large organizations to earn the money they needed to live and a job with these large organizations was more secure than it is today. Now fewer people work for large organizations today and many of the people who would have been working for the large organizations 20 years ago are now small business owners who are employing still others who once would have been a cog in the machine of a large organization.

When new burdensome regulations are passed or taxes are increased the ones who feel this most acutely are the small business owners and their employees. These types of things seem to have less of a direct impact on employees or executives of large organizations.

This I think is the main reason we've seen the so called "tea party" arise whereas it was not around say 50 years ago. Also, just because they are late in coming does not mean that those who are in agreement should not try and work constructively with them. Anyone who was fighting the good fight 50 years ago should be glad to have fresh supporters and those who have been fighting the good fight against burdensome big government for 50 years should be commended!!

Finally, it should be pointed out that the "tea party" does not have any where near the influence that its enemies seem to think it has. It has no central leadership. This is an advantage in the fact that without a central leadership it's harder for it's adversaries to target said leaders and take them down. There is a disadvantage in that lack of any clear coherent policy and direction as could be formulated by solid leadership does not exist. As such, effectiveness is limited.

Now as for "Jesus lovin," I'm Jesus loving. The founding colonists were Jesus loving and the leaders of the American revolution and the founding fathers closely adhered to Judeo-Christian principles as found in the Christian bible. When the United adhered to the principles espoused by Jesus lovers, it was an exceptional nation. As it has drifted from the principles, it is no longer an exceptional nation. If we ever want our country to be exceptional ever again, the nation will need a return to those founding principles. Without such a change in direction not only will our nation never be exceptional again buts its very survival is going to be problematic at best.

This is a secondary reason as to why the so called "tea party" was not around per say 50 years ago or even 20 years ago. The nation had not fallen so far from its founding Christian principles as it is now. Many within the "tea party" recognize the nation cannot survive without a return to said principles.

With that said the primary reason for the "tea party" now has to with economics, which is part of the problem. "Conservatives" have largely abandoned social issues to godless, anti-American, leftists. This will need to change if our nation is to have a chance. Hopefully its not already to late.

I've gone on too long. In any event, excellent analysis of the original tea party in 1773. the background and the context of this are very interesting!!