The Tea Act was administered in 1773, during the time that Great Britain was in control of colonial America, and was only one of several acts that was forced upon the American colonists. Britain had placed high taxes on some everyday items making life difficult for the colonist. Life was also difficult for the East India Trading Company, which was responsible for shipping the tea to the colonies. The company was required to port in England where the company would be taxed depending on what their cargo before continuing to the American colonies. Due to this taxing, the company’s finances were hurting.
Tea Act – Background of the Act
The Tea Act was a way to help the East India Trading Company with their financial difficulties. The East India Trading Company played a major role in Britain’s economy, so it was necessary for the Britain to pass the act to save them. The Tea Act allowed the company ships to travel directly to the American colonies without stopping in England to be taxed which meant that the company’s price on tea could go down with the hopes of selling more tea. The act also stated that the colonists were to buy tea only from Britain which meant from the East India Trading Company.
Colonists, who were not fond of England or its power in the American colonies, had decided not to buy tea from the East India Trading Company so as not to support Britain. Some colonists were buying tea illegally from Dutch ships. Other colonists went as far as to smuggle tea into the colonies. These colonists thought that Britain was trying to exert her control over the colonies to stamp out local business and government. The colonists also saw this act as another form of being taxed without being represented in England.
Tea Act – Consequences of the Act
The East India Trading Company ships landed in three ports: New York, Philadelphia, and Boston.
The colonists in New York, and Philadelphia were able to convince the officials through much persuasion to reject the company ships and turn them back to England. The colonists in Boston, however, were not able to persuade the officials to reject the ships, but they could refuse to buy the tea held on the ships. The company refused to go, and the colonists refused to buy.
This Tea Act made tensions between the American colonies and Britain tighter, and was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The colonists had had enough of the Britain’s interference in their daily lives. The colonials were ready to make their own decisions even if that meant fighting for the right to make their own decisions. Colonists were getting increasingly more aggressive against the British soldiers.
“Tempers were flaring. War was coming.”