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American Thinker
American Thinker
16 Dec 2023
James Poplar

NextImg:A party that gave birth to a Nation

December 16th marks the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. This seminal event in American history occurred on December 16, 1773, at Griffin’s Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts. American colonists who were frustrated and angry with Britain for imposing “taxation without representation,” dumped 342 chests of tea, imported by the British East India Company, into the Boston harbor. This was the first major act of defiance to British rule by the colonists. Many historians acknowledge this act ultimately galvanized the Colonies and led directly to the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War, and ultimately the creation of the United States of America.

That night, a large group of men—many were members of the Sons of Liberty— disguised themselves as Native Americans, boarded docked British ships, and threw 342 chests of tea into the harbor. Said participant George Hewes:

We then were ordered by our commander to open the hatches and take out all the chests of tea and throw them overboard, and we immediately proceeded to execute his orders, first cutting and splitting the chests with our tomahawks, so as thoroughly to expose them to the effects of the water.

While many important contemporary colonist leaders such as John Adams were thrilled to learn Boston Harbor was covered in tea leaves, others were not.

In June of 1774, George Washington wrote: “the cause of Boston … ever will be considered as the cause of America.” However, his personal views of the event were far different. Washington, like many of his contemporaries, held private property to be sacrosanct. Benjamin Franklin insisted the British East India Company be reimbursed for the lost tea and even offered to pay for it himself. Unlike today, the participants of the “party” even swept the ships’ decks clean before they left!

Little did the colonists realize this symbolic act of defiance of “No taxation without representation” would lead to the formation of the greatest Republic known to mankind—the United States of America.  In creating our system of government, the Founding Fathers were not perfect nor pretended to be, and they were neither gods nor angels but rather complex, prejudiced, yet visionary men who dared to create this great experiment in human governance at the risk of losing their lives and all possessions. They also knew that they were in a race against time because the window of opportunity to launch such an endeavor rarely comes in history and quickly passes.

With the aid of Providence, they took a leap of faith and devised this great experiment we now know today as the United States of America with the hope that each future generation of Americans would use this system of governance to help them advance the human condition.  As Americans we are by no means perfect, but we must continue to build upon the foundation that our Founding Fathers laid for us over two hundred years ago and continue to move forward and adjust course as required. May God Bless America!

Image: Public domain.