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History 101: The Real Tea Party

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    "No taxation without representation." We have all heard the rallying cry and stories of a movement that ended up toppling an empire. A movement that no one in the world, including most colonists, ever thought would succeed. Who in their right minds thought when the British Parliament passed the Tea Act of 1773 that it would lead to the climatic defeat of the world's great empire just ten short years later? The great British Empire, ruler of the western world, defeated by a bunch of rag tag insurgents. A bunch of rag tag insurgents that had financing and assistance from France, Spain, and the Dutch.

    Let's take a moment to ponder what the Tea Party of 1773 was about. First of all, it was not even called "The Tea Party" until well into the 1800's. The rebellion had little to do about the actual price of tea that the colonists were paying, but was driven more by the fact that the colonists were being forced to pay taxes on goods, yet had no voice in the government that was a few thousand miles away. When the Dartmouth arrived in Boston in 1773, a meeting was called and a resolution was passed urging the ship to return to Europe without paying it's import duty. Two more tea ships arrived during this stand off, which eventually escalated to colonists storming the three ships and dumping all the tea barrels into the sea.

    Now let's take a moment to think about the modern day "Tea Party." I put that in quotes because it drives this writer absolutely nuts that this group of Americans have the audacity to label their "movement" after the greatest act of rebellion that may have ever taken place on our shores. I am not one to try to talk an individual or group down, but this is one group who's ignorance of world and American history should not be overlooked. There is a huge difference between not being represented in a government and the government not doing what you as an individual want it to do.

    We are a country of 300 million individuals with varying beliefs, ideas, and goals. The modern day "Tea Party" has one goal in mind: my way or the highway. They are willing to shut our government down, have our credit rating downgraded, and cause an economic calamity all in the name of "limited government." I have to wonder where these individuals were during the eight years of the Bush Administration where we fought two wars and passed a new entitlement program on a credit card. Where was their cry for limited government then?

    I wish that these individuals paid more attention in history class during their middle school years. If they had, maybe they would have learned what the actual Tea Party was about. Maybe they will pick up a book someday and learn it themselves.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    I found this book to be a revealing insight into the real Boston Tea Party!

    http://blogcritics.org/books/article/book-review-american-tempest-how-the/