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Anniversary of the Tea Party

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Today December 16th is the anniversary of the Tea Party. Not the Tea Party hated by and scorned by those in power today. The Boston Tea Party, the one hated and scorned by those in power 240 years ago. Ninety thousand pounds of tea was sitting onboard three British vessels in Boston harbor bound for government approved consignees to be taxed and sold to the colonists. December 16th was the last day the ships could remain with their cargo untaxed. The British appointed Governor Hutchinson refused to allow the ships to leave without paying the tax. The colonists refused to pay a tax they had no say in.

Late that night members of the Sons of Liberty dressed as Mohawk Indians in the course of three to four hours emptied the holds of all three ships of 242 crates of tea. Thus allowing the tea to leave the harbor on the outgoing tide. It wasn’t until years later it was called a Tea Party, at the time referred to as the “destruction of the tea”.

The objections the Sons of Liberty held was not the tax itself, that was rather small. The tax was about 1.5 cents per pound of tea that was worth about 24 cents. (About a 4% tax) Their objection was the tax was imposed upon them without their consent. This gave rise to the rally cry of “no taxation without representation”. The British parliament wanted the tax revenue to pay for local government direct instead of the colonists raising their own taxes and having a say in government affairs. One Philadelphian compared paying the tea tax to “the seeds of slavery”.

The Boston Tea Party was the first act of open rebellion against the British rule. The British recognized that fact and passed the intolerable acts restricting colonist’s freedoms even more while at the same time secretly raiding gun powder stores to disarm the colonists. It was sixteen months later while raiding powder stores in Lexington and Concord rebellion turned into armed conflict.

So in honor of the fight against the 4% tax on Tea that started this country we should all go out with money left over after the 17.4% average federal income tax, 8% average Social Security tax, in New York 8.8% income tax and buy a cup of Tea after paying an average of 4% sales tax for prepared food. Then proceed to the nearest harbor and throw it and all our current politicians into the water so they can leave with the tide.

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