II. And whereas by one other act made in the eighteenth year of the reign of his late majesty King George the Second, (intituled, An act for repealing the present inland duty of four shillings per pound weight upon all tea sold in Great Britain; and for granting to his Majesty certain other inland duties in lieu thereof; and for better securing the duty upon tea, and other duties of excise; and for pursuing offenders out of one county into another,) it is, amongst other things, enacted, That every person who shall, at any publick sale of tea made by the united company of merchants of England trading to the East Indies, be declared to be the best bidder for any lot or lots of tea, shall, within three days after being so declared the best bidder or bidders for the same, deposit with the said united company, or such clerk or officer as the said company shall appoint to receive the same, forty shillings for every tub and for every chest of tea; and in case any such person or persons shall refuse or neglect to make such deposit within the time before limited, he, she, or they, shall forfeit and lose six times the value of such deposit directed to be made as aforesaid, to be recovered by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information, in any of his Majesty's courts of record at Westminster, in which no essoin, protection, or wager of law, or more than one imparlance, shall be allowed; one moiety of which forfeiture shall go to his Majesty, his heirs and successors, and the other moiety to such person as shall sue or prosecute for the same; and the sale of all teas, for which such deposit shall be neglected to be made as aforesaid, is thereby declared to be null and void, and such teas shall be again put up by the said united company to publick sale, within fourteen days after the end of the sale of teas at which such teas were sold; and all and every buyer or buyers, who shall have neglected to make such deposit as aforesaid, shall be, and is and are thereby rendered incapable of bidding for or buying any teas at any future publick sale of the said united company: and whereas it is found to be expedient and necessary to increase the deposit to be made by any bidder or bidders for any lot or lots of bohea teas, at the publick sales of teas to be made by the said united company; be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every person who shall, after the tenth day of May, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-three, at any publick sale of tea to be made by the said united company of merchants of England trading to the East Indies, be declared to be the best bidder or bidders for any lot or lots of bohea tea, shall, within three days after being so declared the best bidder or bidders for the same, deposit with the said united company, or such clerk or officer as the said united company shall appoint to receive the same, four pounds of lawful money of Great Britain for every tub and for every chest of bohea tea, under the same terms and conditions, and subject to the same forfeitures, penalties, and regulations, as are mentioned and contained in the said recited act of the eighteenth year of the reign of his said late Majesty.
III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the commissioners of his Majesty's treasury, or any three or more of them, or for the high treasurer for the time being, upon application made to them by the said united company of merchants of England trading to the East Indies for that purpose, to grant a licence or licences to the said united company, to take out of their warehouses, without the same having been put up to sale, and to export to any of the British plantations in America, or to any parts beyond the seas, such quantity or quantities of tea as the said commissioners of his Majesty's treasury, or any three or more of them, or the high treasurer for the time being, shall think proper and expedient, without incurring any penalty or forfeiture for so doing; any thing in the said in part recited act, or any other law, to the contrary notwithstanding.
Activists were busy again, advocating boycott. Many went further. British ships carrying the controversial cargo were met with threats of violence in virtually all colonial ports. This was usually sufficient to convince the ships to turn around. In Annapolis, citizens burned a ship and the tea it carried.
VI. Provided nevertheless, That no such licence shall be granted, unless it shall first be made to appear to the satisfaction of the commissioners of his Majesty's treasury, or any three or more of them, or the high treasurer for the time being, that at the time of taking out such teas, for the exportation of which licence or licences shall be granted, there will be left remaining in the warehouses of the said united company, a quantity of tea not less than ten millions of pounds weight; any thing herein, or in any other act of parliament, contained to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.
V. Provided always, and it is hereby further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That a due entry shall be made at the custom-house, of all such tea so exported by licence, as aforesaid, expressing the quantities thereof, at what time imported, and by what ship; and such tea shall be shipped for exportation by the proper officer for that purpose, and shall, in all other respects, not altered by this act, be liable to the same rules, regulations, restrictions, securities, penalties, and forfeitures, as tea penalties, &c. exported to the like places was liable to before the passing this act: and upon the proper officer's duty, certifying the shipping of such tea to the collector and comptroller of his Majesty's customs for the port of London, upon the back of the licence, and the exportation thereof, verified by the oath of the husband or agent for the said united company, to be wrote at the bottom of such certificate, and sworn before the said collector and comptroller of the customs, (which oath they are hereby impowered to administer,) it shall and may be lawful for such collector and comptroller to write off and discharge the quantity of tea so exported from the warrant of the respective ship in which such tea was imported.
Governor allowed three ships carrying tea to enter Boston Harbor. Before the tax could be collected, Bostonians took action. On a cold December night, radical townspeople stormed the ships and tossed 342 chests of tea into the water. Disguised as Native Americans, the offenders could not be identified.
The British saw the Boston Tea Party as an outrage and determined not to let it go unpunished. They enacted the Boston Port Bill, which declared that until Massachusetts paid for the destroyed tea, a naval force would close Boston’s harbor to shipping. The fury in Boston was predictable, and sympathy for its plight poured in from every colony. The closing of Boston’s harbor was the first in a series of British parliamentary measures of 1774, known as the Coercive or Intolerable Acts, which pushed Britain and the American colonies closer to the American Revolution that began on April 19, 1175 in Massachusetts.
During the night of December 16, 1773, a group of men, called the Sons of Liberty, held a meeting to request that the British not land their tea ships at Boston harbor. Because their demand was denied, the adjourned the meeting, and made preparations to commit an act in protest. The men donned the attire of Mohawk Indians and proceeded to Griffin’s Wharf. The East India Company had three ships anchored at the harbor, the Beaver, Dartmouth, and Eleanor. These ships were actually built and owned by Americans, but the tea that was owned by the East India Company. The Sons of Liberty traveled in boats to the ships that had arrived from Britain filled with tea. The used axes to break open the 342 tea chests, causing the tea to flow into the water. The men hastily left the harbor where, fortunately, there were no injuries or casualties.
The British East India Company, which had a monopoly on tea sales, was on the verge of financial collapse. One of its few assets was seventeen million pounds of tea held in its London warehouses, which remained unsold because heavy taxes made it too expensive in Britain. The British government decided to save the company from ruin and bring in more much-needed revenue for the government. This plan received legislative form in the Tea Act. Colonists were opposed to paying any tax, and the people of Boston, Massachusetts responded more violently than those in any other town.
In 1773, a significant event occurred that led to the American Revolutionary War. The British enacted a tax on tea sold to the American colonies and passed the Tea Act on December 16, which was taxation without representation. Colonial resistance to the tax took the form of the Boston Tea Party.
The reason why the American colonies would not pay the taxes, tariffs and other payments to the British Empire was because they felt they should not pay to any country where they have no representation. The British parliament would then remove virtually all taxes initially imposed on the American colonies leaving only the tax on the tea imports, which was done to show that despite the fact that the British would allow Americans not to pay all taxes, they still had the ability to impose them and to assure that everyone pays them. I have to add here that in the summer of 1773, the British would create a rather smart money-generating plan. The British East India Company was given the exclusive right to trade tea to America thus becoming the monopoly and the controller of this commodity to the colonies (Hakim, 140). Yet in order not to make Americans angry, the British would somewhat reduce the duty Americans were paying for the tea to assure that it would be unprofitable for the Americans to start their own tea trading business because the tea was as cheap as never before (Wiegand, 93). The actual tea tax actually meant only political control of the Americans by the British, simply because the price of the tea would not change drastically. The tea was one of the most important commodities during the colonial times and the British believed that the Americans would live with the new tax and accept the British control rather than non-comply and avoid tea (Zinn, 48).