December 16th, 1773

the-destruction-of-tea-at-boston-harbor-by-nathaniel-currier.jpg243 years ago today a band of Colonialists from Boston dressed as Mohawk warriors took to the harbor in what we would come to know as the Boston Tea Party. Even as Lord North, the Prime Minister, oversaw the dismantling of the majority of the measures passed by the Townsend Acts, which lead to the British occupation of Boston and the Boston Massacre, he kept in place the Tea Duty as a means of asserting the Crown’s right to tax the colonies. By 1773 that would prove useful as Parliament put forward a new Tea Tax in order to help prop up the British East India Company. It is interesting to note that 8 days after the Tea Tax received the Royal Assent of King George III, Parliament passed the Regulating Act, which asserted they had the ultimate control over the Company that had been operating by Royal Charter for almost 200 years. It is perhaps also interesting to note that the company, which would now be given a monopoly over the Tea Trade contributed significant money to the political ambitions of key members of Parliament. Within 6 months of the Tea Tax’s passage the Colonialists took to the Harbor, believing that their natural rights as Englishmen were being violated by a far distant central government that taxed them without representation. The British response would be harsh. The Coercive Acts, perhaps better known as the Intolerable Acts, would be passed within a few short months, and Revolution would soon follow. Protest in defense of our rights is as old as the Republic itself, if not older. When we find our natural rights are violated, silence is not acceptable. As we are reminded of by these Colonialists is that the ultimate power of change rests in the hands of the people. They can, when resolved towards change, break whatever chains that bind them as they refuse to be weighed down by a government that refuses to hear their voices, even if that government is that of the most powerful Empire in the world.

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