American Revolution
The Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.47

     challenging words:    insolence, ruling, refusing, advisor, revenue, withdrawal, apprehend, input, representation, disobedience, lifestyle, acceptable, discussion, general, hardship, treasury
     content words:    George III, Lord Townshend, Great Britain, Stamp Act, Davison Newman Company, Boston Harbor, Intolerable Acts

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The Boston Tea Party
By Jane Runyon

1     King George III and his advisor Lord Townshend needed to raise money to put into the dangerously low British coffers. Money was being spent faster than it could be brought in. There were wars to support. There were government buildings to be constructed. There was a royal lifestyle to be maintained. The general population of England had no more money to give to the government. They were poor and getting poorer. Many were sent to debtors' prison because they couldn't pay their bills. There had to be a way to bring revenue to the treasury without causing more hardship on the citizens of Britain.
2     After much discussion, the king and Townshend came up with what they thought was a brilliant answer to their problem. Great Britain held claim to a vast new area of land west across the Atlantic called America. Colonies had been set up in the name of the king. Many of the new colonists were natives of England, or their families had emigrated from England. The English even sent soldiers to the colonies to help protect the colonists from outside forces which might want to take over some of their holdings. In the minds of the British, it was obvious that the colonists owed England for their very livelihood. After all, who sold them the supplies that they needed? And who bought the products produced in the new world? The colonies were the perfect place to go for needed cash. Taxing the very goods the colonists needed would be the perfect way to raise the money.
3     After the Stamp Act, proposed by the king and Townshend, was repealed in 1766, the British decided to tax glass, lead, paper, paint, and tea that were shipped to the colonies. The colonists were growing more and more dissatisfied with the taxes being levied on them. They had no representatives in England. The taxes were being levied without any input from them. That was taxation without representation in their minds. A boycott of all British goods was called for by the colonial leaders. They felt that by refusing to purchase British goods, a strong message would be sent to the ruling heads of state. It was their thinking that taking money out of the pockets of British merchants would lead them to complain to the king. If they complained loudly enough and long enough, the king would relent and drop the tax. Their plan worked to the point that all of the taxes except the one on tea were repealed in 1770. Something more had to be done. They wanted to emphasize their point in a very public way. A plan was conceived and put into motion.

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