Land of the Brave

The Tea Act

Colonial America - Land of the Brave

Definition of the Tea Act 1773
The Meaning and Definition of the Tea Act: The Tea Act of 1773 was a British Law, passed by the Parliament of Great Britain on May 10, 1773, that was designed to bail out the British East India Company and expand the company's monopoly on the tea trade to all , selling excess tea at a reduced price.

The Tea Act - A Follow-up Act
The Tea Act was a follow-up to the Revenue Act, that was one of the laws in the which set new import duties (taxes) on British goods including paint, paper, lead, glass and tea.

Due to protests from British merchants, whose trade was seriously effected by the American colonists refusing to buy the goods, Parliament repealed all of the duties (taxes) - except the tax on tea.

  • The Tea Act imposed no new taxes
  • It gave a tea monopoly in the American colonies to the British East India Company
  • The Tea Act allowed the East India company to sell its large tea surplus below the prices charged by colonial competitors
The Tea Act of 1773
Of all the Townshend duties (taxes) only the import tax on tea was left. Not surprisingly, the American colonists continued to boycott tea. As a result of the boycotts, the East India Company had literally tons of tea in its London warehouses and was on the verge of bankruptcy. By 1772 the East India Company had 18 million pounds of unsold tea in warehouses and 1.3 million pounds of debt.

Reaction of the Colonists to the Tea Act of 1773
The reaction of the American colonists to the Tea Act came as a shock to the British. Buying the tea would mean that the colonists had accepted paying the British import tax. The American colonists had not forgotten their outrage at the Stamp Act of 1765 and the efforts made to gain the political victory in having the hated act repealed.

  • Since the Colonies were not represented in Parliament, they saw the Tea Act as unconstitutional
  • Their cry of "No taxation without representation!" had not been forgotten.
  • The seeds of revolution had been sewn in the minds of many of the American colonists. The , and the Daughters of Liberty, had experienced a relatively calm period since the repeal of the Stamp Act and the . The Tea Act stirred up all of the old feelings of resentment towards the British

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