Was The Boston Tea Party Violent?
No, the Boston tea party was not a violent incident. At least not from my side, as an American.
Because nobody lost life during that incident, nor the patriots had any intention to kill or physically injure someone.
They just went to the Boston Harbor and dumped 342 chests of tea into the Atlantic Ocean.
American patriots’ action was all about showing their disagreement with the Tea Act of 1773, but not to involve in any armed conflict against the British.
However, it led the British East India Company into heavy economic losses. But I think defining it violently is unfair.
However, the British side considered it a violent action because it made tremendous economic losses to them.
But for Americans, the Boston tea party was a glorious resistance against the unfair tea act.
[Do you know? Patriots like George Washington & Benjamin Franklin strongly condemned the Boston tea party. Benjamin Franklin even proposed to the English authority that he would pay all the compensation for the loss]
Was There Any Reason That It Didn’t Become Violent?
Yes, there was a major reason why it didn’t take a violent form. Actually, when the incident was about to take place, there were no British soldiers at the Boston Harbor.
At the same time, the city of Boston was not under martial law since the 1770’s massacre incident.
Because of the pressure from colonists, the English authority had to withdraw their soldiers to Castle Island. Taking advantage of the absence, patriots easily executed the incident.
Probably, if there had been soldiers, this incident could have proceeded toward violence.
Who knows, chances were people could even lose lives. But luckily, nothing happened that way.
How Did The British React To The Boston Tea Party?
For the British government, it was a major challenge to their authority over the 13 colonies, and hence, they considered it a riot.
To take revenge for the incident, from the beginning of the next year 1774, the parliament of Great Britain started passing five punitive laws for the colonies.
Those acts and their intentions:
1. The Boston Port Act: The act closed all the trades that happened through Boston Harbor. It demanded colonists pay all the compensations for the loss during the tea party.
2. Massachusetts Government Act: The act intended to abrogate the Massachusetts Charter of 1691. It entirely changed the governance system of the province. Through this law, the royally appointed governor became more and more powerful.
3. Administration of Justice Act: This act encouraged royally appointed officials to commit crimes in the colonies and run away to any other part of the British Empire. Patriots such as George Washington called it the Murdering Act or Murder Act.
4. Quebec Act: This act intended to increase Canada’s land area towards the 13 colonies. Also, it tried to increase religious distances between Christian Catholics and Protestants.
5. Quartering Act: This was the second version of 1765’s Quartering Act. Its main purpose was to provide English Soldiers shelter at colonists’ private homes. It even encouraged English troops to forcefully occupy colonists’ private homes.
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