The passing of the act, coupled with the maintenance of the three-pence American tea tax, suggested that Great Britain felt it had a right to tax the colonists and control the North American market. This early example of trade friction led to greater political and economic discord between the colonies and Britain.
The combination of a
Many colonists initially thought the duties were eliminated altogether, and the merchants consigned to sell the tea did not enlighten the public. During the summer of 1773, however, as newspapers and pamphlets revealed the true purpose of the Tea Act, public outrage grew. Smugglers of cheaper Dutch tea, such as Boston merchant John Hancock, were particularly angered by the competition. Colonists from the Carolinas to Massachusetts became convinced that the purchase of cheaper, legally imported tea would give sanction to the British government’s right to tax the colonies. The Sons of Liberty in Philadelphia, New York, and Charleston intimidated American merchants into giving up their licenses to sell the tea. Only in Boston did the consignees refuse, thus setting the stage for the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773.
Boston Tea Party
Colonial economic systems
Parliamentary Charter of 1763