Boston Tea Party Part One

This is part one of my History H701 post on The Boston Tea Party.

Using Jstor I researched the Boston Tea Party which took place on December 16, 1773.  On that night, approximately 50 members of the Sons of Liberty organized in part by Samuel Adams disguised themselves as Indians and bordered three British ships and threw its cargo of imported tea overboard.   The “official” purpose of this action was to protest the British Tea Act of 1773. 

The first scholarly work I found was actually a chapter in a book Called the Defiance of the Patriots by Benjamin Carp Yale University press. 2010.  I then went to another database and was able to locate the book in electronic format.  The book is a detailed account of the revolutionary war using a significant number of primary sources.  This is a general work on the entire period. 

I did find a second article on Jstor from the same writer.  In a 2012 article Carp wrote “Did Dutch Smuggler’s Provoke the Boston Tea Party, written in the Early American Studies Journal.  This work was intriguing because the author advanced the notion that smugglers were actually behind the demonstration in order to protect their lucrative tea trade.  This work cited a series of works by authors on the war.  It further used primary sources such as letters from Generals, British Lords and writings of John Adams.  His conclusion appears to be that while the Dutch may have tried to start the demonstration it certainly didn’t know it would lead to war.


The third article is not new at all, as it was written in Jan of 1898 in The American Historical Review by Max Farrand.  The article titled “The Taxation of Tea, 1767-1773” is what I considered to be a unique take on the question.  The was written from a historical economic viewpoint on what the purpose of the taxation was and why it was so confusing to everyone.  The author concluded that the tea could have been sold for a profit without the tax which was meant to make the tea from the East India Company profitable.  The author used historical writings and calculations to make this interesting argument.

Overall, the writing on the Boston Tea Party is not as prevalent as I thought it would.  While lots of writings include it to some extent, it is not a topic that is written on exclusively as much.

Published by Mark King

Currently, Mark King works for the Marion County Public Defender’s Office in the Juvenile CHINS Division. He represents families that have become involved with the Department of Child Services. Like most people, Mark enjoys spending time with family and friends and enjoys golf, working out and traveling. He has been lucky with his career-- started as a prosecutor, joined the FBI, had a private practice and has appeared before the Georgia and Indiana trial courts, Indiana Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for both the Southern and Northern Districts of Indiana, and the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Mark has a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University and a Master of Arts in Military History from Norwich University. His passion for history has pushed him to begin working on his second doctorate, a PhD in History. Mark is married and lives on the south side of Indianapolis.

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