In 1773, the citizens of Boston called for three ships of the British East India Company to be sent back to England without their cargo of 342 chest of tea being unloaded.
This was in response to what were seen as unfair taxes on imports, being imposed by the British. Their request was denied and America moved closer to a revolution.
The royal governor of Boston, Thomas Hutchinson, would not allow the ships to depart without unloading their cargo. While he agreed that taxes could be detrimental to trade, Hutchinson supported British supremacy and the right of the British to impose taxes on the colonies.
The Boston citizens were angry at the laws, which were aimed at saving the East India Company from bankruptcy, making the imported tea cheaper than that supplied by local merchants. They refused to allow the ships to be unloaded in protest at these unfair British taxes.
As a result of this standoff, on December16, sixty men led by American patriot Samuel Adams, many dressed as Mohawk Indians, boarded the ships and dumped 10,000 pounds of tea overboard.
This became known as the Boston Tea Party. The Bostonians refused to pay the duty or for the tea and parliament retaliated by passing the Coercive Acts which resulted in the port of Boston being closed in 1774.
The events of the Boston Tea Party marked the beginning of violence in the dispute between mother country and the colonies, which culminated in the American Revolution or War of Independence.