Tea Act

From Academic Kids

The so-called Tea Act, passed in 1773, allowed the British East India Company to sell tea to the British colonies in North America without the usual colonial tax, thereby allowing them to undercut the prices of the colonial merchants and smugglers. This was primarily intended to aid the finances of the East India Company, which were close to collapse due to famine in India and economic weakness in European markets. The British government intended to give the East India Company an effective monopoly on tea imports to the Thirteen Colonies. However, it backfired. Because many Americans, including John Hancock, earned their living from smuggling, they disliked the commercial advantages granted by the government to the Company. This act led to wide boycotts of tea throughout the colonies, and, eventually, to the Boston Tea Party where American colonists threw 342 crates of tea from East India Company ships into the Boston Harbor. This act, and the retaliatory measures taken by the British government afterwards, united the colonies even more in their frustrations against Britain, and was but one of the many causes of the American Revolution.

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