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Home > History > Causes of the Revolutionary War - Boston Tea Party

Causes of the Revolutionary War - Boston Tea Party

This page describes the Boston Tea Party and its causes and effects.

Boston Tea Party

Boston Tea Party

Despite the peace that temporarily reigned in Boston, the Sons of Liberty were continually trying to find ways to keep Parliament' s power over them in check. Furthermore, the tax on tea became more and more irritating.

The Dreadful Monopoly!

In 1773, Parliament authorized the Tea Act. Within the Tea Act, Parliament granted the East India company a monopoly (the only business in a specific trade or product) over the American tea trade. Although the monopoly decreased the price of tea, Americans realized that Parliament was only regulating American trade, and had the power to interfere in American business whenever it wanted. Public protest of the Tea Act grew quickly through the colonies. Fearing a revolt, several ships carrying tea destined for New York and Philadelphia returned to England without unloading tea.

Destruction of the Tea

On December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty, led by Samuel Adams, planned to show Parliament how they felt about the Tea Act. They boarded the British ship Dartmouth docked in Boston Harbor, dressed up as Indians,and dumped the entire load of tea into the water. This event came to be known as the Boston Tea Party.

British Response: The Intolerable, or, Coercive Acts

The historical significance of the Boston Tea Party is recognized more in the British response than in the event itself. As a result of the Boston Tea Party, Parliament passed the following laws designed to punish the Americans.

1.) The Boston Harbor Bill - This bill closed the harbor to all commercial traffic until Bostonians paid for the tea they dumped.

2.) The Administration of Justice Act - This act required the extradition (transfer) of all royal officials charged with capital crimes in America to courts in Great Britain.

3.) Massachusetts Government Act - This act ended self-rule in the colonies and made all elected officers in America subject to British appointment.

4.) Quartering Act - This was simply a new version of the 1765 Quartering Act which required Americans to provide accommodations (housing , food, clothing etc.) to British soldiers if necessary.

5.) Quebec Act - This act extended the Canadian border (British territory) into the Ohio River Valley and eliminated lands that were claimed by Massachusetts, Virginia and Connecticut.

These acts were called the Intolerable Acts in America and resulted in the formation of the Continental Congress.

Boston Tea Party Articles and Activities

Articles

Printable Activities

  • Boston Tea Party Reading Comprehension - This resource includes a historical passage and four multiple choice questions.
  • Boston Tea Party Reading Comprehension (Basic) - This resource includes a historical passage and four multiple choice questions. It gives immediate feedback. In addition, when you click the "listen" button, you can hear the passage while it highlights the text.
  • Mob Etiquette Reading Comprehension -This resource includes a historical passage and seven multiple choice questions.
  • Sons of Liberty Reading Comprehension - This resource includes a historical passage and seven multiple choice questions.
  • Boston Tea Party Fact or Fiction - This fun activity requires students to read a Boston Tea Party passage and then, to sort 11 statements into those that are facts and those that are fiction.
  • Boston Tea Party Virtual History Teacher - Students play the role of a virtual history teacher and must grade responses to three questions about the Boston Tea Party. Each response is incomplete, and students must fill in the missing information in the "response" section. Students can use the Boston Tea Party narrative for reference.
  • Punishment! - Relating to the Boston Tea Party Writing Prompt - This writing prompts requires students to relate to the unfair punishments issued to the American colonists after the Boston Tea Party by detailing the most unfair punishment they've ever experienced, and the reasons why they were punished.
  • The Tolerable Acts - Re-imaging the British Response to the Boston Tea Party! - Students play the role as a member of Parliament who has serious concerns about the Intolerable Act. Instead, he or she argues that England should make immediate peace with the colonies by issuing a set of acts designed to reward them called the “Tolerable Acts.” Students must think of five acts that reward the colonists (such as Parliament erecting a statue of George Washington in front of Buckingham Palace).

Online Activities

  • Boston Tea Party Reading Comprehension - This resource includes a historical passage and ten multiple choice questions. It gives immediate feedback. In addition, when you click the "listen" button, you can hear the passage while it highlights the text.
  • Boston Tea Party Reading Comprehension (Basic) - his resource includes a historical passage and four multiple choice questions. It gives immediate feedback. In addition, when you click the "listen" button, you can hear the passage while it highlights the text.
  • Boston Tea Party Reading Comprehension - Main Idea Focus - This resource includes a historical passage and five multiple choice questions. It gives immediate feedback and a score report.
  • Boston Tea Party Reading Comprehension - Sequencing Focus - This Revolutionary War/American Revolution resource includes a historical passage and five multiple choice questions. It gives immediate feedback.
  • Boston Tea Party Reading Comprehension - Vocabulary Focus - This Revolutionary War/American Revolution resource includes a historical passage and five multiple choice questions. It gives immediate feedback.
  • Boston Tea Party Reading Comprehension - Details Focus - This resource includes a historical passage and five multiple choice questions. It gives immediate feedback and a score report.
  • Mob Etiquette Reading Comprehension - This resource includes a historical passage and seven multiple choice questions. It gives immediate feedback. In addition, when you click the "listen" button, you can hear the passage while it highlights the text.
  • Sons of Liberty Reading Comprehension - This resource includes a historical passage and ten multiple choice questions. It gives immediate feedback. In addition, when you click the "listen" button, you can hear the passage while it highlights the text.
  • Boston Tea Party Fact or Fiction - This fun activity requires students to read a Boston Massacre passage and then, to sort 11 statements into those that are facts and those that are fiction. The program gives immediate feedback.
  • Boston Tea Party Correct-me Passage - This fun activity requires students to correct a passage about the Boston Tea Party that has eight factual errors. Students first must discover the errors, then click on them and select the correct answer from the drop down menu.
  • Boston Tea Party Paragraph Paramedics - Find and correct the spelling, punctuation, and usage errors in the paragraph. Click on the error and then type in the correction. Immediate feedback is given.
  • Boston Tea Party and Intolerable Acts Power Point Presentation - This 14-slide power point presentation explains all about the Boston Tea Party, monopolies, and the Intolerable Acts. Perfect for American Revolution learning.
  • Not Boring Jeopardy - American Revolution Edition - This is a "jeopardy" like game on the American Revolution.. It's super fun for classrooms, individuals, or small teams, totally customizable. Uncheck "teams take turns" to make it more exciting for kids.

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