Today marks the 236th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. So what does the Boston Tea Party and the Richmond Tea Party have in common? Lots! Let’s reflect…
Often times when we think of the Boston Tea Party, we only think of colonists, dressed as Mohawk Indians, dumping tea from the East India Company into the Boston Harbor to protest the taxes that were being imposed by the British Parliament. Our children enjoy acting out this raucous scene. But why were the colonists from the Thirteen Colonies so infuriated over these taxes?
No Taxation Without Representation! That was the phrase heard around the world at the Boston Tea Party. Colonists were infuriated that they were being taxed, but what they found more egregious was that their thirteen colonies were provided no representation in Parliament so they could have a voice on these matters. This sentiment had been brewing (excuse the pun) for a while with the Townshend Act, Sugar Act, Stamp Act and now Tea Act. Practically everything was being taxed! Sound familiar?
Significant decisions that were impacting the livelihood of the colonists were being handed down from a government that was far removed from the people they ruled over. They were a distant government with little understanding or sympathy of the life that colonists were forging for themselves. Sound familiar?
They were a government that was primarily concerned with paying off the massive debts they had accrued during the French-Indian war by taxing the people. Sound familiar? Well, not really, we apparently could care less about our trillions in debt, we just want more money to spend!
The history of the Boston Tea Party should be a wake up call to those in Washington DC. The American people will not continue to be oppressed, ignored, taxed, and forced to participate in government actions (think mandated health care) under threat of imprisonment. The taxes imposed by Parliament started back in the early 1760s, but it wasn’t until 1773 that the people decided “no more” at the Boston Tea Party. We will rise up and throw these sorry legislators “overboard” at our next election. The colonist had to wait over a decade to see results, we only have to wait until 2012 for the next senate election in Virginia. We will be ready and we won’t forget how you vote!