Jul 7, 2009

Soule Restaurant: Sons of Liberty - Patriots or Terrorists?

It is commonly believed that Britain’s levy of a tax on tea was what started the Revolutionary War. In reality, the Tea Act placed no new tax on tea; it simply gave a tax break to the East India Tea Company.

The company was struggling due to competition from tea smuggled in to the colonists and sold for less. In order to help the East India Tea Company, Britain reduced their tariff on tea, allowing them to lower their price and effectively compete with the smugglers.

Although this would have benefited the colonists economically, many assumed the viewpoint that Britain preferred to help the private tea company rather than see colonial smugglers profit.

This view was already prevalent due to the controversial Stamp Tax imposed by Britain on November 1, 1765. Britain felt that it was their right to tax the colonists to pay for the Seven Year War, for which they believed the colonists had benefited. Without representation in Parliament; however, the colonists believed any taxation to be unjust.

The Sons of Liberty was a secret organization that performed most of the acts that spurred the war, including the act now known as the Boston Tea Party.

Largely through violence, they forced the resignation of many stamp distributers within the colonies.

They raided the ships in Boston and tossed the tea into the ocean, polluting the local fishing area, and attempted to frame the Mohawk Indians by dressing in their native garb.

Patriots or Terrorists?

I guess that depends on whose history you read.

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