|Boston tea party.December 16,1773, prezi.com|
|Darjeeling tea plantation.www.amrc.org.hk|
The British company took over the tribal lands in the hilly areas of Bengal and other regions and engaged the tribes as indentured workers on the tea and coffee plantations. Here every chest of tea was produced by squeezing innocent, gullible natives of Indian soil. The company paid pittance for the tea workers, while the British bosses were wallowing in luxuries and money.
Worst famine in Bengal between 1770 and 1772 (4 years before the American War of Independence) resulted in the death of 1/6 th of the population of India.The East India company's fortunes had already been on the decline and this was mainly due to highly corrupt and inefficient officials based in India. Economic stagnation and trade depression in Europe further aggravated already the worst situation and now, the East India company was on the brink of bankruptcy.
|East India company logo.www.landofthebrave.info|
Tea sold wholesale by the company at auctions in England was exported to the colonies by British firms, where they resold it to merchants in Boston, and other cities. With a high price tag on the tea people, preferred cheap tea elsewhere and this encouraged the growth of illicit tea market and smuggling both in England and America. By 1760, East India co was losing £400,000 per year to smugglers in Great Britain who had a better deal with Dutch tea. East India company godown was full of surplus unsold tea rotting with no takers.
The introduction of the Townsend Revenue Act of 1767, which levied new taxes, including one on tea in the colonies only worsened the problem and now tea smuggling increased manifold in the colonies. As there were wide spread protests, the British parliament repealed the Townsend taxes in 1770 as it did with stamp act in 1765, except the duty on tea. Later British tea was imported into colonies in large quantities and Boston was the major tea center.
To plug the hole in the ailing East India company, the British parliament passed the Tea Act in 1773 (got the Royal assent of King George on 10th May) to increase revenues by eliminating middlemen and selling tea through newly appointed colonial merchants. Additional revenue would help pay the salary and perks of British governors, et al and reduce the massive surplus of tea held in the company's London warehouses.
The dubious effort by the colonial government to undercut the tea prices to stay in business failed, Further, the importers who paid taxes before undercutting the price never received the refund as promised by the government. Since the duty on tea was not repealed a serious situation developed. On December 16, 1773, to vent their anger and frustration, the protesters 30 to 130 in number in the guise of Mohawk Indians sulkily got into three East India company ships laden with tea anchored in the Boston harbor and dumped the tea cargo - 342 chests of tea into the sea.
Subsequent coercive act and Boston port act enacted by the British Parliament in response to Boston tea party, involving British East India company 's tea cargoes had indirectly set the final stage for the American war of independence against the over ambitious, arrogant colonial rulers who brought more slavery, disease and exploitation of natives to the new world.
The American Revolutionary war was the rebellion of thirteen of the North American colonies of Great Britain who declared themselves independent in 1776 as the United States of America. France signed an alliance with the new nation in 1778, which escalated the conflict into a world war between Britain and France, Spain, and the Netherlands. At the same time fighting broke out in India between the British East India Company and Kingdom of Mysore with full support from the French Army.
Subsequently tea drinking declined in America and after Boston tea party many American freedom fighters considered it ''unpatriotic''and popularity of coffee was on the increase,
Knollenberg, Bernhard. Growth of the American Revolution, 1766–1775. New York: Free Press, 1975. ISBN