On December 16, 1773 roughly 200 men, some dressed like Indians, boarded three ship in the Boston Harbor and dumped 342 crates of tea in the water. It was an act of protest against the draconian policies of an oppressive government. It was a liberty loving people standing up for the right to be heard and the right to have their grievances addressed by the British Parliament. The main grievance was taxation without representation. Even though the British lowered the duty on tea, the colonists believed that by accepting the tea under these conditions, they would be admitting that Britain had the right to tax them without representation. What many do not know is that the colonists made numerous attempts to have their message heard by the British Parliament. They even attempted to persuade the three ships to leave the harbor peaceably without offloading their cargo. It was only after rumors began to circulate throughout Boston that there was going to be an attempt to offload the tea that colonist felt compelled to act. The rest as they say is history.
Why does the Boston Tea Party still matter today?
It matters because liberty matters. Without liberty we are nothing. There will always oppressive governments trying to steal away the liberties of their citizens. They will use smoke and mirrors, scare tactics, and a variety of techniques to legislate or regulate liberties away. The colonists of Boston had the courage to stand up for liberty. They stood up against an oppressive force and sent the powerful message of “no more” to the British. Today we have a government that infringes on the individual liberties of its citizens on a daily basis. Our elected officials operate beyond the the scope and strict limitation placed on them by the constitution. At no other time in American history has the individual citizen’s life been so regulated by the federal government. Freedom has all but become an illusion.
I sometimes wonder if the day will come when we the people will find the courage to stand up for liberty and our constitution. Will we see a day when we the people actually fire our elected officials for not supporting or defending our constitution? I ask myself this question all the time. What will it take to get people motivated enough to embrace the constitution again? How long do we have as a nation if we continue to allow our elected representatives and our President to operate outside of the scope of their limited powers? My guess is not very long. This is why the spirit of the Boston Tea Party still matters today; because liberty matters. As i said without liberty we are nothing. With liberty the sky is the limit. This is why we must continue to fight for liberty each day. The day we stop fighting for liberty is the day we become subjects again.
Liberty forever, freedom for all!