On December 16, 1773, the colonists of Boston threw 342 chests of English East India Company tea into Boston Harbor, an act we remember as the “Boston Tea Party.”
Have you ever wondered what drove the Bostonians to destroy the tea? Or whether they considered any other less destructive options for their protest?
Mary Beth Norton, the Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History at Cornell University, takes us through the Tea Crisis of 1773.
About the Series
Episodes in the Doing History: To the Revolution! series explore the American Revolution and how what we know about it and how our view of it has changed over time.
Episodes will air in 2017.
The Doing History series is part of a partnership between Ben Franklin’s World and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. Be sure to check out season 1, Doing History: How Historians Work.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
In this episode, Mary Beth Norton, the Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History at Cornell University, takes us through the Tea Crisis of 1773.
During our exploration, Mary Beth reveals the role tea played in North American colonial life; The Tea Act of 1773 and what the act meant for British American colonists; And, details about colonial responses to the Tea Act, including information about the Boston Tea Party.
What You’ll Discover
- British North Americans’ relationship with tea
- Role of tea in North American life
- How North Americans imported their tea
- Where North Americans imported their tea from
- Effects of smuggling on the English East India Company
- The Tea Act of 1773
- Tea Consignees
- Historical interpretations of the Tea Act
- The Townshend Duties of 1767
- The Boston Tea Party
- Why the colonists did not want tea to land on North American shores
- The story of the “seventh tea ship” and its wreck on Cape Cod
- Cape Cod residents’ reaction to the salvaging of the William’s tea
- How the story of the “seventh tea ship” affects how we view the American Revolution
- Intercolonial resistance to the Tea Act
- The role of newspapers during the Tea Crisis of 1773
- Parliament’s reaction to colonial responses to the Tea Crisis
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Mary Beth Norton
- Mary Beth’s Cornell webpage
- Mary Beth’s Interview with Historiann
- In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692
- Founding Mothers & Fathers: Gendered Power and the Forming of American Society
- Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800
- Separated by Their Sex: Women in Public and Private in the Colonial Atlantic World
- The British-Americans: The Loyalist exiles in England, 1774-1789
- Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson
- Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture
- Doing History series
- OI Reader tablet app & Mary Beth Norton's article “The Seventh Tea Ship”
- Episode 088: Michael McDonnell, The History of History Writing
- Episode 098: Gautham Rao, Brith of the American Tax Man
- Episode 105: Joshua Piker, How Historians Publish History
- Episode 106: Jane Kamensky, The World of John Singleton Copley
- Episode 111: Jonathan Eacott, India in the Making of Britain and America, 1700-1830
In your opinion, what might have happened if the tea ships had arrived in Philadelphia and New York City first and had been delayed to Boston and Charleston? How would Philadelphia and New York City have responded if they had had to act first?
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