We can follow the long progression of Colonial sentiments in the Revolutionary Period, from the initial rumblings through the Declaration of Independence and the founding of a new nation. While some events, like the Boston Massacre, are tragic and brutal; the Boston Tea Party was an act of civil disobedience against England.

The Boston Tea Party was a revolutionary statement, on December 16, 1773. It also symbolically represented the colonial discontent. The ruckus involved the Sons of Liberty — more than 180 colonists disguised themselves in Native-American costumes and boarded three ships owned by the East India Company. They destroyed 342 chests of tea  in their patriotic protest, which was inspired by what they considered illegal (and unconstitutional) taxes. It could be argued that nobody was really hurt, and the disguises protected the identities of the participants.

The action of the Boston Tea Party succeeded in further exacerbating the already severely strained relations between the American colonists and the Mother Country.

Swipe Through the Timeline of the Boston Tea Party…

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson, the student should be able to:

  1. Write a narrative version (and/or dramatically retell) the story of the Boston Tea Party.
  2. Recognize key historical figures involved in the Boston Tea Party.
  3. Define key terminology.

Boston Tea Party Resources for Kids

  • The American Revolution for Kids
    Primary students will enjoy this resource created by fifth-grade students.
  • High Tea in Boston Harbor
    Presented by PBS, this educational website chronicles the American Revolution.
  • The Boston Tea Party
    From the Kidport Reference Library website, students can learn about the events leading to the Boston Tea Party and access links to related information.

Key Figures in the Boston Tea Party

Paul Revere is probably the most well-known participant of the Boston Tea Party. (He is the one who rode through the countryside, proclaiming “The British are coming,” when the British soldiers first set out to quell the rebellion in the Revolutionary War. But, he was not alone.

Sons of Liberty members led the tea dump. Other participants included: Nathaniel Bradlee, Samuel Cooper, Thomas Crafts, John Crane, George Robert Twelves Hewes, Samuel Hobbs, David Kinnison, Amos Lincoln, Thomas Melville, William Molineaux, Joseph Payson, Henry Prentiss, Ebeneezer Stevens, Nathaniel Willis, Joshua Wyeth, Thomas Young, and more than 100 others.

 

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