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The Tea Business in Britain in The 1770s

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The Tea Act of 1773 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain. The principal objective was to reduce the massive amount of tea held by the financially troubled British East India Company in its London warehouses and to help the financially struggling company survive. The Tea Act was the colonists way of in a nutshell saying that they would not back down and they would not surrender to powerful fist of the British Troops/Soldiers.

The East India company decreased sales leaving a surplus of over 17 million pounds of tea. The East India company was one of the most important companies at the time in British America. The act was getting as much of the money as they could from the colonies. They were in debt because of the war between the French and Indian war. A few years before the British passed another act which was the Townshend acts which taxed everything they needed ( lead, glass, paper, paint, and tea) because of the backlash they declined all acts accept the tea act. The tea act took away a source of income. They would still be taxed to buy tea as well. The boycott on the December 16, the Boston tea party, which was letting the tea rot, the British demanded that they buy tea but they had other plans, that night they spilled 342 chests of tea into the sea (Boston Harbor).

In the 1760s and early 1770s, the East India Company had been required to sell its tea exclusively in London on which it paid a duty which averaged two shillings and six pence per pound. Tea destined for the North American colonies would be purchased by merchants specializing in that trade, who transported it to North America for eventual retail sale. The markups imposed by these merchants, combined with tea tax imposed by the Townshend Acts of 1767 created a profitable opportunity for American merchants to import and distribute tea purchased from the Dutch in transactions and shipments that violated the Navigation Acts and were treated by British authorities as smuggling. Smugglers imported some 900,000 pounds (410,000 kg) of cheap foreign tea per year. The quality of the smuggled tea did not match the quality of the dutiable East India Company tea, of which the Americans bought 562,000 pounds (255,000 kg) per year.

Although the British tea was more appealing in taste, some Patriots like the Sons of Liberty encouraged the consumption of smuggled tea as a political protest against the Townshend taxes.

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