Burning of British Taxed Tea- Historical Marker
Near the spot indicated by this marker, citizens of Providence burned British taxed tea to represent their views on unfair taxation. This happened on the night of March 2, 1775.
Backstory and Context
People of other colonies held similar views reflected in similar ways. Famously, people of Boston threw tea unto the harbor in protest of tax laws. This dissatisfaction was build up from years of laws regarding taxation and the limit of trade. In 1733, the Molasses Act was passed by Parliament, which placed a duty in molasses purchases at all non-British owned ports. This was not heavily enforced and, for the most part, importers found ways to get around it. However, in the 1760s in an effort to establish greater control over the colonies, the British began passing stricter laws, including the Sugar Act of 1764. This law ensured that the duties introduced with the Molasses Act would be strictly enforced and introduced patrol boats in Nanagansett Bay in an effort to implement this.
More tax laws were to follow in years to come, including the Stamp Act of 1765. When the colony first received word, in August 1764, that a stamp act might be introduced, the then governor of Rhode Island, Stephen Hopkins, wrote "The Rights of the Colonies Examined." In this, he wrote, "All laws and all taxation which bind the whole must be made by the whole." The Stamp Act was declared null and void within the colony by the Rhode Island General Assembly. An angry mob was waiting to meet the people brining the stamps from London and the stamp distributor was forced to resign. The stamps were never unloaded and Parliament repealed the Stamp Act in 1766.
The repeal of the Stamp Act did not, however, indicate a change of heart on the part of the British. The Townshend Acts were passed by Parliament in 1767 and imposed duties on glass, lead, paper, and tea. The Tea Act was passed in 1773.
http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=56349 http://www.providenceri.com/narragansettbay/revolutionary_war.html http://www.crareacatholic.com/LaSalle/Resources/8th%20Websites%202013/MeLeah,%20Tanya,%20Hannah,%20Becca/Becca%20Fields%20Rev%20War/Boston_Tea_Party.html