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Thread: The Boston Tea Party

  1. Top | #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by J842P View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    Boston Tea Party


    Boston Tea Party - Definition, Dates & Facts - HISTORY

    So were the colonists a bunch of spoiled brats?

    The Boston Massacre of 1770 Mar 5 started out with some discontented colonists throwing snowballs at some British troops. The troops responded with their guns, killing 5 and wounding 6.

    The British eventually repealed their taxes on the colonists, except for a tea tax. What happened next is rather complicated, with some colonists wanting to import smuggled Dutch tea. But many colonists did not like the British government imposing that tax without the colonies being represented in Parliament.

    "No taxation without representation!"

    There were protests in several colonies, and tea-shipment buyers in New York City, Philadelphia, and Charleston SC all backed out of their deals. Customs officers in Charleston seized the unclaimed tea, while NYC and Philly shipments went to Britain.

    But the Governor of Massachusetts would not back down, and three ships with shipments of tea stayed in Boston's harbor.
    Yes, essentially spoiled brats. The British dumped tons of money on colonial wars, and were spending tons of money trying to keep the peace between the colonists and the native populations.

    It's ok, though, because monarchy is an affront to humanity, so it is a good thing that the colonies went independent and became a Republic.
    Well, other than the fact that the British monarchy had been effectively reduced to a figurehead a century earlier, with parliament having established unequivocally that it is the sovereign power (by chopping the king's head off in public). The unimportance of the King in British politics of the time is underlined by the insanity of the incumbent and the utter uselessness of his regent - despite which Britain was able to seriously fuck over the French and establish what was to become the largest empire in world history.

    The idea that the American Revolution was in any way about monarchy is pure propaganda. It was about a bunch of smugglers pissed off that John Company was muscling in on their turf, supplying the very lucrative black market for tea. These guys weren't unhappy about the existence of the taxes - their business model was to make a fortune by not paying those taxes. They were unhappy that a new player was undercutting their scam.

    And the assumption, right up until Washington said he didn't want to do the job, was that they would appoint a king once they got rid of the mad one over the ocean.
    I'm having a hard time figuring out how you extracted those sentiments from my post. I clearly called the colonists spoiled brats, and yes, you are correct, it was essentially the economically interested that pushed hardest for the revolution, particularly those in New England. Southerners overall (with the exception of a few, particular southerners) were generally not for a complete revolution in any way. Although I am unfamiliar with how the John company undercut colonial smugglers.

    In any case, I agree it wasn't about monarchy, and I never said as much. Even only a semi-decent secondary education in the US would inform someone that it was never clear the resulting state after the revolution wouldn't simply be a new monarchy of some sort. Indeed, Washington refusing the job is sort of a big deal that gets mythologized, if anything.

    I said that the resulting establishment of a republic makes it a good thing in my book in the end.

    And even figure-head monarchies are an affront to humanity. Like the one currently in the UK.

  2. Top | #12
    Elder Contributor barbos's Avatar
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    I too, heard a theory that Boston Tea party happened because tea smuglers realized that tax rules change (reduction) would make them less competitive than legal tea trade. So it's true?

  3. Top | #13
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    I'm very confused as to how anyone literate on the subject could believe that the legitimacy of the monarchy was not in question during the Revolution. Is this supportable by any sort of actual documentation? There were monarchists on the Colonial side, yes, but for they held little sway over public opinion, which at the time was fiercely isolationist. The Articles of Confederation, drafted in the second year of the war, described a government with even less of an executive branch than what we have now, and there was no other governing document until 1789 when the present system was adopted. The colonies more or less self-governed throughout the war itself, as indeed they largely had before the war (hence a major part of the dispute) and were mostly content to continue doing so. Remember too that the office as defined in 1787-1789 was also much more limited in role and power than what we see now. I'm sure plenty of people expected an eventual re-negotiated return to Great Britain when the war first began, but there was never any serious possibility of a new King being put over the colonies. He'd have been tarred and feathered.

    I mean, where would he have been from? Virginia? New York? It would have started the Civil War a century early. Washington was popular, but he was not all powerful nor ever offered absolute power.

  4. Top | #14
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    I'm very confused as to how anyone literate on the subject could believe that the legitimacy of the monarchy was not in question during the Revolution. Is this supportable by any sort of actual documentation? There were monarchists on the Colonial side, yes, but for they held little sway over public opinion, which at the time was fiercely isolationist. The Articles of Confederation, drafted in the second year of the war, described a government with even less of an executive branch than what we have now, and there was no other governing document until 1789 when the present system was adopted. The colonies more or less self-governed throughout the war itself, as indeed they largely had before the war (hence a major part of the dispute) and were mostly content to continue doing so. Remember too that the office as defined in 1787-1789 was also much more limited in role and power than what we see now. I'm sure plenty of people expected an eventual re-negotiated return to Great Britain when the war first began, but there was never any serious possibility of a new King being put over the colonies. He'd have been tarred and feathered.

    I mean, where would he have been from? Virginia? New York? It would have started the Civil War a century early. Washington was popular, but he was not all powerful nor ever offered absolute power.
    British monarchs in the eighteenth century didn't have absolute power. Absolute power of monarchs was (brutally) eliminated by parliament in the middle of the seventeenth century, at the end of a long slow decline that began in the thirteenth century with Magna Carta, and hadn't existed in Britain within living memory by the time of the American Revolution.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J842P View Post
    In any case, I agree it wasn't about monarchy, and I never said as much. Even only a semi-decent secondary education in the US would inform someone that it was never clear the resulting state after the revolution wouldn't simply be a new monarchy of some sort. Indeed, Washington refusing the job is sort of a big deal that gets mythologized, if anything.

    I said that the resulting establishment of a republic makes it a good thing in my book in the end.

    And even figure-head monarchies are an affront to humanity. Like the one currently in the UK.
    John Adams: Defence of the Constitutions, 1787 - he discusses republics both ancient and recent. It is evident that most past republics have not been very large, with the main exception, the Roman Republic, eventually becoming a monarchy, the Roman Empire. So the US was a daring political experiment -- and it succeeded.


    As to Trump being a Tea Party sort of candidate, let's look at his opponents. I'll use Ranked Choice Poll of GOP Voters Yields Insights - FairVote
    • Jeb Bush - Gov FL
    • Ben Carson - brain surgeon
    • Chris Christie - Gov NJ
    • Ted Cruz - Sen TX
    • Carly Fiorina - businesswoman
    • Mike Huckabee - Gov AR
    • John Kasich - Gov OH
    • Rand Paul - Sen KY
    • Marco Rubio - Sen FL
    • Rick Santorum - Sen PA
    • Donald Trump - businessman

    In that poll, they dropped out in this order: Rick Santorum 0.93%, Mike Huckabee 2.39%, Carly Fiorina 3.22%, Chris Christie 3.53%, John Kasich 4.05%, Rand Paul 7.50%, Jeb Bush 8.66%, Ben Carson 12.46%, Marco Rubio 25.45%, Donald Trump 49.32%. TC was behind DT in every round but the last one, and he barely won.

    Ben Carson did fairly well in that poll, and like Donald Trump, he also can plausibly call himself a political outsider.

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    Content Thief Elixir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    British monarchs in the eighteenth century didn't have absolute power. Absolute power of monarchs was (brutally) eliminated by parliament in the middle of the seventeenth century, at the end of a long slow decline that began in the thirteenth century with Magna Carta, and hadn't existed in Britain within living memory by the time of the American Revolution.
    I suspect that Americans' of the image of British monarchs as absolute rulers is a cultural remnant, a holdover from colonial propaganda of the mid-late 18th century.

  7. Top | #17
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elixir View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    British monarchs in the eighteenth century didn't have absolute power. Absolute power of monarchs was (brutally) eliminated by parliament in the middle of the seventeenth century, at the end of a long slow decline that began in the thirteenth century with Magna Carta, and hadn't existed in Britain within living memory by the time of the American Revolution.
    I suspect that Americans' of the image of British monarchs as absolute rulers is a cultural remnant, a holdover from colonial propaganda of the mid-late 18th century.
    You're overinterpreting what I wrote to an absurd degree.

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    Content Thief Elixir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Elixir View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    British monarchs in the eighteenth century didn't have absolute power. Absolute power of monarchs was (brutally) eliminated by parliament in the middle of the seventeenth century, at the end of a long slow decline that began in the thirteenth century with Magna Carta, and hadn't existed in Britain within living memory by the time of the American Revolution.
    I suspect that Americans' of the image of British monarchs as absolute rulers is a cultural remnant, a holdover from colonial propaganda of the mid-late 18th century.
    You're overinterpreting what I wrote to an absurd degree.
    Really? It was a little bit tongue in cheek; most Americans are fully aware of the symbolic nature of the British monarchy today, and know it wasn't so radically different in the 18th century. That's the intellectual part. Nonetheless there's an emotional remnant that clings to the Alice in Wonderland "Off with their heads" image of a monarch.

  9. Top | #19
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elixir View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post

    You're overinterpreting what I wrote to an absurd degree.
    Really? It was a little bit tongue in cheek; most Americans are fully aware of the symbolic nature of the British monarchy today, and know it wasn't so radically different in the 18th century. That's the intellectual part. Nonetheless there's an emotional remnant that clings to the Alice in Wonderland "Off with their heads" image of a monarch.
    Never mind the poor choice of words in the last sentence, the point is that there is zero chance that the United States were ever going to appoint a monarch over their new nation, unless it was George III himself.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Comparable efforts on the Left have been called the "Herbal Tea Party", but that name has not caught on. Comparable in the sense of wanting to primary long-serving politicians who are not considered good enough.

    The first big triumph of the Herbal Tea Party was in 2016, when Ro Khanna defeated 8-term incumbent Mike Honda in CA-17. A like-minded politician, Pramila Jayapal, won that year in a retiring Representative's seat, WA-07.

    The HTP had its most spectacular triumph in 2018, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley in NY-14. He was a powerful politician who was nicknamed "King of Queens", and he was talked about as a successor of Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker. Also that year, Ayanna Pressley defeated 10-term incumbent Michael Capuano. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar both won in retiring Representatives' seats, MI-13 and MN-05.

    Looking to 2020, the HTP has several candidates, and I've been discussing them in Democrats trying to unseat each other

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