May 10, 1773

Parliament Passes Tea Act

Enacted to support the floundering East India Company by allowing it to dispose of a massive surplus of tea in the American market on terms that were extremely favorable to both the company and colonial consumers. Or so British ministers thought because the selling price was set substantially below that of smuggled tea. American radicals characterized the measure as nothing more than a thinly disguised ploy to trick colonials into paying the remaining Townshend duty on tea and thereby tacitly accept parliamentary taxation.

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