On December 16, 1773 American colonists loaded 3 ships on the Boston Harbor to prevent paying taxes on tea. This is now known as the Boston Tea Party. The colonists were disguised as the Mohawk Indain tribe. They poured out 342 chests of tea into the harbor because they really did not want to pay the taxes they were being forced to pay.
In 1767, the British Parliament had placed import taxes on many items shipped into America. Many of the colonists thought of the taxes as illegal and were very determined to not pay them.
In 1770, the British government canceled all of the taxes except for one on imported tea. In 1773, Parliament passed the Tea Act to help get the East India Company, A British trading company, out of money problems. This act allowed the company to sell tea in America at a very low price. Becuase of the decision made in 1767 about import taxes, tea was still a problem. The tea was shipped to America for distribution to agents of the East India Company. They were given control on its sale.
Colonists thought the tea monopoly would put some of their patriotic local merchants out of business. Also, the colonists thought that if the paid the money for the tea, the British would force other taxes on them.
Once the tea got to the Boston Harbor, the colonists tried to get them sent back to England. Governor Thomas Hutchinson was in charge of the Boston Tea Party and turned down the attempts of the colonists. Once a signal was given, by the resistance leader Samuel Adams, a big number of men jumped on the ships and dumped the tea overboard. The british government reacted in 1774 by passing several bad measures that became known as the Intolerable Acts.
Maier, Pauline. "Boston Tea Party." World Book Online Reference Center. 2007. Internet January 12, 2007 <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar071320>.
Ritchie, Donald, and Albert Broussard. Boston Tea Party. Westerville Ohio: Glencoe/McGraw Hill, 1997.