Boston Tea Party: An anti-corporation protest?


Thom Hartmann said so.  In Hartmann’s reading, the 1773 Boston Tea Party was as much a protest against corporate oligarchy as a protest against government — quite the opposite of the way most Neo Tea Partiers see things.   Is he right?  Historians, what say you?

Hartmann relies on his copy of George R. T. Hewes’ book, A retrospect of the Boston tea-party, with a memoir of George R. T. Hewes, a survivor of the little band of patriots who drowned the tea in Boston harbour in 1773 (1834). Are you familiar with the book?

George R. T. Hewes in 1835, a veteran of the 1773 Boston Tea Party - CUNY image

George Robert Twelves Hewes in 1835 at age 93, a veteran of the 1773 Boston Tea Party. Painting by Joseph G. Cole. CUNY image

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5 Responses to Boston Tea Party: An anti-corporation protest?

  1. [...] corporate tax loopholes aren’t new. Just ask the East India Company. Thom Hartmann on the biggest corporate tax break in history and the heroes who fought it and sparked a revolution. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe [...]

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  2. Porlock Junior says:

    Well, my comment went on to talk about what happened in 1774, so it’s a safe bet I wasn’t talking about current events. Yes, the Koch Party has nothing in common with the remarkably well informed and independent-minded people in the boondocks of Massachusetts back then. Franklin said that the ordinary people in the colonies were better educated than the people of the great Euroean nations, and it seems he knew what he was talking about [Amazing!]

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  3. Nick K says:

    Porlock writes:
    And there’s more continuity between the Tea Party and the Shot Heard Round the World than he mentions, and more than pretty much anyone knows.

    If you mean the modern so called “Tea Party” there is no correlation between them and the ones involved with the “Shot Heard Round the World.”

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  4. Jim says:

    Hello Porlock!

    Great post and I agree!

    I, too, hope more scholars “pipe up”. However, I think you and I both know what will happen when they do. The conservative dominated media and talking heads will start kvetching about “the intellectual elite” and the “anti-American movement within academia”.

    The Tea Party and the current Republican Party (I say “current” because it wasn’t always this way) have elevated stupidity to the level of virtue and have reduced erudition to the level of suspicion and distrust, at best.

    We live in interesting times. But sad ones.

    Jim

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  5. Porlock Junior says:

    Now that is one remarkable story. Here’s hoping people spread the word, and some more scholars pipe up concerning this history.

    And there’s more continuity between the Tea Party and the Shot Heard Round the World than he mentions, and more than pretty much anyone knows. In the last part of 1774, months before Lexington, pretty much all of Massachusetts Colony outside garrisoned Boston was in open defiance of the British authority. Oh, and those Committees of Correspondence that get mentioned in history courses but never examined in low-level courses we all took, were writing letters that sounded like John Locke in their principles — surprising in a bunch of gentlemen farmers in the back woods, no?

    This is all in The First American Revolution by Raymond Raphael. I recommend it without qualification. Yes, that last phrase is ambiguous by intent; IANAHistorian.

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