Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The HMS Romney: History can be repeated

The Boston Tea Party arose from two issues confronting the British Empire in 1765: the financial problems of the British East India Company and dispute about the Parliament's authority over the British American colonies.

The Boston Tea party protested a tax on the colonies by the British crown. The Tea Party also protested a corporate monopoly that was backed by by the Townshend Revenue Act of 1767.

In 1767, to help the East India Company compete with smuggled Dutch tea, Parliament passed the Indemnity Act, which lowered the tax on tea consumed in Great Britain, and gave the East India Company a refund on tea that was re-exported to the colonies.

To help offset this loss of government revenue, Parliament also passed the Townshend Revenue Act , which levied new taxes, including one on tea, in the colonies. 

Instead of solving a Dutch tea smuggling problem, the Townshend duties renewed a controversy about Parliament's right to tax the colonies.

The Tea Party gets the part about taxation without representation, but misses the part about a government sanctioned corporate monopoly.

The HMS Romney was a real ship.  

She became caught up in the start of the American Revolution when she was sent to support the Boston commissioners enforcing the Townshend Acts in 1768. 

Her actions involved impressing local sailors, confiscating a vessel belonging to John Hancock and providing quarters for unpopular commissioners when rioting broke 

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