Disguised as Indians, they poured out of the Old South Meeting House and headed down Hutchinson Street for Griffin's Wharf. At a packed meeting to condemn the Tea Act, Samuel Adams declared "they had now done all that they could for the salvation of their country". And this was the excuse the patriots needed as they smashed their way through the East India Company chests, dumping some 90,000lb of tea worth nearly £10,000 into Boston harbour.
Today, the Tea Party patriots come dressed in George Washington outfits and Joker masks, with posters accusing President Obama of socialism, communism, even nazism. This remarkable political insurgency, which mushrooms by the month and has both Democrats and Republicans terrified for their congressional seats, regards itself as the true heir to the republic's ideals. Thomas Jefferson's adage, that "the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants", is a favoured banner.
And, to be fair to the Tea Party ideologues, they are being faithful to the principles of 1773: both as tax-dodgers and demagogues. For behind all the lofty talk of no taxation without representation, the Boston tea party hid some grubby material truths
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment