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The Boston Tea Party affected so many American minds, hearts, and souls that it helped spawn a new, independent nation whose citizens would govern themselves for the first time in history.
On Thursday, December 16, 1773, an estimated seven dozen men, many amateurishly disguised as Indians--then a symbol of freedom--dumped about Â£10,000 worth of tea in the harbor. Whatever their motives at the time, they unleashed a social, political, and economic firestorm that would culminate in the Declaration of Independence two and a half years later.
The Boston Tea Party provoked a reign of terror in Boston and other American cities, with Americans inflicting unimaginable barbarities on each other. Tea parties erupted in American cities up and down the colonies. The turmoil stripped tens of thousands of Americans of their dignity, their homes, their properties, and their birthrights--in the name of liberty and independence. Nearly 100,000 Americans left the land of their forefathers forever in what was history's largest exodus of Americans from America. Nonetheless, John Adams called the Boston Tea Party nothing short of ''magnificent.'' And he went on to say that the ''destruction of tea is so bold, so daring, so firm. . . it must have important consequences.''
Ironically, few if any Americans today--even those who call themselves Tea Party Patriots--would be able to name even one of the estimated eighty participants in the original Boston Tea Party. Nor are many Americans aware of the ''important consequences'' of the Tea Party. The acute shortage of tea that followed the Tea Party, of course, helped transform Americans into coffee drinkers, but its effects went far beyond culinary tastes.
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HARLOW GILES UNGER, a former distinguished visiting fellow in American history at George Washington's Mount Vernon, is a veteran journalist, broadcaster, educator, and historian. His books include The Last Founding Father and four other biographies of America's Founding Fathers, as well as many more. He lives in New York.Review:
Praise for Harlow Giles Unger's The Last Founding Father:
''Unger's skills as both a storyteller and political analyst enable him to convey the importance of the personalities and events of early-nineteenth-century America in a detailed and enjoyable manner that will appeal to general readers.'' -- Boston Globe
''[Unger's] descriptions of the American and French Revolutions, the events surrounding the Louisiana Purchase, and the War of 1812 are among the most lucid I've read.'' --San Francisco Book Review
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Book Description Blackstone Audio, Inc., 2011. Audio CD. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111441779132