Of Tea Party and Ideology
The final spark that ignited the revolutionary movement in Boston 1773 was the Tea Act, an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain. The Tea Act imposed no new taxes however in fact it removed taxes from one particular group, the East India Company. There seems to be a misconception mostly in the media and perpetuated from there from wherein the original Tea Party was protesting a tax increase on tea, it was not. The original Tea Party was in fact a nonviolent political protest protesting the monopoly on tea importation. The 1773 Boston Tea Party represents the tipping point of “No taxation without representation,” that had started with the Stamp Act 1765 and the Townshend Revenue Act 1767 of which were tax increases. Further escalation happened in 1770, in which British Army soldiers killed five civilian in what is known as the Boston Massacre. Crispus Attucks was reportedly the first murdered in the Boston Massacre thus the first martyr of the Tea Party and the Revolutionary War. Crispus Attucks was reportedly was a freed American slave, merchant seaman and dockworker of Wampanoag and African descent.
Some of the other Coercive Acts or Intolerable Acts of which lead to this revolutionary movement was the abolishment local self-government. Town hall meeting and such were abolished or cut to prevent petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. When the Parliament of Great Britain did hear these grievances, they were largely ignored and dismissed. These grievances are enumerated in the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, 1775. Of these enumerated Coercive Acts or Intolerable Acts mentioned are the three companies of the King’s troops, British Army soldiers sent out to disarm the people. Colonial militiamen beat back these trained British Army soldiers at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Included in this enumeration is the replacement of “common law, and instead thereof to publish and order the use and exercise of the law martial.” Under this law martial, British Army soldiers had taken quarters in peoples houses and conducted unreasonable searches and seizures. Everyone should know these grievances and be well versed in them as these are also found in the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Wherein there is misconception of the Bill of Rights in that these are not Rights given to the people by a national government but Rights that the government must not infringe on.
Of present time, there is immense discussion and division of the current Tea Party ideological rigidity. More simply stated, those of us in the Tea Party like what we had and would like to keep it. As published in 1775 we must again reiterate, “however blinded that assembly may be, by their intemperate rage for unlimited domination, so to sight justice and the opinion of mankind, we esteem ourselves bound by obligations of respect to the rest of the world, to make known the justice of our cause.” As to be clear and well understood, in that the current Tea Party is aligned with our founding values and traditions, the 1773 Tea Party is what we must use as our foundation. Accordingly, the writings of Samuel Adams and John Adams as found in the Massachusetts Constitution, A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is used as this foundation.
“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.” How does a too big to fail monopoly fit in to this? Should government bailout Wall Street profit or allowed to fail and then prosecuted? What of a class of men seeking special Rights from the government, should the government provide for their private interest? As a military veteran, I have a common vested interest in particular benefits but reject any honor or private interest from these. At what point should the line be drawn between the private interest of a class of men, be it the poor, middle class, race or other and the common good of all people. This is your personal decision, the dictates of your own individual conscience deciding your charity and not the dictates of government. There ought to be limits on the taking of prosperity and spreading it around for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.
“As the happiness of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend upon piety, religion and morality; and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community, but by the institution of the public worship of God, and of public instructions in piety, religion and morality…” “It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession or sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship.” “All religious sects and denominations, demeaning themselves peaceably, and as good citizens of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law; and no subordination of any one sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law.” Atheism ought not to be the established religion by law and of government. This is the right as well as the duty of all in society, for the good order and preservation of civil government, by the institution of the public, public instructions in piety, religion and morality. Of all religious sects and denominations, demeaning themselves peaceably, and as good citizens, the highest sanctity shall be of life, born and unborn. In that being offended by a religious sect or denomination is not disturbing the public peace, or obstructing others in their religious worship and this is not warrant for restraining and obstructing others in their religious worship. No subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, in private or in public, including government property.
“The people of this commonwealth have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves, as a free, sovereign, and independent state; and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not, or may not hereafter, be by them expressly delegated to the United States of America in Congress assembled.” This is further explained in the Bill of Rights, the ninth and tenth amendments to the United States Constitution. “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
“Each individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty and property, according to standing laws. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of this protection; to give his personal service, or an equivalent, when necessary…” “The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence. And as, in time of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the consent of the legislature; and the military power shall always be held in an exact subordination to the civil authority, and be governed by it.” In the Bill of Rights, the second amendment to the United States Constitution, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Of these few, as before, a tipping point has been reached or at hand, as this is an ideology wherein the Coercive Acts or Intolerable Acts have become too great and forces the necessity to act. It is not that the ideology of the Tea Party is too rigid as this is a tipping point well written and well documented over two hundred years ago. The problem however is the rigid ideology of pushing this tipping point to the limit and beyond, and of avoiding the consequences thereof. Herein I have enumerated the most Coercive Acts or Intolerable Acts and beyond this tipping point, there is only absolute resolution.