Back to Boston 1773: Tea Party Presuppositions (Part 1 of 18)

Part 1: of an 18-part series

The Boston Tea Party of 1773 asserted the principle that The Law of Nature governs the right to taxation.

  • “Our writer… tells us that formerly the right of taxation was in the king only. I should have been glad if he had pointed us to that time. We know that kings – even English kings – have lost their crowns and their heads for assuming such a right. ‘Tis true this strange claim has occasioned much contention, and it always will as long as the people understand the great charter of nature upon which Magna Charta itself is founded,—No man can take another’s property from him without his consent. This is the law of nature; and a violation of it is the same thing, whether it be done by one man who is called a king, or by five hundred of another denomination…     — Samuel Adams, Boston Gazette, Jan. 9, 1769
  • “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” — James Otis, Massachusetts, 1725–1783

To be continued…