Outbreak of the War
Due to colonial economic boycotts, the Townshend Duties, except tea, were repealed in 1770. The colonists were huge consumers of tea, drinking two million cups a day. To avoid paying this duty, Americans drank smuggled Dutch tea. This contributed to the decline of East India Company. After permission to ship tea directly to America from India, cutting out the middlemen in Britain, the price of tea dropped by half. East Indian tea, although still taxed, was now cheaper than Dutch tea. But Americans were not happy about the cheap, but still taxed tea, and refused to buy it. They viewed the act as another violation of their rights. In Boston, on 16 December 1773, a crowd of men disguised as Indians, boarded the ships full of tea and they dumped all of the tea into the water, which became known as the Boston tea party. The Parliament responded by passing an Intolerable Acts, which closed the port of Boston to trade and more British soldiers were sent to the port. In September 1774, a congress of the ablest and wealthiest men in America met in Philadelphia. It was called The First Continental Congress. The leaders urged Americans to disobey the Intolerable Acts and to boycott British trade. Colonists began to organize militias and to collect weapons and ammunition. Arms were bought illegally, and secret military trainings, to prepare the people for armed resistance, were organized.