Lead: On a cold December night in 1773, a small group of men disguised with printer’s ink and paint vandalized three cargo ships lying at anchor in Boston Harbor. The so-called Boston Tea Party was a milestone on the road to Revolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It was all about business and taxes. Monopolies and taxes. Representation and taxes. People hated and were resigned to them at the same time. In the years leading up to the American Revolution, Britons paid a lot of taxes, Americans very little. England, distracted by a century and a half of civil war, religious dispute, and continental military adventures, largely had left the colonies to fend for themselves. The distance was too great and communications too slow for effective colonial administration. During this period the white colonists of British North America had grown increasingly accustomed to self-rule. On average, aside from the Dutch, they were the richest people in the world. They had evolved a system of representative government which varied from colony to colony, paying homage to the British monarch, but for the most part they conducted the affairs of the colonies as if that ruler did not exist.