On the evening of December 16, 1773, a group of disguised Bostonians boarded three merchant ships and dumped more than forty-six tons of tea into Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea Party, as it later came to be known, was an audacious and revolutionary act. It electrified Massachusetts, set the stage for war, and cemented certain values in the American psyche that many still cherish today. But why did the Tea Party happen? Whom did it involve? What did it mean throughout Massachusetts and beyond?
Benjamin L. Carp will discuss these questions tomorrow evening, April 5th, at 7:30 p.m. during the first lecture of the Spring 2011 public programs series. Carp, an Associate Professor of History at Tufts University, considers the Tea Party’s complicated legacy in his new book, Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America (Yale University Press, 2010). When asked about his interest in this infamous event, he explained:
There hadn’t been a comprehensive book about the Boston Tea Party since the 1960s, and it seemed like a good time to reassess our understanding of this important event. The more research I did, the more I realized that there was new evidence to discover and new questions to ask. My book centers around a series of new arguments about the Boston Tea Party, which I’ll be discussing during my AAS program.
At Tufts University, Professor Carp teaches the history of early America. He has a broad interest in revolutionary political activity, cities, and the American Revolution. He has written about the contemporary tea party movement and the Boston Tea Party for the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. His first book, Rebels Rising: Cities and the American Revolution, was published in 2007. Professor Carp held a Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Fellowship at AAS in 2001-2002.
As an added bonus, people coming to the lecture will have a chance to see AAS’s vial of tea recovered from the tea party!