What exactly does “Tea Party” refer to, and what is “GOP” short for?

After Tuesday’s primary victories by Tea Party movement-backed candidates, water cooler talk seems focused on the relationship between the political movement and the GOP. The future impact of one on the other is unknown yet intriguing; the origins and meaning of both terms are just as fascinating.

The Republican Party picked up the “Grand Old Party” label in the 1880s. The homespun nickname actually may have been associated with Democrats originally, and was the product of the purple prose style of newspapers in the 19th century. Some claim that the G originally stood for gallant. Dubbing the Republicans “grand,” “gallant,” or “old” in the 1880s is odd considering that the party was only 26 in 1880.

For many, the primary impression of the Boston Tea Party is a bunch of colonists dressed like Mohawk Indians dumping tea over the side of a ship in Boston Harbor. This actually happened, but the context for the pageantry and protest is economic. Briefly, Britain made a series of dumb choices regarding tea and taxation. The politically-motivated policies culminated in a situation where colonists were forced to pay a tax on tea even after the rationale for the tax was removed. While the overall price of tea actually went down under the Tea Act, outrage over the lack of jurisdiction over their affairs prompted protests in all Thirteen Colonies. The Governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Hutchinson, refused to allow tea-bearing ships to leave Boston Harbor even though the merchants who had arranged to sell the cargo wanted to send it back to England. Protestors responded by destroying the tea rather than acquiescing and allowing the contested goods to come onshore.

(Forget tea. What is the mystery of the origin of “coffee?” Find out here.)

In a funny twist, the event didn’t acquire the name “Boston Tea Party” until the 1830s.

What then is the principle that Tea Party activists hope to emulate when they invoke the Boston Tea Party? If the focus is taxation, the association is perhaps misguided. If the focus is inadequate representation, then the name may suit them to a T.

Do you think the use of the Tea Party name is an accurate reflection of history? Let us know, and tell us what other political terms you might like us to write about.


  1. God Universal -  November 14, 2016 - 10:45 am

    Well actually, when people observe another side of History being that the Tea Party participants who dressed up as Indians were actually Masons and the place where they met and organized the rebellious act against Britian by dumping Tea was actually the first Masonic lodge in America.

    GOP symbolizes in the minds of Republicans as them being the original Americans of the U.S. and Tea Party symbolizes those who rebel against the original system. Since these Caucasians came to America and took over, they came with an original system of Britain.

  2. Chris -  June 2, 2011 - 9:48 am

    I agree with Ron.

    As the descendant of a Revolutionary War veteran and a participant in the Boston Tea Party, I would like the tea baggers to stop sullying his memory by misappropriating Revolutionary War symbolism.

    The issue of the Tea Party and Revolution was a movement toward equality in the US.

    The analogy would be better suited now equating non tax paying wealthy US citizens with the English. They are stealing from the working and middle class.

    • William -  January 31, 2016 - 8:55 pm

      Actually the phrase fits people not believing in extra taxation from Democrats overtaking the poor and middle class without proper, representation.

  3. Francis -  April 24, 2011 - 1:36 pm

    More like the Boston Tea Fight

  4. boo boo : ) -  February 2, 2011 - 5:40 am

    Now that a lot of tea party candidates have been elected, and they still claim to be government haters, what are they doing now? Hating themselves?

  5. EmilyB -  October 21, 2010 - 7:06 am

    Response to John on September 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm:
    Thank you for your explanation. You have a great point!!

  6. Free WP Themes -  September 21, 2010 - 9:51 pm

    Genial dispatch and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you on your information.

  7. Bowser -  September 17, 2010 - 2:46 pm

    They are all crooks. Republicans, Democrats, Green, Tea, whatever. If we cannot agree on that, we have nothing to discuss.

  8. Bickle -  September 17, 2010 - 4:28 am

    Hats off to TheNev for posting the most complete answer to the prompt question. Not only will I bring the chips, but a case of beer for my fellow Silver Staters!

  9. Wow -  September 16, 2010 - 1:47 pm

    You know I can see the TEA party replacing the Republican party at some point. Maybe that why there is so much hate from some Republicans about them and it’s simple for Democrats to feel threaten by them because they are used to joke of what Republican’s have become.
    You don’t even have to get me started about why Media fear them so much.
    It’s all quite sad really.
    Some times a idea, especially a good won is almost impossible to kill.

  10. tnmccoy -  September 16, 2010 - 1:14 pm

    Ron on September 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm – “As the descendant of a Revolutionary War veteran, I would like the tea baggers to stop sullying his memory by misappropriating Revolutionary War symbolism.” – Well, Ron. If you insist on using a pejorative for the tea party members, then I guess I can call you honky? After all, you’ve misinterpreted what the movement is about. And your so-called descendancy from a Revolutionary War soldier doesn’t impress me or give you the right to misinterpret and insult. You can be proud of your ancestor, but don’t be proud of yourself. You’re just one more complaining Liberal who’s caught in the crossfire.

  11. Mark -  September 16, 2010 - 12:09 pm

    “Tea Party” protests have been sponsored by the Libertarian Party since the 70′s. That is where Ron Paul got the idea, having been a Libertarian Party presidential candidate. As some commenters have suggested, opportunistic Republican candidates have co-opted the idea from Ron Paul. What they are leaving out is the Libertarian Party having done “Tea Party” protests for decades.

  12. TheNev -  September 16, 2010 - 11:57 am

    I concur that the name of the current tea party originated with the libertarians who endorsed Dr. Ron Paul, who, in his own right is as brilliant as they come with regards to liberty as defined by the Constitution.

    The later TEA parties gained footing from Rick Santelli’s rant, but was hardly formed during that time. To their credit, the Libertarians along with Dr. Paul were sowing the seeds of discontent with President Bush and pulling people towards it. While the anger with Bush wasn’t wide-spread, I doubt you can find a TEA partier today that doesn’t have something negative to say about President Bush and the Republican Congress spending craze.

    The current incarnation of today’s TEA party is very hard to nail down which drives political figures, partisan news outlets, and political commentators crazy. In their desperation to nail it down, so it can be properly polarized and dismissed (see Saul Alinsky: Rules for Radicals and how to raise Unicorns), it has proven to be exceedingly amorphous.

    Why? Now that is a good question.

    The people of the TEA party are a collection of Libertarians (angry for some reason because “their” movement grew without them leading it), Conservatives, Moderates, and Old-School Democrats (see: Senator Zell Miller(D)). In due respect, it gets a lot of its attraction from the Libertarian ideology because it is not focused on social issues though social conservatives and social liberals are part of it. Social issues tend to divide the country greatly. This alone makes it incredibly hard to pin with a moniker, which is why you read/hear the sexual slang “teabagger” term in every hateful post from the opposition.

    Yes, several GOP “operatives” have hitched their wagon to it (Dick Armey, etc…), but they are well known and people of the Tea Party are not afraid of the “establishment” of any kind, up to and including their own. Recently, TEA party members and activists verbally destroyed Karl Rove after he attempted to marginalize Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.

    It is a movement of Joe or Jane taxpayer and they are rightfully angry at the U.S. Government (this means Republicans AND Democrats for you slow people) for years of infringements on freedom.

    If I had to pin it down, I would call it a “taxpayer backlash”. It’s fitting because in every sect of the social fabric of the United States, we are all supposed to be concerned with a backlash of some sort by some group that doesn’t like something someone said or did. Never has there been a taxpayer backlash. This is where taxpayers get fed up with feeding trillions into the economy only to see their personal freedoms eroded gradually while being told to shut up, being called racists, teabaggers, brooks-brothers mobs, astroturf, nazis, and being talked down to by the protected elitist classes (academics, politics, and business). We should simply shut up and pay our taxes to fund massive waste and corruption. Sorry, not any longer.

    I hope this helps.

    11/02/10 – Taxpayer Backlash

  13. Waldo Pepper -  September 16, 2010 - 11:50 am

    Which Tea Party are we talking about? Lipton or Luzianne?

  14. Daar -  September 16, 2010 - 11:49 am

    The rising of the “Tea Party” movement is bringing with it other initiatives which broaden the scope of associations to the label. What they are, and how they are evolving, can be seen at http://MichiganActivists.com – however, the three central points of agreement are that: 1) gov’t should adhere to Constitutional limitations (original vision of Founding Fathers – 16th Amendment “income tax” is in conflict with that as it affects Churches’ 1st-Amendment rights, and individuals’ 4th and 5th Amendment rights). 2) gov’t should be fiscally-responsible, and 3) that while there is a role for guarding against illegal commercial activity, the gov’t ought not inappropriately interfere with, and manipulate, trading or financial markets.

  15. David -  September 16, 2010 - 11:23 am

    Who wrote this? “Briefly, Britain made a series of dumb choices regarding tea and taxation.” The writer of this article is “dumb.”

  16. Parch -  September 16, 2010 - 10:12 am

    the government has 18 enumerated powers by which they can collect taxes and spend taxpayer’s money. anything beyond those 18 enumerated powers is delegated to the states, or to the people according to the 10th amendment.
    i don’t understand how anyone could be FOR an American stimulus package, meant to create jobs for Americans, that includes a program to promote getting men in africa to wash their genitals.
    people are tired of the waste, fraud and abuse of government. the TEA parties are the manifestations of rational, civilized people who are peacefully protesting, and they get nothing but contempt from established republicans, democrats and the media. but… as jeremiah wright put it… their “chickens are coming home to roost”

  17. #1 Skillet fan -  September 16, 2010 - 9:34 am

    And I’m proud to be an American,

    Where at least I think I’m free

    And I won’t forget the day Obama got elected because of me.

    And I gladly demand

    A tax cut for the good of the people

    But there ain’t no doubt that we’re in debt

    GOD HELP THE U.S.A.!!!!!!!!! lol :)

    (written by me and my younger brother, as a spoof of Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to Be an American”. Sing along with me (: )

  18. Don Hamilton -  September 16, 2010 - 9:26 am

    This is most peculiar. The heading states, “What exactly does ‘Tea Party’ refer to?”; yet there is no explanation of the contemporary Tea Party. Apparently the author assumes we have no familiarity with American History as there is a thorough discussion of the Boston tea party. What I gather from the news is that the regular Republicans (anal sphincter rigidarius)and the most rabid zealots of the party (Tea Party)are now at each others’ throats. If this be the case, then it is the best thing imaginable for our nation.

  19. Ejomlexus -  September 16, 2010 - 9:25 am

    There should be still a TEA party now a days to protest those unnecessary tax collection.

  20. Name? Doesn't matter -  September 16, 2010 - 9:24 am

    WOW!!! I am so bored!!! I am in class and i have to read “BEOWULF” which is so boring to me. But their is this part where he rips the head off of a monster and that is cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Scott -  September 16, 2010 - 9:07 am

    Why WOULDN’T taxation be an appropriate association with the TEA PARTY movement? That’s a lot of what it’s about!! HUGE, EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY taxation!! Whoever wrote this article just “doesn’t get it”!!

  22. Andrew -  September 16, 2010 - 8:59 am

    (Part 1:)

    Yes, the ‘T.E.A.-Party’ was begun under Ron Paul’s anti-taxation movement of 2007. Remember that Sean Hannity (etc.) stood in the way of Paul’s presidential-campaign (the next year), practically treating him like he was non-existent in the primaries; then they heisted the ‘T.E.A.’ band-wagon from Libertarians, using Glenn Beck & Sarah Palin as their spokes-clowns.

    To Jay, Mike, & Antonio: sorry to say it, but you risked your lives for nothing. The military has not served its purpose for the American people since the ‘Civil War’, and that was on the side of the Confederacy. Militias sprang up from the assembly of citizens in the first place, so (since the advent of Marxists taking over our government, in the 1840′s) the Armed Forces have only protected the powers that be from the public themselves. (Hence – why the ‘F.E.M.A.’-camps have been put into place, from the time Oliver Kenneth Goff was in the ‘Communist Party’ (1930′s): http://members.iimetro.com.au/~hubbca/psychopolitics.htm ; they want to suppress the opposition, so they can take over our nation for their “New-World Order”.)

  23. Lee -  September 16, 2010 - 8:36 am

    Wow, reading these comments…lots of name calling and hatred out there (which doesn’t help anyone’s cause or a real discussion). Good to read some civil discussions by others though. I’ve read different (liberal and conservative)accounts and media reports on the so-called ‘Tea Party’. As this is not an established, powerful party (unlike the Republican Party and the Democratic Party) and has no real ‘leaders’, but individuals motivated by different things, it does appear to be a grassroots movement that will not be bought with political or special interest power or money. And it likely won’t be deterred by name-calling, vulgar references or off the subject arguments. It will be interesting (and at times amusing)to see how the established political parties (the Republican and Democratic Parties), the media, the special interest groups and the activists respond. If the American people respond negatively to the ‘Tea Party’ ideas, it will fade away. If the American people respond favorably to its ideas, we will see how those ideas and the ‘movement’ evolve. Hopefully people who feel threatened by other American’s different opinions can remain civil and level-headed during the meantime.

  24. L.T. -  September 16, 2010 - 8:03 am

    “To me so deep a silence portends some dread event; a clamorous sorrow wastes itself in sound.” Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC)

  25. Gary -  September 16, 2010 - 8:03 am

    The Boston Tea Party in 1773 is seen today as a protest by citzens/small merchants against a larger government who was imposing it’s power and authority over them. Tea just happened to be the target of their anger. It doesn’t matter what the actual details of laws were either. All that matters is what our general perception of those past events are. Today’s Tea Party members are protesting virtually the same thing. They are mad as hell at an over bearing goverment (Washington) imposing its will on the citizens of our Country. That is the connection I see and it hits the nail on the head.
    The biggest difference between the 1773 Tea Party and Today’s is that we do elect the representative that impose their will over us. The problem is that our political system has evolved to a point where we have given Congress and the President way too much power. The Tea Party movement is a revolt to that model. More and more people want more control and that means less power in Washington, and Washington is fighting back because they don’t want to give up that control. That’s the battle ground!

  26. Bickle -  September 16, 2010 - 7:49 am

    The modern Tea Party movement started in February of 2009, when Rick Santelli ranted during his financial news broadcast. They’ve become such a threat to the U.S. liberal elite that they have taken to all sorts of derision against the Tea Party. Ironically, the trendy sobriquet “teabagger” refers to indecent acts popular with most male members of the U.S. liberal elite. Go figure.

    The power is falling. I’ll buy the chips!

  27. Colleen -  September 16, 2010 - 7:48 am

    This was interesting, as I had let my memory slip on some of this history. One complaint: the title made it seem like we’d be hearing about why the modern day tea party term has been coined. “Tea Party Movement” or “Tea Baggers” as the more derogatory term goes. I’d like to know how that came about. Think I’ll go look that up :)

  28. art of tea in the Muromachi period -  September 16, 2010 - 7:33 am

    About 8 million population would be a nice size of a nation to monitor how tax money is appropriately used for taxpayers. A size of the U.S. with mind of strigent private ownership and ultra conservative morality seem to get Americans nowhere as with tax talk.

    Money…what I earn is mine and what you earn is yours.

    I ate too much garlic for dinner today and should have a glass of milk before I go to work.

  29. Parch -  September 16, 2010 - 6:59 am

    John you tell us why the original tea part occured, and then you go off on a tangent as to why the current tea parties are bastardizing the name.
    taxation without representation is NOT dependant on the mount taxed, first of all.
    secondly, you are grossly mistaken on the current tax rates. you obviously don’t pay taxes, and you obviously copy/pasted from some idiot blogger.

  30. Parch -  September 16, 2010 - 6:54 am

    many of you seem to be under the impression that the TEA Party is in some way just an arm of the GOP. you could not be more wrong. no where will you find more fervent TEA parties than in districts with establishment republicans like John McCain running. the movement includes republicans AND democrats who have had enough of government spending and are ready for fiscal responsibility. it is a party-free political movement.

  31. Ken -  September 16, 2010 - 6:27 am

    Just a punctuation note: “politically-motivated policies” shouldn’t be hyphenated. As a general rule, adverb phrases are not hyphenated. Adjective phrases, on the other hand, are.

  32. james -  September 16, 2010 - 5:56 am

    As a business owner in the top 5% as you call it, I will be forced soon, as many of my fellow business owners have been, out of business becasue of taxing and regulations on my personal income as well as my business itself. In doing so, jobs will be lost in New York, Virginia and Maryland. So the percentage of people will have lower taxes, but many of them will soon be unemployed. I dont understand how that is helping anyone. The government will get almost 60% of my income after taxing me, and becasue i cant stay in business many people will be losing jobs, which will cause them to rely on the government to survive. Sounds like the only positive from the enitre system is once again the government. Regardless of how you define the Tea Party of today, it is growing and many people in America agree with them. Enjoy your welfare check. The Government that can give you everything can also take it away.

  33. Rob -  September 16, 2010 - 5:48 am

    Why are taxes so high? What is the counrty’s deficit? Trillions of dollars. How are you going to pay that off? As a veteran as well, I am ashamed when the sacrific, blood, sweat and tears of other veterans is used to foward the interests of politicians just to promote partisianship and enhance their own chances of election so that they can dip their hands in to government coffers, take their “share”. They are no better than those who force the forefathers to take action to begin with. Maybe we should force the TV networks to actually research what they are reporting on, so we can be an educated people, and not blindly follow FOX new for the right, or even a left wing network.

  34. Mike H. -  September 16, 2010 - 5:48 am

    Seems we’ve struck a cord today… lots of comments!

    I think the name is a good one. The focus, if any, of the Tea Party is to reduce taxes, and through this, government spending and size. The Boston Tea Party was related to taxes is some way, so it fits well enough.

    Debates about politics should not be posted here. Names are names. If we changed the name of whichever party it is you dislike; would that change anything?

  35. louis paiz -  September 16, 2010 - 5:33 am

    i am proud of people who have the guts tosay where the shoe hurts because we are getting so intimidated by insiders or outsiders in what to say or not tosay what to moved or what to keep.

  36. Jakob -  September 16, 2010 - 5:02 am

    I am a Republican, and I voted for McCain. I will continue to use the term “tea bagger” until it stops being funny.

    God Bless America.

  37. Name? Doesn't matter -  September 16, 2010 - 5:02 am

    Yea this blog is kinda cool even though history wasn’t my best subject(i’m still shocked i got an A in it.) I thought it was cool for the brits to throw tea out into the harbor because they were paying way to much taxes. I think we should do that because i’m sick of paying $1.73 for a small soda.

  38. coco -  September 16, 2010 - 2:25 am

    Why I can’t submit comments….

  39. Andrew -  September 16, 2010 - 1:26 am

    You are a revolutionary war veteran. WOW that’s awesome. Not really all that means is that your family line used to have class. You are a disgrace to your family to not support the people that carry on and strive to keep our country strong. Do something with your life so you can hold to something other than your very distant family’s achievements and sacrifice. They would slap you in the face for acting the way you do.
    Let me show you how to do this.
    Iraq war Veteran
    Afghanistan war Veteran
    Active Duty US Marine
    15 credits from my Masters

  40. TEA BAGS | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  September 16, 2010 - 1:07 am

    [...] “Tea Party” is such a loaded reference, — with “Alice through the Looking Glass” — and the Mad Hatter Late for nothing happenstance — If Republicans are Elephants and Democrats are Donkeys why wouldn’t the Tea Party have “TEA BAGGERS” as the Cups and Pawns for Fox News Dangling Daggers. — It actually fits together with Rush and Palin and Beck — Palin’s got THE BIGGEST EMPTY SET on her deserving no respect — It is nothing but another ploy of separate but equal ratings conquer — with so much hard to swallow it’s a party with no real head honker. — FOX NEWS Media created — of course Tis funnier than slapstick – where news is entertainment — it’s hard core porn without the “WHIP IT oil slick. –>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]

  41. Tyler G -  September 15, 2010 - 11:13 pm

    Well said, my friend, well said.

    It’s about time the Jon Stewart-watching knaves who care more for ignorant humor than well-informed opinion develop some common sense. One may notice that the apparent majority of what I would refer to as childish name-calling is coming from the left. It’s always humorous to watch the party losing power pull no punches in their attempts to demonize their opponent. Sadly for them, the tea party movement is only gaining steam, mainly because it is comprised of those who truly have common sense, and who realize that more moderate views are necessary in nearly all facets of life in these modern times. The people are beginning to listen to their television less, as their well-educated neighbors enlighten them as to the true nature of the tea party, that is a benevolent movement of everyday people who seek the betterment of our great nation.

  42. john -  September 15, 2010 - 11:02 pm

    Thank you for your excellent write-up and weblinks on the Tea Party misguided movement! It should also be noted that the brave American colonists in Boston, Massachusetts revoted against the King of England because they were never afforded any representation in the English parliment over matters relative to their lives. It is because of their sacrifice and stance for liberty that every American has the right to vote for representation today. Tea Party activists usurped the name with the notion that we are “taxed enough already”, yet federal tax rates today are at their lowest since the federal income system was first passed by a republican congress under a republican president in 1909, and ratifed into the constitution by representatives of 35 states in 1913. The term, Tea Party, was dreamed up by Washington GOP think tanks, ferociously funded through “behind the scene” political action groups, and vehemently promoted by right-wing media elitist on FOX News & Clear Channel radio….all of which was used to feed the rapacious anger of cronic malcontents who easily bought into the claptrap mumbo-dumbo that caused them hate and defame other Americans not like them, and tear down the foundations of our country to suit their own misguided ideals. America has survived these times of political upheaval before, and I sincerely hope that our country can survive today. I would like to suggest a write-up on the political party known as the “Know-Nothings”. They were another political uprising that actually stopped the construction of George Washington monument to suit of their own stalwart beliefs and hatred towards other Americans.

  43. Lauren -  September 15, 2010 - 10:42 pm

    Matt D–Ron Paul may have used a “tea party” image for his money bomb, but that in no way sparked what is currently known as the tea party movement.

    It was actually a rant by Rick Santelli of CNBC in 2009 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp-Jw-5Kx8k) that accidentally “kicked-off” the movement. The video was put online and immediately went viral, and soon after that, Americans upset by the rapidly increasing size and scope of government took it upon themselves to throw these “Tea Party” rallies, as they became known. As Kirsten pointed out, the modern movement uses the acronym “Taxed Enough Already” and doesn’t directly equate itself with the Boston Tea Party, although both of these instances resulted in anger over increasing tyranny.

    The movement has definitely been effective, as I’m sure we will see in the November elections, and I wouldn’t be surprised if twenty or thirty years from now we’ll see it in the history textbooks.

  44. Adam Leon -  September 15, 2010 - 9:33 pm

    To be honest, I think the Tea Party movement began as a legitimate redress of our flawed two party system, but failed career politicians, like Sarah Palin, with the well-funded help of multinational conglomerates, usurped the movement. I support honest, selfless politicians like Ron Paul, and Jesse Ventura; I don’t agree with them all the time, but at least they aren’t snakes in the grass. Most of our leaders are seem too busy trying to attain more power for themselves to care about anything else, and I think most people fixate too much on the negligible things that divide us, instead of strengthening the ideals which unite us all.

  45. Antonio -  September 15, 2010 - 8:54 pm

    I AM a war veteran and I too am disgusted at the excessive taxation that has taken place in our government. Federal Income tax, Social Security tax, Medicare Tax, Sales tax, and Gasoline tax alone now take more than 50% of my check (and that’s not the only taxes I pay). I was once taught that taxes were used to pay for the military, police and other “public” service/servants. So, when I was in the military, what were MY taxes used for? If a country can tax its citizens 50% and still can’t get the job done, what’s next, 60-70-80-90% taxation? When will it end? When we first admit to ourselves that we are all slaves that have been duped into thinking we are free, then maybe it can begin. What can begin? A revolution! Or, GOD can send us a “Moses” to help free us all from slavery. We are all slaves if our pay, which is the result of our labor, is taken from us involuntarily. I don’t “volunteer” to pay over 50% taxes on my pay, it is TAKEN from me. By definition that is involuntary servitude, hence, slavery.

  46. R/A Warnke -  September 15, 2010 - 8:09 pm

    It stands for


    See the tea.
    Sorry you missed it.

  47. I dunno -  September 15, 2010 - 7:48 pm

    I really think that most tea party ideas are completely misguided. First off, Obama= Hitler? Why, because he can talk well? He came in during a depression/ ressesion? I could say Ghandi was like Hitler because Churchill hated both of them. Or that McCain is, because they’re both veterans. And no, we aren’t saying “LOL you guys suck cuz of teabagging!” It’s just a humerous thing people noticed. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but please, I don’t hold large protests saying 9/11 was an inside job! (I don’t really believe that, just making a point.) The whole birth certificate thing is ridiculous, he showed his, but everyone just convenionatly ignored it. Admittitly, he isn’t doing much, despite the house and senate majority. The new “Tax increase” is making everyone in the top 5% (I think) have THEIR taxes increase, while the mid/ low upper, middle, and lower class would have LESS taxes. Overall, I just think that I would have respect for a third party if they could base their views off of factual information, and if they would understand that they can have their ideas, but so can I, and yelling at me won’t change mine.

  48. fbee -  September 15, 2010 - 7:48 pm

    Hate to say it, but having modern day republicans associated with the bravery of the long ago Boston Tea Party is anything but an honor. I’d say it’s like comparing the signing of the Deceleration of Independence with the writing of the first Ripley’s Believe It Or Not book, except that would be an insult to Ripley’s.

  49. Mike -  September 15, 2010 - 7:10 pm

    The last war in which our freedom really hung in the balance was WWII, so Jay, unless you’re 85-plus years old, you being a war veteran has nothing to do with my or anyone else’s rights.

    I also find it interesting that the Tea Party basically aligns itself with Republicans, which is the same party that refuses vehemently to grant tax cuts to the middle class while consistently cutting taxes as much as possible for the rich.

    This despite the fact that Obama’s planned tax revisions would negatively affect only 3% of America’s small business owners. Blocking these reforms out of spite, as the entire Republican party is doing, hardly seems like what is best for “most Americans”.

    The Republican party, and by extension the Tea Party, is a dynasty bent on ensuring its own perpetuity. It does not concern itself with the rights of the American people.

  50. P. Mazur -  September 15, 2010 - 6:15 pm

    I hope the photo you used to illustrate this entry was not intended as a nod toward the vulgarity initiated by one Anderson Cooper of CNN and repeated mindlessly and/or arrogantly by many others in the media. An offense that would have caused an immediate firing and other dire consequences — had it come from the right-hand side of the political spectrum.

  51. art of tea in the Muromachi period -  September 15, 2010 - 6:14 pm

    The tea ceremony held back in the 16th century, the warlords were required to leave their swords outside the tea room. That was not only one of those strict formality but also the tea masters’ wisdom to avoid bloodshed inside there.

    The tea masters were also viewed as a political power in a sense of their philosophy and wisdom.

  52. Phil -  September 15, 2010 - 5:22 pm

    I’m not sure I understand your question for sure. If you are referring to the modern use of the tea party as an accurate reflection of the historical account, then I would say “not really”. If the current use is really an acronym for Taxed Enough Already (as indicated by Kirsten) and their current effort is to reduce taxes, it’s probably a close match and would generally be thought accurate by most, but the 1776 issue was taxation without representation as the original issue, not necessarily that the price was too high. Therefore, the fundamental issues are different for the two groups as we are “allegedly” represented today although I think that’s also debatable.

  53. MkMiku -  September 15, 2010 - 5:15 pm

    I remember reading about this in school. I’m not a history buff, but didn’t we have something similar to a Tea Party just recently in America?

  54. a student of theology -  September 15, 2010 - 5:11 pm

    please do not use the word tea baggers to describbe the people who participate in the tea parties.

  55. John -  September 15, 2010 - 4:58 pm

    We Must Not Forget the Original Intent of the Boston TEA Party

    The Tea Act was passed by British Parliament on May 10, 1773. It is important to understand that the act was not intended to raise revenue in the American colonies, and in fact actually reduced duty taxes on imported British tea.

    It was designed to prop up the East India Company which was granted the sole right to sell tea directly to Americans, with duties on tea heavily reduced. Previously, American ships brought much of the tea from England, but that trade was now reserved for the East India Company without going through American middlemen.

    The British government wanted the East India Company to have a monopoly rather than to see colonial traders profiting and using their newly gained financial power to sponsor anti-British protests. This tea was to be shipped directly to the colonies, and sold at a bargain price. Many in England thought this law would be warmly greeted in America, because it allowed the colonists to drink tea at a cost lower than ever before.

    However, the direct sale of tea, via British agents, also undercut the business of local merchants. Ordinarily conservative shippers and shopkeepers were directly impacted by the new law and were vocal in their opposition. The shop owners objected to the new practice of using only selected merchants to sell the tea as many would be excluded from this trade in favor of a new monopoly.

    While Americans fought for personal liberty, some of the founding fathers had economic Liberty in mind as well. John Hancock and his sloop, yes, you guessed it, Liberty, was seized by British custom officials on June 10, 1768. Over the next year traders like Hancock fought to reduce the amount of East India Company tea purchased in the colonies from 320,000 pounds to 520 pounds. Boycotts by the people also affected the amount of imports.

    Eventually, this and anger over taxation without representation led to the Boston Tea Party where American colonists, believed by some to be the Sons of Liberty, dressed as Mohawk Indian Natives and threw 342 crates of tea overboard from the East India Company ships Dartmouth, Eleanor, and Beaver into Boston Harbor.

    There are some today who say that the American traders were simply smugglers looking to protect their own trade. However isn’t it tragic that todays so called “TEA Party” has smuggled and changed the original intent of the Boston Tea Party from one of protecting small independent American traders and calls for representation to one of advancing muti-national corporations and calls to repress representative democracy.

  56. Jay -  September 15, 2010 - 4:18 pm

    I’m not surprised to see a liberal not only play the “I’m a war vet descendant” card, but also refer to legitimate and peaceful political activism as a gross sexual act. Additionally, I can’t help but be amused by either the ignorance, or, perhaps the pure political spin, when one chooses to ignore the fact that both tea parties were initiated because of excessive taxation without proper representation. By the way, I AM a war veteran and I fought for your right to call me names. I don’t have to rely on my ancestors to carry my water for me.

  57. Dr. StrangeLoaf -  September 15, 2010 - 3:54 pm

    Heh… Teabagging….

  58. Nathan -  September 15, 2010 - 3:49 pm

    I’ve heard many criticisms about the Tea Party: that they are filled with loose idealistic language that has no specifically defined or even logistically sound course of action, that they are extreme right conservatives jilted by the GOP and stubborn enough to not even want to come to an agreement with left ways of thinking.

    I think the creation of a third party could be good for our two party system and drive a little Common Sense into the Democrats and a little Working Class Hero into the Republicans. It could shift both parties more to the center and establish a moderate politics.

    But it could also be the loose bolt, the crack in the windshield, the last straw that pushes the limits of our political system and brings the whole thing crashing down: and not in the patriotic spirit of our revolution that sought to build something new and exciting, but in the most destructive sense of a disaffected, pyromaniacal anarchism that wants to watch the whole thing burn to the ground just because there’s no hope left.

    I hope America has hope.

  59. Stevens -  September 15, 2010 - 3:40 pm

    This post isn’t strictly historically accurate, but that’s not surprising considering the nationalist views forwarded in many schools. As many of the Founding Fathers (including Jefferson and Madison) were pushing republicanism from the very beginning, one may also say these men were the first republicans when they ran for, and achieved, office. Therefore, to say the republican party sprang from the democratic party is a tragic and extreme falsehood; the republican party, in fact, sprang from the more prominent Founding Fathers in direct opposition to Alexander Hamilton and John Adams’ more autocratic (or Federalist) view of the direction of government. In fact, Hamilton often wrote that he was ‘alone’ in his way of thinking amongst the Founding Fathers, which is a good thing- the American experiment was to move away from a government over the people to a government BY the people.

    As for the Tea Party, the modern incarnation is simply to honor the rebellious and courageous nature of the Boston Tea Party as they stood up against further strangulation by King George III. This is paralleled today with the Tea Party standing up to what essentially amounts to a runaway Federal government that does not accede to the will of the people, imposing laws that generally favor only the government itself and the wealthy.

  60. Matt D -  September 15, 2010 - 3:38 pm

    Just a quick note, the first Tea Party in recent times was a money bomb for Ron Paul, which was held on December 16, 2007.

    A site was set up to encourage people to donate to his campaign all on the same day. The copy of the original site can still be found here:

    I think it was originally from this event that the idea of having a Tea Party first started, and from this the name stuck.

  61. Ron -  September 15, 2010 - 2:52 pm

    As the descendant of a Revolutionary War veteran, I would like the tea baggers to stop sullying his memory by misappropriating Revolutionary War symbolism.

  62. Kirsten -  September 15, 2010 - 2:48 pm

    You might also want to note that in the modern day Tea Party movement, TEA started out as an acronym for Taxed Enough Already.


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