Steeped in History: Learn about the Boston Tea Party with Infobase

Steeped in History: Learn about the Boston Tea Party with Infobase

The Boston Tea Party

On December 16, 1773, a group of American colonists led by Samuel Adams protested excessive taxation from Great Britain by boarding three ships and throwing their cargo—massive amounts of tea owned by the East India Company—into Boston’s harbor. This event would be among the many that would eventually spark the American Revolution in 1775 and the founding of the United States as a nation separate from Britain in 1776.

If your students and patrons (including homeschoolers) are brushing up on their American history in time for the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, Infobase has just what they need. Find a wide variety of content—articles, images, videos, primary sources, and more—from one of the most trustworthy sources around, accessible at school, in class, at the library, or at home…with the tea kettle on. 

The Boston Tea Party Is a Part of American History 

An ideal place to start any research on the Boston Tea Party, Infobase’s award-winning American History database puts a virtual library of American history right at your fingertips. Find dozens of book chapters and encyclopedia entries on the Boston Tea Party from sources including The Boston Tea Party, Updated Edition from Chelsea House’s Milestones in American History series. You’ll also discover numerous primary sources (including a firsthand account from a participant), related illustrations, and videos. 

Researchers can also find editorially curated Topic Centers on subjects related to the Boston Tea Party, including Revolutionary War Battles and Daily Life in the Colonial and Revolutionary Era. These Topic Centers provide a starting point for research by bringing together specially selected content on different eras, themes, and landmark events of history, including articles, shareable slideshows, videos, primary sources, and more.

Boston Tea Party article from Infobase's American History database

Introduce Intermediate Students to This Event with The World Almanac® for Kids

For educators looking for a solid resource aimed specifically at middle school–level students, The World Almanac® for Kids American History Topic features an entire article on the Boston Tea Party in its “Revolutionary America: 1764–1789” section that covers the incident’s history from its precursor the Gaspée Incident in 1772 to the Intolerable Acts, a series of laws passed in 1774 to punish colonists for throwing the tea overboard. 

Students can explore the rest of “Revolutionary America: 1764–1789” for a deeper dive into the history of the American Revolution, from the Boston Massacre in 1770 to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788. They can also round out their research with book-length biographies of several key players in the American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party, including Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, Thomas Gage, Benjamin Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton.

"Revolutionary America: 1764–1789" from The World Almanac® for Kids

Explore History with Credo 

Looking for an even deeper dive on the Boston Tea Party? Credo Source for high schools and Credo Reference for public libraries are excellent places to go, with a vast number of articles on the Boston Tea Party from a wide range of sources including Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, Houghton Mifflin’s The Reader’s Companion to American History, The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Military and Diplomatic History, and The Columbia Encyclopedia. Researchers can also find numerous images and artistic renderings of the incident from Bridgeman Images, plus curious browsers will love the Mind Map that visually connects the Boston Tea Party to related concepts, allowing them to explore new topics they hadn’t considered before.

Boston Tea Party search results and Mind Map from Credo Reference

Shine a Spotlight on the Controversy with Issues & Controversies in History

The Revolutionary War period was loaded with controversies that you can learn more about with Issues & Controversies in History, which features objective, unbiased articles that provide clear pro and con arguments on hundreds of historical hot-button issues in U.S. and world history. Students and researchers will find a brief Spotlight Article on the Boston Tea Party as well as pro/con articles on related controversial topics of the same period, including:

  • Townshend Acts: Britain Taxes the American Colonies
  • Stamp Act: Legitimate Tax or “Taxation without Representation”?
  • Boston “Massacre”: Were British Soldiers or American Colonists to Blame?
  • The American Revolution: Should the Colonies Separate from Great Britain?
  • Slavery and the American Revolution: Did the American Revolution Significantly Change the Condition and Status of Black Americans?
  • And more!

Watch History Unfold with Our Streaming Media Products

For visual learners and other researchers looking for video content on the Boston Tea Party and Revolutionary War, Infobase has streaming video and media platforms for all institutions—including Learn360 for K–12 schools and districts, Classroom Video On Demand for secondary schools, and Just for Kids and Access Video On Demand for public libraries. Here is just some of the content you can find. (Some of these titles contain mature themes or content; viewer discretion is advised.) 

  • Causes of the Revolutionary War (History Kids: The Revolutionary War series) (Wonderscape®, 2017, Item #143975; available in Learn360 and Just for Kids): By watching this program, students will learn all about the causes of the Revolutionary War, such as the French and Indian War, the taxes and laws imposed on colonists by the British government, the Intolerable Acts, and the First Continental Congress. Detailed graphics, diagrams, and exciting video, as well as on-screen multiple-choice reviews at the end of each segment, reinforce important concepts and make learning fun. The segment dedicated to the Boston Tea Party discusses how, as a protest to the tax and regulations on tea, the Sons of Liberty threw a shipment of British tea into Boston Harbor. Learn about other taxes the British imposed on the colonists, and take a short multiple choice quiz on the topics covered in this segment.

"Causes of the Revolutionary War," available from Just for Kids

  • What Is the 4th of July? (Untold: American Chronicles series) (Makematic, 2023, Item #289579; available in Learn360, Classroom Video On Demand, and Access Video On Demand): From Memorial Day to Patriot Day, the Untold: American Chronicles series explores the origins, government structure, and holiday of America. This episode focuses on Independence Day, which takes place every year on the 4th of July. It celebrates the day that the founders of the United States declared their independence from Great Britain.

"What Is the 4th of July?", available from Classroom Video On Demand

  • History Kids: The Boston Tea Party—Causes and Effects (History Kids: World History series) (Wonderscape, 2022, Item #289511; available in Learn360 and Just for Kids): What was the Boston Tea Party? Who were the Sons of Liberty? How could tea be so important to the American Revolution? What was the Boston Massacre? What does the phrase “no taxation without representation” mean? What were the Intolerable Acts? The answers to these questions and more are covered in depth with detailed graphics, diagrams, and exciting video that reinforce important concepts.

"History Kids: The Boston Tea Party—Causes and Effects," available from Learn360

  • Boston Tea Party (American History’s Biggest Fibs series) (BBC Worldwide, 2019, Item #187466; available in Learn360, Classroom Video On Demand, and Access Video On Demand): In the American History’s Biggest Fibs series, historian Lucy Worsley takes off on an American road trip to uncover the legends, myths, and fibs that have been woven together to create the inspiring national story of the United States of America. This episode presents the facts about the Boston Tea Party, including how Benjamin Franklin and George Washington thought destroying private property would damage the colonists’ cause and how much of the violence surrounding the event has been forgotten. 

"Boston Tea Party" from American History's Biggest Fibs, available from Access Video On Demand

K–12 Educators: Looking for More Supplementary Resources on the Boston Tea Party?

Learn360 isn’t just videos—the complete solution for K–12 schools and districts also features teacher guides, interactive games and lessons, student activities and worksheets, audiobooks, music tracks, and so much more. Here are just a few of the supplemental resources you can find about the Boston Tea Party in Learn360.

  • The Boston Tea Party (The Mailbox®, Item #254765): Aimed at grades 4 and 5, this reading passage booklet on the Boston Tea Party can help give your students practice with reading informational text. (Also available from The Mailbox Plus.)
  • Boston Tea Party (Mr. Nussbaum’s Learning Games & Reading Comprehension Activities, Item #110126): This interactive Boston Tea Party reading comprehension passage with ten questions is aimed at grades 3–5. (Also available in Just for Kids.)
  • George Washington: Calling for Revolution (Eye in the Ear, Item #96816): In this audiobook, hear about George Washington’s reactions to the events that ultimately led to the American Revolution. The British Parliament’s imposition of taxes, the colonists’ outrage at taxation without representation, and the need for unity and collective action all led to the convening of the First Continental Congress.
  • Crispus Attucks, “The Martyr of the Boston Massacre” (Eye in the Ear, Item #96822): Find out about Crispus Attucks, the first man to die for freedom in the American Revolution, in this audiobook. Attucks was an escaped slave who died during the Boston Massacre, five years before the Revolution began.

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