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The Original Tea Party

The Tea Party movement was largely funded and promoted by large corporations like the Koch brothers and Fox News, and one of their main goals is tax cuts. But ironically, the original Boston Tea Party was actually a protest against what was then the world’s largest multinational corporation. The event that triggered it was — believe it or not — a huge corporate tax cut for the East India Company.

Thom Hartmann gives a fascinating account of the original Tea Party, reading from original documents written at the time:



  1. PatriotSGT wrote:

    “The Tea Party movement was largely funded and promoted by large corporations like the Koch brothers and Fox News”

    Really, what is the proof of that.

    How about a statement like “the progressive movement was largely funded and promoted by large corporations like George Soros and MSNBC”

    The more acurate statement might be “The Tea Party movement began as a grass roots movement and was highjacked by …blah, blah blah”

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 7:55 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    There is plenty of proof. See:

    What evidence do you have that the Tea Party movement was ever a real grass roots movement?

    There you go with the false equivalency again. I was pointing out the irony of the Tea Party being funded by large corporations (which you do not deny) when the original Boston Tea Party was a protest against a large corporation.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 8:17 am | Permalink
  3. Honesty & Honor wrote:

    Excellent video. Should be mandatory viewing of all “Tea Party ‘Patriots'”

    Thank you!

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 9:33 am | Permalink
  4. Dan wrote:

    I shared it on Facebook. Could not understand fully why they dumped cheap tea, beyond the priciple of the matter,this fills in a gap in my education. Thanks.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink
  5. JamesM wrote:

    I have been telling every one this for years, but Americans are so tied to their mythology that they can’t hear what I am saying.

    The Boston Tea Party was a astro turf protest against a CUT in tea tax. The tax was 12 pennies a pound and was reduced to 3 pennies a pound. This hurt a few Boston merchants who had become very rich smuggling tea, in the same way that current criminals now smuggle marijuana.

    If you had a large supply of marijuana and the price went down, because it was made legal or the tax rate doped, you would be in just the same position as the Boston tea traders. You would need an astro turf tea party movement, with some deniablality, that is why they dressed up as Indians.

    Then, the crooked tea traders got in league with the crooked rum runners and started a revolution against the customs men, the import duty tax collectors, ie the British goverment.

    Don’t get me started on why the revolution was only the right for merchants to avoid customs taxes and the fleece their customers. That’s why your pint of beer in the US is smaller than a real pint in the rest of the word.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink
  6. ThatGuy wrote:

    Interesting video.

    James, it’s time to get over the American Revolution. The colonies aren’t coming back.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink
  7. PatriotSGT wrote:

    IK – The Tea Party which has been around since the 1990’s and before were very informal group who traditionally protested on “tax day”.,4383884&hl=en

    It then became a symbol for supportersa of Ron Paul during his election bid:

    If your really intersted read this wikipedia piece because it contains all the links to back up the document (hundreds)
    If you want to convince me of your point, then try using a non liberal source.
    I do agree they were highjacked sometime near the end of 2009 or beginning of 2010 when we started seeing them nationally.
    When you make a blank statement based on biased evidence then my equivelence is not false, but quite relevent since your statement was false.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink
  8. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Sorry, forgot the wiki link. 🙂

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink
  9. Iron Knee wrote:

    Are you going to claim that every tax protest was part of the modern “Tea Party Movement”? Heck, I’ve even protested against taxes.

    And your links are pretty hilarious. Your first link about that tax protest in 1991 says that it was sponsored by a Republican politician and that “most of the speakers were Republicans”. And it was a protest against a state income tax, not a federal one.

    Your second link is behind a paywall. Third one is a campaign event for a Republican congressman, Ron Paul.

    And your final link, from Wikipedia, is neutral on whether it was a grass roots organization.

    There are hundreds of articles about Tea Party funding from all kinds of media. Just Google “tea party funding”. And if you think US News and World Report is liberal, then, um, wow.

    We agree that the Tea Party was “hijacked” (your word) sometime in 2009 or 2010, which is interesting since the Wikipedia article you link to says they were founded in 2009.

    But this discussion is pointless. My original post never claimed that it was not ever a grass roots organization (although I have severe doubts that it was — it was always promoted by Republican politicians). I stand by my original post.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink
  10. Patricia wrote:

    Not to muddy the waters, but I have similar discussions with my Ron Paul “Tea Party” son. I think it comes from only listening to those who already agree with you — thus creating a bubble universe for yourself and like-minded others. Some things are sacred, I guess, and no amount of evidentiary information can sway the faithful. Nice job, though, IK — thanks for what you do.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink
  11. PatriotSGT wrote:

    IK – All I’m saying is when you say “The Tea Party movement was largely funded and promoted by large corporations like the Koch brothers and Fox News”, then you are politicizing it and turning it into a sound bite, IMO. A previous post on your site (1.Tea Party Founder to Tea Party: Go Screw Yourself
    ) is in countradiction to your current assertion. So unless you are enrolled in the Obama school of back tracking, or the (not intended to be a factual statement) world of Kyl, I don’t think you should make such a broad claim. I know many “tea partiers” who are actually pissed off like Denninger because special interest groups and politicians high jacked them. Many left the movement or bagan something new and have rejected the politics (Ryan’s recent town hall)involved.

    I’ll give you the last word, (like I have a choice, huh) 🙂

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink
  12. Iron Knee wrote:

    Naw, I don’t need the last word. I think we are violently agreeing. I have great sympathy for some of the founders of the tea party movement (including Ron Paul), but I think it was almost immediately co-opted. Hence the irony.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink
  13. Sammy wrote:

    How about, “The modern (as in ’08 to present) Tea Party was a grass roots movement that was soon after it’s informal founding, co-opted and fully paid for by large, right wing corporate donors, for the purpose of defeating health care reform and protecting corporate profits at the expense of average citizens, who ironically made up the original grass roots movement.”?

    Friday, April 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Permalink
  14. Iron Knee wrote:

    Thanks Sammy. I can’t seem to bring myself to talk politically correct like that.

    Friday, April 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Permalink
  15. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Thats the nail on the head Sammy. Yeah IK, what Sammy said.

    Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 8:33 am | Permalink