Britain's colonial past: Tea

The East India Company also held a monopoly on the import of Chinese tea, which became popular and fashionable in the 18th century. Trading posts around China such as Singapore and Hong Kong soon became colonies. At the same time, people in America, which the British had colonized in Elizabethan times, were protesting about high taxes on the import of common goods from England. A revolutionary group called the Sons of Liberty began turning back British tea ships from American ports, and in 1773 they threw tea worth thousands of pounds into Boston Harbour. The 'Boston Tea Party was the first of many acts of rebellion that quickly led to war with England and, in 1776, to American independence.

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