Tea and the British Empire: The Boston Tea Party in an Atlantic Context with Ben Rubin - Context Travel

Tea and the British Empire: The Boston Tea Party in an Atlantic Context with Ben Rubin


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On the anniversary of one of America's most famous but misunderstood acts of protest, learn about the importance of tea itself to the British empire, its significance as both a valuable commodity and a potent symbol, and how this humble leaf sparked a revolution.

On its surface, the Boston Tea Party is one of the odder events in American history. Dozens of Boston citizens, dressed as American Indians, boarded British merchant ships under cover of darkness and dumped chests of tea into the harbor.

But why tea? And why American Indians? How did this simple act of vandalism ultimately catapult the thirteen American colonies toward war and independence? And why has it become such a potent and adaptable symbol in American politics ever since? Most Americans know about the Boston Tea Party, but very few understand it. To fix that, we'll be looking at the event in the broader context of the British Empire and the Atlantic World.

Led by an expert on the American Revolution, Ben Rubin, this interactive seminar will take a closer look at this moment in American history and use it to explain America's break, psychological, cultural, and political, from its imperial parent. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the eighteenth century, the British Empire, and the birth of America.

Ben Rubin holds a bachelor's degree from Hanover College, a Master's from Western Carolina University, and is completing his Ph.D. at Drew University. He is also a graduate of the Cornell School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University. His work has been published in the Journal of Backcountry Studies and in Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution. In addition to academic experience, Ben worked as a docent at the Biltmore House in Asheville, and as a whitewater raft guide on the Nantahala River.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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