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Revenge Strategy: Wasting the power of your hate on the guiltless (XIII). BTP Cocktail Solution.

boston-tea-party-american-school fine art america

Courtesy: Fine Art America

The Boston Tea Party circumstances were a clear commercial and political revenge Strategy from the colonies (American leaders) to Britain.

According to the East India Company website, the official narrative of this event is described as such: “The Boston Tea Party was driven by resistance throughout British America against the Tea Act, passed by the British Parliament in 1773. Colonists objected to the Tea Act as it violated their right to be taxed only by their own elected representatives. Bostonian Men thinly disguised as Mohawk Indians dumped 342 chests overboard the Dartmouth, Eleanor and Beaver ships into the Boston Harbour. Each chest was loaded with precious cargo, tea from The East India Company. Today, a single chest, with its original East India Company marks survives in Boston’s Tea Party Ships and  Museum”. Do you think this is the real truth?

Massachusetts History Background:

Let´s rewind a bit more to get a sense about this.  We can´t understand the 1773 BTP cocktail without reviewing their preceding background. The BTP upshot happened 143 years after the foundation of Massachusetts as a colony in America.

Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded by the Massachusetts Bay Company during the Great Puritan Migration. The puritans settled in the bay in September of 1630 and officially defined the settlement Boston after their hometown in England.

Who were the British puritans? According to the cited common sources of history, the first English emigrants were a small group of Puritan separatists (hyper-conservative Christians), later called the Pilgrims, who arrived into Plymouth in 1620 to found the Plymouth Colony. Ten years later, a wealthy group known as the Massachusetts Bay Company sent a much larger (and more liberal) group of Puritans to establish Massachusetts.

As the Massachusetts villages expanded, they generated new colonies in New England. Religion is always a motive to gather people from similar settings. Puritans who thought that Massachusetts was not pious and sanctimonious enough formed the colonies of Connecticut and New Haven (in 1665). Meanwhile, Puritans who thought that Massachusetts was too restrictive formed a new colony, Rhode Island. To the north of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, a handful of adventurous settlers formed the colony of New Hampshire. English colonies also settled previously in Maryland and Virginia through the London Company. Delaware was the catholic colony. Other English colonies were New York (The English absorbed the laborious Dutch colony New Netherland renaming it to New York). Pennsylvania emerged as the state of William Penn, a Quaker, who attracted high-end European emigrants to establish themselves prosperously through professional paths and trading. By the end of the 17th century, the last British colonies established in the south were South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. There were 13 English first colonies by the time that the American Revolution War started.


2.5 Million of inhabitants in the 13 colonies. 1775. Courtesy: U.S. Military Academy via AwesomeStories

The economy of the north colonies relied heavily on the trading of the existing natural resources (import-export), fishing, wool-sheep pastures and some summer subsistence farming. Tobacco plantations existed in Virginia and its labor depended on indentured servants and African Slaves.  Believe it or not, the spirits´distillers were a strong economic sector in Boston. The north colonies economy encouraged the growth of close-knit, well-ordered, cluster towns.

In its southern half colonies, farmers controlled over vast estates that produced corn, tobacco, lumber, beef and pork, cotton and rice. African Slavery was part of the labor used in the south. Alongside from destiny, the Native-Americans escaped from slavery because of tragedy. By 1650, about 90 percent of the Native Americans living in New England died due to diseases taken from the European emigrants.

The number of European migrants was not only British descendants. Geographically there were different settlements from different ethnic groups. By the time of the Declaration of Independence (issued on July 4, 1776), we can deduce that the 13 British colonies were not only British. We can bet that 7 generations later after the Puritans arrived, these communities were mixed with other Europeans, from France, Germany, and of course, the Netherlands. Guess what? Most of the Dutch people who were living in New Amsterdam also emigrated to other colonies (as well as the Belgian Flemings and Walloons, French Huguenots, Scandinavians, and Germans). And all these guys were leading businesses.

“The American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) was sparked by a strong desire or feeling of liberty. The  American colonists were disturbed over issues like taxation without representation, embodied by laws like The Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend Acts of 1767, the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770; and the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773; showed the colonists’ increasing dissatisfaction with British rule in the colonies.  The Declaration of Independence (1776), enumerated the reasons why the Founding USA Fathers felt compelled to break from the rule of the British King George III and parliament to start a new nation. In September of that year, the Continental Congress declared the “United Colonies” of America to be the “United States of America.” France joined the war on the side of the colonists in 1778, helping the Continental Army conquer the British at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. The Treaty of Paris ending the American Revolution and granting the 13 original colonies independence was signed on September 3, 1783 (Source:”.

Now, let´s go to the Boston Tea Party Cocktail Quiz solution

boston rendering-of-eleanor

Boston Tea Party Ships: The Eleanor.

First, here it is the Vodka:  In our strategic analysis, the Vodka represents the cause of the Boston Tea Party. Vodka answer the question Why did the BTP happen?

Answer: No one likes to be dominated through oppression, slavery, and poverty. No one likes to be shrunk to limited possibilities. Each human being wishes to have the freedom to choose its own path. Whenever there has been a crown regime, monarchy or empire which dominates another country or colonies through a series of non negotiated measures (unfair or not), this rule of order has clearly speculated an imbalanced situation. A disequilibrium. The dominated country leaders (in this case British colonies) felt non represented at the corporate strategic level in the “decision-making process” of the crown. And they tried to vindicate their own rights.  In this specific case, I believe the BTP state of affairs was simply a scheme used by a group of Bostonians called the Sons of Liberty to show to the British crown they had other economic interests in mind. They simply used the destruction of a luxurious great product as tea to make a statement: That they did not care about the British leadership corporate strategy, neither the crown taxes style neither their point of reference. Neither their private property nor other taxation or legal measures utilized by the crown to dominate them.

Let´s add the gin.  Who was who? Who was involved in the Boston Tea Party?

Answer: Mainly two sides of the coin: 

  1. The crown through the EIC. Who was EIC? The East India Company (EIC) was a company of merchants of London who were the pioneers in discovering and exploring the Asian cultures and its products. During the 1600s, the East Indies was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I.  Sir Thomas Smythe was appointed the EIC first governor, and the EIC established itself with 125 shareholders and £72,000 of capital (of that time). The purpose of the EIC initially was to explore, map and validate new products and trading routes through unchartered territories. They installed colonies to operate, such as Hong Kong and Singapore in between other cities. Their core inputs came from East Asia, importing products directly from their warehouses to England, Britain territories (India and the new America´s dominion) and other countries. Mainly their offer was fine silks, chintzes, glazed calicos textiles, porcelain, tea, coffee, chocolates, and spices.
  2. The Sons of Liberty. Who were the sons of liberty? The Sons of Liberty names were secret at the beginning. “The Sons of Liberty refused to reveal their identities, fearing they could still face civil and criminal charges as well as condemnation from other elites for engaging in mob behavior and the sluttish destruction of private property”. The main leader members of this group were Samuel Adams, Joseph Warren, Paul Revere, Benedict Arnold, Benjamin Edes, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, John Lamb, William Mackay, Alexander McDougall, James Otis, Benjamin Rush, Isaac Sears, Haym Solomon, James Swan, Charles Thomson, Thomas Young, Marinus Willett, and Oliver Wolcott.

Now it is the turn of the rum.  For how long were the Colonies having troubles with the British in Massachusetts?

Answer. It requires at least a generation (20 years) to prepare the conditions for an Independence Declaration. But  I believe British descendants were not leading the BTP. I am convinced the British descendants’ population were not leading the Independence directly. They served the British Crown. The fact that 2.5 million of emigrants (including Dutch and French or other Europeans) were currently living in the 13 colonies, makes me think that the real troubles were caused by those who wanted to keep their businesses (regardless if they were British or from another European origin). Under those circumstances, it was easier to find any excuse to promote troubles with the British Crown and its trading direct companies.

Boston tea party arcas

The Boston Tea Party Canvas by Luis Arcas Brauner. Source: Fine Art America

Let´s continue with the Grand Marnier. In our strategy recipe analysis, this liqueur represents the question of what was behind the BTP?

Answer: Let me explain it in a simple business language. Economic interests were different for American leaders´ colonies and the British Crown. These economic interests were not aligned. As explained above, the British crown was represented in the BTP as a corporation (EIC) with many economic interests related to trading. These products represented a social status for Britain. And they were expensive, luxurious and lavish. Tea is one of these products. The tea industry at that time had other competitors, including the intermediaries, and the dutch, which we’re doing the same (producing, or buying, packaging, transporting and distributing in several markets). In this specific situation,  behind the BTP was an action from the Sons of Liberty to provoke reactions of a delicate revenge strategy from the British, reactions of retaliation as the Intolerable Acts, which later unshackle the Independence Declaration.

amaretto disaronno.jpgThe Amaretto: The amaretto represents the strategic question of how? The modus operandi of the interactions between the Colonies and the British Crown was of a varied series of rebellion actions against their laws and measures.

The Bostonian colonies were led by American´ leaders who were not just politicians. Some were involved in the trading value chain or were merchants. The British businesses had their competitors (the dutch, the french and the local smugglers). Suddenly the British king passed a law requesting exclusivity and forbidding the trading with other tea sources not coming from the East Indian Company. Previous to this, the British tea higher costs drove some American colonists to start a profitable industry of smuggling tea from the Dutch East Indian Company.

On top of that, the British king taxed each pound of the EIC tea for a bit of more surplus. Of course, the British colonies´ leaders were angry, maybe not because of the taxes, but because the Dutch tea value chain trading was being punished. Those involved with Dutch Tea trading were also onslaught. Under the category of Dutch smugglers, the tea insurrection was a NO to the British imposition. Colonists leaders had to hide under native American mohawk masks to insurgent.


Boston Tea Party Chest, 1773 Photograph by Granger

Tía María: The Tía María symbolizes in our analysis, the product itself or the tea. The product used by the British to punish or to expand its markets in the American Colonies? What was the meaning of the tea in the 1770s?.

Answer: Let´s think about a particular food that is delighted by all children in the world: ice cream. Give an ice cream to a child, and see their face. I am sure the kid will smile. I do not know a single culture on earth that does not like ice cream. In the context of the BTP, tea was like our ice cream to children. It was a delicate beverage who was not alcoholic. The same EIC still defines tea as follows: “Tea is water bewitched”. Tea was circumscribed as an exotic delight to England and all its territories. Before the EIC tea discovery in Asia, these humble leaves captivated the elite upper-class groups. Particularly through a tradition initiated by King Charles II and Catherine of Braganza, who introduced it into aristocratic and noble circles, consumed at garden parties, lavish occasions accompanied by fireworks. The tea at the time of the BTP was considered a delicate indulgence, so valuable that was transported in fine wood chests and kept locked in caddies. For the EIC tea was important. “Driven by the increasing demand for tea, it became a widely enjoyed pastime, and by the late 18th century, tea accounted for more than 60% of The EIC Company’s total trade”.

Cola: What was the meaning of the cola? Cola is the subtle components used to dilute the BTP causes.

Answer: Whenever you read revenge strategies stories, please take a look at the different symbols around the conflict. I will mention some of them which probably wouldn´t be perceived as important nowadays.

  1. The chests of tea: The fact that tea was transported in chests tell us a lot about the product itself. A chest was used to store valuable things. It was a large or strong furniture wood box with a lid and lock that was used to safeguard personal items. Chests were used to store or ship valuable things. A chest in marriage called cassone for Italians, or hope chests were used to carry the dowry goods in a marriage ceremony. Chests also were used to transport gold coins and jewelry. Many times a whole life wealth was hidden inside a treasure chest. If tea was transported in chests, just by observing this symbol, we are completely aware of the tea monetary credit for the British. By the time of the BTP, the high demand of the product caused the tea prices to decrease, but still, it was declared as fine food.
  2. The American Revolution was led by the highly educated class of the Colonies in America. The Sons of Liberty were not blue-collar workers from the poor class. On the contrary, they belonged to the high-end and well-educated society in Boston and adjacent cities. Any revenge strategy is designed and implemented not by the masses, but by the ones who can win something with it.
  3. In the context of the BTP situation, the destruction of the tea was triggered by commercial and economic interests of trading from some economic groups which were not aligned with the British economic interests. The tea destruction was just a symbol of rebellion. There was business happening around the Boston Tea Party, and those who won the Independence won the rights to grow their wealth by keeping those colonial overseas trade for their benefits.

    btp colonial overseas trade 1740

    Colonial Overseas Trade 1740. Source: Public Domain.

Sweet-sour syrup: It represents the lessons learned from this situation. This is the cherry on top of our strategic innovation analysis applied to the Boston Tea Party historic event from 1773.

Answer: Quondam this vindication comprehended purely a revenge strategy. Sometimes a revenge strategy is so extreme and is portrayed as a violent war or civil conflict, and sometimes it is simply a commercial occlusion. Erstwhile the revenge strategy against unfair domination criterion is subtle and it takes years of consecutive actions, which go from psychological bullying against the tyrannic oppressors and its representatives, mercantile blockage, destruction of goods and services provided by the unpleasant autarchy (as this BTP case), non-gregarious rebellions, or a co-occurrent simultaneous casual chaos by different leader groups (kind of guerrillas organizations).

The EIC promoted a business model at that time that was pivotal to the posterior development of their own misfortune. Even though they changed social traditions, tastes, thinking mental frames, and ways of carrying trade for 400 years, they also did things which were not ethical neither correct, as trading African slaves. The modern logistics trading value chain has its origin in the EIC and its dutch-french competitors’ explorers from that time. Anyone who wishes to do a career in trading and logistics from Asia to the world has to dig and learn about companies as the EIC or its adversaries. Just by learning about the past, trading will be able to evolve for a better future for all the stakeholders involved.

Finally, it is crucial to realize that the simple destruction of tea unchained a revolution. Civil war and independence. Revenge strategy actions, escalated under chaos, can cause pain and more destruction. The British Crown could have evaded the destruction of its own empire.

This is it. I will stop here, and I will see you again before this Friday with a new example of revenge strategies in our history.

boston tea party.gif

Source References utilized to write this article:

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.

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