The reasons behind the Boston Tea Party were, as usual with the Revolution, a bit of a tangle.  Of course, we didn't like taxes in general.  And a primary issue was England's right to tax us at all -- but equally offensive was the weighting of the tea tax, with a functional result that tea from London's pet East India Company would be cheaper than our illegally smuggled tea.  Which added up to basically a bribe to pay their tax, and a sharp flick of the nose to colonials who made their money smuggling (translation:  John Hancock).  That the reasons behind the Tea Party were a bit muddied remained reasonably irrelevant until...

...We had our own federal government, and we still didn't wanna pay no taxes nowhen nohow.  Our freshly hatched government was gasping for funds, and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton decided that whiskey would be a fine thing to tax.  Pennsylvania moonshiners thought otherwise, and they took up their rifles in opposition. 

Washington slapped them down fast and hard.  The basic argument being:  yes, that government didn't have the right to tax you.  But this government does.

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