Context: These leaves were part of the load thrown into Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773, an event later known as the Boston Tea Party.
Audience: The audience for the dumping of this tea was both the British Parliament and the citizens of the colonies.
Purpose: To protest the tax on tea and the granting of a monopoly over the tea trade to the East India Company.
Historical Significance: The boycott that developed in response to the tea tax unified many colonists in opposition to Parliament because it involved a much larger number of citizens than any previous acts of resistance. The act of dumping the tea into Boston Harbor infuriated the British and moved the two parties closer to the outbreak of the American Revolution.