On tea and conflict

Sugar? Milk? Chai… if you thought that arguments about tea never degenerate into great conflicts, think again…

The Grand Mission is centered around one’s man fight for his right to partea (with apologies to the Beastie Boys) – which may sound relatively preposterous, but, actually, for such an innocuous crop, tea has been a harbinger of conflict :

  • Before becoming the moniker for a puzzling group of conservative American troglodytes, the Tea Party was a protest movement originating in Boston, Massachusetts in 1773, where a group of people, led by Samuel Adams (for whom the beer is named), dumped several hundred chests of tea into the harbour to protest extortionate British taxes on tea. As retaliation, the British introduced the Coercive Acts 1774 to punish the colony, especially Boston… America gained its independence a mere 2 years later…

 

  • The Opium Wars can be traced back to tea… The British quickly became addicted to the brew, and became highly dependent on the Chinese for supply.. Chinese who didn’t really reciprocate because they didn’t really want any British goods in return… Until the East India Company found their weak spot. The Company, which had exclusive trades right with the East seized control of opium production in Bengal and began flooding the Chinese market with the herb. After China made opium illegal and seized shipments, the British retaliated, and the situation quickly devolved into war.

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