The first order of business was to clear the galleries. After all spectators had been escorted out of the chamber late in the afternoon of March 14, 1774—a “day of such importance”—the House of Commons opened debate on how to punish Boston for destroying nearly 100,000 pounds of the East India Company’s tea leaves. A week before, the king had informed Parliament of the “violent and outrageous Proceedings” that had taken place in Boston Harbor the past December and sought legislation “for better securing the Execution of the Laws, and the just Dependence of the Colonies upon the Crown and Parliament of ...
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