On December 16 1773, members of the protest group, Sons of Liberty, dressed themselves as Native Indians and destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent to Boston by the East India Company. In all, about 340 chests of tea were completely sabotaged and the importance of this protest should not be underestimated.
The British were furious by the Boston Tea Party and responded by passing the Intolerable Acts in 1774, a series of measures designed to punish the colonists. Under these Acts, they closed the Boston harbour until the tea manufacturers had been compensated for their loss. Only food and firewood were permitted into the port. Town meetings were banned and the authority of the royal governor was increased, in the hope that it might prevent any more protests. It also authorised the governor to place British troops in occupied dwellings, known as the Quartering Act.
The colonists were extremely angry about the Intolerable Acts and, in the long term, they contributed to the development of the revolutionary spirit and the colonists' desire for complete independence from their British masters.