Are there recent examples of civil disobedience comparable to the Boston Tea Party?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I do not think there are, and the reason for that is one that I think you need to consider as you write this paper.

First of all, I do not consider the Boston Tea Party to be an act of civil disobedience.  Civil disobedience is a much more open process that is done, as the eNotes link below says, in an "open and visible" way and with "the expectation of being punished."  These conditions did not apply to the Boston Tea Party.  The people who participated (some in disguise) did not stay around and wait to be arrested like Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights movement people would.  Instead, they destroyed the property and escaped.

Because of this, acts that we now see as civil disobedience are not really similar.  Civil disobedience today means a sit-in at a lunch counter (well, not today, but 50 years ago) or it means blocking entrance to an abortion clinic and getting arrested.  The things that are similar to the Boston Tea Party are things that we see as simple crimes.  These are things like the Earth Liberation Front's burning of luxury houses to protest what they see as environmentally damaging overconsumption.

Overall, then, I would argue that modern civil disobedience is much more open than the Tea Party was.  Actions like the Tea Party would now be condemned as simple crimes.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial