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Published: 20-12-2019

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Critical Overview of Nathaniel Currier's Lithography The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor and the Modern Issues Concerned

The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor was lithographed in the year 1846 by the firm Currier and Ives, and the artist of the piece of art was Nathaniel Currier. Nathaniel was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts on March 27th, 1813. His parents had been Nathaniel and Hannah Currier, who were distant cousins. When Nathaniel was eight years old, his father passed away leaving eight year-old Nathaniel and his eleven year-old older brother Lorenzo to assistance their younger six year-old sister Elizabeth and two year-old brother Charles (Cunningham). He spent his time undertaking tiny random jobs in order to supply for the family members, nevertheless when he was fifteen, he apprenticed in the Boston lithography shop of William and John Pendleton, who have been the 1st successful lithographers in the United States (Lebeau). In 1835 Currier managed to create his personal lithography organization, Currier & Ives, which is what produced his legacy.

The topic of the painting, The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor, is the dumping of tea into the water by males dressed as Indians. The painting also shows other colonists cheering these males on as they dump the tea in the harbor. The purpose of this piece of operate is to portray the rebellion of the colonists from England throughout the time preceding the American Revolution. Interestingly sufficient, this lithograph was the only prewar event of the Revolution that the firm Currier and Ives chose to illustrate (Lebeau 52). His tone in the painting implies that he favored the colonists since the painting portrays the colonists as obtaining entire control over the scenario. The attitude of Currier in his painting is a optimistic a single, which can be supported by the truth that he portrays the colonists in a decent manner cheering on the organized destruction of tea. Even those who are destroying the tea appear to be calm and their actions are well organized as they drop complete chests of tea into Boston Harbor. Currier’s attitude revealed in the depiction of the occasion offers the impression that that the rebels had been justified in the dumping of the tea into the harbor, displaying his optimistic views regarding the Boston Tea Celebration. His constructive view of the occasion is biased thinking about the reality that he was an apprentice to a Boston lithographer, and he grew up throughout a time in which the city had a revived attitude towards the tea action (Young 184). An additional factor to take into account was that Currier was producing this painting in order to sell it to other Americans, which could also possibly influence his upbeat portrayal of this event. The painting only contains American colonists and neglects to show any British influence at all, even though a firsthand account from George Robert Twelve Hewes, a shoemaker from Boston who participated in the Boston Tea Celebration, said, “We have been surrounded by British armed ships” (Young 30). This piece of art was effectively recognized at its time and was sold for many decades at the Currier & Ives store located in New York City, and was sold by peddlers throughout the country (Young 184).

The event depicted in the piece of art is recognized these days as the Boston Tea Party. On December 16th, 1773, a group of Bostonians protested the monopoly on American tea importation lately granted by Parliament to the East India Business, and seized 342 chests of tea in a midnight raid on 3 tea ships and threw them into the harbor (Kennedy and Cohen 121). Nathaniel Currier’s lithograph does not accurately display the events of the Boston Tea Celebration. The painting only contains two ships, even so there have been truly 3 ships that were raided, the Dartmouth, Eleanor and the Beaver (Destruction of British East India Organization Tea). Hewes says, “We were then ordered by our commander to open the hatches and take out all the chests of tea and throw them overboard, and we quickly proceeded to execute his orders very first cutting and splitting the chests with out tomahawks, so as thoroughly to expose them to the effects of the water” (Young 30). The image shows a different story, and the rebels onboard the ship are shown throwing entire chests of tea into the sea, not cutting open the chests and emptying them, which is what Hewes claims to have occurred. Hewes also claims in his story that folks had been trying to escape with stolen tea, nevertheless the painting shows that all the colonists have been in support of the destruction of tea and does not suggest that there have been any colonists trying to run away with any stolen tea. Currier’s lithograph doesn’t fail at portraying the events of the Boston Tea party nevertheless, it is slightly distorted from the truth.

A modern day issue that relates to the Boston Tea Celebration is the formation of the Tea Party Movement. The Tea Party movement is an extremist proper wing celebration. They want practically no federal government, no federal taxes, and frequently contain Christian ideologies in their social tips. It is considered a grass roots movement, which indicates that the “ordinary people” started it, but now billionaires trying to make a profit, are in the end the ones funding it. The Tea Celebration believes in the acronym TEA, meaning Taxed Adequate Already. They want to cut practically all federal government applications so that there would be nothing to spend. This indicates no social security, no DEP, and no Medicare/Medicaid, and they strongly oppose Obamacare. Even though the Tea Celebration Movement is similar to the Boston Tea Celebration in the sense that they both call for no taxation, the Tea Celebration Movement’s ideals would ultimately hurt the nation by removing the crucial federal programs that numerous citizens want in order to survive.
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