and, two or three evenings later, fifty men, dressed and painted like Indians, went on board the vessels, broke open the chests, and flung the tea into the salt water. This has been called the " Boston Tea Party." When the English ministers heard of this they were furious ; and to punish Bostcn they passed several severe acts which nearly ruined the trade of the town, and caused much suffering to many poor people who had had no hand in throwing away the tea. Both sides now prepared for war. The British government sent more soldiers to Boston, and the angry colonists made gunpowder and practised shooting.
The Siege A few months later the war began with a
of Boston. skirmish at Lexington, in which the colonists were victorious. Soon afterwards a terrible battle was fought on Bunker's Hill, near Boston, where the Americans were then besieging the British.
Throughout the war the British had very poor leaders. Their ill-success seems to have been chiefly owing to this, for their soldiers were better trained, better armed and better clothed than the ragged, shoeless American armies, who never could be made to see the necessity for obedience to their officers.
The siege of Boston lasted all winter. The British, through carelessness, were short of food and of wood to burn. George Washington, who had been chosen commander-in-chief of the revolutionary armies, soon gained control of the country round Boston. But the English had plenty of ships in the harbour, and at last they sailed away to New York, leaving behind food and guns and horses, which all became very useful to their enemies.
Invasion of While the siege of Boston was still going Canada. on, two forces were sent by different ways to invade Canada. In spite of the unkind things the Americans had said of the French Roman Catholics, they