Tea Party

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Tea Party,

in the early 21st cent., U.S. political movement that arose in reaction to the economic crisis of 2008 and the government rescue and aid measures for the financial, automobile, and other industries as well as broader stimulus measures enacted in 2008 and 2009. Strongly conservative ideologically, the movement and its members generally opposed the significant deficits incurred by the government in an effort to counteract the recession and avoid a potential depression and, more broadly, objected to increased government control and spending, taxation, and illegal immigration while favoring free-market economics, national debt reduction, states' rights, and a narrow reading of the Constitution. The Tea Party also has strongly opposed the ObamaObama, Barack
(Barack Hussein Obama 2d), , 1961–, 44th president of the United States (2009–17), b. Honolulu, grad. Columbia (B.A. 1983), Harvard Law School (J.D. 1991).
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 administration's health-care insurance overhaul, and has at times had a stridently anti-Obama tone. Usually characterized as a grassroots populist movement, the Tea Party is also supported and financed by a number of influential and well-funded right-wing organizations and has benefited from significant media support from conservative news organizations and commentators, particularly Rupert MurdochMurdoch, Rupert
(Keith Rupert Murdoch), 1931–, Australian-American publishing magnate. Combining sensationalist journalism (often reflective of his generally hawkish, strongly conservative political views) with aggressive promotion, Murdoch established a worldwide
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's Fox News. The movement's adopted name harks back to the 1773 Boston Tea PartyBoston Tea Party,
1773. In the contest between British Parliament and the American colonists before the Revolution, Parliament, when repealing the Townshend Acts, had retained the tea tax, partly as a symbol of its right to tax the colonies, partly to aid the financially
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.

Tea Party rallies were held across the country beginning in early 2009. They have since featured a number of prominent speakers, among them Sarah PalinPalin, Sarah Heath
, 1964–, U.S. politician, b. Sandpoint, Idaho, as Sarah Louise Heath, grad. Univ. of Idaho (B.S. 1987). Her family moved to Alaska not long after she was born.
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, perhaps the most popular Republican aligned with the Tea Party; she also gave the keynote address at the first National Tea Party Convention (Feb., 2010). Despite the convention, the Tea Party is not a monolithic or centralized organization but an amalgamation of a number of national and local groups. In 2012 it was estimated that there were some 1,000 different Tea Party groups spread over the 50 states. Although not an organized party, it has become an important and influential faction of the Republican party, and most Americans who have identified themselves in polls as adherents of the Tea Party have also identified themselves as Republicans. In several primary elections, the Tea Party was credited with toppling a number of prominent traditional Republican candidates in favor of Republicans that it supported; those candidates' successes were more mixed in the 2010 general election, but a third of the Republican House members elected in 2010 were aligned with the movement.

Bibliography

See D. Armey and M. Kibbe, Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto (2010); J. Lepore, The Whites of Their Eyes (2010); J. M. O'Hara, A New American Tea Party (2010); K. Zernike, Boiling Mad (2010); E. P. Foley, The Tea Party: Three Principles (2012); R. P. Formisano, The Tea Party (2012); M. Meckler and J. B. Martin, Tea Party Patriots (2012); T. Skoepol and V. Williamson, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism (2012); C. S. Parker and M. A. Barreto, Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America (2013).

References in periodicals archive ?
The money raised from Blooming Great Tea Parties will help Marie Curie Nurses to provide free care to people with terminal illnesses in their own homes.
Whether it s creating an email account to connect with friends and family, or learning how to use an iPad, EE s Techy Tea Parties are demystifying technology and giving people the skills to get online.
"Ironically, many organizers and leaders of local Tea Parties are supported in part by Social Security or veterans' pensions, and also enjoy health benefits from Medicare or veterans' health care programs." The limited government which Tea Partiers favor, wrote Timothy Noah in the New York Times, summarizing Skocpol and Williamson's argument, "is one where I get mine and most others don't get much at all." Leaving aside the accuracy of that statement, surely there's a distinction between contributory and redistributive programs.
Local tea parties "are free to address the issues they feel are important," says Debbie Dooley, co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party and a Tea Party Patriots national coordinator.
The Tea Parties want to see a budget process that emphasizes cutting of costs and not looking for new areas of revenue, which means no more taxes and no turning to gambling as a way to raise revenue.
We're inviting people to hold their own tea parties any time between June12 and July 12 to help raise money for the charity.
We're inviting people to hold their own tea parties up to July 12 to help raise money for the charity.
A few months after Barack Obama was sworn in as president, the American Family Association (AFA) began blasting its members with e-mails promoting events called "TEA parties."
Bethan, aged 23 of Four Oaks, said the event is part of Save the Children's annual fundraising week in which the charity has asked people to organise tea parties.
On Friday May 16 animal lovers everywhere will be hosting Blue Cross Tea Parties to help raise funds for the charity's work and everyone is invited to join in.
Blue Cross Tea Parties will take place across the country on Friday May 18 and everyone is invited.