Tea has played a vital role in history, beyond its integral place in the overall, sweeping global economic scheme of the past centuries. Tea, its sale and trade has influenced specific events throughout history, in many different situations and cultures.
As tea became a staple in first Asian and then European lifestyles and diets, government control of the commodity became an issue on multiple occasions. Taxes on tea first sparked rebellion during the Tang Dynasty; imperial monopolies continued to incite uprisings. Centuries later, taxes on tea played an important part in the American Revolution as well, most notably and famously during the Boston Tea Party.
When tea came to Europe, it took a prominent place in the west during the Industrial Revolution as tea became more prominent in life and home, and as global trade expanded during the age of the powerful English East India Company, tea caused two notable wars in China called the Opium Wars. Tea was, at once, valuable and a necessity to many people, and these two traits in conjunction wove tea into the fabric of society and history alike.