At the end of the 18th century, the tea trade experienced a crisis, and the government of Lord North made a series of ill-considered decisions that led not only to the collapse of the tea trade, but also to the loss by England of its colonies in North America. North’s strategy was to sell tea at reduced prices in the colonies, thus reducing surpluses and squeezing out the smuggling competitors from the business. He also tried to impose a small and, as he thought, insignificant tax on tea going to the colonies, just to make the recalcitrant colonists submit to the power of the empire. It is well known that this tax was the last one that broke the cup of patience with a drop in the political incitement of the American colonies. On December 16, 1773, the enraged colonial radicals in Boston turned His Majesty’s tea ships back, destroying their cargo. That night was, so to speak,brewed tea revolution. And there were other “tea” – in New York, Charleston, Savannah and Philadelphia. The case could have subsided in a few weeks, if the British closing the Boston port in response did not inevitably make the Declaration of Independence.
By the beginning of the XIX century, the tea trade showed clear signs of instability. On the European continent, the Napoleonic wars devastated the treasury. The answer was printing paper money that was not backed by gold, and this practice eventually led to serious inflation: retail prices rose, the cost of products grew much slower, which led to a decline in the economy. The panacea for this economic deadlock was opium.