Andrea Tantaros, host of the network’s “The Five,” said Americans were less free because they were unaware of their own history during a panel discussion on a new report by the conservative Heritage Foundation that ranked the U.S. only 12th in economic freedom, behind some former Soviet republics.
“I think the biggest thing that hurts this country is we don’t study history,” Tantaros said. “If you ask most people, they don’t even know why we left England. They don’t even know why some guy in Boston got his head blown off because he tried to secretly raise the tax on tea. Most people don’t know that.”
Politifact attempted to fact-check Tantaros’ claims and found that early American history experts were unsure what she was talking about, saying she might have been mashing up a few Revolutionary War events.
The experts pointed out that the British parliament passed a tax in 1767 on tea and other goods imported into the American colonies, although it was not levied in secret.
The man most responsible for the tax – Charles Townsend, chancellor of the Exchequer – was not in Boston at that time and died from an illness, not a gunshot, shortly after parliament passed the measure.
The experts couldn’t think of anyone who’d gotten their head blown off over British tyranny prior to the American Revolution, and at least one historian doubted that firearms of that era could have be so effective.
“Now we have all these lawmakers doing whatever they want, nobody checks them, there’s no responsibility,” Tantaros said. “If we don’t know why we got here, if we don’t know why we fought and died, how are we going to fight for it?”
“Yeah, it’s a good point,” said her co-host, Greg Gutfeld.
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