Why Did The Boston Massacre Happen?
|Answer In Short:
In the years 1767 and 1768, the Parliament of Great Britain passed a series of acts, named the Townshend Acts. The acts were contrary to the American colonists’ interests.
Hence, as a response, colonists organized a protest on March 5th, 1770 in Boston. Their goal was to create pressure on the British government to repel the bad laws.
Things were going fine, but suddenly, because of the mob’s involvement in it, the protest started taking a violent form.
To counter the violence, British soldiers present there had to shoot at the protestors. As a result, five people died on the spot, and six people were badly injured.
Later, leaders like Samuel Adams and Paul Revere publicized it as a massacre to draw American colonists to the revolution.
Read in-depth below.
The Boston Massacre: In-Depth Description
Boston Massacre happened because of the dissatisfaction of the American colonists over the British government and its bad laws.
In the years before this massacre happened, British Parliament enacted some laws, contrary to the American colonists’ interests.
Two of the main acts were the Stamp Act (1765) and Townshend Acts (1767). Through these laws, the British Parliament was imposing a large amount of taxes on the colonists.
On June 5th the year 1770, colonists organized a protest against Townshend Acts in Boston, Massachusetts. But due to the mob’s involvement in the protest, it started taking a violent form. Protestors started attacking British soldiers with clubs, stones, and snowballs.
To counter the violence, the British Soldiers on duty had to shoot the protestors, five people died on the spot, and the other six protestors were badly wounded.
Although the casualties were not too high, revolutionary leaders like Samuel Adams and Paul Revere publicized the event as a massacre. Later this incident highly fueled colonists to the American Revolution and the Revolutionary War.
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How Did The Boston Massacre Lead To The American Revolution?
This event proved to be an opportunity for some leading American patriots, who already wanted freedom from British rule.
There were many leaders, most notably Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, and John Adams.
Leaders like Paul Revere and Samuel Adams used the Boston Massacre incident as propaganda against the British.
They spread it widely among the colonists. Paul Revere publicized it with colorful paintings, which birth a sense of hatred against the British government’s cruelty.
These killings turned the common Americans against British King George III and the Parliament, who had previously expected something good from them.
On the other hand, patriots like John Adams initiated memorizing a day as ‘Massacre Day’ to influence colonists’ mindset towards full independence.
After the Boston Massacre, events such as the Boston Tea Party (1773) and Gaspee Affair (1772), and Intolerable Acts (1774), completely changed colonists’ attitudes (except loyalists) towards the British authority.
Finally, it prepared them for the inevitable American Revolutionary War.
Who Died In The Massacre?
A total of five people died in the Boston Massacre and the other six protestors got seriously injured.
Names of the protestors, who lost their lives:
- James Caldwell
- Patrick Carr
- Samuel Gray
- Samuel Maverick
- Crispus Attucks
The Boston Massacre’s Picture By Paul Revere
After the massacre, Paul Revere played one of the most significant roles by drawing a picture of the incident.
The picture he had drawn had the highest contribution to gaining hate among colonists towards the rule of the British government and King George III.
However, he showed a little more in the picture than the actual happening. The picture changed the attitude of the people completely.
In that picture, he had shown:
- The English soldiers were shooting unarmed colonists brutally.
- Some of the protestors were lying on the ground soaked with blood, but the soldiers were still firing without any sympathy.
- Revere also showed the soldier far end was enjoying the brutality. He was smiling like a tyrant.
- The innocent colonists were trying to help each other, but they became helpless.
- Through the sniper in the Butcher hall, he tried to show that the murder was pre-planned by the English authority.