Why Did The Boston Massacre Happen?


Why Did The Boston Massacre Happen?

The main cause of the Boston Massacre was the dissatisfaction of the American colonists over the British government and its intolerant rules.

In the years before this massacre happened, British Parliament had enacted certain laws, which were contrary to the interests of the colonists.

Answer In Short:

On March 5th, 1770, a protest was organized in Boston as a response to the 5 Townshend Act (1767-1768) passed by the British Parliament.

But suddenly, due to the mobs’ 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.

Why Did The Boston Massacre Happen
Why Did The Boston Massacre Happen

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 went protesting against Townshend Acts in Boston, Massachusetts.

But due to the mobs’ involvement in the protest, it took the path of violence.

Especially, they started attacking British soldiers with clubs, stones, and snowballs.

Because of this reason, the British Soldiers present there, shoot the protestors, where some people lost their lives on the spot.

It was only five people who died and the other six protestors wounded.

Although the casualties were not too high; but this incident is still infamous as the Boston Massacre in the history of the United States.

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, but most notably Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, John Adams.

These two leaders used the Boston Massacre incident as propaganda against the British.

They spread it widely like a fire among the colonists.

Especially, Paul Revere publicized it with colorful paintings, which birth a sense of hatred against the British government’s cruelty.

This incident turned the common Americans against the 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’ attitude (except loyalists) towards the British authority.

Finally, it prepared them for the inevitable American Revolutionary War.

Boston Massacre's Picture By Paul Revere
Original Image: Wikimedia.org

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 took place, 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 gain hate among colonists towards the rule of the British government and King George III.

Although he showed some misconception there; but it 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. 


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