Boston Massacre 1770

Boston Massacre 1770


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Prior to the day of the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770, there were high tensions among the residents of Massachusetts. It all started when Britain started imposing harsh taxes on the colonists. As expected the colonists didn’t react well to the taxes and started boycotting British goods. This enraged Britain, so as a result parliament put in place the Townshend Acts and stationed many British troops throughout the towns in Massachusetts. The first British troops arrived there in October 1768 and were living in the houses of colonists! Although British soldiers wanted to avoid conflict at all costs and keep the peace, tensions among the colonists and soldiers were high. A storm was fast approaching.

The colonial newspapers would publish stories about the “horrid” acts that the British soldiers would commit, but they were false accusations. The newspaper did do a good job at creating a strong and ever growing detest among the colonists, so when that fateful day came around the colonists had no problem trying to fight the British soldiers.   When British soldiers and colonists met on King Street tensions were high. A colonist threw something at the approaching soldiers. Shots were fired. People were dead.

But was this really a massacre?

No. Only five colonists were killed, it was hardly a blood bath. Although colonial newspapers took full advantage of the killings and hyped it to the fullest. It worked to their advantage too because the colonists had a new found hatred of the British and some say that the Boston Massacre was the straw that broke the camels back for starting the Revolutionary War.


A 2007 reenactment shows the continued emotional feelings of patriotism surrounding this issue: