The Boston Massacre

The Boston Massacre

Tensions were high in Boston on March 5, 1770 as a mob of colonists, unhappy about recent tariffs and rising tyranny, came face to face with British Captain Thomas Preston and his men. In all the yelling and general confusion, one soldier fired into the mob, which promptly led to more firing from the rest of the troops. When the sea of colonists fled, and the haze of gunpowder cleared, the confusing incident took five lives. This event is now known as the Boston Massacre

Coined the “Fatal Fifth of March,” the massacre was used as propaganda by patriots to bring people to their side against British tyranny. The use of it as propaganda caused the Boston Massacre to stand out against the many events that led to the American Revolution. Because it was used to rally colonists as an example of a tyrannical atrocity, the legend of the Boston Massacre has possibly overshadowed the reality of it.

Right after the massacre, Captain Preston and his men were tried for murder. They were defended by John Adams, a known patriot and future president. The result? Captain Preston and most of his men were acquitted, but two of the soldiers were branded using a hot iron, and then pressed against their thumbs.

Due to the use of it as propaganda, some say that the Boston Massacre was blown out of proportion. Others say that this event is what led to the American Revolution. No matter which side you stand on, the Boston Massacre is one of the best examples of how bias plays a part in history. Which side of history do you stand on?

Learn more about the Boston Massacre at:

Research Questions:

Why would patriots want to call this a massacre, and use it to persuade others?

Why was Boston one of the birthplaces of the American Revolution?

Posted March 22, 2017

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