The British troops had been billeted in Boston in October 1768 after repeated requests from British customs officials, who had been harassed and intimidated because of their efforts to enforce the Townshend Acts. Numerous clashes between the soldiers and the citizenry resulted. The killings of March 5, promptly termed a “massacre” by Patriot leaders and commemorated in a widely circulated engraving by Paul Revere, aroused intense public protests and threats of violent retaliation. This pressure caused Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson to withdraw the troops to an island in the harbor.
Did You Know?
The Boston Massacre is reenacted every year on March 5th, on the actual site in front of the Old State House.
In an effort to demonstrate the impartiality of colonial courts, two Patriot leaders, John Adams and Josiah Quincy, volunteered to defend Captain Preston and his men. The prosecution produced little evidence, and Preston and six of the soldiers were acquitted; two others were found guilty of manslaughter, branded on the hand, and released. Although many Patriots criticized the verdicts and the anniversary of the Boston Massacre became a patriotic holiday, the removal of troops from Boston and the repeal of all but one of the contested import duties resulted in a lowering of tension in the years following the incident. Nevertheless, Governor Hutchinson’s reluctant removal of troops from Boston under threat of insurrection dramatized the impotence of imperial power as it was then constituted when faced with organized local resistance.
The Reader’s Companion to American History. Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, Editors. Copyright © 1991 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Boston Massacre Essay
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The Boston Massacre is considered by many historians to be the first battle of the Revolutionary War. The fatal incident happened on March 5 of 1770. The massacre resulted in the death of five colonists. British troops in the Massachusetts Bay Colony were there to stop demonstrations against the Townshend Acts and keep order, but instead they provoked outrage. The British soldiers and citizens brawled in streets and fought in bars. “The citizens viewed the British soldiers as potential oppressors, competitors for jobs, and a treat to social mores'; (Mahin 1). A defiant anti-British fever was lingering among the townspeople.
There are three major things that led to the Boston Massacre: First was the…show more content…
To please the crowds Governor Hutchinson arrested the soldiers and promised the people that there would be a trial. John Adams and Josiah Quincy took the defense of the soldiers and Preston. The soldiers went to trial in September and they and captain Preston pleaded innocent. The eight men and Preston were tried separately and only two were found guilty. The others were acquitted while the two found guilty were branded on the hand and released, an easy penalty for murder. Preston was found innocent. Adams was successful in proving the soldiers fired in self-defense.
The soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre were proven innocent. “Adam proved that the soldiers fired in self-defense'; (no author 10).
I believe the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre and/or the captain Tomas Preston should have been convicted Guilty.
The five deaths were unjustified and unneeded. All of the five men were unarmed at the time of the shootings. If someone throws an apple at you, you don’t shoot him or her. In a today’s court system I believe them British soldiers would have been guilty and been convicted with murder. “Adams said, the killing were justified and blamed the violence of the immigrant Patrick Carr and Crispus Attucks'; (Mahin 1). So if Adams believes the death of the five men were blamed on them two how come they weren’t just arrested and how come the others were shot. “Adams told the jury