John Adams Defends the Red Coats

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Although John Adams defended the British redcoats at the end of 1770, the Boston Massacre actually happened March 5, 1770. Furthermore, events that led to the culmination of that night dated back to 1767 (Timeline). Many factors went into the decision, by John Adams, to defend the British soldiers. The atmosphere of the times dictated much of that evening and of that trial. For the time it was a radical thing for a man such as John Adams to defend the British troops, however his respect of the law led to his defense of the British troops. John Adams was right in defending the redcoat in the Boston Massacre trial because he saw the actions of the redcoats as nothing more than men defending their lives.

In 1767, with the passing of the Townshend Acts, the civilians began their resentment towards the British Parliament as well as the British troops stationed in Boston. The Townshend Acts were a series of Acts passed by congress on June 29, 1767 to increase taxes of commonly imported products on the Colonies. Having new taxes imposed by the British as well as their military presence in Boston angered the civilians. During this time John Adams was a local lawyer in Boston working case to case (Miller Center). In late 1768 more British troops came to reestablish order in Boston per order of the Crown. The climate of this time was a hostile one on the part of the civilians. “The civilians reacted to the redcoats like they were invaders by taunting them through name calling, spitting, and fighting” (Timeline). By the time March 5, 1770 occurred, an incident had been bound to happen. With the distress of the townspeople and the presence of British soldiers, a disaster like this was waiting to happen. When the dust settled, and the day was done, 5 civilians were killed at the hands of the redcoats.

John Adams, a local lawyer in the Boston area and graduate of Harvard, defended in court the men accused of the Boston Massacre. With all of the social pressure, living in...
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