The Boston Massacre
The colonists opposed to British policies used the event of March 5, 1770, to their greatest extent to gain public sympathy. Their extent of usage was so great to the point where it was distorted and one-sided. All things considered, they achieved their goal to gain well-needed sympathy by effectively using the incident as propaganda. This overblown but highly efficient strategy is well evidenced in writings and paintings. Paul Revere’s engraving of the Boston Massacre in 1770 epitomizes the colonist’s goal at the time. His historic masterpiece, “The Bloody Massacre in King-Street,” is considered one of the most effective pieces of war propaganda in American history. Not an accurate depiction of the actual event, it shows an orderly line of British soldiers firing into a crowd. The colonists are depicted as reacting to the British when in fact they had attacked the soldiers. The British soldiers appear as if they are enjoying the violence, more than enough to bring out the viewer’s sympathy. The narrative recorded in the Article from the Nova Scotia Chronicle also serves a similar purpose. This piece ignores any build-up to the incident and fails to inform any wrongdoings of the colonists on the date of the Boston Massacre. The report describes soldiers as abusive who are at fault of this tragic affair. Then it dedicates a section in remembrance of victims, providing their names and detailed description about themselves, including age and areas of gunshot wounds that led them to death. At the end of the day, the tension between the colonists and British had reached a boiling point through unfair policies such as the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, and Townshend Act. The Boston Massacre served as a pivotal event to gain public sympathy and unite the colonists. Although the strategy used by the colonists was distorted upon analyzing sources related both sides, its effectiveness nevertheless should not be overlooked.
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