What Caused the Boston Massacre

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Throughout the mid-eighteenth century, hostility between the Americans and British rapidly increased due to the change and development that was occurring both in Britain and in the colonies. The imposition of the Stamp and Sugar Acts hurt both consumers and merchants, and was viewed by radical colonists such as Patrick Henry as, "a manifest Tendency to Destroy American freedom" (Henretta 138). When colonists showed resistance to the laws, the British passed the Quartering Act, allowing British soldiers to create barracks out of their homes. Once troops arrived in the colonies, riots became, "an almost regular feature of life" (Becker, Wheeler 77). The Boston Massacre occurred on March 5, 1770, when hostility between the Americans and British had reached its breaking point. During a riot in the town square, British troops fired into a crowd of civilians, killing five men. The Boston Massacre was caused by tensions in the American people that had built up as a result of an increasing sense of patriotism, pains brought on by British rules and regulations, the search for excitement, and religious passions.

As tensions with the British increased and the colonies began to unite, the American people started to develop a strong sense of patriotism. Men like John Adams, Samuel Adams, and Patrick Henry emerged as strong leaders of the movement for resistance. The patriotic Sons of Liberty often led organized mobs in protest of the laws and taxes, encouraged riots, and spread propaganda to the people, quickly gaining support for the resistance (Henretta xx). Several people present at the Boston Massacre mentioned the taunting of the British soldiers that occurred moments before the riot broke out, " [the mob was] calling out, come on you rascals, you bloody backs, you lobster scoundrels" (Becker, Wheeler 81). The American's overwhelming sense of patriotism led them to taunt the British…. In the aftermath of the Massacre,
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