The Boston Massacre

Topics: American Revolution, Boston, Townshend Acts Pages: 7 (2761 words) Published: June 21, 2005
The Boston Massacre was and is still a debatable Massacre. The event occurred on March 5, 1776. It involved the rope workers of the colonial Boston and two British regiments, the twenty-ninth and the fourteenth regiments. Eleven people were shot in the incident; five people were killed and the other six were merely wounded. The soldiers and the captain, Thomas Preston, were all put on trial. All were acquitted of charges of murder, however the two soldiers who fired first, Private Mathew Killroy, and Private William Montgomery, the two soldiers were guilty of manslaughter. The causes were numerous for this event. There had been a nation wide long-term dislike towards the British, and a growing hatred towards them by the people of Boston. Even before the two regiments were sent in to monitor Boston there was a growing feud before the two sides.

The population of Boston in 1765 was over twenty thousand people, and it was the second largest city in the country. The city was split up into two political factions, the loyalists, also known as the "Tories" were loyal to the British nation and respected and followed their policies. The other group was the Patriots, they too pledged alliance with the British, but they also believed strongly in their colonial rights, and more often then not went against parliamentary decisions. America still had not declared independence from England in 1765, and was expected to follow the rules of the parliament and the King. The government like all other states was structured differently, but the people elected their representatives. Unlike the British who let the people vote, but they are "indirectly represented" by Parliament. The stamp act was one of the first things Britain did to upset the colonies. John Adams who was a prospering young lawyer at the time, called the Stamp Act "That enormous engine, fabricated by the British Parliament, for battering down all the rights and liberties of America." The stamp act put a tax on legal documents, and other paper items. The Americans called this "Taxation without representation", because they didn't have any elected officials in Parliament, who were representing them. The Americans petitioned the administration, but the King and Parliament simply ignored our pleas. This act caused the formation of the loyal nine. The Loyal Nine were a group of several Boston artisans and shopkeepers, including the publisher of the Boston Gazette. They made the difference known between top leadership and crowd. The Loyal Nine did a little bit of a recruiting job before taking their actions to the streets. They got the north and south end gangs to unite and work for them. These two groups for years had taken place in a bloody battle each November fifth in order to celebrate Pope's Day. The convincing of radicals like Sam Adams, to fight the tyranny of the English instead of each other, brought the groups together. The leader of the new united gang of northerners and southerners was Ebenezer MacIntosh, the previous leader of the south end gang. MacIntosh, a shoemaker, fought in the French and Indian war, and also had fought against poverty practically his whole life.

The Stamp Act caused a number of riots to break out; the Loyal Nine and their gang conducted these riots. The first riot was directed toward Andrew Oliver, an aristocrat and a wealthy merchant. He was also the brother-in-law of the lieutenant governor of Boston, Thomas Hutchinson. Oliver, and others alike were to benefit from the Stamp Act. The Loyal nine hung an image of Oliver from the liberty tree. Bostonians awoke to this effigy on August 14, 1765. There was a sign on the doll, which read, "What greater joy did New England see/ Than a stampman hanging on a tree." When night fell MacIntosh and his mob took the effigy of Oliver down from the tree, and went down to the docks and dismantled the building, which they thought would be the center of the Stamp Act, in a matter of minutes. They then...

Bibliography: Lukes, Bonnie L. 2000. The Boston Massacre. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books.
Freedman, Russell. 2000. Give Me Liberty. Library in congress cataloging-in-publication data.
Hull, Mary E. 1999. The Boston Tea Party. Springfield, NJ: Enslow Publishers.
Stout, Neil R. 1976. The Perfect Crisis. New York, NY: New York University Press.
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