The Boston Massacre

March 5, 1770

What caused the Boston Massacre?

    The Boston Massacre was a street fight that occurred on March 5, 1770.  A patriot mob gathered at the Customs House and threw snowballs, stones, and sticks at a squad of soldiers and began taunting them.

    The reason for the soldiers to be in Boston in the first place was because they had to enforce unpopular taxation measures passed by a British parliament that lacked American Representation.

   British Captain Thomas Preston, commanding officer at the Customs House, ordered his men to fix their bayonets and join the guard outside the  building. When the soldiers when outside to join the guard the colonists continued to throw snowballs and other objects at the British soldiers. Private Hugh Montgomery was hit, leading him to discharge his rifle at the crowd. The other soldiers began firing once they heard the shot. 5 colonists were found dead or dying. The colonists names were Crispus Attucks, Patrick Carr, Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, and James Caldwell. Many people say that Crispus Attucks (an African American) was the first to fall.

Soldiers On Trial

   British soldiers were put on trial and patriots John Adams and Josiah Quincy agreed to defend the soldiers. The trial ended December 1770 with 2 soldiers found guilty. The 2 soldiers were charged with manslaughter and had their thumbs branded with an "M" for murder. Captain Preston was found innocent along with 6 other soldiers.

The Sons of Liberty

     The Sons of Liberty were a patriotic group formed in 1765 to oppose the Stamp Act. They advertised the "Boston Massacre" as a battle for American Liberty and caused the removal of the British from Boston.

American Revolution

                                                              April 1775

 The American Revolution began on April 1775 when British troops from Boston skrimished with American militiamen at the battles of Lexington and Concord.

   The British troops were under orders to capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock in Lexington. The missions were not accomplished because of Paul Revere and William Dawes, who rode ahead of the British, warning Adams and Hancock and rousing the Patriot minutemen.

   11 months later on March 1776, British forces had to evacuate Boston following American General George Washington's successful placement fortifications and cannons on Dorchester Heights.

   The bloodless liberation of Boston brought an end to the hated 8 year British occupation of the city. For the victory, General Washington, commander of the Continental Army, was presented with the first medal EVER awarded by the Continental Congress.

   After 5 years the Revolutionary War came to an end. British General Charles Cornwallis' surrender to Washington at Yorktown, Virginia.

  The freedom

Treaty Of Paris 1763

         The Treaty Of Paris that ended the French and Indian War was negotiated between Great Britain and France. The war lasted for 7 years and was terminated on February 10, 1763 which was signed by Great Britain, France, and Spain.

      Great Britain had been interested in ending the 7 year war. The war had been extremely expensive that the Government had to finance the war in debt.  The Creditors were beginning to doubt Great Britain's ability to pay back the loans.


King George III

At the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, the British issued a Proclamation. The Proclamation stated that to conciliate the Indians you had to check the encroachment of settlers on their lands. Ever since the Proclamation, it has become one of the cornerstones of North America.  

  King George II had died in 1760 therefore his successor George II was more amendable to end the war.

French and Spanish diplomats signed the Family Compact that brought Spain into the war against the British. The situation had changed and news spread fast in Europe about the British capture in Havana with the Spanish colony of Cuba. King Charles III (Spanish king) had refused to agree to a treaty that had required Spain to cede Cuba.

A French negotiator named Choiseul had a solution to redistribute American territory between France, Spain, and Great Britain. Under his plan Great Britain would gain all of the French's territory east of the Mississippi. Spain handed Florida to Great Britain while French territories west of the Mississippi would become Spanish.

The diplomats completed their negotiations and signed the Treaty of Paris November 3, 1762.

Proclamation of 1763

Sugar Act

The British has passed something called, The Sugar Act. The act is forcing the colonists to pay a 3 cent tax on sugar. It has also increased tax on coffee, indigo, and wine. Most of the colonists were outraged by this seeing as the British government did not ask for permission. The colonists did not like that fact that they were being controlled by the British.

                            April 5, 1764

The Stamp Act

Next the British parliament decided to pass the Stamp Act a year after the Sugar Act! This act requires that all newspapers, pamphlets, and other legal documents have a stamp. AND the stamps cost MONEY! All the colonists were outraged and decided to revolt. Then the colonists formed the Stamp Act Congress and delivered angry responses to the British parliament.

The Tea Act

                                                                 May 10, 1773

This act gave a monopoly on tea sales to the East India Company. American colonists could buy no tea unless it came from that company. The Tea Act lowered the price on this East Indian tea. The colonists saw this as a law as yet another means of "taxation without representation" because it was meant that they could not by tea from anyone else without spending a lot more money.

Boston Tea Party

This famed act of American colonial defiance served as a protest against taxation. The troubled East India Company and the British Parliament adjusted import duties with the passage of the Tea Act in 1773. While Charleston, New York and Philadelphia rejected tea shipments, merchants in Boston refused to concede to Patriot pressure.

On the night of December 16, 1773, Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty boarded 3 ships in the Boston Harbor and umped over 342 chests of tea. This resulted in the passage of the punitive Coercive Acts in 1774 bringing both sides closer to war.

Coercive Acts

The Coercive Acts were a series of 4 acts established by the British government. The aim of the legislature was to restore order in Massachusetts and punish Boston for their Tea Party, in which members of the revolutionary - minded Sons of Liberty boarded 3 ships and dumped the tea.

1. Boston Port Act - The Parliament of Great Britain made this a law in March 31, 1774 stating that one of the measures was designed to secure Great Britain's jurisdictions.

2. Massachusetts Government Act - The act stated that the Massachusetts Charter of 1691 of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and gave its royally-appointed governor wide-ranging powers.

3. Administration of Justice Act - the process and structure which allows conflicts between parties to be settled by a body dedicated to that purpose.

4. Quartering Act - Parliament enacted them to order local governments of the American colonies to provide the British soldiers with any needed accommodations or housing.

5. Quebec Act - passed by the British Parliament to institute a permanent administration in Canada replacing the temporary government created at the time of the Proclamation of 1763. It gave the French Canadians complete religious freedom and restored the French form of civil law.

Lexington & Concord

The battle of Lexington & Concord was fought in Massachusetts on April 19, 1775.  British troops had moved toward Lexington and Concord to seize the colonists' military supplies and arrest revolutionaries. Advancing British troops in Concord, met resistance from the Minutemen, and American volunteers harassed the retreating British troops along the Concord-Lexington Road. Paul Revere, on his famous ride, had first alerted the Americans to the British movement.

Second Continental Congress Meets GA's representatives to the meeting

convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting in the summer of 1775, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, soon after warfare in the American Revolutionary War had begun. The First Continental Congress was also held in Pennsylvania. The second Congress managed the colonial war effort, and moved incrementally towards independence, adopting the United States Declaration of Independance on July 4, 1776.

Declaration Of Independance

The fundamental document establishing the United States as a nation, adopted on July 4, 1776. The declaration was ordered and approved by the Continental Congress and written largely by Thomas Jefferson.

Comment Stream