The Boston Massacre took place in front of the balcony, and the site is now marked by a cobblestone circle in the square photo Massacre Site Bostonthe capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay and an important shipping town, was a major center of resistance to unpopular acts of taxation by the British Parliament in the s. Colonists objected that the Townshend Acts were a violation of the naturalcharterand constitutional rights of British subjects in the colonies. The House also sent what became known as the Massachusetts Circular Letter to other colonial assemblies, asking them to join the resistance movement,  and called for a boycott of merchants importing the affected goods. In April he sent a letter to the colonial governors in America, instructing them to dissolve the colonial assemblies if they responded to the Massachusetts Circular Letter.
On the evening of March 5, crowds of day laborers, apprentices, and merchant sailors began to pelt British soldiers with snowballs and rocks. A shot rang out, and then several soldiers fired their weapons. When it was over, five civilians lay dead or dying, including Crispus Attucks, an African American merchant sailor who had escaped from slavery more Boston massacre twenty years earlier.
Not an accurate depiction of the actual event, it shows an orderly line of Boston massacre soldiers firing into an American crowd and includes a poem that Revere likely wrote. Revere based his engraving on that of artist Henry Pelham, who created the first illustration of the episode—and who was neither paid nor credited for his work.
Here are a few of the elements Paul Revere used in his engraving to shape public opinion: The British are lined up and an officer is giving an order to fire, implying that the British soldiers are the aggressors.
The colonists are shown reacting to the British when in fact they had attacked the soldiers. This makes the British look more menacing. The British soldiers look like they are enjoying the violence, particularly the soldier at the far end.
The colonists, who were mostly laborers, are dressed as gentlemen. Elevating their status could affect the way people perceived them. There is a distressed woman in the rear of the crowd. This played on eighteenth-century notions of chivalry.
Dogs tend to symbolize loyalty and fidelity. The dog in the print is not bothered by the mayhem behind him and is staring out at the viewer.
The sky is illustrated in such a way that it seems to cast light on the British "atrocity. In many other existing copies of this print, he is not portrayed as African American. Other Interesting Facts In the first edition, the time on the clock was incorrect. Revere had it corrected immediately.
The trial of the British soldiers was the first time a judge used the phrase "reasonable doubt. Inhe was appointed as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention.
Questions for Discussion Read the document introduction, apply your knowledge of American history, and closely examine the enlarged document image and the linked supplemental materials to answer these questions.
While there are many similarities in the engravings by Henry Pelham and Paul Revere, there are also significant differences. Carefully examine both documents and explain how they differ. Consider both the image of the event and the text at the top and bottom of both documents. How can this be explained?
An accurate transcript of the trial of the British officer and soldiers is available from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Compare the trial testimony to the image in either the Pelham or Revere work. How accurate are the engravings? Create a list of the discrepancies between the trial testimony and both images.
Why has this image been referred to frequently as a work of propaganda? John Adams and the Boston Massacre. Other images can be referred to as well:What was the Boston Massacre? The Boston Massacre was the killing of five colonists by British regulars on March 5, It was the culmination of tensions in the American colonies that had been growing since Royal troops first appeared in Massachusetts in October to enforce the heavy tax burden imposed by the Townshend Acts.
Oct 30, · A circle of cobblestones in the street outside the Old State House marks the spot where British soldiers fired on a crowd, the event which many believe was the start of the Revolutionary War.4/4().
Watch video · On the cold, snowy night of March 5, , a mob of American colonists gathers at the Customs House in Boston and begins taunting the British . Oct 27, · Watch video · The Boston Massacre On the cold, snowy night of March 5, , a mob of American colonists gathers at the Customs House in Boston and begins taunting the British soldiers guarding the building.
By the beginning of , there were 4, British soldiers in Boston, a city with 15, inhabitants, and tensions were running high.
On the evening of March 5, crowds of day laborers, apprentices, and merchant sailors began to pelt British soldiers with snowballs and rocks. Participants of Boston Massacre: At the midst of confrontation, the crowd of people in front of the Customs House was estimated to be between and men, making it .