A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston

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This document was an anonymous account of the event that was one of the biggest reasons that America is an independent nation today. Not only did it recall the actual event, but it showed the history and the effect that it had on the nation. Reading this document enables the reader to get a deeper understanding of life and war back in the colonial era. While the writer did not write this as a letter or a personal account, it shows some personality throughout, which shows a true connection to the massacre.

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Very little is known about the events prior to the night of March 5th, 1770 in front of the Boston Commons House. The Boston Massacre is, and always will be, one of the most famous incidents that happened in the colonial era. Not only was it the first shots of the Revolutionary War, but it sparked a feeling of independence and anger in the entire nation. The Boston Massacre occurred when a group of colonial people were protesting some of the acts and tariffs that Great Britain was enforcing. Massachusetts had already successfully protested the Stamp Act, but in doing so, Great Britain began to force punishment on the colonist. They were in the streets of Boston when the British troops were patrolling and someone allegedly threw a snowball and some rocks at the soldiers. The article says, In passing to this station the soldiers pushed several persons with their bayonets, driving through the people in so rough a manner that it appeared they intended to create a disturbance. This occasioned some snowballs to be thrown at them which seems to have been the only provocation that was given. This sparked a soldier to open fire on the crowd. Three people died in the massacre, one being Crispus Attucks, who was an icon in the abolitionist movement. The death of Crispus Attucks sparked even more anger in the colonies. Even though this was before the huge issue of slavery, Attucks was an inspirational and important figure for the entire nation.

        The history that this document shows is what everybody in the nation learns about today. Going back to the massacre itself, the troops and colonists both acted very differently. The document tells the reader what the troops did before the massacre, which influenced the protests. The article says, The said Governor soon after, by every stratagem and by every method but a forcibly entry, endeavored to get possession of the manufactory-house, to make a barrack of it for the troops; and for that purpose caused it to be besieged by the troops, and the people in it to be used very cruelly. This shows the fault of the British troops in this time that ultimately added to the cause of this horrid massacre. The British troops were attempting to take certain things from the colonists which upset them a lot. They began raiding people’s houses and just sleeping and staying wherever they wanted to, because the law said that they could. This all was what the colonists were protesting on that dreadful night in March of 1770.  The colonists had their own faults and views on the subject of the massacre. Whenever the soldiers were quartering people’s houses and Britain was impressing these taxes onto the colonists, the colonists grew visibly upset. They began having meetings and starting forms of self government. They were protesting taxes such as the Stamp Act, Paper Act, Whiskey Tax, and the Quartering Act. they also illegally held standing armies. The document says, forced upon us contrary to our inclination-contrary to the spirit of Magna Charta-contrary to the very letter of the Bill of Rights, in which it is declared, that the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with the consent of parliament, is against the law. the colonists breaking laws such as this one, gave the troops reasons to do what they were doing. While it did not justify the actions of the troops, it made it possible for Britain to feel as if it was right.

        This document, although written by a colonist, is one of the most reliable accounts of the Boston Massacre. This document is important to history because it tells the audience a story about one of the biggest events that changed the country forever. The resource shows so much insight from a person that experienced the horrid event themselves. From the colonists responding negatively to the unfair acts that British was forcing upon the colonies, and the will to be free from England, the Boston Massacre was a huge inspiration in the American Revolution, and the overall existence of the United States.

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A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston. (2019, Dec 18). Retrieved December 4, 2022 , from
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