The Boston Massacre - clever propoganda!
The Boston Massacre refers to an incident involving the deaths of five civilians at the hands of British troops on March 5, 1770. It remains a great draw card in the Boston tourism scene as the massacre was one of the major catalysts for the American Revolution.
"Whether there was any massacre at all, has caused much speculation throughout the years.
Was There a Boston Massacre At All?
Whether there was any massacre at all, has caused much speculation throughout the years. Certainly within the minds of many people the facts of the day have been obscured behind the clever propaganda of the day and the mists of time.
The famous engraving of Paul Revere (seen along side) gives the impression that it was British crackdown on innocent civilians but in reality The Boston Massacre was basically an anti-police riot that got out of hand. A chance encounter between a sentry and some youths quickly developed into an attack with stones, clubs, and snowballs, which led to retaliation by the soldiers.
There is much evidence to suggest that what happened on that fateful day would be classed as self-defense. When fear and anger combine with means of self-defense in a situation, seldom is there a peaceful resolution. The confrontation that led to the 'massacre' was not just an isolated event but a culmination of civilian-military tensions that had been growing for a number of years. The locals of Boston were already antagonistic and confrontational towards the British soldiers that had been stationed there. Understandably the atmosphere in Boston at the time was tense.
The massacre threw the town into great excitement immediately after the incident. There was a large public outcry that condemned the soldiers and that there needed to be an immediate execution for their heinous crimes. Mob justice deemed that they be shot at the very same spot that the civilians were. Fortunately and quite deliberately the trial of the soldiers was delayed for a number of months to let public sentiment settle down. The great John Adams represented the soldiers and succeeded in putting up a solid defense for their actions. Six of the soldiers were cleared of any wrongdoing with two others being guilty of manslaughter. That none of the accused were guilty of murder clearly shows that certainly the intent of the soldiers was far from cold blooded and that they acted in self-defense.
This act is of great significance in the Boston Tourism landscape as one of the stops on the
commemorate the spot where the massacre occurred. Coincidentally the spot is right in front of the old state house which was the seat of the British colonial government of the time.
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