The Boston Massacre: How It Changed America

The Boston Massacre: How It Changed America

Cole Schlesner
U.S. History
December 5th, 2014
The Boston Massacre: How It Changed America
The Boston Massacre was an extremely important event in American history. It is also a very controversial topic. To this day, no one can really give an accurate description of the events that transpired. The Boston Massacre was not a random event at all; many actions led up to the massacre. As a result of this disaster, America was changed forever and sent on a road towards revolution. The Boston Massacre was a defining moment in American history that pushed the colonies into a war with England.
Boston, then the capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay and also an important shipping town, was a major place of conflicts to unpopular acts of taxation by the British Parliament in the 1760’s. In 1768, the Townshend Acts were placed upon the colonists, which meant that a variety of common items that were manufactured in Britain and exported to the colonies were subjected to import tariffs. Colonists thought that the Townshend Acts were an abuse of the natural, charter, and constitutional rights of British subjects in the colonies. So, they resisted it. Then, the Massachusetts House of Representatives began a campaign against the Townshend Acts by sending a petition to King George III asking for the repeal of the Townshend Revenue Act. The House also sent what became known as the Massachusetts Circular Letter to other colonial assemblies. It asked them to join the resistance movement, and called for a boycott of merchants importing the affected goods.


In Great Britain, Lord Hillsborough, who had recently been appointed to the office of Colonial Secretary, was alarmed by the actions of the Massachusetts House. In April of 1768 he sent a letter to the colonial governors in America, telling them to dissolve the colonial assemblies if they responded to the Massachusetts Circular Letter. He also ordered Massachusetts Governor Francis Bernard to direct the...

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