Profile of the Boston Massacre
This only served to raise tensions and the British troops were
Hello I'm Milo for About.com and today we're talking about the Boston Massacre. In the years leading up to the Declaration of Independence by the American Colonies, the British parliament passed the Townshend Act to exact more taxes on basic goods shipped to the colonies from England. This was obviously not well received by the colonists and so in 1768 British troops were sent to Boston in a heavy handed attempt at maintaining order. This only served to raise tensions and the British troops were treated disrespectfully at best. The citizens of Boston made sure to block the troops at every turn using every means short of all out aggression.On March 5, 1770, British Private Hugh White was on duty outside the British Customs house as normal. A crowd of men surrounded the private taunting and berating him. Eight more soldiers of the Twenty Ninth Regiment led by Captain Thomas Preston came to the private's aid. According to witnesses the situation unraveled from there. Shots were fired and 3 men died instantly, 2 later from their wounds, and 5 others were wounded. Relations between the British and the Colonists only devolved and demonstrations were held. To try to ease tensions the British soldiers were pulled out of Boston entirely and 2 trials were set 8 months off to allow for the collection of facts and a cooling off period.John Adams, who later became the second US president, and Josiah Quincy defended the British. Adams was determined that despite the passions surrounding the event justice would be served by attending to the facts and the specific actions of each individual. The first trial was for Captain Preston and he was acquitted as it seems he had not fired any shots and may have even ordered his men not to either. The second trial was for the remaining soldiers, 6 were acquitted as there were no witnesses they had shot at all into the crowd, and 2 were found guilty as they had been seen to shoot. The Boston Massacre was not called that until a few years later, and while some say it started the Revolutionary War, there were still more factors to come that would bring about open conflict between the American Colonies and Britain. For more excellent, insightful, and interesting information on history check us out at About.com.