Boston Massacre: Causes and Effects
The Boston Massacre was triggered by the colonists' resentment towards British regulations along with the stationing of redcoats within the city, which resulted in the colony's increasing hatred towards England, the rise of propaganda, and the Committee of Correspondence.
On the snowy night of March 5th, 1770 in Boston, young boys began harassing and pelting snowballs at British officers who were on sentry duty in front of the Customs House (a symbol of royal authority). Due to all of the commotion, a colonist rang the church bell which meant "come outside because of a fire (Boston Massacre Historical Society). Captain Thomas Preston, leader of the British regiment, tried to calm the colonists, but failed. While everyone was panicked and confused, a soldier discharged his firearm, which caused others to do the same. The victims of this clash were Crispus Attucks, Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, and James Coldwell. Following this incident, the British soldiers were tried for murder, but being defended by John Adams and Josiah Quincy Jr., six were acquitted while only two were convicted of manslaughter. Though it was no more than a riot, Americans named it the Boston Massacre to show everyone the dangers of having troops stationed among colonists.
The actions that caused this event were the laws imposed on the colonists, as well as the presence of British soldiers in Boston. The Stamp Act of 1765 as well as the Townshend Duties (tax on lead, paint, paper, and tea) angered many Bostonians due to the fact that England was taking away the assembly's right to tax themselves. In addition, there were also the Writs of Assistance, which gave the soldiers the right to barge into any colonial home and seize belongings. Even though the purpose of this was to enforce laws and stop the smuggling of goods, the patriots felt that these writs took away their privacy. The stationing of British soldiers in Boston was