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    History of The Boston Massacre Essay

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    The Boston Massacre was the start of the Revolutionary War according to many of the historians. There were five casualties from this war. The event of the Massacre took place on March 5, 1770. They’re casualties left with these people. “With the British troops in the Massachusetts Bay Colony were there to stop demonstrations against the Townshend Acts and keep order, but instead they provoked outrage. The British soldiers and citizens brawled in streets and fought in bars.”— The citizens viewed the British soldiers as potential oppressors, and also potential competitors for their jobs.

    The Boston Massacre was the result of the colonists’ frustration with British policies after the French and Indian War ended in 1763. They disliked Parliament’s active involvement, and hated the presence of British soldiers, that controlled the colonists. They also resented the many attempts they made to tax the people with the Sugar Act and Stamp Act, which Parliament tried to impose on them without their consent. When Parliament would not listen to their verbal protests, the expressions of their discontent became violent. Eventually, the Boston Massacre exploded onto the Boston political scene, and brought the colonies closer to revolution.

    When the Colonists were surprised when large numbers of British troops remained in North America. They were happy to have the troops’ protection against the French but were puzzled when the troops remained after the French had been driven from the continent. The people came to the conclusion that the soldiers were not there to protect, but to oppress them. To Maintaining this occupying force was expensive. Then came the The Quartering Act of 1765. It was instituted to force the colonists to share this economic burden. This act demanded that colonial magistrates find housing for the British soldiers in taverns and inns owned by colonists. The colonists were expected to provide them with food, bedding and other necessities like kitchen utensils. The colonists, however, came to resent the Quartering Act and saw it as an indirect method of taxation.

    Taxation was big with the British people. It made the colonist envy them. Britain had taken advantage of the trading relationship with the colonies to gain an edge over other European competitors. They forced the colonists to send their abundance of raw materials to Britain where it would be manufactured into products. This relationship was further strained when Britain forced the colonists to pay taxes on the products made in Britain. Prime Minister George Grenville and his government began instituting these taxes in 1763. Customs officials had the ability to call on local and military police to enforce the law.

    The first tax that Grenville passed was the Sugar Act of 1764. Its purpose was to pay for the British soldiers serving in America. The maintenance costs for the soldiers each year totaled 350,000 Pounds. The Sugar Act charged duty on such imported items as indigo, coffee, and cloth from exotic lands in the empire. It also decreased taxes colonists already paid on molasses.

    Many colonists protested against the new measure. James Otis, a lawyer from Massachusetts, wrote ‘The Rights of British Colonies Asserted and Approved,’ a work supported by Massachusetts politicians. It told British legislators that they had no right to tax the colonists when there were no colonial representatives in Parliament to speak for them. Laws like this could only be made with the colonists’ consent.

    However, At the end of the late French and Indian war, a happy union subsisted between Great Britain and the colonies. This was unfortunately interrupted by the Stamp Act; but it was in some measure restored by the repeal of it.

    It was interrupted by other items of parliament for taxing America; and by the appointment of a Board of Commissioners, in pursuance of an act, which by the face of it was made for the relief and encouragement of commerce, but which in its operation, it was apprehended, would have, and it has in fact had, a contrary effect. By the said act the said Commissioners were ‘to be resident in some convenient part of his Majesty’s dominions in America.’ This must be understood to be in some part convenient for the whole. But it does not appear that, in fixing the place of their residence, the convenience of the whole was at all consulted, for Boston, being very far from the centre of the colonies, could not be the place most convenient for the whole. Judging by the act, it may seem this town was intended to be favored, by the Commissioners being appointed to reside here; and that the consequence of that residence would be the relief and encouragement of commerce; but the reverse has been the constant and uniform effect of it; so that the commerce of the town, from the embarrassments in which it has been lately involved, is greatly reduced. The residence of the Commissioners here has been detrimental, not only to the commerce, but to the political interests of the town and province; and not only so, but we can trace from it the causes of the late horrid massacre.

    When they arrived in 1767, instead of restraining themselves to the proper business of their office, they became partizans of Governor Bernard in his political arrangements; and had the weakness and audacity to overstep upon one of the most vital rights of the house of commons of this province-that of giving their votes with freedom, and not being accountable.

    Although, One of the members of that house, Capt. Timothy Folgier, had voted in some concern contrary to what the Commissioners had wanted, was for so doing dismissed from the office he held under them.

    These proceedings of theirs, the difficulty of access to them on office-business, and a supercilious behavior, rendered them disgustful to people in general, who in consequence thereof treated them with neglect. This probably stimulated them to resent it ; and to make their resentment felt, they and their coadjutor, Governor Bernard, made such representations to his Majesty’s ministers as they thought best calculated to bring the displeasure of the nation upon the town and province; and in order that those representations might have the more weight, they are said to have contrived and executed plans for exciting disturbances and tumults, which otherwise would probably never have existed; and, when excited, to have transmitted to the ministry the most ex aggerated accounts of them.

    Unfortunately for us, they have been too successful in their said representations, which, in conjunction with Governor Bernard’s, have occasioned his Majesty’s faithful subjects of this town and province to be treated as enemies and rebels, by an invasion of the town by sea and land; to which the approaches were made with all the circumspection usual where a vigorous opposition is expected. While the town was surrounded by a considerable number of his Majesty’s ships of war, two regiments landed and too k possession of it; and to support these, two other regiments arrived sometime after from Ireland; one of which landed at Castle Island, and the other in the town.

    Thus were we, in aggravation of our other embarrassments, embarrassed with troops, 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 law, and without the desire of the civil magistrates, to aid whom was the pretense for sending the troops hither; who were quartered in the town in direct violation of an act of parliament for quartering troops in America; and all this in consequence of the representations of the said Commissioners and the said Governor, as appears by their memorials and letters lately published.

    As they were the procuring cause of troops being sent hither, they must therefore be the remote and a blamable cause of all the disturbances and bloodshed that have taken place in consequence of that measure.

    We shall next attend to the conduct of the troops, and to some circumstances relative to them. Governor Bernard without consulting the Council, having given up the State House to the troops at their landing, they took possession of the chambers, where th e representatives of the province and the courts of law held their meetings; and (except the council-chamber) of all other parts of that house; in which they continued a considerable time, to the great annoyance of those courts while they sat, and of the merchants and gentlemen of the town, who had always made the lower floor of it their exchange. They had a right so to do, as the property of it was in the town; but they were deprived of that right by mere power. The said Governor soon after, by every trick and by every method but a forcibly pass, strived to get ownership 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;

    The General Court, at the first session after the arrival of the troops, viewed it in this light, and applied to Governor Bernard to cause such a nuisance to be removed; but to no purpose.

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