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The Bloody Massacre Essay

Paul Revere’s “The Bloody Massacre Perpetrated in King Street Boston on March 5th, 1770 by a party of the 29th Regt.” was an effectual piece of propaganda during the time leading up to the American Revolution. Engraved on laid paper with watercolor, the colors and figures appear vibrant and sharp. The eyes of the audience are immediately attracted to the red coats of the soldiers in contrast to the gloomy sky. The British soldiers are standing in a military-like stance, and Captain Thomas Preston appears to be telling them to fire at the colonists, indicating that the soldiers are the main aggressors. Indeed, they take up quite a bit of space in the engraving, showing their dominance and aggression over the colonists. The colonists appear to be reacting, and some are on the ground, bleeding. The faces of the British soldiers are sharper and despicable whereas the colonists’ faces are more soft and faultless.

The Bloody Massacre

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Revere is portraying the British in a more threatening light. Most of the colonists look like they’re from the upper class, and perhaps Revere thought by including prominent people, it would stir more patriotic feelings in the general public. It is also ironic that there is gunfire coming from the Butcher’s Hall. It is also fascinating how Revere included a dog at the bottom of the engraving, in the midst of the shooting. The dog, which is known to represent loyalty, is facing the audience, completely oblivious and unaffected by the situation, simply an innocent bystander. By including the dog, Revere portrays the loyal colonists as being shot down in cold blood. The bottom of the engraving is a poem that Revere wrote in very passionate language that essentially encapsulates what is happening. The last few lines below the poem name the colonists who suffered wounds or death. More prominent in the list is Crispus Attucks. Crispus Attucks, an ex-slave of mixed African and Indian ancestry, is portrayed in the lower left-hand corner. He is the first casualty of the massacre.

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Considering that the piece is propaganda, there are some historical inaccuracies to it. Firstly, it has become known that Revere actually engraved Henry Pelham’s drawings of the massacre and took credit for it. This was obviously created as a piece of anti-British propaganda to stir hatred for the British amongst the colonists and convince them that they were oppressed and mistreated.

The actual event was different than what is depicted. It was during the evening of March 5th, 1770, when some men started to throw snowballs (which were not shown) at a British soldier on duty guarding the Customs House. Soon a crowd formed, joined by a group of sailors led by Crispus Attucks. The guard called for help and Captain Thomas Preston arrived with 7 soldiers. He tried to disperse the crowd, but the colonists continued to create an uproar by throwing snowballs and rocks. Clearly, the colonists weren’t completely helpless or innocent. Despite Preston specifically instructing the soldiers to not fire, a gun fired and more shooting erupted. 11 men in the crowd were hit, 4 were killed, one of who was Attucks. Despite the fact that the colonists instigated the violence and were indeed “armed,” the colonists were very upset about the whole incident. Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty took the opportunity to create anti-British propaganda. There was a mass funeral for the sufferers, and newspapers began labeling it as a massacre despite the fact that only 11 men were hurt.

If this piece of propaganda were to be created today, digital artists would use Photoshop and other technology to enhance not only the aesthetic aspect of the engraving but also the political aspect. Perhaps caricatures and cartoons would be utilized instead, as those are more common in today’s age in terms of political propaganda. Other areas that wouldn’t change would probably be some of the purposeful inaccuracies as they do a good job of stirring anti-British sentiment.

Today, people around the world understand the value and importance of the Boston Massacre. Boston commemorates the massacre annually with lectures and lighted images of Revere’s engraving. Considered one of the most effective pieces of propaganda, the engraving is analyzed and its methods are still used.

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The Bloody Massacre Essay
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Paul Revere’s “The Bloody Massacre Perpetrated in King Street Boston on March 5th, 1770 by a party of the 29th Regt.” was an effectual piece of propaganda during the time leading up to the American Revolution. Engraved on laid paper with watercolor, the colors and figures appear vibrant and sharp. The eyes of the audience are immediately attracted to the red coats of the soldiers in contrast to the gloomy sky. The British soldiers are standing in a military-like stance, and Captain Thomas
2021-12-21 08:36:51
The Bloody Massacre Essay
$ 13.900 2018-12-31
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