On March 5, 1770, a regiment of British Army soldiers fired on a group of American civilians in Boston, Massachusetts. Three Americans died immediately, and two others died from wounds sustained in the conflict. This event, the “Boston Massacre,” influenced colonial Americans seeking greater liberty from their British leaders and eventually led to the Revolutionary War.Merchants and politicians in Boston, capital of the prosperous and powerful Massachusetts Bay Colony, had for years been resisting new taxes imposed by the British government. These tensions could erupt in everyday conflict, which is how the “massacre” began.On the evening of March 5, a British soldier called for reinforcements after being harassed by a group of Americans led by African American dockworker Crispus Attucks. The Americans continued to harass the British, insulting them and throwing stones and snowballs. The British soldiers fired on the Americans, killing Attucks and two others, and wounding more than ten more.The soldiers were brought to trial. They were defended by future U.S. President John Adams, who argued that they were merely defending themselves against an unruly mob. Adams later wrote, however, that the “foundation of American independence was laid” on March 5, 1770.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry army Noun
military land forces.
city where a region's government is located.
Encyclopedic Entry: capital civilian Noun
person who is not in the military.
people and land separated by distance or culture from the government that controls them.
to explode or suddenly eject material.
system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.
to disturb or torment.
at once or quickly.
to force or set out rules to be followed.
to encourage or persuade a person or organization to act a certain way.
person who sells goods and services.
person who serves as a representative of the citizens of a geographic area to the local, state, or national government.
supplies or personnel provided as support.
to oppose or confront.
Revolutionary War Noun
(1775-1783) conflict between Great Britain and the colonies that became the United States. Also called the American War of Independence.
money or goods citizens provide to government in return for public services such as military protection.
uncomfortable relationship between two people or groups.
disobedient, lawless, or wild.