Justified Riot Met With Bloodshed: The Boston Massacre

1049 Words5 Pages

The Boston Massacre: Provoked Self-Defense or Justified Riot Met With Bloodshed
The Boston Massacre was one of the main events that changed the course of history. The
Boston Massacre occurred when a riot of Boston citizens met the a squadron of British soldiers with snowballs, sticks, and stones. Thomas Preston, the Caption of the squadron, called more officers for support. The mob attacked these soldiers as well, and the soldiers started firing upon the Boston colonists. Five people died during this massacre which sparked a campaign of speech-writers that led to the Revolutionary War.
There is always two sides to a story. There are over two hundred witness accounts to this event, and Captain Preston gave his account. Him and a few of …show more content…

The mob was taunting the soldiers and daring them to fire upon them. In fact, Captain Preston was yelling at them to not fire under no conditions. While this was happening, the crowd threw stones and hit the soldiers with sticks. One citizen struck Captain Preston so bad that it disabled his arm for quite a few a minutes. He said that if it had hit him on the head, he would not have survived it. He even told them before heading into the street to not fire. Captain Preston was eavesdropping the night before and heard the Boston citizens planning on attacking the guard who was on duty at the custom house. For this is the reason the squadron was met with the mob. From Captain Preston’s
Coy 2 account, it deems The Boston Massacre as provoked self-defense (Captain Preston’s Account of the Boston Massacre March 5 1770).
However, the second side of the story provides additional information. The British soldiers were doing many things to instigate a riot from the Bostonians. A British soldier challenged the rope makers to a boxing match. One of the rope makers accepting the challenge and arrange a fight with the soldier. When the soldier was fairly beaten by the rope maker, …show more content…

It is safe to say that both sides instigated this massacre. The Boston Massacre was justified self defense but the soldiers did not need to take it to the degree they did. Maybe arresting a few of them or firing in the air could have settled the crowd enough to take control, but I am certain the soldiers felt their lives were in danger and fear took control of them. The riot was made to kill or severely hurt some of the soldiers, the reason for the riot being there was not justified. The soldiers were in the wrong for firing upon citizens and killing a few innocent bystanders, but the citizens were in the wrong for causing a riot and attacking the soldiers with sticks, stones, and snowballs.
Eric Hinderaker puts it this way, “the shootings triggered a war of words in which truth was the first casualty” (Smith). The reason the Boston Massacre was labeled a massacre is because the first publications of newspaper labeled the altercation a massacre and blaming the
British. Samual Adams and Paul Revere used these publications to put a negative shadow on the
Coy 3
British and make it look like the British planned the attack. After the dust settled, they

Open Document