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What Really Happened In The Boston Massacre?

1119 words - 4 pages

This chapter provided information from the trial of Captain Thomas Preston. The chapter asked the question, “What really happened in the Boston Massacre”. Chapter four focused on the overall event of the Massacre and trying to determine if Captain Preston had given the order to fire at Boston citizens. The chapter provides background information and evidence from Preston’s trial to leave the reader answering the question the chapter presents. Although, after looking through all the witnesses’ testimonies some might sway in Captain Preston’s favor, just the way the grand jury did.
Before the Boston Massacre even occurred, tensions were high in the city of Boston between the Bostonians and the British. At this time people were just getting over the Stamp Act and were now angered by the new taxes also known as the Townshend Duties. This new tax caused Bostonians to become more aggressive causing the British to send more soldiers to impose the laws of Parliament and to restore order among the people. The arrival of more soldiers only caused more of an uproar between the people of Boston and the red coats. Bostonians went out of their way to harass British soldiers whenever they got the chance, but on March 5, 1770 both sides acted unacceptably resulting in the Boston Massacre (84-85).
On the night of March 5th, it is believed that a small group of boys began taunting a British soldier. Over the boys’ nonsense, the soldier battered one of his oppressors with his musket. Soon after the alleged incident a crowd of about fifty or sixty people surrounded the frightened solider. The enraged crowd of people sounded the soldier, encouraging him to call for backup. Soon after calling for help, seven soldiers along with Captain Preston hurried to the Boston Custom House to help control the crowd (82). Once Preston arrived to the scene of people, he could tell the people were looking for a fight. The soldiers lined up, facing the crowd to try and dissolve the problem but the people were not backing down. Bostonians continued to taut the soldiers, yelling at them to fire their weapons. Not long after, shots were fired killing five Bostonians and wounding six others. The big question still unanswered today is whether or not Captain Preston yelled for the soldiers to fire or not.
The book provides evidence and witness testimony to help the reader determine what might have happened the night of the Boston Massacre. The evidence given was from witnesses from the King and witnesses for Preston. This trial lasted for five days and ended with Preston being innocent (83). The story information given from the witnesses was different, although all the witnesses had the same amount of soldiers and they had the Captain at the site. A few of the witnesses’ stories went together and contained about the same information, all-resulting in Preston’s favor. Since the shooting took place around nine at night in the dark, it is unsure of what the Captain was wear making...

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