The way that the memory of the events of the Boston Massacre have changed over time - Research Paper Example

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Boston Massacre In the second half of the eighteenth century, Boston was a major shipping town and also a centre where most of the resistant rallies were held against the various taxation Acts imposed by the British Parliament. Such rallies more often turned into violent ones leading to firing and bloodshed…
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The way that the memory of the events of the Boston Massacre have changed over time
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Download file to see previous pages This Act was imposed on the order of a British official called Charles Townshend. The objects on which import duty was attached were paint, paper, tea, lead and glass2. The members of the British parliament introduced the Townshend Act as a punishment to the colonists for protesting against the previous Stamp Act. With this new Act, the parliament wanted to teach a lesson to the colonists that they are bound to abide by any Acts they would introduce. The American Board of Customs Commissioners was also arranged by the Parliament whose members were responsible for seeing that smuggling laws were duly followed. This Board was set up in Boston since smuggling activities were centered in this city. The Parliament believed that if smuggling could be wiped out from Boston then it would be easy for them to force other colonial citizens to follow the trade laws3. Very soon the colonists began to protest against the Townshend Act declaring that no taxes can be levied on any goods without their agreement. The protestant acts were further provoked by the writings of many patriotic leaders of that time. A protesting letter was written by John Hancock and was circulated to all the townspeople in Massachusetts: “You are already too well acquainted with the melancholy and very alarming Circumstances to which this Province, as well as America in general, is now reduced. Taxes equally detrimental to the commercial interests of the Parent country and the colonies are imposed upon the People, without their consent”4. The merchants in Boston began to reject any goods made in Britain. In 1768, a circular letter was sent by the Massachusetts Assembly to the other colonial legislatures informing them about difficulties faced by the colonists because of the Act: “The House of Representatives of this province, have taken into their serious consideration, the great difficulties that must accrue to themselves and their constituents, by the operation of several acts of Parliament, imposing duties and taxes on the American colonies”5. In response to the protests the British began to send troops to maintain peace while still enforcing the law. This led to many violent conflicts between the British soldiers and the protesting colonists; one such incident that became most well known in American history was the Boston Massacre. On March 5, 1770, a crowd of angry people taunted nine British guards of custom house and threw snowballs at them, and the latter fired in return which killed five people and wounded some6. Sons of Liberty In October 1768, the 14th and 29th regiments of British army arrived in Boston. They were dispatched by Royal Governor Francis Bernard whose purpose was to maintain law and order in the Boston and also to assist the customs official to collects taxes as per the Townshend Act imposed by the British Parliament. However, Massachusetts Assembly accused Bernard that this action was an attempt to overthrow the Boston government and felt that there was no need of the troops to maintain peace in the city. But Bernard was concerned because of an earlier protestant act in June, 1768 when the customs officials seized a sloop of John Hancock who was a merchant and political leader. This led to protests by a group called Sons of Liberty who decorated an elm tree with placards and effigies of Bernard and customs officials7. Bernard, although opposed the 1965 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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