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Facts About The Boston Massacre For Kids

In 1770, a mob of colonists in Boston, Massachusetts, killed five British soldiers called the Boston Massacre. On March 5th, around 4 PM, a large crowd began to shout insults at two British officers patrolling the streets. When the officers arrested some people for being drunk and disorderly, they were attacked by a group of men with sticks and stones. Some of the soldiers opened fire on the mob before retreating into a nearby customs house, where they were holed up with tea urns filled with gunpowder and shot from within when crowds ventured too close.

Quick Facts

  • The British use a different name for the Boston Massacre: “The Incident on King Street.”
  • More than one-half of Boston‘s population attended the funerals of the victims.
  • “Reasonable Doubt” was first used in the trial of British Captain Preston, who was honorably cleared of murder charges.
  • The ability to read from the Bible helped two British soldiers escape the death penalty.
  • Both sides used propaganda to make the other side look like they were in the wrong.
  • The British soldiers were all acquitted of the murder of the colonists, but five were demoted in rank. Paul Revere, an active patriot, was involved in this event. He rode from here to Lexington to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams, who fled from Boston on horseback for a few days.
  • The Massacre did not cause a break between Britain and its colonies. However, it did cause a vacation with many Boston families who saw the event as an example of British injustice and brutality. This event took place on King Street, right near the Old State House, where all the guys stood up for our rights during the beginning of our Revolution days.
  • In 1780, a man named Crispus Attucks was the first person killed in the American Revolution. He died when British soldiers opened fire on a group of colonial protesters angrily throwing snowballs at them. His death became a symbol of the injustice and racism blacks had to deal with in early America.
  • A famous quote that also came from this event was, “Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they want a war, let it begin here.” This is credited to Captain Preston of the British army, one of the soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre.
  • One of the main reasons this event is so important to history is that there were six other riots between 1768 and 1776. It was also one of several events that sparked tensions between Britain and its colonies which eventually led to the American Revolution.
  • The Boston Massacre caused America to gain more ammunition for their growing anti-British sentiment, especially with younger colonists who saw Britain as oppressive and unjust. This would eventually lead to the Boston Massacre and even more tensions between Britain and its colonies.
  • In 1772, a riot took place in New York City at the Stamp Act. Many of those who opposed this act began throwing rotten fish at the streets, and streets were blocked with carts and barrels that would be set on fire, too. Fortunately, this riot was not as deadly as the Boston Massacre had been, but it was still an event that led to an explosion of anti-British sentiment at home and abroad.
  • The Boston Massacre also helped ignite similar riots in other cities such as New York City, where a large number of French and Dutch citizens were upset with British policy. These riots would not only give Americans more ammunition for their fight against Britain it would also begin to pull other countries into the American Revolution as well, including France.
  • The Boston Massacre also helped to push the Second Continental Congress to make way for the American Revolution. At this meeting, John Adams proposed independence from Britain, which was met with heavy resistance by other congress members. This proposal led to a public outcry, which caused the Declaration of Independence in 1776 under Thomas Jefferson‘s writing skills and vision.
  • Paul Revere is famous for his role in this event because he informed other colonists about what had happened here.