Featured in Issues & Controversies in American History:
Were British Soldiers or American Colonists to Blame?
On the snowy evening of March 5, 1770, during a period of escalating tension between American colonists and British soldiers, a crowd of people gathered in front of the Customs House in Boston, Massachusetts, where a lone British sentry stood guard. As the crowd grew and became hostile, a detachment of British soldiers came to the sentry’s aid. Shots suddenly rang out, leaving five colonists dead. Some Bostonians immediately labeled the shooting a “massacre” and demanded the British soldiers be punished. Others, however, disagreed, claiming the soldiers had only fired in self-defense. The Boston “Massacre” outraged many Americans and became a point of contention throughout the thirteen colonies. But who was really responsible for the events of March 5, 1770?
Let your students get the facts and decide for themselves: Were British soldiers or American colonists to blame for the Boston “Massacre”? Be sure to check out Issues & Controversies in American History’s clear and unbiased examination of the arguments surrounding the Boston “Massacre.”
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