The Boston Massacre Summary

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Overall summary On the night of March 5, 1770, British soldiers fired into a jeering Boston crowd. Three men were killed instantly, a fourth lay dying, and a fifth would die two days later. Three of the slain were only seventeen years old. Boston was stunned by the killings. And yet to many of the townspeople, the clash came as no surprise. It was the first violence since October 1, 1768, when the British soldiers first marched into Boston. Bostonians, with their intense fear of standing armies, had hated the soldiers from the beginning. In return, the British soldiers hated the colonists and townspeople who taunted them with insults and hatred. The tension continued to escalate until that cold moonlit night in March when the British…show more content…
After many days the court found that there was not enough evidence to convict him and he was set free. The eight soldiers whom he had commanded were on trial next. After many months of hearings the court found three of the men not guilty at all and the other five not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter. The guilty five had their hands branded due to a loophole in ancient English common law called benefit of clergy, and they were stripped of all their possessions, and set free. Many Bostonians were upset about the verdicts, but nonetheless the soldiers were tried in a court of law and most were acquitted of the charges. To this day the Boston massacre trial is one of the most famous trials because it dealt with the possibility of a violent, vigilante uprising, due to the clash between British soldiers and American colonists, in a fair and equal manner. The decision supported the rule of law and obedience to duty by the British army and the conscience to disobey by the colonists. Justice was…show more content…
Ms Lukes takes the side of law over revenge. Even though the British soldiers killed American colonists, they do themselves deserve a fair trial, since it was their superiors who created a standing army in a out of control city. Ms Lukes shows , through English common law and the arguments of the American founding fathers, that she understands that simply killing the soldiers would not be enough and that more bloodshed would happen. Bibliography and about the author MLA style Lukes, Bonnie L. The Boston Massacre. 1998. Lucent Books, San Diego, CA. Bonnie L. Lukes is a freelance writer in southern California. In addition to this volume, she has written two other books published by Lucent Books, the American Revolution and the Dred Scott Decision. Her book, How to be a Reasonably Thin Teenage Girl, was chosen by the national council of books for the children as an outstanding science trade book. She has also published essays and stories in a wide variety of magazines and newspapers. Her biography of nineteenth century poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was published in
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