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The Boston Massacre was Britain’s fault

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 505
  • Category: Boston

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March fifth, 1770 was a gruesome culmination of high tensions between the British forces and colonists inhabiting Boston. There is no doubt that this was one of the most appalling displays of bloodshed in history; but who is to blame for the instigation of this deplorable event? I believe that it was the British soldiers of the 29th regiment who initiated the Boston Massacre. Although the soldiers were somewhat provoked by the crowd on king street and by the ropewalk workers, the soldiers had a responsibility, and were duty-bound to keep peace, not to kill innocent civilians. The British also had an irresponsible, hot headed motive behind their fighting and firing: revenge. If the British hadn’t sought out revenge on the Bostonians for the ropewalk fights, the bloody events that followed may never have happened.

The 29th regiment was known for its inexperienced and volatile soldiers. Governor Hutchinson himself even deemed the soldiers of the 29th as “such bad fellows that it seems impossible to restrain them from firing upon an insult or provocation.” With this in mind, it seems all too clear that the soldiers of the 29th regiment would commit such a treachery as firing upon innocent civilians; even though there may have been no or little provocation. Although the soldiers dealing with the crowd on King Street certainly had a right to fear their angry adversaries, they had no justifiable reason to fire into the crowd, since no soldier was hurt by the people in the crowd. Basically speaking, the soldiers should’ve been disciplined enough to “hold fast” until the mob calmed down.

The British soldiers of the 29th regiment were not only easily aggravated, but they were also very vengeful, as well as devoid of respect for the Bostonian colonists they encountered. It is because of these characteristics that the British soldiers involved in the massacre, especially Matthew Killroy, were so intent on firing on the crowd. After the ropewalk fights of the past few days, the British felt obligated to finish the struggle by shooting a few people and scaring the colonists out of picking another fight. It was even documented that after Montgomery fired, Matthew Killroy raised his musket and fired intentionally into the crowd, meaning to kill one of the colonists. The soldiers wanted their revenge, and they were obviously too puerile to control their bloody desire.

The blame for the Boston massacre clearly lies upon the soldiers of the 29th regiment who were brought out to control the riotous mob on King Street. The soldiers had no valid reason to fire upon the colonists in the crowd, no matter how large or intimidating the mob grew. In addition, the soldiers fired on the crowd out of a feverish desire for revenge, not out of self defense. None of the people in the throng of civilians intended or attempted to kill or seriously injure the soldiers, so the soldiers were obligated to simply stand their ground and wait until the crowd was quelled.

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