12. Boston Massacre, Tea Act, Revolution.docx

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Pennsylvania State University
HIST 020

History 20 Dr. Charles Date: / / . Boston “Massacre”, Tea Act, Revolution I. The Boston “Massacre” A. March 5, 1770 B. Royal officials felt threatened 1. Customs commissioners moved their offices to an island in Boston harbor for safety 2. Sent a message to the king to send them protection i. King sends 3,00 trained soldiers; arrived in the fall of 1768 3. Soldiers were more of an annoyance to the colonists at first i. Drilled in the middle of Boston square ii. Played music very loudly on Sundays iii. Took jobs away from colonists (more competition for few available jobs) C. End of boycott (Jan. 1770) 1. Merchants got anxious i. Thomas and Eliza Hutcherson, the sons of the governor, ordered items in advance before the boycott ended ii. As punishment “Hillsborough paint” (human excrement and urine) was smudged on their door 2. Run up to “Massacre” i. Crowd forms around a lower level official’s house a. He felt threatened, got his musket to intimidate the crowd, and accidently shot and killed an 11 year old boy b. Colonists held a huge, public funeral for the boy D. The “Massacre” (5 March 1770) 1. Small crowd formed by the customs house on a Monday night 2. Only one armed guard on duty; taunted by crowd i. Called a damned, rascally, lobster scoundrel son of a bitch by the crowd ~ 1 ~ History 20 Dr. Charles Date: / / . ii. Got nervous and called for backup (7 or 8 soldiers came) 3. Crowd got larger and started throwing things at the armed soldiers (snow, ice, oyster shells, etc.) 4. It is believed that one of the soldiers was hit by ice feel, and used his musket to help himself up i. In the process the musket went off and the other soldiers open fired 5. 11 people hit; 5 died: COMPLETELY ACCIDENTAL! i. Crispus Attucts was the first to die (African American heritage) 6. Propaganda i. Sons of Liberty gave public funerals and speeches to draw attention ii. Inaccurate representations were seen in the newspapers 7. Soldiers put on trial in the colonial court i. John Adams defended them ii. Found innocent of murder iii. 2 or them found guilty of man slaughter a. Brand thumbs as punishment II. Period of Calm (1770-1773) A. Lasted 3 years B. Colonists paid the tax on tea C. Prepared for future problematic encounters with British D. Committees of Correspondence 1. Used to circulate the news of British actions to the colonies 2. Mobilized an organized response i. Revolution couldn’t happen until they were organized 3. Dec. 1772- colonists learn through committees that the superior court judges were to be paid through the money gathered by the tea tax ~ 2 ~ History 20 Dr. Charles Date: / / . i. Caused judges to be unfair and biased ii. Undermined American authorities 4. By the spring of 1773, there were many committees of correspondence III. Boston Tea Party A. British East India Company 1. Sold tea internationally 2. Lost money due to American smuggling 3. Complained to parliament i. Many members of parliament had stock in the company 4. Parliament passed the Tea Act B. Tea Act of 1773 1. NOT a tax (colonists have been paying the tea tax) i. However, they were also smuggling large amounts of Dutch tea into the colonies 2. Before act, tea was sold at auctions in the colonies i. Merchants would bid on large lots of tea a. Price of tea fluctuated based on the auction prices 3. After act, price of tea was set low and sold by special agents i. British East India Company was exempt from the Navigation Acts and given a tax cut ii. This made British tea cheaper than smuggled tea a. British thought Americans would be happier with the lower prices C. The American view 1. Seen as a subtle trick to screw the colonists i. British East India Company got special access to parliament a. Unfair because the colonists had no representation in parliament and merchants lost money ~ 3 ~ History 20 Dr. Charles Date: / / . D. Responses 1. Cannot boycott tea i. Americans were sick of boycotts ii. Wouldn’t have worked anyway because of the way they sold tea a. All the tea was laid out on the same table and there was no way to tell the difference between English tea and British tea 2. Sons of Liberty i. In New York and Philadelphia, protesters prevented the ships from unloading tea ii. In Charleston, SC, they locked the tea up in a warehouse to keep it out of the shops iii. Boston reacted more slowly, directly, radically, and illegally a. Kept the tea from being unloaded from the ships b. The captains of the ships wanted to leave but needed permission from the governor to do so 1. Unable to leave 2. Had 20 days to unload the cargo and pay their dues i. When the 20 days were up, the governor could seize the cargo a. Was going to give the tea to his sons to sell and profit from c. Dec. 16 , 1773- 5 dozen men that were crudely dressed as Indians climbed on board the ships and dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor 1. Weight: 90,000 lb. or 45 tons of tea 2. Money: £10,000 or millions of dollars st
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