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Unformatted text preview: ] were still there, it didn’t seem like such a big
deal since the bulk of the taxes had been removed.
37 *1770: The Boston Massacre*
- On the same day Lord North [the new prime minister]
proposed repealing the Townshend duties, the rather
misnamed Boston Massacre occurred in which five
civilians were killed. The source of the problem was the
decision to base the Board of Customs Commissioners in
- Ever since the customs people came, mobs targeted
them – consequently, two regiments of troops were
assigned to Boston. They constantly reminded people of
British power and also took jobs from Boston laborers,
which really annoyed them.
- So on March 5, 1770 laborers began throwing
snowballs at soldiers, which led to shooting [even though
it was not allowed]. This was a tremendous political
weapon for the patriots [nevertheless they didn’t approve
of the crowd action that generated the problem and
consequently tried the soldiers fairly].
*1770 – 1772: The Calm Before the Storm*
- From 1770 to 1772 superficial calm prevailed in the
colonies. Still, some newspapers began publishing
essays that used Real Whig ideology to accuse Britain of
scheming to oppress the colonies. It was a conspiracy!
But nobody really advocated independence [yet].
- So patriots continued to view themselves as British
subjects. They devised systems in which they would
have their own legislatures but remain loyal to the king,
but this was directly contradictory to British conceptions
of Parliament’s power.
38 - But the calm ended in Fall 1772, when the Brits. began
implementing the part of the Townshend Act about
governors being paid from customs revenues. In
response to this, a Committee of Correspondence [led
by Samuel Adams] was created in Boston to gather
publicity for the patriot cause.
*1773: The Tea Act and Boston Tea Party*
- By 1773 the only Townshend duty still in effect was the
tea tax. Though some colonists were still boycotting it,
many had given up. But then, in May 1773 Parliament
passed the Tea Act, which was designed to save the
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