Building Colonial Unity
Chapter 5, Lesson 2
Trouble in Boston (Prelude)
1768, John Hancock’s ship Liberty docked
in at Boston to unload a shipment of wine
and take on new supplies.
► In
 Customs officials charged Hancock with
smuggling and had seized the ship from him.
 Angry Townspeople filled the streets as word
spread of the news and shouted against
Parliament and the taxes imposed on them.
 This would be yet another affair to unite the
colonists against British Policies.
Trouble in Boston
► Protests
like the Liberty affair made British
colonial officials worry.
► In the summer of 1768, word was sent back
to Britain that the colonies were on the
brink of rebellion.
 Parliaments response was to send two
regiments of troops to Boston.
 The newly arrived “Redcoats” set up camp right
in the middle of the city.
Trouble in Boston
► Many
Colonists in (especially in Boston) felt that the
British had pushed them too far.
 Passed a series of laws that violated colonial
 Now, they sent an army to occupy colonial cities.
 It didn’t help that these soldiers in Boston acted
rudely and even violently to the colonist.
► Red coats were mostly poor and received little pay.
 Stole goods from local shops or scuffled with boys
who taunted them in the streets.
 On off-hours they competed with colonists for
jobs the Bostonians wanted.
 The hatred grew stronger everyday.
The Boston Massacre
► Relations
between the redcoats and the Boston
colonists grew more tense.
► On March 5, 1770, the tension peaked.
 A fight broke out between townspeople and
 While some British officers tried to calm the
crowd, one man shouted,
“We did not send for you. We will not have you
here. We’ll get rid of you, we’ll drive you away!”
► The
angry colonists picked up whatever they could
to use as weapons.
 Sticks, shovels, stones, clubs, etc.
The Boston Massacre
► They
pushed forward towards the customs house
on King’s Street.
► As the crowd moved closer, he sentry on duty
called for help.
 The crowd responded by throwing snowballs,
stones, oyster shells, and pieces of wood at the
 The colonists yelled,
“Fire you bloodybacks, you lobsters!”
“You dare not fire!”
► After
one of the soldiers fell over, the nervous and
confused redcoats did fire.
The Boston Massacre
► Several
shots rang out, and five colonists
were dead.
► One Bostonian cried,
“Are the inhabitants to be knocked down in
the streets? Are they to be murdered in this
► Crispus
Attucks, a dock worker who was
part African, part Native American, was
amongst the killed.
► The tragic even came to be known as the
Boston Massacre.
Crispus Attucks
The Word Spreads
► Colonial
leaders used the news of the
killings as propaganda (information
designed to influence opinion) against the
 Samuel Adams put up posters describing the
“Boston Massacre” as a slaughter of innocent
American by blood thirsty redcoats.
 Paul Revere’s engraving showed a British officer
giving the order to open fire on an orderly
 It was a powerful image that strengthened antiBritish feeling.
Boston Massacre – Paul Revere
The Word Spreads
► The
Boston Massacre led many colonists to
call for stronger boycotts on British goods.
 At this point Parliament repealed ALL of the
Townshend Acts except for the one on tea.
► Many
colonists believed they had won
another victory.
 They ended their boycott and started to trade
with British merchants again.
► Some
colonial leaders continued to call for
resistance to British rule.
The Word Spreads
► Samuel
Adams revived the committee of
correspondence (an organization used in
earlier protests.)
 They began to circulate writings about
grievances against British rule.
 Soon, other committees sprang up in other
colonies, and bringing together protestors
opposed to British measures.
A Crisis Over Tea
► In
the early 1770s, some Americans considered
British colonial policy a “conspiracy against liberty.”
 The British actions in 1773 seemed to confirm
► The British East India Company was facing ruin and
in order to save it they passed the Tea Act in 1773.
 Allowed for tea to be shipped to the colonies
without paying most of the taxes usually placed
on tea.
 Additionally, they could bypass colonial merchants
and sell to the shops directly at a lower price.
 The Tea Act gave the B.E.I.C a favorable
advantage over colonial merchants.
Colonial Demands
► Colonial
merchants once again call for a boycott of
British goods.
► Samuel Adams and other denounced the British
 Claimed the Tea Act was just another attempt
to interfere with colonial liberties.
► At large public meetings in Boston and
Philadelphia vows were made to prevent the East
India Company from unloading tea in the colonies.
 The Daughters of Liberties gave out pamphlets
that said instead of parting with their freedom,
we’ll part with our tea.”
Colonial Demands
► Parliament
ignored the warnings that
another crisis was… brewing. (HA!)
► The East India Company shipped to
Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Charles
 Colonists forced the ships coming to New York
and Philadelphia to turn back.
 The tea in Charles Town was seized and stored
in a warehouse.
 In Boston, a showdown was about to begin.
The Boston Tea Party
► Three
tea ships would arrive in Boston in 1773.
► The governor had refused to let the ships turn
 He also had his home destroyed by Stamp Act
► When he ordered for the ships to unload Adam’s
and the Boston Sons of Liberty went into action.
 They disguised themselves as Mohawks and
armed with hatchets marched to the wharves.
(a sort of pier for a ship to dock next to in order
to unload cargo)
The Boston Tea Party
► At
midnight they boarded the ships and
threw over 342 chests of tea overboard.
 This became known as the Boston Tea Party.
► Word
quickly spread over the act of
 Men and women all over were celebrating the
bravery of the Boston Sons of Liberty.
 Still, no one spoke of challenging British rule,
and colonial leaders continued to consider
themselves British.
The Intolerable Acts
► When
London found out about the Boston
Tea Party they did not react quite the same.
 King George III came to the realization that he
was losing control of the colonies.
“We must master them, or totally leave them
alone.” –King George III
► They
refused to give up the colonies so
easily and so set out to punish Boston.
 They passed the Coercive Acts (laws intended
to be a harsh punishment for the colonists in
The Intolerable Acts
The Coercive Acts included:
 Boston Port Act – Closed the port of Boston until
payment was received for the damaged tea.
 The Massachusetts Government Act – Restricted
town meetings and turned the governor’s council
into an appointed body.
 The Administration of Justice Act – Made British
Officers immune to criminal prosecution in
 The Quartering Act – Required colonists to put up
British soldiers, often in their own homes.
 The Quebec Act – Set up a permanent government
in Quebec and allowed for religious freedom
towards French Catholics.
The Intolerable Acts
► Parliament
had hoped to isolate Boston
from the other colonies.
 Instead, the colonies showed support by
sending food and clothing.
 Colonists maintained that these were all a
violation of rights towards English citizens.
 The Quebec act gave the land west of the
Appalachian Mountains away that they felt they
had claimed.
► Their
feelings towards the new laws was
made clear by their name for it – The
Intolerable Acts.