Children's Literature - Judy DaPolitoThe Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770, was one of the inciting incidents of the American Revolution. This well-illustrated book begins by pointing out that when the British won the French and Indian War in 1763 they gained control of the eastern part of what is now the United States, but they incurred a huge debt in the process and decided that they could reduce it by increasing taxes on the North American colonies. First came the American Revenue Act of 1764 that named goods, such as lumber, that the colonists could not export to any country other than Britain. The, in 1765, the Stamp Act forced the colonists to pay taxes on such papers as newspapers, playing cards, and legal documents. This was followed by the Townshend Acts in 1767, establishing taxes on imports of glass, lead, paper, and tea. All of these taxes were imposed without consulting the colonial legislatures, and mobs protested, often by assaulting customs inspectors. This violence led to two thousand British soldiers being sent to control Boston’s 16,000 citizens, and Samuel Adams urged a boycott of taxed British goods. The violence increased when an eleven-year-old boy was shot on February 22. Then on March 5, a small group of British soldiers fired into a threatening mob, killing four civilians and mortally wounding a fifth. Understanding where this event fits in history is key to understanding the American Revolution. Back matter includes a map showing where the events took place, a brief list of important individuals, a timeline, brief lists of primary and secondary sources, a glossary, and an index. The book is part of the “Cornerstones of Freedom” series. Reviewer: Judy DaPolito; Ages 10 to 14.
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