BOSTON MASSACRE, 1770
This is Paul Revere's depiction of the events that took place on March 5, 1770 in Boston. This occurrence would come to be known as the Boston Massacre. Three weeks after the occurrence, Revere was advertising his prints for sale in Boston's newspapers. Revere's historic engraving is an example of propaganda. Propaganda is information that tries to influence the thinking of other people. Revere's version of the night's events is not completely accurate. Paul Revere and other patriot leaders used his engraving to stir up anti-British feelings among their fellow colonists.
The people of Boston threatened and harmed British customs officials trying to collect taxes. As a result, the British sent troops to Boston to protect their officials (Quartering Act). In Boston, as elsewhere, there was bitter feeling between the colonists and the Redcoats, the British troops. On one occasion, a crowd of Bostonians shouted insults and threw snowballs at a group of soldiers. The Redcoats fired into the mob, killing five townspeople and wounding six others. The angry citizens, led by Samuel Adams, demanded the removal of the British troops. To prevent an uprising, the governor withdrew the soldiers from the city. News of the massacre spread throughout the colonies. Soon many other people living in other colonies were angry too.
1. What does "propaganda" mean?
2. How did Paul Revere stir up anti-British sentiment among his fellow colonists?
3. Why isn't this a true depiction of what happened?
4. Why did Revere misrepresent what happened?
5. Why is this considered a milestone in America's road to independence?