Charles Townshend (1725–1767), as the British chancellor of the Exchequer, was responsible for increasing tensions between Great Britain and the colonies through a series of measures Americans viewed as oppressive. Townshend rose to power in 1766 during the illness of William Pitt the Elder.To increase British control over the more and more economically and politically independent colonies, Townshend pushed through the passage of several resolutions that limited American self-government and increased taxation on colonial revenues. The...
Crispus Attucks (ca. 1723–1770) was one of the civilians killed by British soldiers in the Boston Massacre of 1770. Little is known about Attucks’ life before the Boston Massacre, but he was likely a fugitive slave of African American and American Indian heritage. He probably worked as a sailor and was certainly among the crowd who gathered on Boston’s King Street on March 5, 1770, to confront British soldiers stationed there.
Boston was a hotbed of Revolutionary activity and protest. As one of the largest cities and most important ports in the colonies, Boston was a center of political and economic activity. Many major events of the Revolution took place there, including Stamp Act protests, the Boston Massacre of 1770, and the Boston Tea Party of 1773. In 1776, the British army and loyalists evacuated Boston, leaving the city in patriot control for the rest of the war.
In this lesson, students will be asked to learn the disputed and agreed-upon facts of the Boston Massacre in small groups and then discuss them and propose a website definition of the Massacre as a class. This lesson should not only provide students with an opportunity to look at disparate representations of so-called historical facts surrounding a very famous event that preceded the American Revolution, but will also teach them to deliberate with their classmates in a cordial fashion.
View the engraving The Bloody Massacre in King Streetin the Gilder Lehrman Collection by clicking here.
This unit is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core State Standards–based teaching resources. These units were written to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. The lessons are built around the use of textual...