John Hancock’s Boston Massacre Oration (1774)

In 1768, the British government ordered two regiments of British Redcoats, with two more to follow, to Boston, Massachusetts. Many colonists had protested and refused to comply with two attempts by Parliament to impose taxes on them in the preceding years. The Stamp Act (1765) had called for a tax on public documents and newspapers, among other things, and the Townshend Act (1767) had tried to levy duties on a few specific commodities. Those acts triggered outrage and defiance, especially in Boston. So the troops sent to Boston in 1768 were intended to bring order and respect for the British authority to the center of opposition to British policy. Almost immediately tensions flared between soldiers and civilians, and they continued to rise and fall in the months that followed. Those tensions produced a violent clash on March 5, 1770, when several British soldiers, surrounded by an angry crowd, fired upon the colonists and mortally wounded or killed five of them. In the following years, Bostonians gathered on the anniversary of the “Boston Massacre” to hear a notable speaker discuss the event and its significance. In 1774, that speaker was the wealthy merchant John Hancock.
what Hancock said were the primary dangers posed by standing armies and the benefits of militias. What do you think is significant about of this “Massacre Oration”?


Approximately 250 words