Massacre or Riot: What Say Ye?

King George III celebrated his thirty-first birthday on June 5, 1769. He was not celebrating alone because he was a popular king. In Boston and throughout the English colonies in North America, colonists celebrated and wished the king a long and healthy reign. Since you live only a block away on Water Street, I bet that you were there outside the Customs House on King Street for the celebration. Boston State House
Before his thirty-second birthday, however, many of the same people who had wished the king health and happiness were expressing anger toward the king and his government's policies. In Boston, on March 5, 1770, just nine months after the king's birthday, five colonists lay dead on King Street, shot by the King's soldiers. You were an eyewitness to these events on King Street just as you were there when the British troops landed in Boston in 1768.
Your task is to find out what led to the deaths of those five colonists on the night of March 5, 1770, commonly referred to as the Boston Massacre. What were the causes of that night's violence, both long-term and short-term? Was it a massacre as described by the colonists or a riot, the British description of the event? What's the difference between a massacre and a riot? What should be done after the event to restore order in Boston?
As a respected citizen, you will be invited to address the Governor's Council to help the colonial government determine the causes of the events of March 5, 1770, and whether it was a massacre or a riot.
Activity One
Activity Two
Activity Three
Activity Four

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