What does the Boston Massacre demonstarate about the perception and bias concerning an historical event ?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the Boston Massacre can represent the power of image and how events can be manipulated to form public opinion.  At a time when there was significant discussion as to whether or not the Colonists should adopt a position of loyalism towards England or advocate the separation from the parent nation, patriots were actively involved in using the Boston Massacre as a way to galvanize public opinion in favor of separation and away from the Loyalist position.  Sons of Liberty leader Sam Adams was able to use his Committee of Correspondence as a way to move public support in favor of patriotic aims.  The very idea of being able to spin the event into a type of "Massacre" went very far in the Colonial mindset about how events were to be perceived.  The fact that the event was "spun" into a way to feed Patriotic bias and perception was an instant where the British found their actions manipulated by the ends of individuals who were savvy enough to understand that public perception is something to be molded and crafted out of specific events.  The so- called "Massacre" was something that Patriotic "spin doctors" were able to use to galvanize support and start the inevitable momentum towards an independence movement.

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