How did the Boston Massacre and Tea Riot affect English-colonist relations?

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The Boston Massacre and the Tea Riot signaled a new low in relations between the British and the American colonists.

Tensions between the British colonial authorities and American colonists had been building up for some time. Colonists were already angry at tax measures imposed upon them by the British authorities, such as the Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend Acts of 1767.

But after the killing of five people during a street fight between Boston citizens and a detachment of the British Army, relations between the two sides came close to a complete breakdown as tensions reached fever pitch.

What had started out as an unseemly street brawl quickly descended into a full-blown riot. It was during that riot that British soldiers fired into a crowd of citizens, killing five colonists. If the British thought that this would restore law and order, they were profoundly mistaken.

So much resentment had been stirred up against the colonial authorities by the Boston Massacre that large numbers of American colonists began openly talking of independence from the mother country. The legacy of bitterness engendered by the Massacre helped to lead, in no uncertain terms, to the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.

It also led to the Boston Tea Party in 1773, when protestors opposed to the imposition of another tax, this time the Tea Act of 1773, dumped a shipload of tea imported from the East India Company into Boston harbor.

The Boston Tea Party is generally regarded, like the riot and the massacre that preceded it in the same city, as being a major step on the road to war between Great Britain and her American colonists.

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