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History - Essay Example

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Name 12 June 2012 Assignment Thomas Preston’s name has been pockmarked over the pages of history with respect to the Boston massacre and he has been regarded as the main figure associated with the Massacre as well as the trials that were held subsequent to the same…
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However, the debate is over the fact that whether or not Preston had ordered the men to fire or all hell broke loose when a man fired his musket and others followed suit, without any orders and the blame was placed on Preston entirely. As a result, five people were dead by the end of the firing and Preston was charged for murder and during the trial, 81 people came forward as witnesses out of which only 15 were allowed by the Crown; those that were not allowed stated that the attacks had been planned by the colonists beforehand. According to the deposition given by Preston personally, it was stated that the mob had gone out of control and that people were verbally as well as physically abusing each other. They literally dared the army to shoot and fire and bring them down and even then the army held its own. Preston stated that when asked, he denied his men to shoot at all costs and kept saying no whenever he was asked. However, the rioters refused to back down and hit one of the soldiers with a stick on his head; this infuriated a few other soldiers who then started firing without any commands being given to them, as an act of self defence, against the raging mob. The witnesses on behalf of Preston all stated that they did not hear him ordering anyone to fire, instead heard him asking his soldiers to stop even after they had begun firing. The orders had come not from Preston but from another source. Thomas Preston’s trial brought in the issue of a reasonable doubt which gives the defendant an opportunity to save himself on the basis of a chance that he was not guilty in his actions. When the mob hit Private Hugh Montgomery, the army assumed that Preston would open fire on the people that were turning into rowdy animals and provoking them to attack. The soldiers fired despite Preston standing between them and the mob and their uneven bursts of fire and fury killed eleven innocent people in the process. Paul Revere, one of the key figures in the revolutionary movement that took place in America, engraved the sights and sounds of the Massacre in a manner that highlighted the plight of the people suppressed under British tyranny. His creation of the controversy taking place on King’s Street has become one of the most powerful pieces of art in the history of the American Revolution depicting the British grenadiers standing calm in suit but shooting with their rifles at the disturbed mob on the other side of the street. In his engraving, Revere has deliberately failed to draw the snow and the ice covering the streets and also has depicted Crispus Attucks, the black man as a white because he wanted to display the high level of repute that Attucks should have received as the very first martyr as a result of the riot – the colour white displaying the highest level of authority and deserving. Preston moved to Ireland, it had been presumed, after leaving Boston and not being acquitted for the trial; according to personal opinion, he was a scapegoat caught in the riot. His duty was to take care of his soldiers and command them and despite giving them orders to not shoot or fire, they opened fire in order to protect themselves. Preston cannot be held guilty against the backdrop of such facts where the soldiers were not trained enough to follow their heads and not their hearts; they feared their own lives and that is why went against their officer, however he could not have been held guilty and charged for the murder that he has not committed. Witnesses continued ... Read More
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