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It's defining moment on path of American Revolution. young wig maker taunts British soldier over unpaid bill, and sudden violence breaks out, in tragedy known as Boston Massacre. tensions between colonists and British had been high for 6 years. In series of unpopular laws - Sugar Act, Stamp Act, and Townshend Act - British began taxing essential everyday goods like sugar and tea. Bostonians protested so loudly that Britain sent soldiers to keep order. That just made things worse. By March 5, 1770, town is primed for fight, furious about recent death of colonist shot by British customs official. That night, violence erupts after apprentice taunts Red Coat and is hit with rifle butt. large crowd forms and situation rapidly gets out of hand. soldiers began firing at crowd, which quickly disperses. Five colonists are on ground, dead or dying. Nine soldiers are arrested. Only two were later found guilty of minor charge. Even though colonists are partially to blame for fight, some see opportunity to blame it all on British. Paul Revere publishes hugely popular engraving he titles, " Bloody Massacre perpetrated in King Street." Though British troops stay in Boston for another 5 years without major bloodshed, massacre is not easily forgiven. It becomes one more reason to consider rebellion.