After the French and Indian War, the King of England was apprehensive of disloyalty in the colonies.
In 1765, he imposed the Writs of Assistance, which allowed British authorities to arrest anybody, anytime, anywhere on any suspicion, and to detain them indefinitely.
Citizens’ houses, property and farms could be taken without a warrant or due process. British troops were left in the Colonies to prevent hostilities, being paid for by higher taxes on the Americans, such as the Sugar Tax of 1764, Stamp Tax of 1765, and Townshend Acts of 1767.
As there were no barracks, British troops forcibly entered into colonists homes and “quartered” there, leaving families to live in barns, basements or attics.
On March 5, 1770, a mob formed in Boston to protest, and in the confusion British troops fired into the crowd, killing five, one of which was the African American patriot, Crispus Attucks.
This became known as the Boston Massacre.
Paul Revere's popular engraving of the Boston Massacre fanned flames of anti-British sentiment.
On the 2nd anniversary of the Massacre, 1772, the President of Massachusetts' Colonial Congress, Joseph Warren, who would later send Paul Revere on his midnight ride, stated:
"If you perform your part, you must have the strongest confidence that the same Almighty Being who protected your pious and venerable forefathers...will still be mindful of you...
May our land be a land of liberty...until the last shock of time shall bury the empires of the world in one common undistinguishable ruin!"
On the 4th anniversary of the Boston Massacre, 1774, John Hancock, who would be the first to sign the Declaration of Independence, stated:
"Let us play the man for our GOD, and for the cities of our GOD...By a faithful discharge of our duty to our country, let us joyfully leave her important concerns in the hands of HIM who raiseth up and putteth down empires and kingdoms of the world as HE pleases."
American Minute with Bill Federer MARCH 5. Hancock, John. Mar. 5, 1774, in an oration on the Boston Massacre. The Magazine of History, with Notes & Queries, Vol. 24, No. 95 (1923), pp 125, 136. Ronald Reid, ed., Three Centuries of American Rhetorical Discourse: An Anthology & a Review (Prospect Heights, Ill: Waveland Press, Inc., 1988), pp. 101, 107-8. http://www.bostonmassacre.net/ http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/winter96/massacre.html