The Boston Massacre, also known as the Boston riot, was an incident on March 5, 1770, in which British redcoats killed five civilian men. It helped spark the rebellion in some of the British American colonies, which culminated in the American Revolutionary War. The British increase in troops in Boston led to a tense situation that erupted into brawls between soldiers and civilians. The troops fired after being threatened by a mob. Three civilians were killed at the scene of the shooting, eleven were injured, and two died after the incident.
The Boston Tea Party was a direct action by colonists in Boston, a town in the British colony of Massachusetts, against the British government. On December 16, 1773, after officials in Boston refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain, a group of colonists boarded the ships and destroyed the tea by throwing it into Boston Harbor. The incident remains an iconic event of American history, and reference is often made to it in other political protests.
The Northwest Ordinance (formally An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States, North-West of the River Ohio, and also known as the Freedom Ordinance or “The Ordinance of 1787”) was an act of the Congress of the Confederation of the United States, passed July 13, 1787. The primary effect of the ordinance was the creation of the Northwest Territory as the first organized territory of the United States out of the region south of the Great Lakes, north and west of the Ohio River, and east of the Mississippi River.
On August 7, 1789, President George Washington signed the Northwest Ordinance of 1789 into law after the newly created U.S. Congress reaffirmed the Ordinance with slight modifications under the Constitution. The Ordinance purported to be not merely legislation that could later be amended by Congress, but rather “the following articles shall be considered as Articles of compact between the original States and the people and states in the said territory, and forever remain unalterable, unless by common consent….”
The Declaration is considered to be a preceding founding document of the later formed United States of America, where July 4 is celebrated as Independence Day. At the time the Declaration was issued, the American colonies were “united” in declaring their independence from Great Britain, but were not yet declaring themselves to be a single nation. That union would evolve and take shape during the next few years after the Declaration was issued.
In a tragic yet beautiful coincidence, two of the central figures in the founding of the United States, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.