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Propaganda in the American Revolution

Propaganda in the American Revolution

PROPAGANDA IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Americans realized early in their dispute with the mother country that they needed to tell their side of the story quickly and effectively in order to persuade people at home and abroad of the probity and justice of their cause. Their efforts to mould public opinion were often highly successful. Paul Revere's engraving of the Boston Massacre of 5 March 1770 made the case for activists in the other colonies that a garrison of regular soldiers was deadly for innocent, unoffending civilians. The murder of Jane McCrea showed that no one was safe from British-incited "savages." Americans condemned the successful British surprise attacks at Paoli, Pennsylvania, Tappan, New Jersey, and Wyoming, Pennsylvania, as "massacres." Contemporaries so besmirched the reputations of David Fanning, Banastre Tarleton, Joseph Brant, and Walter Butler that historians have been grappling to separate truth from fiction ever since.

SEE ALSO Taxation without Representation Is Tyranny.

                            revised by Harold E. Selesky

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