Boston Riots: Three Centuries of Social Violence
From the food uprisings in the early 1700s to the notorious anti-busing riots in the mid-1970s, incidents of communal social violence have played a significant role in Boston's history.
Jack Tager explores the more than 100 riots that occurred in the city over a span of nearly three centuries. Drawing on exhaustive research in newspaper archives, Jack Tager revisits both well- and lesser-known episodes, including the grain, impressment, brothel, and Pope Day riots of the eighteenth century; the anti-Catholic, abolition, and draft riots of the nineteenth century; and the Kosher meat, police strike, ghetto, and busing riots of the twentieth century.
Tager identifies the protagonists, highlights their motives and demands, and seeks to determine whether they realized their goals. He also examines how victims suffered at the hands of their fellow citizens, shows how law enforcement responded to the riots, and considers the complex social interactions and tensions that contributed to the uprisings. He finds that most incidents of violent civil disorder were initiated by the powerless lower classes who believed rioting was the only avenue for giving voice to their grievances over political, cultural, religious, or economic oppression.
This vivid portrait of an ever-changing community over time provides a revealing glimpse into peoples' anger, aspirations, and frustrations. It sheds new light on why groups are provoked to take unlawful action in response to unjust conditions, and it opens a fresh vista on the social history of Boston.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
The EighteenthCentury Setting
Food Customs Antielite
The Impressment Riot of 1747
Norm Enforcement Race
AntiCatholic Tensions 18501900 and the Draft Riot of 1863
The 1919 Police Strike Riots
Ghetto Riots 19671968
abolitionists Anthony Burns anti-Catholic antibusing Archdiocese arrested attack authorities became began black students Boston Evening Post Boston Evening Transcript Boston Fire Department Boston Globe Boston Herald Boston Irish Boston Weekly Bostonians British Broad Street riot broke busing century Charlestown colonial communal social violence convent Crowd Action Curtis direct action E. P. Thompson economic eighteenth-century elites ethnic fire firemen force Fugitive Slave ghetto governor groups historian History House Hutchinson immigrants Irish Americans Irish Catholics issue July June Knowles Knowles Riot large numbers looting lower classes lower orders major Massachusetts Mayor merchants militia nativist neighborhoods North End November occurred officers parade percent plebeians Police Strike political Pope Day population press gang Protestant racial reported rioters Roxbury sailors September ships Shirley slavery South Boston South Boston High Southie stoned Street tion town meeting troops urban renewal Ursuline volunteer vote William workers working-class wrote Yankee York