Many Bostonians resented the heavy British military presence in their city during the late 1700s, and the soldiers’ enforcement of the unpopular Townshend Acts merely exacerbated the tense situation. On March 5, 1770, soldiers opened fire on an aggressive, rioting civilian mob, killing five men. The Boston Massacre, as it became known, fueled the anti-British sentiment that culminated in the American Revolutionary War.