Ep. 8 – Educational Video Series

Shot Heard Around The World

On the morning on April 19, 1775, British troops expected to carry out their duty without a problem. Little did they know that the skirmish they participated in that morning would change the course of history. The “shot heard around the world” signaled the beginning of the Revolutionary War. This shot was a declaration by We the People that they would not be bullied by a monarch and government thousands of miles away. Learn what led up to this moment and how the resulting war helped cement the rights of United States citizens to bear arms.


Click to View Transcript


On the morning of April 19, 1775, the British Army found themselves face to face with Patriot militiamen in Lexington, Massachusetts. The first volleys of this battle are considered, “the shot heard around the world”. 

Let’s see what led to this early morning standoff and where our constitutional right was born.

Did you know that the 2nd Amendment was written into law based on British precedent? 

By the early 1700s many of the North American colonies were consolidated as part of the British Empire. Their relationship with Great Britain was peaceful; they could self-govern without much intervention from Parliament. Citizens formed colonial and local governing bodies. Through these legislatures, the colonists addressed various concerns including public safety. Using British law as an example, colonists formed local militias that could be called upon when needed. This semi-autonomy allowed the colonies to flourish. 

In 1763, after the French and Indian War, Britain found itself in significant debt and turned to its colonies for a bail out. Parliament issued a series of laws to raise revenues from the American colonies. These acts were not well received primarily because the colonists had no representation in Parliament. While Parliament continued to pass punitive laws directed towards the colonies, unrest grew. Even though many of the laws were eventually repealed, distrust remained. 

To keep the peace, British troops were sent to the colonies, but this angered locals further. 

On March 5, 1770, a group of British soldiers shot into a crowd of citizens killing 3 and wounding more. Known as the Boston Massacre, legal proceedings were brought against the British soldiers; 2 were convicted on reduced charges while the rest were acquitted. For a time, a status quo was reached.

But Parliament was still eager to recover costs. So, they passed the Tea Act, giving a monopoly on tea sales to one trading company, the East India Company. In protest, the Sons of Liberty boarded a tea ship in Boston Harbor and threw the cargo into the harbor, an event we call the Boston Tea Party. Furious with this act of rebellion, Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts, a series of 5 acts aimed specifically at Massachusetts that took away their self-governance and triggered outrage throughout the colonies. Britain hoped these Acts would encourage colonists to concede Parliament’s authority. 

Instead, Americans assembled at the First Continental Congress to determine a united response. 

The Congress agreed to send a petition requesting the repeal of the Intolerable Acts, and the colonies would boycott British goods unless parliament repealed the Intolerable Acts. 

Parliament was furious! They declared Massachusetts was in a state of rebellion and blockaded the colony. Tensions increased and local militias began storing arms and ammunition in case the need to protect themselves arose. On the evening of April 18, Dr. Joseph Warren, a leader of the Boston Sons of Liberty learned that British troops planned to march toward Concord to confiscate their ammunition. He called on messengers to warn local leaders that the British were coming. 

The next morning British troops were met by the local militia in Lexington, determined to protect their community. 

Just after 5 am, the “shot heard around the world” was fired and a skirmish ensued. The militia fell back while the British troops moved on to Concord in search of the ammunition. Militiamen continued to arrive from neighboring towns to protect their community. Gunfire erupted and continued throughout the day as the militiamen pushed the British back to Charlestown and blockaded the land access to Charlestown and Boston. The Battle of Lexington and Concord was over, but the Revolutionary War and the march towards a new kind of democracy and uniquely American rights had just begun.

The “Shot Heard Around the World” from the battle of Lexington and Concord was a pivotal moment in history. It was a statement made by a group of like-minded people, practicing their right to self-protect in the face of an aggressor. 

Join us next season when we take a deeper look at the firearm that won the American Revolution and so much more. 

Celebrate your right to bear arms! Join us for our Grand Opening Celebration, we’re looking forward to welcoming you. For more information about the Grand Opening, Memberships and Training and Education programs, visit our website at Thanks for watching and see you next time!

Stay Informed