Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial Capital of New England for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England area. This is a brilliant city with a rich history that is well worth exploring.
Back in the year 1630, Puritan colonists from England founded the city on the Shawmut Peninsula. During the late 18th century, Boston was the hot spot of several major events during the American Revolution, including the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. Numerous early battles of the American Revolution, such as the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston, occurred within the city and surrounding areas. Through land reclamation and municipal annexation, Boston has expanded beyond the peninsula. After American independence was achieved, Boston became a major shipping port and manufacturing center, and its rich history now seems to be magnetic to many tourists.
In the 1770s, British attempts to exert more-stringent control on the thirteen colonies—primarily via taxation—led to the American Revolution.The Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and several early battles—including the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston—occurred in or near the city. During this period, Paul Revere made his famous midnight ride. After the Revolution, Boston had become one of the world’s wealthiest international trading ports because of the city’s developed seafaring tradition. Exports included rum, fish, salt, and tobacco. During this era, descendants of old Boston families were regarded as the nation’s social and cultural elites; they were later dubbed the Boston Brahmins.
The growth of the Boston area continued in the 18th century. As settlements grew into towns around the city, overseas trade increased, and mills were built along the rivers for logging, the forging of iron, and processing wool. Fishermen and farmers prospered as well. Separated by a great geographical distance, the American colonies were still loyal British subjects. This began to change in the 1730′s when the Crown increased taxes on the colonists to help replenish the treasury. Boston became a leading center of colonial resistance as a great philosophical distance began to grow between the Colonies and Britain. The seeds of revolution were planted.
Massachusetts prospered in the early 19th century with improved roads, new canals, and the construction of railways, linking cities and towns. Laborers were recruited locally, but by the 1840′s there were not enough locals to fill the work force. The answer came with the arrival of the first non-English immigrants, from Ireland. The Civil War was a profitable time for Boston manufacturers, with the production of weapons, shoes, blankets, and other materials for the troops. Boston also played a role as a leading voice of the abolitionist movement. The late 19th century was Boston’s greatest industrial era. As millions of immigrants from around the world came to America, Boston continued as a leading manufacturer of a wide variety of goods and products.
By the 1950′s, fishing and farming were in decline in Massachusetts, but the Boston area emerged as a leader in the fledgling computer and high-tech industries. Several of these new business were created and staffed by graduates of MIT and the other colleges in the Boston area. The financial and service industries continued to expand. Today, the Boston skyline is brimming with skyscrapers and office towers; a testament to Boston’s achievements and its vitality.
While beautiful Boston is a city with a rich past, but it is also a city looking ahead to tomorrow.