Boston is one of the most historically significant cities in the whole of the United States.
Originally founded in 1630 by Puritan colonists from England, the city quickly became the religious capital of the New England region. Soon after, it also became the business, commercial, financial and educational center too.
The Earliest Days
Colonists were here before the founding of Boston. The area was originally called “Trimountaine” or three hills, named for the three promontorys that make up the city. The central hill, Beacon Hill is still prominent in modern Boston.
The Puritans had sailed to the New World looking for somewhere to build a society based on their own ideals. They landed where Boston is now and decided to settle here. The hills made good viewpoints, there was fresh water nearby and a port could be built for trade.
The name Boston was derived from the town in Lincolnshire, where many of the settlers came from.
City and Social Development
The religious convictions of the early Puritans produced an early society where hard work, respect, moral values and education were paramount. This provided a very stable foundation upon which the modern city was built. Many of these values have been carried through to modern times.
The strength of feeling was so strong, the early city brooked no dissent from those early beliefs. This led to persecution, exile and the closing down of meeting places of any other religion.
Change Comes to Boston
Boston played an important role in the American Revolution and the war that came with it. It began with the Boston Massacre in 1770, when British soldiers open fire into a rioting mob protesting about “No taxation without representation.”
This was followed by the Boston Tea Party in 1773, when the Sons of Liberty threw shipments of tea into the harbor. This act resulted in Massachusetts being further persecuted, which caused other states to rally behind them, resulting in the First Continental Congress.
What followed were the Battle of Lexington, Battle of Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston.
Once the British were beaten, Boston grew into a large, bustling city with a thriving sea trade. It also turned to manufacturing to further stabilize the economy and grew rapidly into the most industrious city in the country.
The Irish Are Coming
Throughout the 19th century, Irish immigrants flooded into Boston. Some were driven by the potato famine of 1845, others by religious persecution. Boston wasn’t the only city to be home to the Irish, but the religious quality of the city made many of them stay and put down roots.
The modern city is a large, vibrant place with a multitude of businesses and cultures. While the distinct character has been diluted somewhat, the city is still a great place to be.