Maybe more so than any other state, Massachusetts has endured some of America’s most defining history, from ancient settlement through to industry and science. At the heart of the green state sits Boston, one of the country’s most cultural and historically significant cities, and a superb place to explore firsthand. New England’s past is routed in Boston, and as one of the oldest cities in America, Boston has seen its fair share of history.
Arriving of Puritan Colonists in Boston
When English Puritan colonists arrived in Boston in 1625, it was named Trimountaine, as it had been since early settlers first landed there. The Puritans set about establishing a very well organized and stable society; rich in everything and determined to see the Trimountaine peninsula thrive. As well as opening America’s first public school in 1635, The Boston Latin School, the settlers quickly began to redevelop the harbor space into what is now central Boston. The naturally deep harbor was perfect for fishing and shipping, and the new residents soon needed more space, so they leveled two of the three hills that once surrounded the peninsula, giving it its original name. They left Beacon Hill, which is today one of the city’s most exclusive and prized districts to live in.
By 1630, Trimountaine has then renamed Boston, after Boston, Lincolnshire, England, where many of the earliest settlers sometimes had come from, and likewise, the nearby settlement of Shawmut also changed its name to Boston. Thanks to Boston’s ‘city upon a hill’ setting, the community had a strong religious ethic, which manifested itself through every facet of society, from enforced early marriage and daily church attendance, to strict religious education. These disciplined studies soon lead to the opening of the first college in the United States of America, Harvard College, in 1636.
The first great fire of Boston hit in 1760 and was said to have destroyed up to 350 buildings. However, the redevelopment of the city after the fire brought with it new prosperous opportunities, and Boston became among the wealthiest trading ports in the world and registered as a city in 1822. The city’s network of rivers that surrounded it and then flow into the peninsula made it ideal for shipping, but manufacturing later took over, and the inland rivers offered ample transportation for large industrial districts to thrive.
After the Irish potato famine of 1845-49, many Irish people emigrated to Boston, and soon largely took control of the city. Even today, the impact of Irish settlers on the city is everywhere and is much celebrated.
Boston Continues Growth
Boston continued to flourish both culturally and academically and today is perhaps the world’s leading city for scientific, medical and technological research, thanks largely to the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. One of the best means to see all of the city’s many historical attractions is on a multi-stop cart tour though, which most Boston hotels will be able to book for visitors.
Boston, Massachusetts Attractions
Though many landmarks attract people from all over the world, Boston’s greatest buildings and monuments have to do with American History primarily. Boston was around even before the United States was a nation and it was the center of the greatest struggles during the tumultuous time before the Revolutionary War. The famed Boston Tea Party, for example, happened right in the harbor after Bostonians snuck aboard a British ship and drained out all the tea as a rebellion against the unfair tax practices of the United Kingdom. The Boston Massacre also, of course, took place within the city and this famous “shot heard ’round the world” was the catalyst for the future independence of this burgeoning nation. Memorials can still be found in Boston detailing events like the Massacre, the famed Battle of Lexington and also Concord, and the Siege of Boston, just to name a few. It isn’t only American history buffs that will be enthralled with Boston, however. Whether you come to visit the famed “Green Monster” known throughout Major League Baseball or the unrivaled Franklin Park Zoo, you can be sure that a visit to Boston will provide you with countless hours of amusement, enjoyment, and pure pleasure.