Boston History: 1625 - 1776

Boston is a popular tourist destination. Its mostly because Boston History is so much a part of the foundation of our nation.From humble beginnings in 1625 where William Blaxton, the first settler in the area, to early in the 21st century:

Boston has had a rich and colorful History that draws an estimated 16 million people to the city each year.

As has been already mentioned Boston History is so closely linked to the founding of this nation and that proves to be a major draw card for many visitors.

To many sources the official birth of Boston was in 1630 when a group of puritan colonists from England founded the city on the Shamwut peninsular. This makes Boston one of the older cities in America. Its interesting to note that until 1664 citizenship in Massachusetts was restricted to church members.

To understand this seemingly radically ideology one needs to go back to the original intent of the puritans when they landed. Under the preaching of John Winthrop there was the general belief that Boston was the 'city on the hill' that had a special contract with God. They believed that theirs was a divine mission to create a society that followed biblical teaching. This sense of consecration led to many people being evicted from the colony as failure to follow the rules could incur the wrath of God on the whole. This seemingly oppressive way of living did give rise to a very stable society that birthed some of the earliest schools in the country like Harvard college.

From its early days Boston began to emerge as an intellectual and educational center with the arrival of noted theologians and statesmen. The first printing press in the colonies was established in Cambridge by Stephen Daye in 1639. As the city grew Boston became a commercial hub with its natural harbor making it the primary port in North America. Boston as with most of the colonies at this stage were still loyal to the crown, in other words they still considered themselves British. This however starting changing in the middle 1700's.

There was a growing feeling that Britain, which being three thousand miles away, could not and should not have the right to tax her colonies indiscriminately. The stamp act of 1765 and the Townshend acts of 1767 angered colonists regarding British decisions on taxing the colonies in spite of their lack of representation in the British parliament. Key figures of this time were John Hancock and Samuel Adams who played major roles in raising these issues to the general populace.

In the following years the Boston Massacre (1770) and the Boston tea party (1773) were major catalysts in galvanizing the colonies into a united block which desired freedom from British rule. It was from here the Paul Revere made his famous midnight ride in April 1775 to warn his fellow patriots of the movement of British troops. Paul Revere's legacy lives on in Boston as his original house in which he stayed still stands some 20 years after he lived. It is one of the stops on the freedom trail so do look out for it.

Other Historical Places of Interest

  • Visit Faneuil Hall , a market and meeting place since 1742. Often called "the Cradle of Liberty", Faneuil Hall was a focal point in the organization of colonial resentment and protest against acts of the British Parliament in the years immediately prior to the Revolution.

  • The Freedom Trail This is a unique tour as there is simply no other place in the United States where you can take in the rich history of the origins of American Revolution.

  • The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    Boston History really is alive, and anyone who comes to visit this grand city will leave feeling that we truly do stand on the shoulders of giants.

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