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Boston History

Westerner Reverend William Blackstone first discovered the area around Boston in 1629. A year later, a group of English Puritans, led by John Winthrop, officially settled in the vicinity. Within a few years, the small community of religious exiles had laid the foundation for what would become the birthplace of the most powerful country in the world. After a few years, not only had they survived the uncharted environment of Boston and its cold winters,

but they also managed to organize a civilized social structure. The small colony of Puritans quickly realized Boston’s potential for success. Within a decade, Boston was a bustling town known for its fishing and commerce. The town’s children had the opportunity to study at America’s first school, the Boston Latin School, and to further their education at America’s first institution of higher learning, Harvard College.

Over the years, the colonists were not alone in recognizing the importance of their community. Great Britain saw the colony as an opportunity to turn over a profit by taxing the colonists. However, this extreme financial pressure from the crown began to take its toll on the peace of the new city, as well as the other twelve colonies. British taxation proved too costly, and citizens of Boston began to develop their own way of life distinct from that of their mother country. Acts of protest, such as the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre, caused elevated tension between the colonists and the British troops, and eventually led to the start of the American Revolution in 1775. Several battles took place in and around the city during the war for independence, as Bostonians were always willing to fight for liberty.

The end of the Revolution initiated a period of financial boom in the port town of Boston. No longer stifled by British troops and unjust foreign rule, Boston flourished on its own merit as a center for trade and democracy. The leaders of Boston continued to develop the liberated colony into a strong commercial and intellectual establishment. By 1822, Boston officially gained the title of “city”, and became one of the most prominent places of interest in the United States. As industries boomed, buildings continued to crowd Boston’s skyline, until the Great Fire that destroyed over sixty-five acres of urbanized land in 1872. Despite this setback, the following years saw increasingly higher population rates as immigrants, specifically Italian and Irish, began to pour into the city.

Like all American cities, Boston suffered major losses during the Great Depression. Even Boston, a hub for economic and intellectual insight, could not foresee a solution to the pains of the Depression. Only after the start of World War II, did the city begin to generate more financial gain. Several years later, Boston witnessed the slow restoration of its original prosperity. Today, every section of Boston seems to thrive. The city basks in its significance to American history, and works hard to preserve its national landmarks.

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