History of Boston
The city was founded in 1630 by the Puritan colonists of the Massachusetts Bay Company, who are not to be confused with Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony ten years earlier. The new town got its name after Boston in England. Soon after the town was settled, the Puritans established the first public school in America, Boston Latin School. Over the next 130 years, Boston grew continuously and became the largest town in British North America until it was surpassed by Philadelphia in 18th century.
In 1770, the colonial resentment of the British oppression grew stronger, especially in New England, and eventually led to the American Revolutionary War, during which time many of the pivotal moments in American history took place either in or around Boston, including the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill and Siege of Boston. The city always relied greatly on sea travel and transportation and after the Revolutionary war it became the nation’s hub for international commerce. Boston was also one of the major abolitionist centers in America.
Boston was incorporated as a city in 1822. The first large waves of European immigrants started arriving by the mid-19th century, especially the Irish, who are still today one of the largest communities in the city. Other immigrants, such as Poles, Russians, Lebanese, Germans, Jews, Syrians and French Canadians came too and by the end of the 19th century Boston became divided into ethnically distinct enclaves. The first subway system in the USA was built in Boston in 1897.
In the first half of the 20th century, many business moved out of the city area and Boston was in decline. Fortunately, the new economy boom came in 1970s, many companies moved their headquarters to the city and new companies opened, the city got a number of new high-rises and today it has the second-largest skyline in the Northeast (after New York City). Boston became a leading health care center with hospitals such as Massachusetts General, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and also a major center of higher education with such prestigious institutions as Boston University, the Harvard Medical School, Northeastern University and many more.
Today, even though it lost some of the institutions to other cities, Boston is a political, intellectual, cultural and technological center.
Geography and Climate
Boston is located on the Shawmut Peninsula in New England region of the Northeastern United States. It is very compact and densely populated. The city territory includes a number of islands, most of which belong to the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. The rivers in Boston area include the Neponset River, Mystic River and Chelsea Creek. The highest point in the city is Bellevue Hill 1t 330 feet.
The city has 21 official neighborhoods. Back Bay and South End are built on reclaimed land from three hills in the city. Boston is famous for its brownstone buildings, which are dominant especially in the Back Bay neighborhood. The downtown area of the city is mostly low-rise, and in other parts of the city center, such as the Financial District, Government Center and South Boston they are mixed with modern skyscrapers. The South End Historic District is the largest surviving Victorian style neighborhood in the United States. The largest body of freshwater is Jamaica Pond, part of the Emerald Necklace - a string of parks that includes Boston Common, which is the oldest public park in the USA, and Boston Public Garden.
The climate in Boston is continental, with elements of maritime climate due to the proximity of the ocean. The summers in Boston are warm and rainy and the winters are cold, windy and snowy.
Population of Boston
In 2010, the racial makeup of the city was 53.9% White, 24.4% Black, 17.5% Hispanic or Latino, 8.9% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 1.6% some other race and 2.4% two or more races. The largest ethnic group are the Irish, followed by Italians. Other significant communities in the city include Jewish, West Indian, South Asian, Dominican and Vietnamese.
Boston has the sixth-largest economy in the United States. A significant element in the city economy are universities and colleges, which, together with hospitals and health centers and state and local government are the largest employers in the city. Other significant industries include technology companies, financial services, printing and publishing, consulting, insurance and legal services. Some of the major companies with headquarters in Boston include Houghton Mifflin, Beacon Press, New Balance, Gillette, Au Bon Pain, Liberty Mutual, Wayfair, and others. Many companies have headquarters, offices or operations in the Greater Boston area, especially along I-495 and I-95.
Boston is a major cultural center of the United States. Some of the top cultural institutions in the city include Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston Opera House, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Ballet, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Atheneum, John F. Kennedy Library, Museum of Science and the Institute of Contemporary Art.
The city has played an important role in the hardcore punk movement, with bands such as SSD, Jerry’s Kids, Slapshot, Gang Green and Converge.
Major daily newspapers in Boston, important on the national level too, are The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald.
Boston has a characteristic non-rhotic accent, as well as a rich Boston slang. Regional cuisine is based on seafood (such as the famous New England Clam Chowder).
The city and its area are famous for some of the top universities and colleges in the world, most notably Harvard University, MIT, Northeastern University, Boston University, Suffolk University, University of Massachusetts Boston, Berklee College of Music, Boston Conservatory, and many more.
Major professional sports franchises in Boston are the MLB’s Boston Red Sox, the NFL’s New England Patriots, the NHL’s Boston Bruins and the NBA’s Boston Celtics.
The largest airport in the Boston area is Logan International Airport. Major highways include I-95, I-90, I-93, U.S. 1 and Massachusetts Route 3. Urban mass transit is operated by MBTA. Passenger railway transportation is provided by Amtrak. Boston is known as the “walking city” as it has more pedestrian commuters than any other major US city.