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Boston,city (1990 pop. 574,283), state capital and seat of Suffolk co., E Mass., on Boston Bay, an arm of Massachusetts Bay; inc. 1822. The city includes former neighboring towns—Roxbury, West Roxbury, Dorchester, Charlestown, Brighton, and Hyde Park—annexed in the late 19th cent.
The largest city in New England, Boston is an educational, governmental, and financial center and a leading fishing and commercial port. Its industries include publishing, food processing, and varied manufactures. High-technology research and development and computer and electronic manufacturing industries have flourished in the area, especially in the corridor along Boston's older peripheral highway (Routes 128 and 95). Tourism, much of it attracted by historic sites and cultural assets, has become increasingly important. Redevelopment in "the Hub" since the 1960s has focused on the Back Bay, where the John Hancock and Prudential buildings are New England's tallest, and on the city's compact downtown on the Shawmut Peninsula, where financial and other offices have been developed since the 1970s. Less than one fifth of the metropolitan area's residents, however, live in the city.
Points of Interest
Boston cherishes the landmarks of the past, especially in the narrow streets of the colonial city: the 17th-century house in which Paul Revere lived; Old North Church, famous for its part in Revere's "midnight ride"; Old South Meetinghouse, a rallying place for patriots during the Revolution; the old statehouse (1713), now a museum; the Boston Common, one of the oldest public parks in the country; Faneuil Hall; the gold-domed statehouse, designed by Charles BulfinchBulfinch, Charles,
1763–1844, American architect, b. Boston. A member of the Boston board of selectmen in 1791, he was chosen chairman in 1799—an office equivalent to mayor and held by Bulfinch for 19 years.
..... Click the link for more information. ; and the red-brick houses of Louisburg Square, among others. Famed Boston churches include King's Chapel, the birthplace of American UnitarianismUnitarianism,
in general, the form of Christianity that denies the doctrine of the Trinity, believing that God exists only in one person. While there were previous antitrinitarian movements in the early Christian Church, like Arianism and Monarchianism, modern Unitarianism
..... Click the link for more information. (1785); the Mother Church of Christian ScienceChristian Science,
religion founded upon principles of divine healing and laws expressed in the acts and sayings of Jesus, as discovered and set forth by Mary Baker Eddy and practiced by the Church of Christ, Scientist.
..... Click the link for more information. ; and Trinity Church (1872–77) in Copley Square, designed by H. H. RichardsonRichardson, Henry Hobson,
1838–86, American architect, b. St. James parish, La., grad. Harvard, 1859, studied at the École des Beaux-Arts; great-grandson of Joseph Priestley.
..... Click the link for more information. . Boston Light (1716), at the entrance to Boston Harbor, is the oldest lighthouse in the United States.
Boston is one of the great cultural centers of the nation. In the city are the Massachusetts Historical Society (founded 1791); the Boston Athenæum (1807); the Boston Public Library; the New England Conservatory of Music; Symphony Hall (home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra); the Museum of Fine Arts; the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; the Institute of Contemporary Art; the offices of the Christian Science Monitor; Harvard Medical School; the New England Medical Center; Massachusetts General Hospital; and Brigham and Women's hospitals. Educational institutions in the city include Boston, Suffolk, and Northeastern universities; the Univ. of Massachusetts at Boston, with the John F. Kennedy Library; Simmons, Emerson, and Emmanuel colleges; and the Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music. Together with such neighboring institutions as Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge), Tufts Univ. (Medford), and Boston College (Chestnut Hill), they make up the nation's leading educational complex, a reminder of Boston's old nickname, "the Athens of America."
The Boston Naval Shipyard (in operation 1800–1973) in Charlestown is the berth of the restored U.S.S. Constitution ("Old Ironsides"), launched (1797) a short distance away. The city is served by Logan International Airport, in the East Boston section. The American League's Red Sox play baseball in Fenway Park; the National Hockey League's Bruins and the National Basketball Association's Celtics also play in the city. The National Football League's Patriots play in suburban Foxboro.
Established by the elder John WinthropWinthrop, John,
1588–1649, governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony, b. Edwardstone, near Groton, Suffolk, England. Of a landowning family, he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, came into a family fortune, and became a government administrator with strong Puritan
..... Click the link for more information. in 1630 as the main settlement of the Massachusetts Bay CompanyMassachusetts Bay Company,
English chartered company that established the Massachusetts Bay colony in New England. Organized (1628) as the New England Company, it took over the Dorchester Company, which had established a short-lived fishing colony on Cape Ann in 1623.
..... Click the link for more information. , Boston was an early center of American Puritanism, with a vigorous, if theocratic, intellectual life. The nation's oldest public school, Boston Latin, was opened in 1635; Harvard, the nation's oldest college, was founded at Cambridge in 1636; a public library was started in 1653; and the first newspaper in the colonies, the Newsletter, appeared in 1704. With its excellent port, Boston held commercial ascendancy in colonial Massachusetts. As the American Revolution approached, it became a center of opposition to the British. The Battle of Bunker HillBunker Hill, battle of,
in the American Revolution, June 17, 1775. Detachments of colonial militia under Artemas Ward, Nathanael Greene, John Stark, and Israel Putnam laid siege to Boston shortly after the battles of Lexington and Concord.
..... Click the link for more information. , fought in Charlestown on June 17, 1775, was one of the first battles of the Revolution, and Boston was occupied until the British withdrew in Mar., 1776. After a short postwar depression, Boston entered a period of prosperity that lasted until the mid-19th cent. Its ships made Boston known around the world. Prominent families built substantial houses on Beacon Hill, later in the reclaimed Back Bay section, and patronized the arts and letters. Despite the generally conservative tone of their culture, they backed reformers, notably the abolitionistsabolitionists,
in U.S. history, particularly in the three decades before the Civil War, members of the movement that agitated for the compulsory emancipation of the slaves.
..... Click the link for more information. . The growth of industry in the mid-19th cent. brought many immigrants, and Boston changed from a commercial city of primarily British stock to a manufacturing center with an Irish majority, evolving gradually into the diverse, institutionally based city of today. The city opened the U.S.'s first subway system in 1897.
See W. M. Whitehill, Boston: A Topographical History (1959, rev. ed 1968); G. B. Warden, Boston, 1689–1776 (1970); G. Lewis and M. Conzen, Boston (1976); H. C. Binford, The First Suburbs (1988); C. F. Durang, Boston: A Brief History (1989); L. W. Kennedy, Planning the City upon a Hill (1992); R. Campbell and P. Vanderwarker, Cityscapes of Boston (1992).
Boston,borough and district (1991 pop. 26,495), E central England, on the Witham River. Boston's fame as a port dates from the 13th cent., when it was a Hanseatic port trading wool and wine. Having recovered from a decline in the 18th and 19th cent. caused by silting, Boston now exports coal, grain, agricultural machinery, potatoes, and cattle; it imports timber, grain, fruit, vegetables, and fertilizers. It is also a shellfishery center and a market for a rich lowland farm area. There are food-processing plants and other light industries.
Puritans under John CottonCotton, John,
1584–1652, Puritan clergyman in England and Massachusetts, b. Derbyshire, educated at Cambridge. Imbued with Puritan doctrines, he won many followers during his 20 years as vicar of the rich and influential parish of St. Botolph's Church, Boston, Lincolnshire.
..... Click the link for more information. sailed in 1633 from Boston to Massachusetts Bay (renamed Boston). St. Botolph's Church is on the site of a 7th-century monastery, founded by St. Botolph, for whom Boston is named (Botolph's tun, or town). The 288-ft (88-m) tower (called the Stump, because it does not come to a point) is a landmark. The guildhall, begun in 1545, was restored in 1911 and is now a museum.
a city in the northeastern USA, located in the state of Massachusetts on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. The principal economic center of New England and one of the leading industrial, financial, and cultural centers in the USA. Population, about 630,000 (1969); with the surrounding suburban area, 2.7 million (seventh largest in the USA). Number of employed, 1.2 million (1969), including 25 percent in industry (of these 8 percent work in the city itself), approximately 50 percent in commercial and service activities, 4.6 percent in construction, and 5.8 percent in transportation and public service.
Historical sketch Boston was founded in 1630. During the 1760’s and 1770’s it was in the vanguard of the struggle against British domination. The Bostonians’ revolt against the stamp tax in 1765, their armed conflict with British troops in 1770, and the so-called Boston Tea Party in 1773 constituted a prologue to the War for Independence in North America (American Revolution) (1775–83). In the middle of the 19th century Boston was one of the centers of abolitionism. From 1921 to 1927 there were mass demonstrations in Boston in defense of Sacco and Vanzetti; from 1929 to 1933 there were strikes and hunger marches by the unemployed; and after World War II there were strikes by the dockworkers.
Economy Boston is the principal port of New England. Its cargo turnover is approximately 20 million tons. Imports are four times as high as exports, and the most important import is petroleum. It is the base for a fishing fleet. Boston is a major rail and highway terminal. It employs about 300,000 people in manufacturing industries. There is a predominance of various types of machine-tool industry—for the most part, complex and labor-consuming branches such as radio electronics and instrument making, the production of aviation engines, the production of parts for airplanes and rockets, electrical machine building, machine-tool construction, the production of industrial equipment (especially for the textile and shoe industries), and the manufacture of household appliances. There is also shipbuilding on a major scale, including a naval shipyard. Also well-developed are the chemical industry, the rubber industry (which produces rubber footwear and other industrial products), printing, and the food industry. Light industry (especially the production of shoes and woolen fabrics) has lost its former importance; most companies involved in it have transferred to the surrounding towns.
Architecture The following landmarks have been preserved in Boston: buildings dating from the colonial period (the Meeting House 1729–30; the Old State House, 1713, rebuilt in 1748; and Faneuil Hall, 1742, rebuilt in 1762–63), which are connected with the events of the American Revolution; C. Bulfinch’s buildings in the style of classicism, including the State House (1795–98) and a hospital (1818–20); the Public Library (1888–95, architects C. F. McKim, W. Mead, and S. White); the buildings of H. H. Richardson in the spirit of Romanesque architecture, including Trinity Church (1873–77). Since 1960 a number of sections in Boston have been renewed, and the following structures have been built: the Government Center (architect I. M. Pei) with a city hall (1969), large office buildings such as the State Bank (1966, architect F. Stahl), and the complex of Boston University.
Learned institutions and culture The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded in Boston in 1780, Boston University in 1869, Northeastern University in 1898, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1881. The city also contains the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (specializing in the classical art of Europe and East Asia), and the Institute of Modern Art.