Seaport city (pop., 2000: 589,141), capital of Massachusetts, U.S. Located on Massachusetts Bay, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, it is the state's largest city. Settled in 1630 by Puritan Englishmen of the Massachusetts Bay Company, Boston became the hub of the self-governing Massachusetts Bay Colony under the leadership of Gov. John Winthrop. At the forefront of the opposition to British trade restrictions on its American colonies, Boston was a locus of events leading to the American Revolution: it was the scene of the Boston Massacre (1770) and Boston Tea Party (1773). It was the centre for the antislavery movement (1830–65). As the Industrial Revolution took hold in the U.S., Boston grew as an important manufacturing and textile centre. Today financial and high-technology industries are basic to the economy of the Boston area. Numerous institutions of higher education are located there, including Boston University. See also Cambridge.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Boston, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up Boston? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.