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Puritan ethics and their focus on education influenced its early history; Over the next 130 years, the city participated in four French and Indian Wars, until the British defeated the French and their native allies in North America.Boston was the largest town in British North America until Philadelphia grew larger in the mid 18th century.—the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's midnight ride, the battles of Lexington and Concord and Bunker Hill, the Siege of Boston, and many others—occurred in or near Boston.After the Revolution, Boston's long seafaring tradition helped make it one of the world's wealthiest international ports, with the slave trade, The Embargo Act of 1807, adopted during the Napoleonic Wars, and the War of 1812 significantly curtailed Boston's harbor activity.

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Manufacturing became an important component of the city's economy, and by the mid-19th century, the city's industrial manufacturing overtook international trade in economic importance.

Until the early 20th century, Boston remained one of the nation's largest manufacturing centers and was notable for its garment production and leather-goods industries.

A network of small rivers bordering the city and connecting it to the surrounding region facilitated shipment of goods and led to a proliferation of mills and factories.

The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area called Greater Boston, home to 4.7 million people and the tenth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the country. independence from Great Britain, the city continued to be an important port and manufacturing hub, as well as a center for education and culture.

It was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston. Through land reclamation and municipal annexation, Boston has expanded beyond the original peninsula.

Its rich history attracts many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone drawing over 20 million visitors per year.

Boston's early European settlers had first called the area Trimountaine (after its "three mountains"—only traces of which remain today) but later renamed it Boston after Boston, Lincolnshire, England, the origin of several prominent colonists.

The renaming, on September 7, 1630 (Old Style), who had moved over from Charlestown earlier that year in quest of fresh water.

Their settlement was initially limited to the Shawmut Peninsula, at that time surrounded by the Massachusetts Bay and Charles River and connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus.

The peninsula is known to have been inhabited as early as 5000 BC.

In 1629, the Massachusetts Bay Colony's first governor, John Winthrop, led the signing of the Cambridge Agreement, a key founding document of the city.

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