- History of Boston, Massachusetts
The history of
Boston, Massachusetts, intertwines with the history of the United States. Boston is the capital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the historical center of New England.
The first Euro-American settlement in the immediate area of Boston was a short way across
Boston Harborat Charlestown. Boston's deep harbor and advantageous geographic position helped it to become the busiest port in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, eventually surpassing Plymouth and Salem. Until the 1760s, Boston was America's largest, wealthiest, and most influential city. [cite web | url=http://www.chemistrydaily.com/chemistry/Boston,_Massachusetts | title=Boston, Massachusetts | publisher=The Chemistry Encyclopedia – www.chemistrydaily.com | accessdate=2007-04-09]
European settlement and colonial times
Shawmut Peninsulawas originally connected to the mainland to its south by a narrow isthmus, Boston Neck, and surrounded by (using modern names) the waters of Boston Harborand the Back Bay, an estuaryof the Charles River. Several prehistoric Native American archaeological sites excavated in the city have shown that the peninsula was inhabited as early as 5,000 BC. [cite web
title=Archaeology of the Central Artery Project: Highway to the Past
publisher=Commonwealth Museum – Massachusetts Historical Commission
accessdate=2007-04-06] Trimountaine was the original name given by European settlers to the peninsula that would later incorporated as the city of Boston. The name was derived from the three prominent hills on the peninsula, two of which were leveled as the city was modernized. The third hill, Beacon Hill, remains to this day a prominent feature of the Boston cityscape. cite web | title=Boston Charter Day | url=http://www.bostoncharterday.org/ | publisher=Bostoncharterday.org | year=2007 | accessdate=2008-09-25]
In 1625, William Blaxton (also spelled "Blackstone") became the "first Bostonian" (of European descent); at first, he lived alone on what is now Boston Common and
Beacon Hill. Settlers who had landed at Charlestown in 1629 purchased land from Blaxton in 1630 to expand the settlement and secure water supplies. [ [http://www.kellscraft.com/GreatFireOfBoston/GreatFireofBostonCh01.html History of the Great Fire of Boston] ]
In 1628, the
Cambridge Agreementwas signed in England among the Puritansof the Massachusetts Bay Colony. These were not Separatistslike the Pilgrims, but chartered colonists. It established the colony as a self-governing entity, answerable only to the king. John Winthropwas its leader, and would become governor of the settlements in the New World. Winthrop gave a famous sermon "A Model of Christian Charity", which described the new colony as "a City upon a Hill."
In June 1630, the
Winthrop Fleetarrived in what would later be called Salem,cite web
title=World Chronology - 1630
year=2007] which on account of lack of food, "pleased them not." [Weston, George F. "Boston Ways: High, By & Folk," Beacon Press: Beacon Hill, Boston, p.11-15 (1957).] They proceeded to Charlestown, which pleased them less, for lack of fresh water. Finally, Blackstone, the sole settler remaining from a 1622 expedition on the "Shawmut Peninsula", invited the group to drink from the waters of his spring. The Puritans settled around the spring in what would become Boston. [Weston, George F., "supra."] They gave Blackstone 50 acres (20.2 ha) and made him a member of
First Church of Boston; Blackstone quickly sold the land back for 30 pounds and resettled in what is now known as the Blackstone Valley.
Winthrop pledged 400 pounds to the cause and set sail on the ship the Arbella—named after the wife of Isaac Johnson, daughter of Thomas, 5th Earl of Lincoln. Winthrop befriended the younger Johnson (29 years old at his death) in earlier days in England, spending many days at Isaac's family home. The first Englishman in the Boston area, Blackstone, was a childhood and best friend of Isaac; they attended seminary together. Isaac's grandmother, the Lady Chatterton, was the daughter of one of the King James Bible translators, and the Johnson family owned two seminaries in England, one still used as a school to this day. Isaac Johnson's family lines can be traced to the earlier Norman Conquest of England from the Johnsons of Rouen, France, and are associated with William "the Bastard" as well as the earlier 968 conquest of southern England. The Johnsons, per the London Herald of Arms, took part in four crusades and fought with Richard the Lion Heart. Winthrop on Isaac Johnson's death put in probate a sum of over 75,000 pounds sterling. Isaac's brother, Capt. James Johnson, on his arrival in 1635, was denied his title and right to Isaac's property. With the help of Dudley and others Winthrop kept this wealth in probate, and took fees, for over 30 years. Many documents were destroyed in a very mysterious manner. The documents were part of the "doomsday record" kept by the founders of Boston. Winthrop and others accused Capt. James Johnson's wife of adultery and placed her on gallows with the rope on her neck, only to let her go. Capt. Johnson's only crime was to allow his wife to have bible studies in his home with Ann Hutchinson, "a good woman of the Christian faith" who along with the Lady Arbella Clinton-Fiennes came from Lincolnshire, England.
Claims to inheritance were presented to the royal court in London by the father Abraham Johnson, a sheriff of the Queen (Rutland England). Isaac Johnson was buried with his wife, the Lady Arbella Clinton-Fiennes of Lincolnshire, on his land, now called King's Chapel, on Tremont Street, Boston. A reference is made to Isaac Johnson in the first chapter of the book "A Scarlet Letter".
The settlement of Trimountaine or Trimontaine (named after the peninsula's three hills) changed its name to "Boston" on
September 7, 1630; the settlement of Shawmut also changed its name to "Boston", on September 16. Governor Winthrop announced the foundation of the City of Boston on September 17. Boston is named after the town of Boston, in the English county of Lincolnshire, from which several prominent colonists emigrated. The Massachusetts Bay Colonyplanted many nearby settlements in 1630 and the years that followed.
Early colonists believed that Boston was a community with a special covenant with God, as captured in Winthrop's "
City upon a Hill" metaphor. This influenced every facet of Boston life, and made it imperative that colonists legislate morality as well as enforce marriage, church attendance, education in the Word of God, and the persecution of sinners. These values molded an extremely stable and well-structured society in Boston. Puritan values of hard work, moral uprightness, and education remain a part of Boston's culture. The first school in America, Boston Latin School(1635), and the first college in America, Harvard College(1636), were founded shortly after Boston's European settlement.
June 1, 1660, Mary Dyerwas hanged on Boston Common for repeatedly defying a law banning Quakersfrom the colony. She is considered to be the last religious martyrin North America. A statue of Mary Dyer now stands in front of the Massachusetts State House.
Boston Post Roadprovided connectivity with New York Cityand with the major settlements in Central and Western Massachusetts. The lower route ran near present-day U.S. 1 via Providence, Rhode Island. The upper route, laid out in 1673, left via Boston Neck and followed present-day U.S. Route 20until around Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. It continued through Worcester, Springfield, and New Haven, Connecticut.
In 1755, Boston endured the largest
earthquakeever to hit the Northeastern United States, (estimated at 6.0 to 6.3 on the Richter scale), called the "Cape Ann Earthquake". [ [http://www.masshist.org/objects/2005november.cfm The Massachusetts Historical Society. The Cape Ann Earthquake of November 1755] By John E. Ebel, Ph.D. Professor of Geophysics, Boston College] [ [http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/states/events/1755_11_18.php USGS Historic Earthquakes] ]
The first "Great Fire" of Boston destroyed 349 buildings on
March 20, 1760.
Boston in rebellion
During the early 1770s, British attempts to exert control on the
thirteen colonies, primarily via taxation, prompted an uproar in New England. Boston played the primary role in sparking both the American Revolutionand the ensuing American Revolutionary War. The Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and several of the early battles of the Revolution (such as the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston) occurred near or in the city. During this period, Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Dr. Samuel Prescottmade their famous midnight rides.
Today Boston is sometimes called the "Cradle of Liberty". Its historic sites remain a popular tourist draw. The city has attempted to preserve its colonial and revolutionary past, from the harboring of the USS "Constitution" to the many famous sites along the
After the revolutionary war, the city became one of the world's wealthiest international trading ports, exporting products like
rum, fish, saltand tobacco. [ [http://www.universityarchives.com/browse.asp?sn=39159-001&show=True&thumbnails=True University Archives Colonial Boston] ] It was chartered as a city in 1822, [ [http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h3865.html US History.com, Cities, Boston, Massachusetts] ] and by the mid-1800s it was one of the largest manufacturing centers in the nation, noted for its garmentproduction, leathergoods, and machinery industries. Manufacturing overtook international trade to dominate the local economy. A network of small rivers bordering the city and connecting it to the surrounding region made for easy shipment of goods and allowed for a proliferation of mills and factories. The building of the Middlesex Canalextended this small river network to the larger Merrimack River and its mills, including the Lowell millsand mills on the Nashua Riverin New Hampshire. Later, an even denser network of railroads ("see also List of railroad lines in Massachusetts") facilitated the region's industry and commerce.
Several turnpikes were constructed between cities to aid transportation, especially of cattle and sheep to markets. A major east-west route, the Worcester Turnpike (now
Massachusetts Route 9), was constructed in 1810. Others include the Newburyport Turnpike (now Route 1), the Salem Lawrence Turnpike (now Route 114) and others.
A poem about Boston, attributed to various people, describes the city thus: "And here’s to good old Boston / The land of the bean and the cod / Where Lowells talk only to Cabots / And Cabots talk only to God." While wealthy colonial families like the Lowells and Cabots (often called the "
Boston Brahmins") ruled the city, the 1840s brought waves of new immigrants from Europe. These included large numbers of Irish and Italians, giving the city a large Roman Catholicpopulation. It is currently the third largest Catholic community in the United States (after Chicago and Los Angeles).
Dorchester Heights, 1841.] In 1831, William Lloyd Garrisonfounded " The Liberator", an abolitionistnewsletter, in Boston. It advocated "immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves" in the United States, and established Boston as the center of the abolitionist movement. After the passing of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, Boston became a bastion of abolitionist thought. Attempts by slave-catchers to arrest fugitive slaves often proved futile, which included the notable case of Anthony Burnsand Kevin McLaughlin. After the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Actin 1854, Boston also became the hub of efforts to send anti-slavery New Englanders to settle in Kansas Territorythrough the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company.
Throughout the 19th century, Boston became known as a haven for Irish immigrants, especially following the potato famine of 1845-49. Even to the present day, Boston still commands the largest percentage of Irish-descended people of any city in the United States. The Irish were held as an underclass by the
Boston Brahmins, because the Brahmins were of English descent and Protestant, and the Irish were from Ireland and Catholic. "NINA" signs (for No Irish Need Apply) were common in Boston throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. However, almost purely by numbers, the Irish took control of the city, and Boston, once known as a WASP-Puritan stronghold, became thoroughly connected with the Irish. The Irish left their mark on the region in a number of ways: in still heavily Irish neighborhoods such as Charlestown and South Boston; in the name of the local basketball team, the Boston Celtics; in the dominant Irish-American political family, the Kennedys; in a large number of prominent local politicians, such as James Michael Curley; in the establishment of Catholic Boston Collegeas a rival to WASPish Harvard; and in underworld figures such as James "Whitey" Bulger.
medical schoolfor women, The Boston Female Medical School (which later merged with the Boston UniversitySchool of Medicine), opened in Boston on November 1, 1848.
Great Boston Fire of 1872started at the corner of Summer Street and Kingston Street on November 9. In two days the conflagration destroyed about 65 acres (260,000 m²) of the city, including 776 buildings in the financial district, totaling $60 million in damage.
Mary Baker Eddyfounded the Church of Christ, Scientistin Boston.
From the mid-to-late-nineteenth century, Boston flourished culturally — it became renowned for its rarefied literary culture and lavish artistic patronage. "As a literary centre Boston was long supreme in the United States and still disputes the palm with New York," says "Baedeker's United States" (1893). "A list of its distinguished literary men would be endless; but it may not be invidious to mention "Hawthorne", "Emerson", "Longfellow", "Holmes", "Lowell", "Everett", "Agassiz", "Whittier", "Motley", "Bancroft", "Prescott", "Parkman", "Ticknor", "Channing", "
Theodore Parker"," Henry James", "T. B. Aldrich" and "Howells" among the names more or less closely associated with Boston." When Bret Hartevisited Howells, he remarked that in Boston "it was impossible to fire a revolver without bringing down the author of a two-volume work." Most of the great publishing houses of Boston have been acquired or moved, leaving little but the magazine " The Atlantic Monthly" (founded 1857) and the publisher Houghton Mifflinto bear witness to Boston's former publishing glory. Despite this, many renowned authors continue to live and work in Boston.
vaudevilletheater opened on February 28, 1883, in Boston. The last one, the Old Howard in Scollay Square, which had evolved from operato vaudevilleto burlesque, closed in 1953.
As the population increased rapidly,
Boston-area streetcar linesfacilitated the creation of a profusion of streetcar suburbs. Downtown congestion worsened, prompting the opening of the first subway in North Americaon September 1, 1897, the Tremont Street Subway. Between 1897 and 1912, subterranean rail links were built to Cambridge and East Boston, and elevated and underground lines expanded into other neighborhoods from downtown. Today, the regional passenger rail and bus network has been consolidated into the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Two union stations, North Station and South Station were constructed to consolidate downtown railroad terminals.
From the late 19th century until the mid-20th century, the phrase "
Banned in Boston" was used to describe a literary work, motion picture, or play prohibited from distribution or exhibition. During this time, Boston city officials took it upon themselves to "ban" anything that they found to be salacious, immoral, or offensive: theatrical shows were run out of town, books confiscated, and motion pictures were prevented from being shown—sometimes stopped in mid-showing after an official had "seen enough". Consequently, Boston, arguably the cultural center of the United States since its founding, came across as less sophisticated than many less cultured cities without stringent censorship practices. Another is that the phrase "banned in Boston" became associated in the popular mind with something sexy and lurid; many distributors were happy when their works were banned in Boston. It gave them more appeal elsewhere. Some distributors advertised that their products had been banned in Boston, when in fact they had not, to increase their appeal.
At the turn of the century, caught up in the
automobilerevolution, Boston was home to the Porter Motor Company, [http://www.stanleysteameronline.com/Literature,%20Porter%20Motor%20Co.htm] headquartered in the Tremont Building, 73 Tremont Street. [Clymer, Floyd. "Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925" (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.13.]
January 15, 1919, the Boston Molasses Disasteroccurred in the North End. Twenty-one people were killed and 150 injured as an immense wave of molasses crushed and asphyxiated many of the victims to death. It took over six months to remove the molasses from the cobblestone streets, theaters, businesses, automobiles, and homes. Boston Harbor ran brown until summer.
During the summer of 1919, over 1100 members of the
Boston Police Departmentwent on strike. Boston fell prey to several riots as there were minimal law officers to maintain order in the city. Calvin Coolidge, then governor of Massachusetts, garnered national fame for quelling violence by almost entirely replacing the police force. The 1919 Boston Police Strike would ultimately set precedent for police unionization across the country.
August 23, 1927, Italian anarchistsNicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were sent to the electric chair after a seven-year trial in Boston. Their execution sparked riots in London, Parisand Germany, and helped to reinforce the image of Boston as a hotbed of intolerance and discipline.
Transportation and urban renewal
and which I-95 was later re-routed over).
In 1934, the
Sumner Tunnelcreated the first direct road connection under Boston Harbor, between the North Endand East Boston.
By 1950, Boston was slumping. Few major buildings were being built anywhere in the city. Factories were closing and moving their operations south, where labor was cheaper. The assets Boston had—excellent banks, hospitals, universities and technical know-how—were minimal parts of the U.S. economy. To combat this downturn, Boston's politicians enacted
urban renewalpolicies, which resulted in the demolition of several neighborhoods, including the old West End, a largely Jewishand Italian neighborhood, and Scollay Square. In their places went the Charles River Park apartment complex, additions to Massachusetts General Hospital, and Government Center. These projects displaced thousands, closed hundreds of businesses, and provoked a furious backlash, which in turn ensured the survival of many historic neighborhoods.
In 1948, William F. Callahan had published the Master Highway Plan for Metropolitan Boston. Parts of the financial district, Chinatown, and the North End were demolished to make way for construction. By 1956, the northern part of the
Central Arteryhad been constructed, but strong local opposition resulted in the southern downtown portion being built underground. The Dewey Square Tunnelconnected downtown to the Southeast Expressway. In 1961, the Callahan Tunnelopened, paralleling the older Sumner Tunnel.
By 1965, the first
Massachusetts TurnpikeExtension was completed from Route 128 to near South Station. The proposed Inner Belt in Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville was canceled due to public outcry. In 1971, public protest canceled the routing of I-95 into downtown Boston. Demolition had already begun along the Southwest Corridor, which was instead used to re-route the Orange Line and Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.
As of 2006, the city is in the final stages of the Central Artery/Tunnel project, nicknamed the Big Dig. Planned and approved in the 1980s under Massachusetts governor
Michael Dukakis, with construction beginning in 1991, the Big Dig moved the remainder of the Central Artery underground, widened the north-south highway, and created local bypasses to prevent east-west traffic from contributing to congestion. The Ted Williams Tunnelbecame the third highway tunnel to East Boston and Logan International Airportas part of the project. The Big Dig also produced the landmark Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge, and will create over 70 acres (280,000 m²) of public parks in the heart of the city. The project as a whole has eased (but not eliminated) Boston's notorious traffic congestion; however, it is now the most expensive construction project in United Stateshistory, and is currently the most expensive construction project in the world. [cite journal | author=Susan Moir (University of Massachusetts Lowell) | title= [http://www.cdc.gov/elcosh/docs/d0100/d000067/d000067.html Big Dig] | journal=Electronic Library of Construction - Occupational Safety and Health (CDC)]
The city also saw other transportation projects, including improvement and expansion to its mass transit system, notably to its commuter rail system to southeastern Massachusetts and the development of a
bus rapid transit(BRT) system dubbed "The Silver Line." The maritime Port of Bostonand Logan International Airportwere also developed.
WWII and later
November 28, 1942, Boston's Cocoanut Grove nightclubwas the site of the Cocoanut Grove fire, the deadliest nightclub fire in United States history, killing 492 people and injuring hundreds more.
In 1953, the Columbia Point public housing projects were completed on the Dorchester peninsula. There were 1,502 units in the development on 50 acres of land. In 1966, the Columbia Point Health Center opened and was the first community health center in the country.
June 14, 1962, and January 4, 1964, as many as thirteen single women between the ages of 19 and 85 were murdered in Boston by the infamous Boston Strangler. (The actual number remains in dispute.)
In the 1970s, after years of economic downturn, Boston boomed again. Financial institutions were granted more latitude, more people began to play the market, and Boston became a leader in the
mutual fundindustry. Health care became more extensive and expensive, and hospitals such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brigham and Women's Hospitalled the nation in medical innovation and patient care. Higher education also became more expensive, and universities such as Harvard, MIT, BU and Tufts attracted hordes of students to the Boston area; many stayed and became permanent residents. MIT graduates, in particular, founded many successful high-techcompanies, which made Boston second only to Silicon Valleyas a high-tech center.
In 1974, the city dealt with a crisis when a federal district court judge, W. Arthur Garrity, ordered
desegregation busingto integrate the city's public schools. Racially-motivated violence erupted in several neighborhoods (many white parents resisted the busing plan). Public schools—particularly public high schools—became scenes of unrest and violence. Tension continued throughout the mid-1970s, reinforcing Boston's reputation for discrimination.
The Columbia Point housing complex went through bad times until there were only 350 families living in it in 1988. It was run down and dangerous.
In 1984, the city of Boston gave control of it to a private developer, Corcoran-Mullins-Jennison, who re-developed and re-vitalised the property into a beautiful residential mixed-income community called Harbor Point Apartments which was opened in 1988 and completed by 1990. It is a very significant example of revitalisation and re-development and was the first federal housing project to be converted to private, mixed-income housing in the USA. Harbor Point has won much acclaim for this transformation, including awards from the
Urban Land Institute, the FIABCIAward for International Excellence, and the Rudy Bruner Award. [Kamin, Blair. [http://www.nbm.org/blueprints/summer97/page4/page4.htm "Rethinking Public Housing"] , Blueprints magazine, Summer 1997, p.4, National Building Museum, Washington D.C.] [ Roessner, Jane. [http://www.lib.umb.edu/archives/points.html "A Decent Place to Live: From Columbia Point to Harbor Point"] , Boston, Northeastern University Press, 2000.] [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE1DB103BF930A15752C1A967958260 "Boston War Zone Becomes Public Housing Dream"] , The New York Times, November 23, 1991.]
March 18, 1990, the largest art theft in modern history occurred in Boston. Twelve paintings, collectively worth over $100 million, were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museumby two thieves posing as police officers. As of 2008 these paintings have not been recovered.
New Immigrants Since 1965
Since the early nineteenth century, immigrants have made up an important segment of Boston’s population and work force, helping to shape the city’s political, social, and cultural life. While the influx of Irish, Italian, and other mostly European immigrants transformed the city in the decade spanning the 1830s to the 1920s, an equally dramatic wave of migration from the Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia has reconfigured the metropolitan population in the years since 1965. These newcomers have followed patterns of migration and incorporation similar to those of earlier immigrants, but they have also evinced striking differences because of the changed historical context of both the city and the global environment.
The passage of the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965, which abandoned the restrictive quotas of the 1924 National Origins Act, heralded a new era of immigration for the United States. Like most US cities, Boston witnessed a substantial increase in its foreign-born population, particularly in the decades after 1980. The foreign-born made up 15% of the city’s population in 1980; by 1990 that share had risen to 20%. In 2000, the Census counted 151,836 foreign-born residents in Boston, accounting for more than one-quarter of the city’s population. Together with their native-born children and an indeterminate number of undocumented residents, the immigrant community now accounts for more than a third of the urban population—a figure that approaches that of the peak immigration years of the early twentieth century.
The new immigrants have come overwhelmingly from the Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia, but the precise origins of migrants have shifted over the past forty years. While more elite, professional, and highly educated migrants trickled in during the 1960s and 1970s, a much larger and more diverse wave of refugees entered the region in the 1980s. Soviet Jews, Vietnamese, Cambodians, and other southeast Asian refugees settled in Boston, Lowell and other local cities, initially with the assistance of federal refugee programs. They were later joined by other groups, such as Salvadorans and Haitians, who were also fleeing war or political unrest, but whom the US government did not classify as refugees. Other groups, including Dominicans, Chinese, Indians, Brazilians, Columbians, and Cape Verdeans, came mainly in search of educational or economic opportunities. All told, these non-European immigrants soon became dominant, overshadowing the Irish, Portuguese, and other Europeans that had made up the largest migrant groups of the 1970s. By 2004, newcomers from the Caribbean, Asia, and Latin America accounted for approximately three-quarters of Boston’s foreign-born population. Because so many of them were racially classified as black, Hispanic, or Asian, and because a growing number of native-born whites abandoned the city in these years, Boston became a majority-minority city by the year 2000.
Unlike earlier European immigrants to Boston, the majority of whom were from humble agrarian backgrounds, the new immigrants have been a remarkably diverse lot. Boston has long been an educational mecca for affluent foreigners who sent their children to Harvard, Boston University, and other prominent local universities. With the creation of the H-1B visa program during the Cold War—which permitted employers to hire educated foreign-born workers with specialized knowledge--Boston’s many universities, high-tech firms, top medical schools and teaching hospitals began recruiting highly skilled foreign technical and professional workers. While other US cities have seen a similar influx of skilled foreign workers in recent decades, Boston’s “knowledge economy” has been a particularly strong draw, especially during the rapid economic growth of the early 1980s (the so-called Massachusetts Miracle) and the internet boom of the late 1990s. In the later period, these highly skilled workers accounted for roughly a third of newly arrived immigrants in Massachusetts, compared to only 25% nationwide. The other two-thirds, however, have been concentrated in low-paid manufacturing work and service jobs in the hotel industry, food services, cleaning, maintenance, child care, etc. As in other US cities, Boston’s declining manufacturing sector and growing professional and service sectors has produced an hour-glass-shaped economy, with a shrinking middle-income strata and a growing disparity between rich and poor. Nevertheless, both ends of the Boston area economy have been heavily dependent on these new immigrant workers, who have gone from supplying 8% of the state’s civilian labor force in 1980 to 17% in 2004.
New immigrants have also become a visible presence in many of the city’s neighborhoods and suburbs, transforming and renewing dozens of older communities. Initially, the newcomers moved into the city’s older ethnic working-class neighborhoods such as Allston-Brighton, Chinatown, the South End, Dorchester, Mattapan, and Jamaica Plain. Attracted by affordable housing abandoned by white working-class residents in the 1960s and 1970s, some of these new immigrant communities were also built around older Asian and Puerto Rican settlements that offered common linguistic or cultural amenities. In other cases, such as the Vietnamese community in Fields Corner and the Cambodian community in Lowell, government, churches or other sponsoring agencies became the nucleus of refugee settlements that soon developed into thriving ethnic neighborhoods. Unlike major gateway cities like New York, Los Angeles, or Miami, Boston has attracted mainly secondary migrants who have relocated from other parts of the country in search of jobs and affordable housing.
The quest for housing, however, has become increasingly difficult as rising real estate prices and downtown redevelopment have driven growing numbers of low-income families out of the city. Since the 1980s, there has been a marked shift in foreign-born population from the city to surrounding suburbs such as Quincy, Malden, Framingham, Somerville, and Chelsea. The latter, a former mill town just northeast of Boston, has the highest foreign-born population in the state, comprising 36% of the town’s residents in 2000. The immigrant population boom in Chelsea (mainly Central American) has followed the general patterns of other older mill towns and cities in the region like Lowell (Cambodian), Lawrence (Dominican), Framingham (Brazilian), and Brockton (Haitian). Quincy and Malden have attracted large Asian immigrant populations, while Russian Jews have gone disproportionately to the affluent and heavily Jewish communities of Newton and Brookline. The suburban diffusion of immigrants has been evident throughout metropolitan America in recent years, but Boston’s small size and exorbitant real estate market has accelerated the process, moving immigrants into the suburbs at a faster rate than in New York, Philadelphia, and most other East Coast cities. Some more affluent arrivals have skipped over the city entirely, moving directly to suburbia. Significant rates of immigrant settlement now range from Lawrence in the North, to Fitchburg and Worcester in the West, and Brockton in the South.
The following sections examine some of the major immigrant groups to Boston and are followed by a list of selected sources on which this entry is based.
Since the late 1990s, Brazilians have been the fastest growing immigrant group in Massachusetts. Since the onset of an economic crisis in the 1980s, they have sought economic opportunity and an American experience in the Greater Boston Area where they have established close-knit communities, started ethnic businesses and revived struggling economies. Most Brazilians plan to work in Boston long enough so that they can return to Brazil with enough savings to maintain a stable middle-class lifestyle. Despite their low rates of documentation (an estimated 70% of the Brazilian population in the United States is undocumented), they have had little trouble finding work, especially in the service sector. Despite the low wages these jobs pay, most make more money than they would in Brazil.
The majority of immigrants in the Boston area emigrated from the southern state of Minas Gerais, particularly from the thriving town of Governador Valadares. The connection between Governador Valadares and the United States was established after World War II when the US used mica from the mines in this town for the production of radios. Since then there has been a strong American presence in the town, creating a culture strongly influenced by the United States that encourages migration. Unique to the Brazilian experience, is the concentrated transnational connection between this town, where most emigrate from, and Framingham, which has the second largest Brazilian community in Massachusetts after Boston. As sister towns, the economy and cultures of Framingham and Governador Valadares have become intertwined, exchanging people, news, products and, most importantly, money.
Governador Valadares, known as “Valadolares” or “Brazil’s Best American town,” has not only prospered but survived off of remittances sent back from immigrants in the United States, most of whom are located in the Boston area. Working in the service industry where they are easily able to find employment despite their undocumented status, Brazilians make far more than they would ever be able to at home. The most popular jobs are housecleaning for women and construction work for men. As entrepreneurs, Brazilians have also contributed significantly to towns like Framingham and Everett where their businesses have revived struggling economies. While immigrants’ earnings in the US are significantly greater than wages at home, the Brazilian experience is not all rosy. Many are often subject to exploitation because of their undocumented status and lack of English skills. Furthermore, many of these immigrants are educated and trained members of Brazil’s middle class but can only find work as unskilled laborers. By abandoning Brazil to perform menial, often underpaid, labor in the US, they have deprived Brazil of crucial human capital that is necessary for its own infrastructure and economy.
Statistically, the Brazilian immigrant experience in Boston appears to be one of success. The transnational ties between Brazil and the Untied States, concentrated in Minas Gerais and Massachusetts, have enriched both countries by creating an exchange of money and culture. Brazilians profit from a thriving Boston economy and acquire an American experience that is highly valued in Brazil, where many dream of one day traveling to America. In Boston, Brazilians provide needed labor and stimulation to stagnant economies. Brazilian entrepreneurship brings Brazilian clothing, food and culture. Return-migration and remittances have a significant impact on the Brazilian economy.
While Brazilian immigration illustrates the opportunities that globalization provides for people all over the world, it is crucial to look beneath the statistics to see who specifically is benefiting and how such success is achieved. Although the United States benefits from immigrants, they benefit from them because they are undocumented and employers can exploit them. Remittances significantly raise the economic and social status of many Brazilians in Governador Valadares, but this does nothing to redistribute the wealth of one of the most economically polarized countries in the world. Those who succeed in Minas Gerais are those who have returned from the United States with their assets. The lives and opportunities of the majority who live in poverty, characterized by favelas (slums), racial discrimination, and lack of education and employment, remain the same, except to appear more destitute in comparison to the growing wealth of the few. Thus, opportunities to succeed within Brazil remain scarce. Furthermore, the interactions between cultures, languages, races, and ethnicities from immigration should create more diverse and accepting societies, however Brazilian immigration has in fact perpetuated the belief in white/American superiority in both the sending and receiving nations. While the lives of a small number of migrants have flourished, inequality in terms of race, class, and socioeconomic status has been maintained between Minas Gerais and Massachusetts.
Since 1965, Boston’s Chinese-born population has undergone substantial changes. First, the number of immigrants has exploded, due primarily to the passage of the Hart-Cellar of 1965, which allowed Chinese immigrants to enter the country in substantial numbers. In 1960, an estimated 6,745 Chinese immigrants lived in Boston, but by 2000 that number had grown to an estimated 84,392. A noticeable shift away from the city of Boston itself has also occurred during this time period.
Boston is known for its large number of educational institutions and intellectually-driven work environment, factors which appeal greatly to Chinese immigrants. Education is extremely important within the Chinese immigrant community, and many Chinese students excel in Boston schools. Immigrants from Taiwan and Hong Kong are generally wealthier than their mainland counterparts and have stronger educational and professional backgrounds. As a result, many immigrants from Taiwan and Hong Kong (who generally come either to study or to pursue economic pursuits independent of the Chinese government) have been able to settle directly into suburban towns outside of Boston. Simultaneously, Boston’s Chinatown, historically the first stop for Chinese immigrants, has been shrinking steadily, owing to urban renewal and development by the city. This reduction of housing in Chinatown, along with a variety of other social concerns, has forced many foreign-born Chinese to move elsewhere.
After Boston, the towns with the highest numbers of foreign-born Chinese in 2000 were Brookline, Cambridge, Malden, Newton, Quincy and Somerville. All of these towns experienced higher proportional growth rates than Boston, with Malden (increasing 6,555.5% from 1980 to 2000) and Quincy (increasing 5,630.8% from 1980 to 2000) exhibiting the fastest growth. Many immigrants living in these suburban towns claim to have moved for better educational opportunities for their children. The accessibility of mass transportation also factored into the spread of Chinese immigrants from Boston; many who moved to suburban towns continued to work in Boston.
Chinese immigrants have, throughout their history, toiled laboriously in unglamorous occupations. Early male immigrants worked in laundries or restaurants and women frequently entered the garment manufacturing industry. All of these jobs were desirable for immigrants because they required no English skills and frequently paid cash. Today, the laundry industry has dwindled, but as of 2000, 40% of the male workforce in Chinatown remained employed in the restaurant industry. Overseas competition has severely damaged the garment-making industry, but as of 2000, 24% of the female workforce of Chinatown found employment in the manufacturing industry. Urban garment factories have a long history of underpaying and exploiting their employees, but Chinese immigrants relied on the flexible hours and immigrant-friendly atmosphere for many years.
Owing to their starkly different economic backgrounds, fewer immigrants from Taiwan and Hong Kong have settled in Chinatown or accepted “blue-collar” jobs. Many find employment in management: in 2000, 57.2% of employed Chinese in the metro Boston area worked in management, professional or other related profession. Additionally, the average income of Chinese-Americans in the metro Boston area was more than three times higher than that of Chinese-Americans living in Chinatown. Still, many Chinese immigrants have faced discrimination in the workplace, and many complain of a glass ceiling preventing them from advancing to higher level positions. Additionally, faced with language barriers and different professional criteria (in the medical field, for example), many immigrants have been forced to accept lower-level jobs compared to their employment in their home country.
The community of Dominican immigrants in Boston is not the largest in the country--that distinction belongs to New York; nor is it the most visible immigrant group in the city. Dominicans in Boston have, however, established a community that has integrated itself into the larger Latino community while retaining strong ties to the homeland.
Dominicans began coming to Boston in the 1960s. The first immigrants were supporters of Rafael Trujillo, a U.S.-backed military dictator whose supporters fled after his assassination. Emigration from the Dominican Republic grew dramatically in the 1970s and 1980s, and continues today. Emigration supported the Dominican economy because more jobs were available for non-migrants, and also because those who left the Dominican Republic sent back financial remittances that have come to make up a significant part of the Dominican economy. Most Dominican immigrants are, or were at one point, living here illegally. Whether they came legally or illegally, Dominicans have been less likely than other groups of immigrants to become citizens once in the U.S.
Within Massachusetts, Dominican immigrants have typically settled in former white ethnic cities and neighborhoods. Lawrence has the largest Dominican population of any city in Massachusetts. Jamaica Plain and Dorchester have been the largest Dominican ethnic enclaves within Boston since the 1970s. Since the 1990s, settlement among Dominican immigrants has spread out, with more immigrants settling in suburbs and other cities. Jamaica Plain, however, continues to be the center of the Boston Dominican community.
Dominicans in the United States are typically employed in blue collar jobs, with education and employment history in the Dominican Republic having little effect on U.S. employment. Financial and social success is expected in migration. Financial remittances have been expected by relatives remaining in the Dominican Republic, even when immigrants hold minimum wage jobs.
Family structure among Dominicans has been most affected by migration. In the Dominican Republic, a strict hierarchy has always applied, with husbands superior to wives and parents controlling children. In the U.S., this has changed. Children adjust faster to the U.S., and parents have found it difficult to raise their children in the manner they would have in the Dominican Republic. Women, who typically have never worked outside the home in their homeland, share financial responsibility with husbands, both in income and spending.
Dominicans in Boston have formed informal social networks among coethnics, but the larger community has been formed with other Latinos. The larger American society generally groups all Hispanics together, and other Latinos share the issues of race and identity that Dominicans face in the United States. Race has been flexible in the Dominican Republic, where being wealthier makes one whiter. In the U.S., especially during times of racial tensions, Dominicans have been divided based on skin color. During the busing riots of the 1970s, some siblings were classified as different races.
Though Dominicans have never held a majority in any one electoral district in Boston, their political influence has grown through the 1990s. In 2001, Lawrence became the first city in the country to have a Dominican mayor. Voting rates within the immigrant community have been low, however, because of low naturalization rates.
Many Dominicans have remained involved in homeland politics after migrating. Dominicans abroad can vote in elections and constitute a significant source of financial support for candidates. Presidential candidates have visited Boston in preparation for upcoming Dominican elections. Transnationality is not limited to political involvement; most Dominicans stay in contact with their family and friends who did not migrate. Inexpensive calling cards and airfare have allowed the continuous exchange of information and gossip. The transnationality of the Dominican community in Boston, though not unique, has set it apart from other immigrant communities.
With an estimated population of 70,000-120,000, Boston has the third largest population of Haitians in the country, after Miami and New York. Locally, they make up one of the largest immigrant groups in the city. As a popular destination for secondary migrants (most went to New York or Miami first), Boston is a deliberate choice for most Haitians, particularly because of its educational opportunities. With its plethora of universities and education opportunities, Boston has been an educational mecca for Haitians, many of whom view it as a key path to upward mobility.
Haitian community formation, centered in Dorchester and Mattapan, was reactive and functional to the housing situation presented to the migrants in Boston. Much of the community building, the cultural infrastructure and the racial and ethnic formation that occurred for Haitians was predicated on Boston’s egregious housing segregation. After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, Boston Mayor Kevin White urged the Boston Banks Urban Renewal Group (BBURG), a bank consortium created in 1963, to provide Federal Housing Agency-insured home ownership and rehabilitation loans to low income black families. One the one hand, many Haitians were beneficiaries of this program, buying the available homes in Dorchester and Mattapan with BBURG loans. With few other places in the city open to them, families flocked to Mattapan, hoping to achieve the “American Dream” through homeownership. Lenders made an initial commitment of $20 million to promote home ownership and drew a line around the area – the infamous BBURG line—defining where, and only where the funds could be spent. Although its intentions were sound, the BBURG loans became a sort of fence to keep Haitian and other black Americans away from the rest of Boston. The belief persists that the BBURG program defined the boundaries of racial change in a very geographic way.
Because of the racialized nature of the division of physical space in Boston in the past few decades, Haitian immigrants have been grouped with African Americans as “black” with regard to codes, laws, policies and culture. The differences felt between the two groups are paramount to the racial and ethnic formation of Haitian immigrants in Boston. The imposition of African American culture on to Haitians creates dissonances in the consciousness of Haitian immigrants. On the one hand, Haitians feel bitter that they are automatically treated as African Americans—as in the BBURG episode—since they have historically had little or nothing to do with the experience of African Americans today. Because of this, there existed (and to a lesser extend continues today) a resentment towards African Americans who, to some Haitians, are the cause of white hostility towards black people.
Within the Haitian enclaves of Mattapan and Dorchester, however, Haitians have become successful entrepreneurs and politicians who have contributed to neighborhood revival. The city recently cited 108 businesses owned by Haitians and an annual spending rate of $219 million into the economy. They also have had noted success in healthcare and in technological service fields, where Haitians outnumber most ethnic populations. The advancement of Boston’s Haitian community was dramatically demonstrated by the election of Marie St. Fleur to the US House of Representatives in 1998. With support from such important figures as Mayor Thomas Menino and former Speaker of the House Thomas Finneran, St. Fleur experienced a meteoric rise in local politics and became a highly visible community leader.
Since the 1980s, Salvadorans have come to the Boston area in large numbers, making them the largest Central American immigrant group in the region. El Salvador’s civil war began around 1979, leading to an exodus of its residents fleeing the violence. Most Salvadoran refugees were not recognized as such by the U.S. government, which tended to favor asylum seekers fleeing communist countries. The Boston area was put on the map for Salvadoran refugees beginning in 1984 when Cambridge was designated a haven for Salvadorans. This incited the sponsorship of Salvadoran refugees by several local churches, and in 1987 the city of San Jose De Las Flores, El Salvador became one of Cambridge’s seven Sister Cities. By 1990 the U.S. Census count of Salvadorans was up to 7,620 in Massachusetts, with most of that number concentrated in the Boston/ Cambridge area. As housing prices in Cambridge climbed higher, later Salvadoran refugees settled in other areas, concentrating in East Boston, Somerville, and Chelsea. Today, estimates claim that the Boston area is home to about 75,000 people of Salvadoran origin. Salvadorans living in the area tend to be young, with the largest cohorts aged between 20-34 and a median age of 27.1 years, according to the 2000 Census. The Census Bureau found that 72% of Salvadorans in Massachusetts over age 16 participated in the labor force in 2000, primarily in the service, production, and transport industries. Salvadorans in Boston have also been disproportionately male (57.7%).
With regards to work, perhaps the biggest obstacle in the labor market in Boston for many Salvadoran immigrants has been their lack of legal status or problems with documentation. The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act incriminates employers who hire immigrants with undocumented status. This legislation led to the creation of the abusive and exploitative conditions under which most Salvadorans must now work. Even Salvadorans with Temporary Protected Status, though they are permitted to work legally, are typically hired for unreasonably low wages as they are considered temporary workers. In addition, many Salvadorans are working to send money home to support families in their country, so often they work two or more jobs.
As for education, foreign-born Salvadorans tend to have lower levels of education and English proficiency than the total foreign-born population or second-generation Salvadorans. Today, the average Salvadoran has a ninth grade education. The city of Chelsea, heavily populated with Salvadorans, had the highest drop out rate of any county in the state of Massachusetts in 1988, and in 2006 it had the lowest number of students graduating within a four-year period in the Boston area. Also, Salvadorans face many barriers to higher education, because of low incomes and undocumented status, which renders them unqualified for in-state tuition in Massachusetts.
Regarding health, Salvadorans have been exposed to many psychological and physical dangers. The process of migration itself put Salvadorans at risk for many health disturbances, including Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, survivor’s guilt and anxiety. Yet, because Salvadorans were not recognized as refugees, there has been a lack of funding for health and other social services for this population. As a result, there has been much stress on individuals as well as the traditional Salvadoran family structure. Typical conflicts confronting the Salvadoran family include culture clashes between parents and children, who generally adjust to culture in the U.S. more quickly, as well as shifting power dynamics within the family due to wages and English language ability, and separation as a result of migration or deportation.
Finally, Salvadorans in Boston have faced ethnic discrimination and racial profiling at the hands of local police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), inciting fear and mistrust in the community, and further complicating their integration process.
Soviet Jewish Immigrants
Soviet Jewish immigration to the Greater Boston area was rooted in persecution and anti-Semitism in Russia. This persecution began under the Tsars, who severely restricted where the government allowed Jews to live and initiated pogroms that killed over 100,000 Jews during the first few decades of the twentieth century. When the Bolsheviks came to power, they did end the settlement restrictions, allowing Jews to become heavily urbanized and educated, but they were not at all tolerant. The Soviets viewed all religions as threats to the power of the state, but they viewed Judaism and its associated traditions as particularly Zionistic and threatening to the Communist party. In response, the government passed increasingly anti-Semitic legislation, but refused to allow Jews emigration rights for fear that a mass exodus of Soviet citizens would be construed as an ideological victory for the capitalist West.
The Soviet government did eventually grant emigration rights for a number of reasons. Soviet Jews began clamoring for these rights after Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War, which also provided a feasible destination for the Jews. Furthermore, American Jewish efforts culminated in the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which stipulated that certain United States trading rights would only be conferred to countries with freedom of emigration. As a result, the Soviet Union granted the Jews emigration rights, initiating the first of two main waves of Soviet Jewish immigration. The first wave lasted from 1973 to roughly 1979, when the Soviets temporarily curtailed emigration, and the second occurred during the late 1980s under Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost. Although legally Jews were only able to immigrate to Israel, more than 300,000 Jews “dropped out” and instead made their way to America, where they entered as refugees.
Of those who “dropped out,” only five percent ended up in the Boston area, with the vast majority settling in cities like New York and Los Angeles, but that five percent constituted the upper echelon of immigrants in terms of education and skills. Boston was, at the time, undergoing the “Massachusetts miracle,” meaning educated, highly skilled immigrants were able to find jobs easily and quickly, and its many universities attracted numerous intellectuals. Additionally, the socially affluent, professionally connected Jewish community in Boston offered a tremendous amount of aid to new immigrants, providing education to immigrants’ children and even—through a number of organizations like Combined Jewish Philanthropies—providing stipends to help pay for necessities like housing and groceries.
These Jewish immigrants, although highly skilled and educated, did not immediately enter the professionalized workforce. Rather, they usually spent up to two years working at menial jobs in order to acquire language skills. Once they became proficient in English and obtained professional jobs, however, they tended to jump from lower-class to middle-class, almost overnight. Jewish immigrants, despite coming from a Communist background, proved to be remarkably adept at adjusting to the capitalist system, and Jewish entrepreneurship flourished in Boston.
This marked rise in income allowed Jewish immigrants to move closer to the centers of Jewish communities: synagogues. Because of the affluence of the pre-existing Jewish community, these synagogues were located in some of the most expensive suburbs in New England, like Brookline and Newton. Because of this, a trend of circular migration developed. Jewish immigrants, once they achieved professional careers, would migrate west to cities like Worcester until they built up enough capital to move to Boston’s more expensive suburbs. This created the unusual circumstance of immigrant families living in some of the most affluent neighborhoods within a decade of their arrival.
Religion served to be far more than the geographic center for Jewish settlement. It was, for instance, the means by which immigrant children were educated. It was also a valuable networking tool that got migrants in touch with the resources of one of Boston’s most affluent communities, as well as those of the city itself. Furthermore, by embracing Americanized celebrations of Hanukkah and lavish American-style bar/bat mitzvahs, it became the means by which Soviet Jews assimilated into America society.
All of this created a very unusual path of immigrant incorporation. Soviet Jews were highly educated and were able to secure some of the best paying jobs within a few years of immigrating. They had the vast support network of the pre-existing Jewish community helping them at every step of the way. They were accepted into some of the wealthiest suburbs of New England. By almost all accounts, theirs was a profound success story. Unlike most immigrants, they were only fully able to practice their culture once they immigrated, and it was through that culture that they assimilated into American society.
Amid numerous other immigrant groups, the Vietnamese community of Boston, has had to forge its own identity and has successfully claimed the neighborhood of Dorchester, revitalizing the area despite years of violence and racial strife. From their more humble beginnings, the Vietnamese have been able to gain political influence in the city and have created an intricate network of agencies that aid newly-arrived immigrants.
The story of massive Vietnamese immigration to the United States began in the waning days of the Vietnam War. As the fall of Saigon appeared imminent, the US government started a program of evacuations of those Vietnamese high level officials and others that would be at risk once Northern Vietnamese troops took hold of the city. The second big surge of refugees, after the immediate escape of the wealthy, was made up of mostly poor, uneducated “boat people,” with little means of getting to the United States and no economic connections once they landed here. When originally settling in the United States, the Vietnamese were spread out through all fifty states, with no one area becoming an ethnic enclave. This soon changed, as interstate migration allowed for large population centers to form in Southern California and the Gulf Coast region of the United States. In terms of population, these areas have vastly larger Vietnamese communities than Boston does. According to the 1990 Census, the greater Boston area had a population of about 10,000 Vietnamese, with the majority living in areas such as South Boston and Dorchester, near the Fields Corner neighborhood. In 2000, it was estimated that 31,000 Vietnamese people lived in the Boston area.
More importantly, immigrants were able to take advantage of new educational opportunities to improve their jobs. In 1988, Bunker Hill Community College began a program designed “to serve the needs both of business and of immigrants,” where English as a Second Language courses were combined with vocational courses, in order to teach immigrants English, and advanced courses in the engineering field. High schools with large immigrant populations, such as Brighton High School, began implementing bilingual education programs for Vietnamese as early as 1984, with a success rate of 30 out of 35 students in the program going on to receive college education in 1984. Along with public school support, bilingual schools have opened throughout Boston, including a bilingual preschool at the Vietnamese Community Center built in Dorchester. The Vietnamese, began moving in, and stimulating the local economy, by building several new businesses in the area. From the late 1980s and early 1990s, the community has only grown stronger. In the early 2000s, a $2.5 million dollar community center was built for the Vietnamese Community in Dorchester, with bilingual education and a day care center. The purpose of the community center was two fold; to revitalize the Charles Street area of Fields Corner, and to give the Vietnamese community a place to call their own, according to Long Nguyen, the executive director of Viet-AID at the time, the organization that developed the plans for the center.
The Vietnamese have persevered in Boston, in the face of blatant racial violence and discrimination, not just from neighborhood gangs, but even from high ranking political office holders. Albert L. O’Neil, an at-large city council member from the 1970s until 1999, was infamous for racist remarks made during a parade through the heart of Dorchester on June 7, 1992. The Vietnamese community made the “Dapper Incident” headline news, and held him accountable for his remarks. From this incident onward, the Vietnamese have continued to gain political strength, and cohesion as a group with Boston.As the Vietnamese became more integrated into the local culture, they began to assert themselves politically and defended their civil rights more vigorously. The Vietnamese were able to empower themselves gradually, with the help of the political establishment already here and Vietnamese Bostonians who had already settled. In the earliest years of Vietnamese immigration, violent hate crimes were perpetrated at alarming rates, while the victims were reluctant to tell authorities. During the 1990s, the community grew in size and influence, showing for the first time that the community had political sway.
- Compiled by Students in HS 300: Boston's New Immigrants course, History Department, Boston College, 2008, for more information, contact email@example.com Selected Sources
Aguilar-San Juan, Karin. “Creating Ethnic Places: Vietnamese American Community-Building in Orange County and Boston,” Ph.D. dissertation, Brown University, 2000.
Bluestone, Barry and Mary Huff Stevenson. The Boston Renaissance: Race, Space, and Economic Change in an American Metropolis. New York: Russell Sage, 2000.
Bock, Paula et al. “The Asians: Quincy’s Newest Immigrants.” Edited by Ken Brusic. Reprinted from The Patriot Ledger, March 20-April 1, 1989.
Boston Redevelopment Authority. Gateway City: Boston’s Immigrants, 1988-1998. Boston, 1999.
City of Boston, Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians. Imagine All the People: Brazilian Immigrants in Boston. October 2005.
--Imagine All the People: Haitian Immigrants in Boston. March 2007.
Halter, Marilyn, ed. New Migrants in the Marketplace: Boston’s Ethnic Entrepreneurs Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1995.
Jackson, Regine Ostine. “Black Immigrants in the New Urban Landscape: The Case of Haitians in Boston.” Paper prepared for presentation at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, May 2005. http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=topics.documents&topic_id=1427
Kim, Sue and Gregory W. Perkins. Chinatown Profile Census 2000 (Population, Housing and Employment Data). Boston Redevelopment Authority. September 19, 2003. http://www.cityofboston.gov/bra/PDF/ResearchPublications//Rpt605.pdf
Langner, Paul. “Soviet Jews Find New Life in Boston,” Boston Globe, December 7, 1980, p. 1.
Levitt, Peggy. The Transnational Villagers. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.
Radin, Charles A. "From Haiti to Boston: Haitian immigrants have come here in three great waves, for different reasons and with different skills. More important than what divides them, though, is what they share: strong ties to their former home and fervent hopes for their new one.” Boston Globe, December 15, 1996.
Sum, Andrew, et al. The Changing Face of Massachusetts. Boston: Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassInc), 2005.
Uriarte, Miren. “A Challenge to the Racial Order: Boston's Latino Community.” Boston Review 17 (Sept. Oct. 1992.) http://bostonreview.net/BR17.5/uriarte.html
Uriarte-Gastón, Miren. “Contra Viento y Marea: Latinos Build Community in Boston.” In Latinos in Boston: Confronting Poverty, Building Community, edited by Boston Foundation's Persistent Poverty Project, 144. Boston, Mass: Boston Persistent Poverty Project, Boston Foundation, 1992.
Uriarte, Miren et al., “Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and Colombians: A Scan of Needs of Recent Latin American Immigrants to the Boston area.” University of Massachusetts Boston, 2003.
Watanabe, Paul, Michael Liu, and Shauna Lo. Asian Americans in Metro Boston: Growth, Diversity and Complexity. Metro Boston Equity Initiative of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, May 2004.
Recently, Boston has experienced a loss of regional institutions and traditions, which once gave it a very distinct social character, as it has become part of the more
BosWash megalopolis. Examples include: the acquisition of the " Boston Globe" by " The New York Times"; the loss of Boston-headquartered publishing houses (noted above); the acquisition of the century-old Jordan Marsh department store by Macy's; the increasing rarity of ice-cream shops using cone-shaped scoops; and the loss to mergers, failures, and acquisitions of once-prominent financial institutions such as Shawmut Bank, BayBank, Bank of New England, and Bank of Boston. In 2004, this trend continued as Charlotte-based Bank of Americaacquired FleetBoston Financial, and P&Ghas announced plans to acquire Gillette.
Despite these losses, Boston's ambiance remains unique among
world citiesand, in many ways, has improved in recent years—racial tensions have eased dramatically, city streets bustle with a vitality not seen since the 1920s, and once again Boston has become a hub of intellectual, technological, and political ideas. Nevertheless, the city had to tackle gentrificationissues and rising living expenses. According to "Money Magazine", Boston is one of the world's 100 most expensive cities. [ [http://money.cnn.com/2005/06/21/pf/costliest_cities/ "World's most expensive cities." "Money Magazine"] . Accessed June 30, 2005.]
Boston was the host city of the
2004 Democratic National Convention. The city also found itself at the center of national attention in early 2004 during the controversy over same-sex marriages. After the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Courtruled that such marriages cannot be banned under the state's constitution, opponents and supporters of such marriages converged on the Massachusetts State Houseas the state legislature voted on a state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as only between a man and a woman. Much attention was focused on the city and the rest of Massachusetts when marriage licenses for same-sex couples were issued.
The City of Boston has expanded in two ways - through landfill and through annexation of neighboring municipalities.
Between 1630 and 1890, the city tripled its physical size by
land reclamation, specifically by filling in marshes and mud flats and by filling gaps between wharves along the waterfront, a process Walter Muir Whitehillcalled "cutting down the hills to fill the coves." The most intense reclamation efforts were in the 1800s. Beginning in 1807, the crown of Beacon Hill was used to fill in a 50- acre(20 hectares) mill pond that later became the Bulfinch Triangle (just south of today's North Station area). The present-day State House sits atop this shortened Beacon Hill. Reclamation projects in the middle of the century created significant parts of the areas now known as the South End, West End, Financial District, and Chinatown. After The Great Boston Fire of 1872, building rubble was used as landfill along the downtown waterfront.
The most dramatic reclamation project was the filling in of the Back Bay in the mid to late 1800s. Almost six hundred acres (240 hectares) of brackish Charles River marshlands west of the Boston Common were filled in with soil brought in by rail from the hills of Needham Heights. Boston also grew by annexing the adjacent communities of East Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, West Roxbury (including Jamaica Plain and Roslindale), South Boston, Brighton, Allston, Hyde Park, and Charlestown, some of which were also augmented by landfill reclamation.
Timeline of annexations, secessions, and related developments (incomplete):
* 1705 - Hamlet of Muddy River split off to incorporate as Brookline
* 1804 - First part of Dorchester by act of the state legislaturecite web | url=http://www.kellscraft.com/bostonillustrated/bostonillustrated07.html | title=New Boston and the Suburbs | publisher=Kellscraft Studio | year=1999-2003]
* 1851 - West Roxbury (including Jamaica Plain and Roslindale) is split off from Roxbury as an independent municipality.
* 1855 - Washington Village, part of
South Boston, by act of the state legislaturecite web | url=http://www.kellscraft.com/bostonillustrated/bostonillustrated07.html | title=New Boston and the Suburbs | publisher=Kellscraft Studio | year=1999-2003]
* 1868 - Roxbury
* 1870 - Last part of Dorchester
* 1873 -
Brookline-Boston annexation debate of 1873(Brookline was "not" annexed)
* 1874 - West Roxbury, including Jamaica Plain and Roslindale (approved by voters in 1873)cite web | url=http://www.kellscraft.com/bostonillustrated/bostonillustrated07.html | title=New Boston and the Suburbs | publisher=Kellscraft Studio | year=1999-2003]
* 1874 - Town of Brighton (including Allston) (approved by voters in 1873)cite web | url=http://www.kellscraft.com/bostonillustrated/bostonillustrated07.html | title=New Boston and the Suburbs | publisher=Kellscraft Studio | year=1999-2003]
* 1874 - Charlestown (approved by voters in 1873)cite web | url=http://www.kellscraft.com/bostonillustrated/bostonillustrated07.html | title=New Boston and the Suburbs | publisher=Kellscraft Studio | year=1999-2003]
* 1912 - Hyde Park [Citation | first1=Geoff | last1=Lewis | first2=John | last2=Avault | first3=Jim | last3=Vrabel | title=History of Boston's Economy, Growth and Transition 1970 - 1998 | year=November 1999 | pages=31 | place=Boston, MA | publisher=Boston Redevelopment Authority | url=http://www.cityofboston.gov/bra/PDF/ResearchPublications//pdr529.pdf]
* 1986 - Vote to create Mandela from parts of Roxbury, Dorchester, and the South End passes locally but fails city-wide.
* 1857 - Filling of the Back Bay begins
* 1882 - Present-day Back Bay fill complete
* 1890 - Charles River landfill reaches
Kenmore Square, formerly the western end of the Back Bay mill pond
* 1900 -
Back Bay Fensfill complete
*cite book | author=Winsor, Justin | title= [http://books.google.com/books?id=1z8OAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=editions:0jkSXQveT0SxV7GZV0DYhMn#PPR3,M1 Memorial History of Boston, Vol.1] [http://books.google.com/books?id=U0AOAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=intitle:Memorial+intitle:History+intitle:of+intitle:Boston&lr=&num=50&as_brr=0&source=gbs_book_other_versions_r&cad=3_1 Vol.2 ] [http://books.google.com/books?id=_UAOAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=editions:0cL_IGuEozgy2ftZpW5K4Kt Vol.3.] [http://books.google.com/books?id=eD8OAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=intitle:Memorial+intitle:History+intitle:of+intitle:Boston&lr=&num=50&as_brr=0 Vol.4.] | publisher=James R. Osgood Publisher.| year=1881
*cite book | author=Snow, Caleb H. | title= [http://books.google.com/books?id=7eovZyvw7S8C&pg=PA9&dq=editions:0tsIsk90aiMeVh&lr=&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=0_0#PPP13,M1 History of Boston] | publisher=Abel Bowen | year=1828
*cite book | author=Boston |title= [http://books.google.com/books?id=olMMAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA98&dq=intitle:History+intitle:of+intitle:Boston&lr=&num=50&as_brr=0#PPP5,M1 Records Relating to the Early History of Boston - Selectmen Minutes 1818-1822.] | publisher=City of Boston | year=1909
*cite book | author=Downst, Henry P. | title= [http://kellscraft.com/NotesBoston/NotesBostoncontentpage.html "Random Notes of Boston"] | publisher=Humphrey Publishing | year=1916
*cite book | author= Bacon, Edwin M. | title= [http://www.kellscraft.com/bostonillustrated/bostonillustratedcontent.html Boston Illustrated] | year=1886
*cite journal | author=Cole, William I. | title= [http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/moa/moa-cgi?notisid=AFJ3026-0024-33 "Boston's Pauper Institutions"] | journal=The New England Magazine | volume=24 | issue=2 | month=April | year=1898
*cite book| author=Patricia Harris and David Lyon | title=Boston | location=Oakland, CA | publisher=Compass American Guides | year=1999 | id=ISBN 0-679-00284-7
*cite book| author=Howard Mumford Jones and Bessie Zaban Jones | title=The Many Voices of Boston: A Historical Anthology 1630-1975 | location=Boston | publisher=Little, Brown and Company | year=1975 | id=ISBN 0-316-47282-4
*cite journal | author=Langford, Jane Ellen | title= [http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/boston/ "Colonial Boston Unearthed"] | journal=Archaeology, Archaeological Institute of America | date=September 26, 1997
*cite book | author=Shackleton, Robert | title= [http://www.kellscraft.com/BookofBoston/BookofBostoncontentpage.html The Book of Boston] | year=1916
*cite book | author=Winsor, Justin, Jewett, C.F. | title= [http://www.helloboston.com/80_LocalBook.Cfm "The Memorial History of Boston Including Suffolk County, Massachusetts. 1630-1880"] | year=1880
* [http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/boston_1842.jpgHistorical 1842 map of Boston] - "Boston" from Tanner, H.S. "The American Traveller; or Guide Through the United States". Eighth Edition. New York, 1842.
*Dutton, E.P. [http://maps.bpl.org/id/06_01_002671/ "Chart of Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay with Map of Adjacent Country".] Published 1867. A good map of roads and rail lines in and around Boston.
*Bacon, Edwin Monroe. [http://books.google.com/books?id=-YR5aY_o5ygC&pg=PA181#PPP9,M1 "The Book of Boston: Fifty Years' Recollections of the New England Metropolis."] Published 1916, 534 pages.
*Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher, [http://www.common-place.org/vol-03/no-04/boston/ "Big Dig, Little Dig, Hidden Worlds: Boston"] , Common-Place,
American Antiquarian Society, v.3, n.4, July 2003
* [http://www.bostonhistory.org/geninfo.php The Boston Historical Society]
* [http://www.cityofboston.gov/environment/program.asp City of Boston Archaeology Program and Lab] - The City of Boston has a City Archaeologist on staff to oversee any lots of land to be developed for historical artifacts and significance, and to manage the archaeological remains located on public land in Boston, and also has a City Archaeology Program and an Archaeology Laboratory, Education and Curation Center.
* [http://bos-gw.rays-place.com/bos/index.htm Vital Records of Boston.]
* [http://www.storyofboston.com A photographic atlas of historic sites throughout Boston]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.