Boston was transformed from a relatively small and economically stagnant town in 1780 to a bustling seaport and cosmopolitan center with a large and highly mobile population by 1800. By the mid-19th century Boston was one of the largest manufacturing centers in the nation, noted for its garment production, leather goods, and machinery industries. Manufacturing overtook international trade to dominate the local economy. From the mid-to-late-19th century, the Boston Brahmins flourished culturally—they became renowned for its rarefied literary culture and lavish artistic patronage.

Northeastern Magalopolis

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. The phrase “banned in Boston” came to suggest something sexy and lurid; some distributors advertised that their products had been banned in Boston, when in fact they had not.

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 northeastern megalopolis.

The Northeast megalopolis (also Boston–Washington corridor or Bos-Wash corridor), the most populous megalopolis in the United States with over 50 million residents, is the most heavily urbanized agglomeration of the United States. The region’s cities, while discrete and independent, are uniquely tied to each other through the intermeshing of their suburban zones, taking on some characteristics of a single, massive city: a megalopolis.

Plan For Visiting Boston


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Places/Sites of Interest

François Leclerc du Tremblay is the figure in black, together with red-cothed Cardinal Richelieu, depicted descending the staircase in this oil painting (1873) by Jean-Léon Gérôme.
  • L’Eminence Grise, a painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Museum of Fine arts in Boston (465 Huntington Avenue).
  • MIT Museum – 265 Massachusetts Ave



  • Eventide for Lobster Roll (1321 Boylston St)
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Specific Events

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