What is the capital of Massachusetts?

Boston, Massachusetts, USA historic skyline at dusk
Boston, Massachusetts, USA historic skyline at dusk

The capital of Massachusetts is Boston.

Within this post, we will share where exactly the capital of Massachusetts is located, a brief history of Boston, when and why it became the capital, and some fun things to do in the area.

Where Is The Capital Of Massachusetts Located?

Where Is The Capital Of Massachusetts Located
Where Is The Capital Of Massachusetts Located

The capital of Massachusetts is located in Boston. It is located in the top north-eastern part of the United States, below New Hampshire and above Rhode Island.

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Cambridge, then Brookline, then Newton are the closest big cities to Boston. Providence is the closest capital city to Boston.

Brief History of Boston

Boston skyline with river in sunlight at Massachusetts USA
Boston skyline with river in sunlight at Massachusetts USA

Boston was first founded by the Puritans in 1603, upon their travels from England in the United Kingdom to create New England in the United States. At the time, the colony was deeply Christian, and all of the residents would go to church and were expected to marry and bear children.

Despite the Christian community severely punishing or even killing those who did not meet their strict standards, Boston became one of the most economically progressive cities in the area of New England.

In the late 1600’s, many Bostonians found themselves unhappy with the Church of England and the way it was being run. Sir Edmund Andros was at that time governing the Dominion of New England and was a great supporter of the church, which resulted in the political uprising.

Boston continued to grow, and with it, so did the attitudes of the citizens who wanted more freedom from British rule. For another 100 years they were ruled by the British, and during that time, tensions continued to increase.

In 1770 the Boston Massacre happened, following the new taxation of paper, where the funds only went towards paying for the British military. 342 chests of tea, approximately $1.7million in today’s money, were dumped into the Boston Harbor in what is now known as the Boston Tea Party.

This was the spark that started the American Revolution. In 1775 the United States finally gained their freedom from England, and then on the 6th February 1788, Massachusetts became the 6th state in the United States.

When did Boston become the Capital of Massachusetts?

Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Editorial credit: Osugi / Shutterstock.com

Boston became the capital city of Massachusetts in the 17th century. Officially, it was officially named the capital of the state back in 1632, approximately one hundred years before Confederation

This is because in 1630, the Massachusetts Bay Colony settled and planned on making Newtown (now called Cambridge) the capital of Massachusetts. However, Governor John Winthrop decided that due to the fact that Boston was located near the sea, it would be more advantageous as a political and commercial capital.

Why is Boston the capital of Massachusetts?

When Governor John Winthrop moved his house to Boston, the other magistrates followed his lead and also decided to settle in Boston.

The Great and General Court of the Bay Company held a meeting to establish the new government for the colony and chose Boston as the area to hold it. This is because by then, it has already unofficially become the colony’s capital.

Finally, in 1632 on the 3rd October the Court of Assistants declared that Boston was the best place to hold public meetings, and then in 1686 Boston became the capital of all of New England. However, the Dominion of New England was eventually overthrown in 1689.

In 1681 the Province of Massachusetts was formed, just under 80 years since the Puritans arrived.

Features of Boston

Boston is the only state capital in the whole of the United States which has an ocean coastline, which is a hug pull for tourists all year round. There are plenty of things that come to mind when people think of Boston, such as the Red Sox, The T, the oldest park in the USA, and the first chocolate factory.

Best Places to visit in Boston

The Boston Common and Public Garden are two areas of astounding beauty which are located right alongside one another. They are full of hiking, biking, and dog-walking paths, statues, flowers, ducks, and willow trees which drape over a small pond. There, you will also find a cute swan boat and plenty of great picnic spots near hundreds of blooming tulips.

The Museum of Fine Arts is the place to go for those who appreciate a good painting or two. This is actually the fourth-largest museum in the United States, and it houses around 500,000 pieces from around the world. You will find sections on Egyptian jewelry, exhibitions on the true heart of Asia, and you will be able to discover American artists that you’ve never even heard of before.

The Old North Church is a nice nod to American- British history, and is one of those places that you should really visit. In 1775, Vestryman John Pulling and sexton Robert Newman ascended the steeple with lanterns in-arm and signaled that the British were coming over the Charles River towards them. This is the key event which caused the American Revolution.

North End is another  much-visit place due to the fact that it is the oldest residential community in Boston. You can stock up on cannolis from Modern Pastry, eat all the carbs you can on Hanover Street, and walk down the many narrow streets in search of an adventure.

Faneuil Hall is the place to go to grab a bite to eat in Boston. It has been both a meeting hall and a marketplace for hundreds of years, and is still filled with the same exciting produce that it was back then. Head over to Quincy Market to truly be taken back in time.

Finally, any visit would be incomplete without visiting the Boston waterfront. Here you will find incredible views of the city (for free) and will truly be able to take in the beauty that the capital has to offer. Step back in time to when Governor John Winthrop decided that this was the area that would make history.

See Also

Capital Cities 

Why is Boston the Capital of Massachusetts?

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!