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Last updated: 4/8/19

The City-State of Boston: The rise and fall of an Atlantic World, 1630-1865

Join us for this groundbreaking history of early America that shows how Boston built and sustained an independent city-state in New England before being folded into the United States

In the vaunted annals of America’s founding, Boston has long been held up as an exemplary “city upon a hill” and the “cradle of liberty” for an independent United States. Wresting this iconic urban center from these misleading, tired clichés, "The City-State of Boston" highlights Boston’s overlooked past as an autonomous city-state, and in doing so, offers a pathbreaking and brilliant new history of early America.

Following Boston’s development over three centuries, Mark Peterson discusses how this self-governing Atlantic trading center began as a refuge from Britain’s Stuart monarchs and how — through its bargain with slavery and ratification of the Constitution — it would tragically lose integrity and autonomy as it became incorporated into the greater United States.

Peeling away the layers of myth surrounding a revered city, "The City-State of Boston" offers a startlingly fresh understanding of America’s history.