6 Cities With a Ton of Colonial History
When our forefathers split from Britain, they came over to the United States and settled along the East coast for the most part. Although they wanted to be freed from the oppression of Parliament, we still colonized another man’s land to do so. Although some of the histories of America can be pretty brutal, like most of the world, it all lead us to where we are today. Some of these colonial cities are listed below.
There’s a reason that they call the northeastern United States “New England”. This area was very much in the sites of explorers that came over the Atlantic. In the early 1600s, the land was settled by Puritans from Europe. Around the mid-to-late 1700s, there was the Boston Massacre which was the assasscination of 5 colonists by the British Parliament. Consequently, this created very high tensions between the colonies and the British.
Tensions ultimately came to a head and the Boston Tea Party followed. Then in 1775, the Revolutionary War was in full swing. Boston was the grounds for many important battles such as Paul Revere’s famous ride, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Throughout the 1800s, Boston continued to grow with immigrants coming from Italy, Ireland, and Great Britain. Today half of the population hails from the Caribbean.
Williamsburg was one of the first planned cities in the New World. This was the first capital of the colonies as well and became a central hub of politics leading up to the Revolutionary War. The Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum of sorts that features the colonial buildings and homes in a historic district of the city. The purpose of this is to preserve the history of what our nation was founded on and give insight into the ways of colonial living.
Outside of Colonial Williamsburg, you can still find many places to visit. Williamsburg is filled with colony-style shops, taverns, and cafes. The College of William and Mary is also located in this city and is the nation’s second-oldest college.
Another central city in the growth of our nation is Philadelphia. The city was settled by William Penn who was an English Quaker to be the capital of the Pennsylvania colony. Although other American historical locations may come to mind before Philadelphia, it is important to note the prominence of Philadelphia during the American Revolution. This is where the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were contracted. And Philadelphia served as the capital city during the construction of D.C.
While you’re browsing Philadelphia homes for sale, you’ll notice that the city is right on the border of New Jersey. All you have to do is cross the Delaware River and you’re in New Jersey. When William Penn left plans for the city to be built, he made a grid system around the river. However, the inhabitants never ended up following the plan.
San Antonio, Texas
As one of the oldest settlements in Texas, the Spanish crown was very interested in the region of texas since the 1600s. Spanish explorers were sent on an expedition in 1675 to explore past the Rio Grande. They discovered San Antonio and the San Antonio River and Pedro de Aguirre convinced Spanish authorities to establish and maintain new missions in the region. They worked with the Natives of the land to maintain peace.
Once again in 1821, when Mexico gained independence from Spain, Anglo Americans made their way to the region at the invitation of the Mexican government. After Santa Anna was elected as president, he did away with the Mexican Constitution of 1824. This brought the Battle of Bexar, Battle of the Alamo, and finally the Battle of St. Jacinto. San Antonio was an epicenter of Texas gaining its independence.
New Orleans, Louisiana
By the 1690s, explorers and fur trappers from France were migrating to the New Orleans area, and some made settlements alongside the Natives. The city was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the official colonial administrator, and governor of Louisiana. He picked this site to colonize for many factors and the city was to become a very important colonial city. It was named after the then-Regent of France, Philip II, Duke of Orléans.
Then once the British were victorious in the Seven Years War, the French colony west of the Mississippi River and the colony of New Orleans were ceded to Spain. This is what has led to the area being so steeped in French and Spanish culture. Many of the architecture is from the time of the late 1700s when several fires tore through the city and it was rebuilt with brick structures.
Finally, we get to the country’s capital city. D.C. was selected as the capital city by George Washington. After the War of 1812, the capitol building was rebuilt and is the structure that is there today. Then again by the American Civil War, the capitol building was becoming quite crowded and the swampy land that was north of the canal provided unhealthy conditions. The White House decided to stay put and has been adding on sections ever since.
Besides the White House, the whole city of Washington was planned out accordingly by Pierre Charles L’Enfant who was a French civil engineer appointed by George Washington. The city remains the main center of government for the United States. There is so much to learn about including the National Mall which is home to the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Constitution Gardens.