The city annexed the adjacent towns of South Boston (1804), East Boston (1836), Roxbury (1868), Dorchester (including present day Mattapan and a portion of South Boston) (1870), Brighton (including present day Allston) (1874), West Roxbury (including present day Jamaica Plain and Roslindale) (1874), Charlestown (1874), and Hyde Park (1912).

In 1958, BRA initiated a project to improve the historic West End neighborhood.

Extensive demolition was met with strong public opposition.

The peninsula is thought to have been inhabited as early as 5000 BC.

In 1629, the Massachusetts Bay Colony's first governor John Winthrop led the signing of the Cambridge Agreement, a key founding document of the city.

This boom continued into the mid-1980s and resumed after a few pauses.

Hospitals such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brigham and Women's Hospital lead the nation in medical innovation and patient care.

Later, a dense network of railroads furthered the region's industry and commerce.

In the 1820s, Boston's population grew rapidly, and the city's ethnic composition changed dramatically with the first wave of European immigrants.

Irish and Italian immigrants brought with them Roman Catholicism.

Currently, Catholics make up Boston's largest religious community, The largest reclamation efforts took place during the 19th century; beginning in 1807, the crown of Beacon Hill was used to fill in a 50-acre (20 ha) mill pond that later became the Haymarket Square area.

Its rich history attracts many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone drawing more than 20 million visitors per year.