A Commentary on Maier's Essay about 18th Century Boston and New York

702 Words Feb 5th, 2018 3 Pages
Both were, and continue to be, centers of commerce of ports of entry for visitors and immigrants. Despite some similarities, however, Boston and New York boast some striking differences, as Maier points out, in their people, their politics, in feeling, in character, and "in that wonderfully all-encompassing thing called culture." Maier further contends that, while both cities have naturally evolved since the eighteenth century, each had distinct characteristics evident from the beginning that influenced their development. These distinct characteristics can still be seen today.
Maier explains that the word "city" is used not so much to distinguish a place by its size as by its function. Boston and New York were considered cities before 1800, although compared to Paris and London of the same period, they were quite small. Paris, for example, already had more than a half million people in 1700. London had 575,000 people in 1750 and grew to nearly 900,000 over the next five decades. At the turn of the eighteenth century, Boston, the larger of the two American cities, had a population of 6,700, while New York's population was closer to 5,000. Clearly, the two American…

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