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Its rich history attracts many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone drawing more than 20 million visitors per year.
Boston's early European settlers had first called the area Trimountaine (after its "three mountains," only traces of which remain today) but later renamed it Boston after Boston, Lincolnshire, England, the origin of several prominent colonists.
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The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. independence from Great Britain, it continued to be an important port and manufacturing hub as well as a center for education and culture.
It was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston. The city has expanded beyond the original peninsula through land reclamation and municipal annexation.
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.