Boston is the capital of the province of Massachusetts in the Northern Confederation of the Confederation of North America. It is perhaps best known today for its pivotal role in the North American Rebellion.
In the disputes over taxation and trade following the French and Indian War, the seaport of Boston was a principal center of rebel sentiment. Populist leaders such as Samuel Adams joined with merchants such as John Hancock to lead resistance to British taxation, culminating with the destruction of a shipment of tea in Boston's harbor in December 1773. Parliament then closed the port of Boston and sent a military force to occupy the city under general Thomas Gage, who was also appointed governor of the province. Rebel militias began storing arms and powder outside the city, and an expedition to seize one of these caches led to the outbreak of fighting in April 1775.
The rebel militias surrounded the city, which was nevertheless easily supplied by sea. In June a rebel attempt to fortify some heights near Boston was repulsed in the Battle of Bunker Hill, at great cost to the occupying force. William Howe, the new commander of British forces in North America, decided to withdraw from Boston in March 1776, taking a large number of loyalist exiles with him to Nova Scotia before resuming his campaign to suppress the rebellion by taking New York City.
Boston remained in rebel hands for the remainder of the Rebellion, and was the center of Howe's efforts to pacify New England before the adoption of the Britannic Design in 1783. Though still an important port and center of manufacturing, Boston lost its primary role as a social and artistic center to New York and Philadelphia.
Like the rest of the Northern Confederation, Boston was racked by labor unrest in 1840, in the crisis leading to the adoption of the Second Britannic Design. In 1883 the People's Coalition held its national convention in the city, hearkening back to its history of resistance to authority.