The geography of the port of Boston.
McKinnon, Richard J
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Boston Harbor is an indentation of the Boston Bay. Its limits of the port of Boston include a total water frontage if 140 miles. The most important section of the port is the inner harbor where the majority of the commercial activity takes place. The harbor is part of the Boston Basin which was formed many millions of years ago. During the Quaternary Period, an ice sheet covered the basin and altered the landscape leaving numerous drumlins in the basin. With the retreat of the glacier, a submergence of former land took place and the harbor and bay were formed from the lower valleys of the Charles, Mystic, and Neponset River. Three tombolos, Nahant, Winthrop, and Nantasket, give the harbor protection from the Atlantic Ocean. The present dat harbor has 7 channels leading from the Broad Sound, 3 major and 4 minor. The port consists of the inner harbor - Main Ship Channel, Fort Point Channel, Charles River, Mystic River, Malden River, Island End River, and the Chelsea Creek - Dorchester Bay, Quincy Bay, and the Hingham Bay with their tributary rivers. The mean range of tides in the harbor at Boston Lighthouse is 8.9 feet and 9.6 feet feet in the inner harbor. The extreme range is 4 feet greater. Boston has favorable weather most of the year. The port is not closed by ice in the winter and the approaches protect it from the northeast storms off the ocean. Fog, usually during the summer, is the only obstacle to shipping. Rainfall averages 40.14 inches a year and the average annual temperature is 51 degrees F. Boston's maritime history started in 1630 and in 1631 the first ship was built, the Blessing of the Bay. Fishing and coast-wise commerce were the important maritime industries. By 1640 Boston was engaged in world trade, the first American port to do so. The triangle trade - rum, slaves, molasses - began to grow in importance. The Navigation Acts were passed by Parliament in 1660 to restrict the activities of the port. In 1684 the port was blockaded by the British and trade was crippled. At the turn of the century the restrictions were removed and commerce grew rapidly. The growth in commerce led to the Townsend Acts designed to protect the English merchants from competition by the Colonies. The Boston Tea Party took place on December 16, 1770 and the Revolution started in 1775. Boston contributed 365 privateers to help win the war. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University
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