We've probably all heard the old chestnut, Boston is "The Athens of America," a hub of cultural influence, democratic values and staid intellectualism.
Yale historian Mark Peterson takes that comparison to Athens even further. He argues that Boston over hundreds of years — starting in the mid 17th — carved itself into a New England "City State" empire, before it was fully absorbed into the new, larger nation. And he says that the ratification of the U.S. Constitution was detrimental to Boston and Massachusetts — going into the the 18th and 19th centuries.
Mark Peterson, professor of history at Yale University and author of the new book "The City-State Of Boston: The Rise And Fall Of An Atlantic Power, 1630 - 1865."