The exact year that the book "Johnny Tremain" starts out in is 1773. The setting is Boston, Massachusetts. That places the book's time period smack dab in the middle of a ready to blow powder keg of events. 1773 is the year that the Boston Tea Party took place, and two years later will be the year 1775. That is the year in which the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired just outside of Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts. The book does a nice job of wrapping the main character's life around real historical events and people of the time period. For example men like Paul Revere are in the book, and young Johnny Tremain actually knows him instead of just knowing of him.