Massachusetts History - the history of Massachusetts
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Massachusetts   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Massachusetts History

   
 

Massachusetts History


Before the arrival of Europeans, the area that is today the state of Massachusetts was inhabited by various Algonquian-speaking Native American peoples including the Massachusett, the Pennacook, the Wampanoag, the Nauset, the Nipmuc, the Pocomtuc, the Mahican, the Narragansett and Mohegan. Sadly however, all these peoples were soon decimated by smallpox when Europeans first arrived in North America.

In 1620, the Pilgrims arrived from England on the Mayflower, establishing a colony at Plymouth. Like the Native Americans, the Pilgrims suffered from smallpox. They were however helped by the Wampanoags, and celebrated their first Thanksgiving with the Native Americans in 1621. The English settlers were known to the Native Americans, as Yengeeze (their pronunciation of "English"). This is the origin of the word "Yankee".

In the following decades, the Pilgrims were followed by Puritans, who established a colony at Boston, as well as Anglicans and Quakers. However there were religious tensions, with Quakerism banned, and four Quakers hanged on Boston Colony. The English colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island were founded at this time by dissenters fleeing the lack of religious tolerance in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

In the reign of King James II of England, who was an outspoken Catholic, the Massachusetts Bay Colony's charter was annulled. A short-lived Dominion of New England was formed, but the Royal Governor was overthrown by the colonials. After James' overthrow, the Plymouth Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony (Boston) were merged, and a new royal charter was granted in 1692.

1692 was also signalled the Salem witch trials. The trials lasted until May 1693, and resulted in the deaths of 20 people (14 women and 6 men), and the imprisonment of more than 150.

Massachusetts was an important location in the run-up to, and during the the American Revolution (1775 to 1783). Samuel Adams, John Adams, and John Hancock all came from the state, and Boston was the site of the Boston Massacre (1770) and the Boston Tea Party (1773). Additionally, the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and the Battle of Bunker Hill both took place within the state.

In the early 19th century, Massachusetts became a leader in industrialization. Textiles mills were established in Boston, and the United States' first commercial railroad, the Granite Railway, was established in 1826.

Immediately, following the American Revolution, Massachusetts had been the first state to assert that slavery was no longer permitted. In the first half of the 19th century, abolitionist sentiment and activity continued to grow within the state. As a result, Massachusetts was one of the first states to respond to President Lincoln's call for troops, and also was the first state to recruit a black regiment, the 54th Massachustts Volunteer Infantry.

In the early years of the 20th century, Massachusetts had a strong industrial economy, with Boston serving as the the second most important port in the country. The economy however began to falter during the 1920s, and the state was hit hard by the Great Depression that began in 1929.

After World War II, and a difficult transition period, Massachusetts gradually transitioned to a largely service and technology based economy. The state is also an important educational center, containing many nationally and internationally reknown colleges and universities, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.


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Massachusetts: A Concise History

By Richard D. Brown

Brand: Univ of Massachusetts Pr
Paperback (400 pages)

Massachusetts: A Concise History
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From the moment the first English colonists landed on the shores of Plymouth Bay, the experiences of the people of Massachusetts have been emblematic of larger themes in American history. The story of the first Pilgrim thanksgiving is commemorated as a national holiday, while the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere's ride have passed into the national mythology. Even the grimmer aspects of the American experience―Indian warfare and the conquest of an ever expanding frontier―were part of the early history of Massachusetts. In this book, Richard D. Brown and Jack Tager survey the rich heritage of this distinctive, and distinctly American, place, showing how it has long exerted an influence disproportionate to its size. A seedbed of revolt against British colonial rule, Massachusetts has supplied the nation with a long line of political leaders―from Samuel and John Adams to William Lloyd Garrison and Lucy Stone to John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy. Its early textile mills helped shape the industrial revolution, while its experiences with urbanization, immigration, ethnic conflict, and labor strife reflected the growth of the national economy. In the twentieth century, the state continued to lead the country through a series of wrenching economic changes as it moved from the production of goods to the provision of services, eventually becoming a center of the high-tech revolution in telecommunications. If there is one common theme in the Bay State's history, Brown and Tager make clear, it is the capacity to adapt to change. In part this trait can be attributed to the state's unique blend of resources, including its many distinguished colleges and universities. But it can also be credited to the people themselves, who have created a singular sense of place by reconciling claims of tradition with the possibilities of innovation. This book tells their story.

Boston in the American Revolution: A Town versus an Empire (History & Guide)

By Brooke Barbier

The History Press
Released: 2017-03-06
Paperback (160 pages)

Boston in the American Revolution: A Town versus an Empire (History & Guide)
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In 1764, a small town in the British colony of Massachusetts ignited a bold rebellion. When Great Britain levied the Sugar Act on its American colonies, Parliament was not prepared for Boston's backlash. For the next decade, Loyalists and rebels harried one another as both sides revolted and betrayed, punished and murdered. But the rebel leaders were not quite the heroes we consider them today. Samuel Adams and John Hancock were reluctant allies. Paul Revere couldn't recognize a traitor in his own inner circle. And George Washington dismissed the efforts of the Massachusetts rebels as unimportant. With a helpful guide to the very sites where the events unfolded, historian Brooke Barbier seeks the truth behind the myths. Barbier tells the story of how a city radicalized itself against the world's most powerful empire and helped found the United States of America.

Jamestown and the Massachusetts Bay Colony: The History and Legacy of the Settlement of Colonial New England and Virginia

By Charles River Editors

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (162 pages)

Jamestown and the Massachusetts Bay Colony: The History and Legacy of the Settlement of Colonial New England and Virginia
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*Includes pictures *Includes contemporary accounts of the colonies *Includes a bibliography for further reading John Smith is one of the most common names in the English language and akin to the use of John Doe, but every Briton and American is familiar with the explorer and mercenary Captain John Smith, who helped found the first permanent English colony in the New World at Jamestown in 1607. Jamestown is fondly remembered today for being the first permanent English settlement in the colonies, but it was not fondly remembered by those who lived and died there. The English quickly learned it would be difficult to establish a permanent settlement because of the poor weather, the swampy terrain, the hostile natives living nearby, and the general inexperience and ineptitude of the English settlers. During their first winter, everyone nearly starved, and more than half of the settlers died. By the end of the winter of 1609-1610, known as the “starving time”, barely 10% of the settlers were still alive. Nevertheless, Jamestown is remembered today because the settlement did survive through the hardships and go on to serve as the capital of the English colony for much of the 17th century. At the same time, one of the biggest reasons for its survival and fame today can be attributed to the local Native Americans, particularly Pocahontas, who has added both a human and romanticized, mythological element to Jamestown. She was the daughter of the paramount chief (mamanatowick) Powhatan, leader of an Algonquian-speaking native group in eastern Virginia. It was this group that Smith and the other English settlers came into contact with, and Smith credited her with saving him from being killed by the Native Americans. After that, Smith was able to establish relatively friendly relations and trade with the local inhabitants, ensuring Jamestown’s survival. Though the Virginian colonists had difficulty in the beginning, by the late 1620s the Chesapeake area was thriving, having become a haven for those seeking economic opportunity in the new world. Pressures in England were growing as King Charles I was on the throne. Though Charles I himself was an Anglican, many suspected him of Catholic sympathies, a suspicion not alleviated by Charles I marriage to a French Catholic princess. Many Protestants had a growing desire to practice their faith and conduct their lives away from the mother country, and sought refuge in a destination called New England. The land chosen by this group, who “could pay their own way across the Atlantic” in contrast to the poorer settlers of the Chesapeake region was “colder, less abundant, but far healthier” than Virginia. Ultimately, the men of the New England Company decided that the time had come to remove themselves from England, and to pursue their lives in the Americas. The Dorchester Company was founded by a group of investors with an interest in settlement in the New World. This settlement would be a for-profit venture, but it would have as its two main causes the spreading of the Gospel to the Indian population and the stop of the spread of Roman Catholicism in the American colonies. John White, the company’s leader, also wanted to compete with the separatists who had begun the Plymouth colony in 1620. Cape Ann, a promontory very near to Cape Cod was established by the Dorchester Company as an early settlement. The fishing was excellent, but Cape Ann proved unable to provide the farm goods needed to sustain the Puritan settlers who came to the New World. The Dorchester Company was dissolved, but investors seeking to salvage its aims formed the New England Company or Massachusetts Bay Company and secured a charter just before King Charles I dissolved the Parliament in 1629.

Massachusetts: Mapping the Bay State through History: Rare and Unusual Maps from the Library of Congress (Mapping the States through History)

By Vincent Virga

Brand: Globe Pequot
Hardcover (128 pages)

Massachusetts: Mapping the Bay State through History: Rare and Unusual Maps from the Library of Congress (Mapping the States through History)
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These books, produced from the archives of the Library of Congress and edited by Vincent Virga, offer a glimpse into the history of the United States through rare historical full-color maps, narrative captions, and short essays.

The Wampanoag Genealogical History of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts: Referenced to Banks' History of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

By Jay Segel

Genealogical Publishing Company
Paperback (679 pages)

The Wampanoag Genealogical History of Martha s Vineyard, Massachusetts: Referenced to Banks  History of Martha s Vineyard, Massachusetts
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This is a complete historical record of Martha's Vineyard's Wampanoag families, presented within the context of family genealogies. The main portion is a compendium of every Indian with Island connections whose name was found in the 17th and 18th centuries in various records, such as land records and deeds, wills, maritime, and census records.

The History of Massachusetts: From the First Settlement Thereof in 1628, Until the Year 1750: 2

By Thomas Hutchinson

Palala Press
Paperback (458 pages)

The History of Massachusetts: From the First Settlement Thereof in 1628, Until the Year 1750: 2
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This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

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A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts

By J. W. Ocker

J W Ocker
Released: 2016-10-04
Paperback (352 pages)

A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts
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Edgar Award-winning travel writer spends an autumn living in one of America's spookiest tourist destinations: Salem, Massachusetts
Salem, Massachusetts, may be the strangest city on the planet. A single event in its 400 years of history―the Salem Witch Trials of 1692―transformed it into the Capital of Creepy in America. But Salem is a seasonal town―and its season happens to be Halloween. Every October, this small city of 40,000 swells to more than a quarter million as witches, goblins, ghouls, and ghosts (and their admirers) descend on Essex Street. For the fall of 2015, occult enthusiast and Edgar Award-winning writer J.W. Ocker moved his family of four to downtown Salem to experience firsthand a season with the witch, visiting all of its historical sites and macabre attractions. In between, he interviews its leaders and citizens, its entrepreneurs and visitors, its street performers and Wiccans, its psychics and critics, creating a picture of this unique place and the people who revel in, or merely weather, its witchiness. 25 b/w photographs

History of Northampton, Massachusetts, Vol. 1: From Its Settlement in 1654 (Classic Reprint)

By James Russell Trumbull

Forgotten Books
Paperback (658 pages)

History of Northampton, Massachusetts, Vol. 1: From Its Settlement in 1654 (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from History of Northampton, Massachusetts, Vol. 1: From Its Settlement in 1654

To Miss C. Alice Baker of Cambridge, Mass, special thanks are due. The thorough original research of Miss Baker, among the public arch ives and monasteries of Canada, as well as among legal records in this country, has added much of value to the general history of this region.

About the Publisher

Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com

This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.

A History of Hatfield, Massachusetts, 1660-1910: In Three Parts (Classic Reprint)

By Daniel White Wells

Forgotten Books
Paperback (540 pages)

A History of Hatfield, Massachusetts, 1660-1910: In Three Parts (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from A History of Hatfield, Massachusetts, 1660-1910: In Three Parts

From these many sources the task has been one of com pilation Of a connected account of the development of the town, the weighing and sifting Of evidence where records or accounts conflicted, and the pursuit Of clues to elusive facts. Accuracy has been the aim, but further investigation or discovery may cause a change in some of the statements and possibly mistakes have occurred in transcribing in some instances. A great deal of matter has necessarily been omitted, it is hoped nothing Of vital importance. Traditional evidence has not been wholly neglected, though it is not well to place too much faith in oral tradition, especially where it has been handed down for several generations.

About the Publisher

Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com

This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.

Hidden History of Salem

By Susanne Saville

Brand: The History Press
Released: 2010-10-11
Paperback (144 pages)

Hidden History of Salem
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Salem, nestled along the rocky coast of Massachusetts, has long been synonymous with witches, despite efforts to emphasize other aspects of the city's rich history. In this fascinating collection of stories, author Susanne Saville sheds light on the forgotten moments of this noteworthy New England community. Discover Salem's profitable "Age of Sail," the important role coffeehouses played during the American Revolution, the scandalous life of Richard Crowninshield Jr. and the unforgettable writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. These revealing stories will not leave the history of Salem in the shadows for long.


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