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.

The Maritime History Of Massachusetts, 1783-1860

By Samuel Eliot Morison

Alpha Editions
Paperback (536 pages)

The Maritime History Of Massachusetts, 1783-1860
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This book has been considered by academicians and scholars of great significance and value to literature. This forms a part of the knowledge base for future generations. We have represented this book in the same form as it was first published. Hence any marks seen are left intentionally to preserve its true nature.

History of the Town of Hingham, Plymouth County, Massachusetts

By Solomon Lincoln

Andesite Press
Hardcover (190 pages)

History of the Town of Hingham, Plymouth County, Massachusetts
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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.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

The Natural History of Eastern Massachusetts - Second Edition

By Stan Freeman

Hampshire House Publishing
Paperback (124 pages)

The Natural History of Eastern Massachusetts - Second Edition
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First published in 1998, "The Natural History of Eastern Massachusetts" is a comprehensive guide to the nature of the state east of Quabbin Reservoir. This more sophisticated second edition brings all the original material up to date and adds many new articles. It contains more than 400 full-color photographs, maps and illustrations. Everything from bears and beavers to snakes and spiders is covered. Learn about the region's geology, its rivers and mountains. Find out how it was formed by the ice age and volcanic activity. Learn about the first human residents. There are charts showing when wildflowers bloom and when butterflies are on the wing. There are checklists of common birds, trees, wildflowers and butterflies. There is also a calendar showing when events in nature happen through the months.

Reviews for the first edition

"A wonderful introduction to the history and features of Massachusetts east of Quabbin Reservoir ... Chock full of gorgeous photographs ... It's also lots of fun." -- North Andover Citizen



"If you buy a copy for your kids, you'll have a hard time putting it down yourself. The text by Stan Freeman is clear but does not oversimplify the science, and the illustrations by Mike Nasuti are outstanding." -- The Quincy Patriot Ledger

"A fascinating, richly illustrated guide ... A delight for naturalists of all ages." -- New England Wild Flower Society, online book guide

Boston and the State of Massachusetts:: Cool Stuff Every Kid Should Know (Arcadia Kids)

By Kate Boehm Jerome

Arcadia Publishing
Released: 2011-05-02
Paperback (48 pages)

Boston and the State of Massachusetts:: Cool Stuff Every Kid Should Know (Arcadia Kids)
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DO YOU KNOW…

HOW one Boston building provides a daily weather

forecast?

(Hint: If you know the poem you can crack the code!)

WHAT popular spot in the city was once used for such

things as livestock grazing and public hangings?

(Hint: It's been public property for a long time!)

Find these answers and more in Cool Stuff Every Kid Should Know™

--an interesting little book about a very special place on the planet! Arcadia Kids is a new series of fun, colorful, easy-to-read books for children ages 7-11 featuring attention-grabbing cover art, inviting conversational style content, and vivid full-color images of landmarks and geography. Parents, grandparents, and savvy shoppers will appreciate the feel good factor of purchasing books that are both fun AND educational.

Massachusetts Town Greens: A History of the State's Common Centers

By Eric Hurwitz

Globe Pequot
Released: 2016-05-01
Paperback (256 pages)

Massachusetts Town Greens: A History of the State s Common Centers
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The state of Massachusetts still has and continues to celebrate its town or village greens. These greens date back to Colonial times where they served as the physical and spiritual centers for these early towns. Today many town greens continue to be the center of town events, fairs, and other gatherings. Massachusetts Town Greens explores the history of these remarkable greens and provide a guide to current events.

Preserving Maritime America: A Cultural History of the Nation's Great Maritime Museums (Public History in Historical Perspective)

By James M. Lindgren

University of Massachusetts Press
Released: 2019-12-06
Paperback (352 pages)

Preserving Maritime America: A Cultural History of the Nation s Great Maritime Museums (Public History in Historical Perspective)
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The United States has long been dependent on the seas, but Americans know little about their maritime history. While Britain and other countries have established national museums to nurture their seagoing traditions, America has left that responsibility to private institutions. In this first-of-its-kind history, James M. Lindgren focuses on a half-dozen of these great museums, ranging from Salem's East India Marine Society, founded in 1799, to San Francisco's Maritime Museum and New York's South Street Seaport Museum, which were established in recent decades.

Begun by activists with unique agendas―whether overseas empire, economic redevelopment, or cultural preservation―these museums have displayed the nation's complex interrelationship with the sea. Yet they all faced chronic shortfalls, as policymakers, corporations, and everyday citizens failed to appreciate the oceans' formative environment. Preserving Maritime America shows how these institutions shifted course to remain solvent and relevant and demonstrates how their stories tell of the nation's rise and decline as a commercial maritime power.

The History of Hadley, Massachusetts

By Sylvester Judd

New Hampshire Publishing Company
Hardcover (709 pages)

The History of Hadley, Massachusetts
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The Coming of Industrial Order: Town and Factory Life in Rural Massachusetts, 1810-1860

By Jonathan Prude

Brand: Univ of Massachusetts Pr
Paperback (396 pages)

The Coming of Industrial Order:  Town and Factory Life in Rural Massachusetts, 1810-1860
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This is a study of industrialization in the antebellum New England countryside. More specifically, it is an investigation of pre-Civil War industrialization in two contiguous south-central Massachusetts townships, Dudley and Oxford, and in a third community, Webster, which was carved from them in 1832.

Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City

By Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin

Salem House Press
Paperback (450 pages)

Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City
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In 1801 Elias Hasket Derby Jr. leaves his two year retirement. His father, the country’s first millionaire, has left him a money pit that many would consider one of the nations first American Castles. The expense to keep up this mansion and his leisurely life style has forced Elias back into action. He will take command of the local militia to fill in the ponds in the Common as part of an elaborate plot. The plot would entail the beautification of this neighborhood and entice a series of merchants and ship captains to build a series of two grand brick mansions set apart at fixed distances around the new park. All attached to a series of smuggling tunnels that would lead from the wharf, to their stores, and the banks.An elaborate scheme filled with Masons,pirates, a Secretary of the Navy, Senators, Representatives, a Supreme Court Justice, Presidents, and a touch of murder! Dig into the tunnels of Salem and find the underbelly of our nation!


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