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.

Along Route 6 in Massachusetts (Postcard History Series)

By James A. Gay

Arcadia Publishing
Released: 2017-06-19
Paperback (128 pages)

Along Route 6 in Massachusetts (Postcard History Series)
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Route 6 in Massachusetts runs from Provincetown to Seekonk and passes through some of the most beautiful scenery in the state. What had once been a mere footpath for Native Americans, then widened for the use of stagecoaches, Route 6 would be officially designated the "King's Highway" in 1920. The moniker was extremely unpopular with the local residents, so much so that the governor officially changed the name to the Grand Army of the Republic Highway in 1937. Depicted from the author's personal collection of postcards from the 1920s to the 1960s, Route 6 winds its way around tiny fishing villages, sand dunes, marshes, beaches, lighthouses, campgrounds, hotels, restaurants, and historic cities. The combination of Route 6 and the automobile would make Cape Cod a world-renowned tourist destination.

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

By Charles River Editors

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (38 pages)

The Massachusetts Bay Colony: The History and Legacy of the Settlement of Colonial New England
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*Includes pictures *Profiles important figures like John Winthrop, Roger Williams, and others *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents The first successful American colony in North America was settled in 1607 at Jamestown, Virginia. 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. Alan Taylor sees this decision as one in “classic Puritan fashion”, citing one settler’s view: “If men desire to have a people degenerate speedily, and to corrupt their minds and bodies too...let them seek a rich soil, that beings in much with little labor; but if they desire that Piety and Godliness should prosper…let them choose a Country such as [New England] which yields sufficiency with hard labor and industry.” The Puritans who came to America were, therefore, primed for hard work, discipline and the independent life, unlike their English counterparts who “preferred Anglicanism and the traditional culture characterized by church ales, Sunday diversions, ceremonial services, inclusive churches, and deference to the monarch.” 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. The Massachusetts Bay Colony: The History and Legacy of the Settlement of Colonial New England profiles the history of the colony, as well as its most famous leaders and individuals. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about colonial New England like never before, in no time at all.

History of Scituate, Massachusetts: From Its First Settlement to 1831 (Classic Reprint)

By Samuel Deane

Forgotten Books
Paperback (418 pages)

History of Scituate, Massachusetts: From Its First Settlement to 1831 (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from History of Scituate, Massachusetts: From Its First Settlement to 1831

We make no apology for publishing even trifling incidents or barren genealogies, of those families which have opened a new world to civilization and religion.

It will be seen in the following pages, that we have diligent ly consulted the records of the Town and of the churches, as well as the records of both Plymouth and Massachusetts Colonies, and other works to which we have made occasional reference. We acknowledge the kindly facilities in consulting documents, 810 which we have received from Edward D. Bangs, Esq. Secretary, Rosseter Cotton, Esq. Of Plymouth, Hon. John Davis, Hon. James Savage, Mr. Isaac P. Davis, of Boston, and other gentlemen, whose favours are noticed in the course of the work. We have attempted to correct some mistakes and inaccuracies in a former account of Scituate, published in the Historical Society's papers, A. D. 1816: for which mistakes we may have been, in part, responsible, hav ing furnished to Samuel Davis, Esq. Many of the notes from which that account was compiled but we have been careful to quote authority, whenever we have adverted to the mistakes of any previous writer or compiler. We boast not of the accuracy of this work we only venture to say, that we have endeavoured faithfully to use the materials that have fallen in our way, and that we shall esteem it a favour, for true history's sake, to have our mistakes, in turn, pointed out and corrected by future historians.

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 Brave Black Regiment: The History of the Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1863-1865

By Captain Luis F. Emilio

Da Capo Press
Paperback (452 pages)

A Brave Black Regiment: The History of the Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1863-1865
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In January 1863 the Union War Department authorized the creation of "a special corps" composed of "persons of African descent"—the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Col. Robert Gould Shaw. Hundreds of free blacks enlisted. When the 54th Massachusetts spearheaded the suicidal charge against Fort Wagner on July 18, 1863, the regiment was showered with acclaim, but that defining event was not its only illustrious moment. After the devastating repulse at Fort Wagner left all of the unit's ranking officers dead or wounded, Captain Luis F. Emilio (1844–1918) emerged as the 54th's acting commander. A Brave Black Regiment offers an unparalleled, moving, inside view of the entire history of the 54th Massachusetts, from recruitment through disbandment. With a new introduction, rare, previously unpublished photos of Emilio and members of the 54th, the complete regimental roster, and his lengthy appendix concerning Confederate treatment of black prisoners-of-war, this Da Capo Press/Persues Books Group edition is certain to remain definitive for a long time to come.

A History of Howard Johnson's: How a Massachusetts Soda Fountain Became an American Icon (American Palate)

By Anthony Mitchell Sammarco

The History Press
Released: 2013-08-13
Paperback (160 pages)

A History of Howard Johnson s: How a Massachusetts Soda Fountain Became an American Icon (American Palate)
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Howard Johnson created an orange-roofed empire of ice cream stands and restaurants that stretched from Maine to Florida and all the way to the West Coast. Popularly known as the "Father of the Franchise Industry," Johnson delivered good food and prices that brought appreciative customers back for more. The attractive white Colonial Revival restaurants, with eye-catching porcelain tile roofs, illuminated cupolas and sea blue shutters, were described in "Reader's Digest" in 1949 as the epitome of "eating places that look like New England town meeting houses dressed up for Sunday." Boston historian and author Anthony M. Sammarco recounts how Howard Johnson introduced twenty-eight flavors of ice cream, the "Tendersweet" clam strips, grilled frankforts and a menu of delicious and traditional foods that families eagerly enjoyed when they traveled.

Genealogical Notes, or Contributions to the Family History of Some of the First Settlers of Connecticut and Massachusetts (Classic Reprint)

By Nathaniel Goodwin

Forgotten Books
Paperback (388 pages)

Genealogical Notes, or Contributions to the Family History of Some of the First Settlers of Connecticut and Massachusetts (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from Genealogical Notes, or Contributions to the Family History of Some of the First Settlers of Connecticut and Massachusetts

It is difficult for one man to enter' into the labors of another in matters of this kind, and to harmonize memo randa differing sometimes in date and substance with regard to the same facts, particularly when the original sources whence the information was gathered are not indi cated. Probably many of the blanks in the following genealogies would have been filled out, had Mr. Goodwin lived to finish the work himself, but no pains have been spared, to supply missing dates from the large mass of manuscript notes left by my uncle, and to add some from other reliable sources.

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.

History of Bristol County, Massachusetts: With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men (Classic Reprint)

By Duane Hamilton Hurd

Forgotten Books
Paperback (728 pages)

History of Bristol County, Massachusetts: With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from History of Bristol County, Massachusetts: With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men

In 1861, under Rev. L. B. Bates, a division of the society occurred, the minister leading or following those who preferred to have services held in the vil lage. The village society built a church on Main Street, and worshiped there until 1876. At that time they moved into the church formerly occupied by the North Easton Unitarian Society, which had been pre sented to the Methodists by Hon. Oliver Ames. The two Methodist societies supported separate ministers until a few years ago, when they united to support one pastor, who should minister to both societies. This arrangement still continues.

In North Easton village the growing shovel busi ness called together an increasing number of work men, many of whom were foreigners and Catholics.

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.

History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1630-1877, Volume 2: Genealogical Register

By Lucius R. Paige

Jazzybee Verlag
Paperback (232 pages)

History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1630-1877, Volume 2: Genealogical Register
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The "History of Cambridge" was originally published in 1877. Besides the historical narrative in the first volume, the second volume contains a very full and carefully compiled "Genealogical Register" of the early settlers and their descendants. These volumes are, in the most essential respects, models of what a town history should be. They contain the most important information obtainable from the sources then open to the author, and this is presented in a clear and concise narrative. In the estimation of those most competent to pass judgment, these volumes are authorities. But they are something more than authorities. They not only instruct; they inspire. Nobody deserves the privilege of growing up in this city who does not make himself familiar with these books. They are epitomes of the history, not only of this town, but of a good many other Puritan towns. It fills this place with memories of by-gone scenes and deeds which were precious to the people of those times, and are precious still to us, their descendants or successors.

Making Slavery History: Abolitionism and the Politics of Memory in Massachusetts

By Margot Minardi

Brand: Oxford University Press
Released: 2012-09-01
Paperback (242 pages)

Making Slavery History: Abolitionism and the Politics of Memory in Massachusetts
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Making Slavery History focuses on how commemorative practices and historical arguments about the American Revolution set the course for antislavery politics in the nineteenth century. The particular setting is a time and place in which people were hyperconscious of their roles as historical actors and narrators: Massachusetts in the period between the Revolution and the Civil War. This book shows how local abolitionists, both black and white, drew on their state's Revolutionary heritage to mobilize public opposition to Southern slavery. When it came to securing the citizenship of free people of color within the Commonwealth, though, black and white abolitionists diverged in terms of how they idealized black historical agency.

Although it is often claimed that slavery in New England is a history long concealed, Making Slavery History finds it hidden in plain sight. From memories of Phillis Wheatley and Crispus Attucks to representations of black men at the Battle of Bunker Hill, evidence of the local history of slavery cropped up repeatedly in early national Massachusetts. In fixing attention on these seemingly marginal presences, this book demonstrates that slavery was unavoidably entangled in the commemorative culture of the early republic-even in a place that touted itself as the "cradle of liberty."

Transcending the particular contexts of Massachusetts and the early American republic, this book is centrally concerned with the relationship between two ways of making history, through social and political transformation on the one hand and through commemoration, narration, and representation on the other. Making Slavery History examines the relationships between memory and social change, between histories of slavery and dreams of freedom, and between the stories we tell ourselves about who we have been and the possibilities we perceive for who we might become.


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