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.

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.

Somerville, Massachusetts:: A Brief History

By Dee Morris

Brand: The History Press
Released: 2008-07-01
Paperback (160 pages)

Somerville, Massachusetts:: A Brief History
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Enter Somerville, a city packed with stories larger than itself, to salute a heritage that justifies the fierce pride of its citizens. Share a perch on one of Somerville's celebrated hills with Dee Morris and Dora St. Martin and watch the raising of America's first flag and the stringing of its first telephone line. Strolling from neighborhood to neighborhood, this brief history knocks on the doors of everyone from the father of Fenway Park to Missy LeHand, Franklin D. Roosevelt s private secretary and steadfast companion. Even the notoriously elusive Captain Kidd is caught for inspection as he tries to slip through a trapdoor in a bedroom closet.

History Of The Town Of Duxbury, Massachusetts: With Genealogical Registers

By Justin Winsor

Andesite Press
Hardcover (374 pages)

History Of The Town Of Duxbury, Massachusetts: With Genealogical Registers
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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

By J. W. Ocker

Countryman Press
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

Massachusetts Cranberry Culture:: A History from Bog to Table (American Palate)

By Robert S. Cox

Brand: The History Press
Released: 2012-09-14
Paperback (144 pages)

Massachusetts Cranberry Culture:: A History from Bog to Table (American Palate)
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New Englanders know that cranberries are not for holidays alone. For centuries, this tart fruit--a staple in the Yankee diet since before it was domesticated--has reigned over the cranberry heartland of Barnstable and Plymouth Counties, Massachusetts. Dozens of recipes that utilize the "humble fruit" have risen up over the years, the most popular being cranberry sauce, which one imaginative New Englander paired with lobster. The popularity of the berry exploded in the 1840s, and despite occasional setbacks such as the great pesticide scare of 1959, demand continues to rise to this day. Authors Robert S. Cox and Jacob Walker trace the evolution of cranberry culture in the Bay State, exploring the delectable history of this quintessential New England industry.

Lost Springfield, Massachusetts

By Derek Strahan

The History Press
Released: 2017-02-06
Paperback (160 pages)

Lost Springfield, Massachusetts
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At the end of the nineteenth century, the U.S. Armory opened in Springfield, spurring rapid growth. With that golden age of progress came iconic buildings and landmarks that are now lost to time. Railroads brought workers eager to fill Springfield's factories and enterprises like Smith & Wesson, Merriam Webster and Indian Motorcycles. The Massasoit House Hotel, the Church of the Unity and the Daniel B. Wesson mansion once served as symbols of the city's grandeur. Forest Park grew into an upscale residential neighborhood of Victorian mansions. Join local historian Derek Strahan as he returns Springfield to its former glory, examining the people, events and--most importantly--places that helped shape the City of Firsts.


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