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.

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

By Michael Finkel

Unknown
Released: 2017-03-07
Kindle Edition (226 pages)

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
 
Product Description:
Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality—not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own. 

New York Times bestseller

In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life—why did he leave? what did he learn?—as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.

History of Dracut, Massachusetts, called by the Indians Augumtoocooke and before incorporation, the wildernesse north of the Merrimac. First ... in 1669 and incorporated as a town in 1701

By Silas Roger Coburn

Nabu Press
Paperback (508 pages)

History of Dracut, Massachusetts, called by the Indians Augumtoocooke and before incorporation, the wildernesse north of the Merrimac. First ... in 1669 and incorporated as a town in 1701
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This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.

MONUMENTS & MEMORY

By Martha Norkunas

Brand: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press
Released: 2002-09-17
Paperback (258 pages)

MONUMENTS & MEMORY
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In 1989 Martha Norkunas relocated to Lowell, Massachusetts, the center of America's Industrial Revolution, a National Historical Park, and her family's home for 150 years. As cultural affairs director for the federally funded Lowell Historic Preservation Commission, she worked with artists from around the country to interpret the city's past. Traveling throughout Lowell, she found that the city had more than 250 locally constructed monuments memorializing ethnic communities, local men and boys, and many other groups. Realizing the rich potential for exploring issues of memory and history through both the local monuments and the federally funded public art, she began this in-depth study, approaching it in a very personal way.

At the center of Martha Norkunas's narrative is her intimate connection to the city through her family's rich history. She looks for the interplay of the personal and public, singular and collective memory and history through Lowell's public spaces, always examining where her personal memory converges with the history of the city. A recurring theme is the notion of the insider versus the outsider--who has the authority to speak in public and construct history? Lowell has few monuments to women, and Norkunas explores the question of where female and male memory intersect in public spaces, if they do at all, and how women remember and are remembered. This unique combination of personal memoir and professional inquiry allows Norkunas to explore the dynamics of memory and history in an original and engaging way.

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 History Of The Town Of Duxbury, Massachusetts, with Genealogical Registers (A Heritage classic)

By Justin Winsor

Heritage Books, Inc.
Paperback (362 pages)

A History Of The Town Of Duxbury, Massachusetts, with Genealogical Registers (A Heritage classic)
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Duxbury was settled in 1632 by the people of Plymouth and was named in homage to Captain Standish’s English estate, Duxbury Hall. This extensive town history covers a broad range of civil and military topics including: early settlement; highways and bridges, with a list of early surveyors; ancient landmarks; such as Captains Hill; the town’s commons, with names of the proprietors from 1690–1749; bounties and fines; Philip’s War; the Charter of 1691; the Stamp Act; the Revolution, with biographical sketches of soldiers; and ordinaries. Additional biographical sketches describe the first settlers including Captain Standish, John Alden, and John Howland. Also included are sections on schools and education, local Indian tribes and a list of town officers. More than 200 early families are mentioned in the genealogical register. These include the Alden, Arnold, Baker, Barker, Bartlett, Bradford, Brewster, Chandler, Church, Cole, Delano, Drew, Freeman, Glass, Harlow, Holmes, Howland, Hunt, Loring, Pabodie, Partridge, Peterson, Phillips, Prior, Rogers, Sampson, Seabury, Simmons, Soule, Southworth, Sprague, Standish, Sylvester, Thomas, Wadsworth, Weston, Williamson, and Winsor families. The appendix includes The Grant of Bridgewater, a list of vessels wrecked on Duxbury beach and information on shipbuilding, commerce, and fisheries.

A History of Lowell, Massachusetts

By Charles Cowley

Jazzybee Verlag
Paperback (142 pages)

A History of Lowell, Massachusetts
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Lowell was founded by the ‘Merrimac Manufacturing Company’ in 1822, and named after Francis C. Lowell. The village grew very rapidly from the first. In 1820 it was incorporated as a town and ten years later was chartered as a city. This book tells the story of this very important textile center from the beginning until the 1870s.

History of the Franco-Americans of Southbridge, Massachusetts: (Histoire des Franco-Americains de Southbridge, Massachusetts)

By Felix Gatineau

Via Appia Press
Paperback (314 pages)

History of the Franco-Americans of Southbridge, Massachusetts: (Histoire des Franco-Americains de Southbridge, Massachusetts)
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In 1919, Southbridge business leader, state representative, and prominent member of the French-Canadian community published L'Histoire des Franco-Américains de Southbridge, chronicling the earliest settlers of French lineage in the region and the growth of the community to dominance in the town. Available only in French, many of Canadian descent and others simply interested in town history have not been able to fully enjoy this work – until now. Dr. Elizabeth Blood, a Professor of World Languages and Cultures at Salem State University recently completed this full English translation.

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.



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