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.

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

By Charles River Editors

Charles River Editors
Released: 2016-01-18
Kindle Edition (50 pages)

The Massachusetts Bay Colony: The History and Legacy of the Settlement of Colonial New England
 
Product Description:
*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.

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.

Salem (Images of America: Massachusetts)

By Kenneth C. Turino

Arcadia Publishing
Released: 1996-07-01
Paperback (128 pages)

Salem (Images of America: Massachusetts)
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Salem, Massachusetts, is one of the most historic settlements in the United States. Most commonly associated with the seventeenth-century witchcraft hysteria of Salem Village―an area that now falls within the bounds of neighboring Danvers―the city of Salem actually boasts a rich and textured history with a variety of economic, religious, and cultural highlights. This new and exciting visual history reveals Salem’s comprehensive heritage from the 1860s to the 1950s. Salem’s early strengths as a colonial community were drawn from the waters around it: fishing was a staple industry in the beginning, and shipbuilding and ocean trade bolstered the settlement economically for many years. In the nineteenth century, after war with Britain caused Salem’s maritime trade to decline, the city developed into a modern commercial center. Prominent settlers fostered the development of luxurious architecture and interior design, along with the founding of the city’s well-known resort and amusement center, the Willows.

History of North Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, From Its First Settlement to the Present Time: With Family Registers (Classic Reprint)

By Bradford Kingman

Forgotten Books
Paperback (856 pages)

History of North Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, From Its First Settlement to the Present Time: With Family Registers (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from History of North Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, From Its First Settlement to the Present Time: With Family Registers

It was not undertaken for want of other employment, or for pecuniary profit, but has been a severe tax upon the author's time, as well as purse. The work was commenced about twelve years since, without any reference to its publication, but merely for the gratification of a natural curiosity which must arise in the mind of any one who extends his thoughts beyond the peo ple and scenes immediately around him. None but those who have pre pared a work of this kind can have any idea of the amount of labor and time required in its execution.

The author has devoted nearly all of his leisure time during the past eight years in examining the records of the town, as well as of the adjoin ing towns, also the Parish, Probate, and State records, and the ponderous volumes in the State Archives, beside the Registry of Deeds in several coun ties, muster rolls at the State House, to say nothing of the large number of town, church, and family histories that have been published, public ad dresses, sermons, orations, documents, plans, maps, etc.

Many an hour has been spent in deciphering 'the almost unintelligible records of early times. Days and even weeks have been devoted to a care ful examination of files of newspapers or other publications, also in copying inscriptions on gravestones and monuments.

The matter here embodied consists of a mass of facts, items, and figures, many of them gathered from a correspondence of upwards of twelve hun dred letters, as well as by a personal consultation with the people of the town.

During the winter of 1860, while the author was engaged in copying and examining the early records at the State House, Hon. Edward Southworth, In 1862, a circular was issued to all those residing at a distance who would be likely to feel an interest in having a good work, requesting any informa tion that they might be able to give. At the same time a large number of letters were written to various persons concerning their records. From many the author received prompt, full, and satisfactory replies, while many others took no notice whatever of the same.

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.

The Hidden History of Massachusetts: A Guide for Black Folks

By Tingba Apidta

Reclamation Project
Released: 2017-12-12
Kindle Edition (222 pages)

The Hidden History of Massachusetts: A Guide for Black Folks
 
Product Description:
Now for the first time, the fascinating historical threads of the Pilgrims, Puritans, Indians, and Black Africans have been woven into a gripping narrative in an informative new book. Readers will learn the true account of the First Thanksgiving and learn of the Black Africans of colonial times who helped the Founding Fathers, the Abolitionists who held slaves and believed in the inferiority of the Black race, and the Black history behind many famous landmarks, tourist attractions, monuments, and statues. If you ever thought of Massachusetts as the "cradle of liberty," you have been deceived and need to read this book. Includes the eye-opening companion volume The Black Timeline of Massachusetts. Track the Bay State's legacy of genocide, slavery, and racism year by year, from the first Pilgrim until today.

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.

Hidden History of Cape Cod

By Theresa Mitchell Barbo

The History Press
Released: 2015-06-01
Paperback (144 pages)

Hidden History of Cape Cod
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The salty waves and sandy beaches of Cape Cod disguise its fascinating and nearly forgotten history. From Provincetown to Falmouth, the Cape's fifteen towns offer a plethora of hidden and enchanting tales. Learn why one of the most famous rescues in Coast Guard history spent nearly fifty years in the shadows without public notice. Discover which wild creature went from the nineteenth-century soup pot to enjoying conservation protection under state law. Historian Theresa Mitchell Barbo explores these mysteries and more, from the lost diary of a nineteenth-century schoolteacher to the reason Cape Codders call their lunch "the noontime dinner." Join Barbo as she lifts the lid on the quirky and remarkable character of Cape Cod and its forgotten happenings.


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