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 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 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.

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 Natural History of Western Massachusetts - Second edition

By Stan Freeman

Hampshire House Publishing
Paperback (124 pages)

The Natural History of Western Massachusetts - Second edition
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This is the second edition of our popular and comprehensive guide to the natural history of Massachusetts' four western counties, with 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 in the four counties.

Reviews for first edition in 2007 of "The Natural History of Western Massachusetts."

“Over the years I've acquired several books on hiking, biking, kayaking, etc. ... Many of them are focused on the Northeast, or New England or Southern New England. They are good books, but precious few are dedicated to the Pioneer Valley area exclusively. Its trails, hills, wildlife. The nooks and crannies and beautiful places that only people who live here could know ... I finally came across the book that I'd been imagining, lo these many years ... To quote the cover: "Birds, wildflowers, ice age, trees, dinosaurs, bears, weather, beavers, turtles, butterflies, geology, fish, mountains, deer, frogs, ecosystems." All of it, and more. And easy to read and understand, for us slower kids in the class. Easy concise local information. With brilliant photos, drawings, and graphics ... If you enjoy the valley, you'll enjoy this book.” – Tony Mateus, thepioneervalley.blogspot.com

“This book, filled with color photos on just about every page, is both enjoyable to read and educational, a combination that should help it find an audience of diverse ages and interests … Presented in a style that's accessible to young readers.” – The Daily Hampshire Gazette

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

History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts : containing carefully prepared histories of every city and town in the county (VOLUME 2)

By Samuel Adams Drake

Released: 2012-10-11
Kindle Edition (1187 pages)

History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts : containing carefully prepared histories of every city and town in the county (VOLUME 2)
 
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History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts : containing carefully prepared histories of every city and town in the county. Vol. 2. 654 Pages.

The Maritime History Of Massachusetts, 1783-1860 (Northeastern Classics Edition)

By Samuel Eliot Morison

Brand: Northeastern
Paperback (433 pages)

The Maritime History Of Massachusetts, 1783-1860 (Northeastern Classics Edition)
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Traces the growth of port cities, commerce with the Indies and China, and shipping, whaling, fishing, and shipbuilding enterprises in the eastern seaboard state.

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 (Classic Reprint)

By Justin Winsor

Forgotten Books
Paperback (368 pages)

History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts: With Genealogical Registers (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts: With Genealogical Registers

More than two years have now elapsed, since the writing of this work was commenced by the Author. That the matter which he then began to collect would ever, or at least in so short a time, be submitted to the press, was a thing unthought of. As no opportunity was passed by for adding to the stock, which soon became gradually to increase, he had accumulated at the end of this time such a store of historic and genealogical information, that it was deemed advisable by many to whom the manuscripts were shown, that they should be put into a more durable form in print. With their request he was induced to comply, and although conscious of its many imperfections, he now submits it to them in their desired form, and also to those for whom it was more especially designed, the inhabitants of the town, and to professed antiquaries elsewhere, it is now given emanating from himself alone, and entitled to what consideration each may be persuaded to confer upon it.

The work has been one of much care and research. To the Author it has been one of amusement, though oftentimes subjecting him to considerably labor and toil; yet it has been more than recompensed, when with feelings of pleasure he has traced the nearly obliterated and illegible records of the past, and discovered in the language of their writings the spiritual character and heroic nature of the actors, in their struggles for religious freedom and civil independence.

Where is the land that can look back to a race of founders worthy of a higher and truer distinction, than can the people of New England? and where should there be their existing influence, mightier and more effectual, than among the descendants of that Pilgrim band, in whose midst were the abodes of a Brewster, a Standish, and an Alden? May they cherish that natural character of their inheritance, may they preserve it in its original purity, guard it with the watchfulness of their christian fathers, make their lives, as theirs, an example, and their end a monument of worldly excellence, worthy to be cherished.

In regard to the arrangement vi the work it seems scarcely necessary to say a word. The matter embraced on the first eighty-eight pages seemed to be better placed by itself, distinct from the General History, than embodied in the latter.

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.


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