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Europeans first explored Massachusetts, about 30,000 Indians from the
Algonquian tribes lived in the area.
When the Pilgrims arrived in 1620, many had already died of
diseases brought to America from the Europeans.
Only 7,000 Native Americans remained in Massachusetts at that
Englishman John Cabot sighted the coast of Massachusetts in 1498. In 1605, Samuel de Champlain charted maps of the New England coastline. John Smith sailed up the coast of Massachusetts in 1614.
main groups came to America in search of religious freedom.
In December of 1620, Pilgrims sailed across Cape Cod Bay and
settled Plymouth Colony.
They suffered greatly their first winter and about half the
The following year, the Indians taught them how to plant corn and
When winter came they had enough food, and better shelter.
The Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621 and gave
thanks to God for delivering them from hardship.
Many Pilgrims continued to come in following years.
second group, the Puritans led by John Winthrop, founded Massachusetts
Bay Colony in Boston in 1630.
This group established political freedom in 1641 with a document
called The Body of Liberties.
They allowed only their religious beliefs into the colony.
1662, King Philip became chief of the Wampanoag Indian tribe when his
He feared the white settlers would overtake Indian land.
To protect his people, in 1675 King Philip’s War began.
Hundreds of people died as settlements and villages were burned.
Colonists killed King Philip in 1676 and ended the war.
French and Indian Wars (1689-1763) brought continued battles on the
north and west boundaries of Massachusetts.
A peace treaty was signed in the Netherlands in 1713, which
allowed considerable growth in the central and western areas of
However, wars broke out again in 1740 until victory for Britain
pay for the wars, Britain placed heavy taxes upon the colonists.
The Stamp Act of 1765 led to the phrase “no taxation without
British soldiers stationed in Boston killed several colonists
while fighting a mob.
This became known as the Boston Massacre.
The Boston Tea Party in 1773 brought more punishment upon the
colonists, but this only unified them.
On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere rode across Massachusetts to warn
that the British were coming.
The next day, colonists fought the opening battle of the
Revolutionary War at Lexington.
of the early fighting took place in Massachusetts.
During March of 1776, Washington drove the British out of Boston
with the first major American victory in the war.
Most of the fighting then moved south.
ratified the Constitution and became the 6th state of the
Union on Feb. 6, 1788.
They insisted on an amendment of individual rights.
The Bill of Rights went into effect in 1791.
France and Britain at war, President Thomas Jefferson passed the Embargo
Act in 1807.
This stopped all exports to other countries and forced
manufacturing within the United States.
The first textile mill in the nation was built in 1814 in
By 1860, Massachusetts led the nation in production of textiles
people in Massachusetts led the antislavery movement in the 1830s.
The New England Anti-Slavery Society in Boston helped slaves to
escape to Canada.
Strong support was given to the Union during the Civil War
(1861-1865); over 145,000 people served from Massachusetts.
the war, the textile industry grew and other industries expanded.
Many immigrants came to work in factories with poor working
In 1912, workers in Lawrence went on a strike that brought
Working conditions improved after that.
World War I, many companies moved south from the state.
The Great Depression caused many to lose jobs.
By 1931, less than half of all workers in Massachusetts had
World War II brought change to the economy in 1939.
Hug quantities of war materials were produced in the state’s
Industries changed to research and electrical equipment
In 1960, a nuclear power plant started operating in Rowe.
economy has been improving steadily since the 1970s.
Textile production has gone down, but high-technology industries
The state is one of the top leaders in the nation for military
research, education, banking, government assistance and medical care.
Tourism is also expanding.