Tags: US State Facts | Massachusetts History | Boston Common | Harvard University | Boston Tea Party | The Mayflower

Massachusetts History: 8 Events That Shaped the State

By    |   Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM

Early history in the United States is closely tied with Massachusetts history. The colony that became a state has a 150 year history of European involvement and settlement before the United States gained its independence.

Here are 8 historical events that shaped the state before 1800:

1. The Landing of the Mayflower: A company of Pilgrim separatists from England landed in present day Massachusetts near Plymouth in 1620. The group founded a colony and signed the Mayflower Compact which was known as the first governing democratic document signed in what would become the United States.

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2. Massachusetts Bay Colony: In 1630, the Massachusetts Bay Colony had its first successful settlement on what would become the eastern coast of the United States. The colony was founded primarily by Puritans from England seeking religious freedom.

3. Boston Common: This cow pasture went down in Massachusetts history because it was set aside for public use in 1634. The 50 acres of land is considered to be the oldest park in the United States. The land, which is now in downtown Boston, has been used as a camp by the British. It was the site of riots over food shortages in the 1700s and protests against the Vietnam War in the 1960s. The park was designated a national historic landmark.

4. Harvard University Founded: In 1636, Harvard University became the first institution of higher education in the colonies. Nine graduates were honored at the first commencement ceremonies in 1642.

5. Smallpox vaccination debate: In the 1720s Boston faced a smallpox outbreak. A great debate ensued over whether or not to use a new technique of inoculation to prevent the spread of the disease. While the debate raged, nearly 900 people died of the disease.

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6. Boston Tea Party: The biggest "party" in Massachusetts history was a protest over taxes. In 1773, a group of colonists frustrated with the increasing oppression and taxation of their British government boarded ships in Boston harbor and threw tea chests overboard. Members of the Sons of Liberty dressed as Mohawk Indians carried out the attack. The British East India Company lost 92,000 pounds of tea. The colonists sparked the American Revolution.

7.Paul Revere's Ride: On April 18, 1775 Paul Revere set out on his famous ride into Massachusetts history as he traveled through the countryside warning colonists of the impending arrival of British troops.

8. Shays Rebellion: After the Revolutionary War, this was the first rebellion in the newly formed United States. Residents of Massachusetts fought the government in Boston over high taxes during the 1780s uprising.

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Early history in the United States is closely tied with Massachusetts history. The colony that became a state has a 150 year history of European involvement and settlement before the United States gained its independence.
Massachusetts History, Boston Common, Harvard University, Boston Tea Party, The Mayflower
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2015-32-23
Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM
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