Massachusetts - History

Massachusetts - History

Basic Information

Postal Abbreviation: MA
Natives: Massachusettser

Population 2018 6,902,149
Legal Driving Age: 18
(*16 w/ Driver's Ed.)
Age of Majority: 18
Median Age: 38.3

State Song: “Massachusetts! My Massachusetts”
Lyrics: James Ryder Randall
Music: to the tune of “Lauriger Horatius”

Median Household Income:$74,167

Capital..... Annapolis
Entered Union..... Apr. 28, 1788 (7th)

Present Constitution Adopted: 1867

Nickname: Free State
Old Line State

Motto:
“Fatti maschii, parole femine”
(Manly deeds, womanly words)

Origin of Name:
Was named by Lord Baltimore in honor of Quuen Mary (Henrietta Maria), wife of England's King Charles I.

USS Massachusetts

Railroad Stations

Massachusetts Economy

AGRICULTURE: cranberries, eggs,
flowers, fruit, milk, turkeys, vegetables.

MINING: lime, sand, stone.

MANUFACTURING: chemicals, clothing,
computer hardware and software,
electronics, instruments, machinery,
metal products, textiles.


Massachusetts Geography

Total Area: 9,241 sq. miles
Land area: 7,838 sq. miles
Water Area: 1,403 sq. miles
Geographic Center: Worcester
Northern part of the city
Highest Point: Mount Greylock
(3,487 ft.)
Lowest Point: Atlantic Ocean
(sea level)
Highest Recorded Temp.: 107˚ F (8/2/1975)
Lowest Recorded Temp.: –35˚ F (1/12/1981)

Massachusetts has two main characteristics. The shore area is primarily level, with low rounded hills. The Western part of the state is hilly, with the Berkshire Mountains and the Taconic Mountains crossing the states. The area between them is the Hoosac Valley.

Cities

Boston, 694,583
Worcester, 185,877
Springfield, 155,032
Lowell, 111,670
Cambridge, 105,162
New Bedford, 95,072
Brockton, 93,180
Quincy, 92,271
Lynn, 90,329
Fall River, 88,857

Massachusetts History

1620 The Mayflower arrived at Plymouth Rock and the Pilgrims disembarked.
1623 Governor William Bradford put aside a special day of Thanksgiving .
1628 A permanent settlement at Salem was established.
1630 The Puritans migrated from Salem and founded Boston.
1636 Harvard University was founded
1692 Nineteen women are condemned to death for practicing witchcraft in
Salem.
1770 A British troops open fire on Americans resulting in Boston Massacre.
1773 American patriots throw tea overboard in what became known as the
Boston Tea Party.
1775 The Revolutionary War begins when the first shots are fired at Concord
and Lexington.
1775 The battle of Bunker Hill was fought outside Boston.
1787 Daniel Shay led a rebellion that was put down.
1831 William Lloyd Garrison bean publishing the Liberator.
1876 Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in Boston.
1960 John F Kennedy Elected President of the United States
2013- Bomb goes off at the finish point of the Boston Marathon

Famous People



John Adams
John Quincy Adams
Samuel Adams
Susan B. Anthony
Clara Barton
Leonard Bernstein
George H. W. Bush
Emily Dickinson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Benjamin Franklin
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Winslow Homer
Elias Howe
John F. Kennedy
Horace Mann
Samuel F. B. Morse
Paul Revere
Norman Rockwell
Henry David Thoreau
Barbara Walters
Eli Whitney

Massachusetts National Sites

1) Adams' National Historic Site
This site was the family home for four generations for the Adams family, including John and John Quincy Adams two of Americas early Presidents.

2) Boston African American National Historical Site
Located in downtown Boston this is the site of oldest Black church in the United States.

3) Boston National Historical Park
This site which contains a series of buildings and cemeteries that relate to the colonial fight against the British during the fight for independence.

4) Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site
This site was the home and office of Frederick Law considered the father of American city parks. He designed New York’s Central Park.

5) John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site
This three story house was the birthplace of John F Kennedy the 35th president of the United States.

6) Longfellow National Historic Site
This site was the historic site of the home of one of Americas most renowned poets, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

7) Lowell National Historic Park
Lowell was founded in 1826 as Americas first mill town. The historic site commemorates the arrival of the industrial revolution in the United States

8) Minute Man National Historic Park
This park extends the six miles between Lexington and Concord. It commemorates the first shots fired by Minutemen at British troops.

9) Salem Maritime National Historic Site
The history of New England’s early seafaring days is told in Salem. Many of the original building are part of the site.

10) Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site
This site contains a reconstruction of America’s first Iron works. It began operation in 1646.


Massachusetts

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Massachusetts, constituent state of the United States of America. It was one of the original 13 states and is one of the 6 New England states, lying in the northeastern corner of the country. Massachusetts (officially called a commonwealth) is bounded to the north by Vermont and New Hampshire, to the east and southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Rhode Island and Connecticut, and to the west by New York. It is the seventh smallest of the U.S. states in terms of total area. Its capital is Boston, the state’s most populous city. English explorer and colonist John Smith named the state for the Massachuset tribe, whose name meant “near the great hill”—believed to refer to Blue Hill, which rises south of Boston in an otherwise flat area. Massachusetts’s residents represent an amalgamation of the prototypical Yankee spirit of an earlier America and the energies of the later immigrants who flocked to its cities in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Massachusetts is unique among states because its history and culture predate and epitomize the experiences of the country as a whole. It is commonly known that the Puritans and Pilgrims set the stage for eventual liberty of religious belief when they fled an oppressive government to settle in the New World. With such documents as the Mayflower Compact (1620) and the Body of Liberties (1641), an early code of law, they provided the basis for the concept that governments should rule by consent of the governed and with guarantees to protect individual expression.

These notions of individual liberty came into conflict with the colonies’ status as part of the British Empire. The American Revolution originated in Massachusetts with the first resistance against British colonial rules. It was in Massachusetts that the colonists raised the hue and cry against taxation without representation, as exemplified by the Boston Tea Party the activism of the Massachusetts colonists inspired others and culminated in the “shot heard round the world” at the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775.

Massachusetts was in the vanguard when the new country began transforming itself from an agrarian to an industrial economy. The state’s merchants, such as Francis Cabot Lowell, whose fortunes depended on trade, sought safer investments after severe losses during the War of 1812. Textile, boot, and machinery manufacturing began in Massachusetts (and Rhode Island) and set the groundwork for the eventual industrialization and urbanization of the northeastern states. Farmers and their sons and daughters trekked to the new cities by the mid-1870s, Massachusetts had become the first state in the Union in which more people lived in towns and cities than in rural areas.

Throughout the 19th century, Massachusetts was a leading manufacturing centre. Southern competition in the first half of the 20th century led to a massive economic decline, resulting in the closing of factories throughout the state. But World War II and the Cold War created new high-technology industries that depended on federal largesse in the form of defense spending. Meanwhile, service activities such as finance, education, and health care expanded, helping to create a new economy with Boston as its centre. In 2004 Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage the law pointed out that excluding certain citizens from a valued institution was incompatible with the principles of individual autonomy and legal equality. Massachusetts’s long struggle to maintain individual liberty while paying attention to communal needs resulted in the coalition of democratic principles and capitalist drives that are the hallmark of the United States. Area 10,554 square miles (27,336 square km). Population (2010) 6,547,629 (2019 est.) 6,892,503.

The Massachusetts coastline is about 1,500 miles (2,400 km) in length, yet the cross-country distances are only 190 miles (310 km) from east to west and 110 miles (180 km) from north to south. The coast—whose configuration marked by numerous embayments gave rise to Massachusetts’s nickname, the Bay State—winds from Rhode Island around Cape Cod, in and out of scenic harbours along the shore south of Boston, through Boston Harbor and up the North Shore, swinging around the painters’ paradise of Cape Ann to New Hampshire.


Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 1,006

John Winthrop

1588-01-12 John Winthrop, English Puritan lawyer and 1st governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, born in Edwardstone, England (d. 1649)

    John Haynes, 5th Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, born in Essex, England (d. 1653) Simon Bradstreet, Massachusetts Bay colonist (d. 1693) William Sprague, English co-founder of Charlestown, Massachusetts (d. 1675) Peregrine White, First English child born in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, born aboard the Mayflower (d. 1704) Increase Mather, New England Puritan minister, born in Dorchester, Massachusetts (d. 1723) Elihu Yale, English merchant and philanthropist (benefactor of Yale University), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1721)

Cotton Mather

1663-02-12 Cotton Mather, American Puritan minister (Salem witchcraft trials), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1728)

    Paul Dudley, Attorney-General of Massachusetts, born in Roxbury, Massachusetts (d. 1751) Edward Holyoke, American academic and 9th President of Harvard University, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1769) William Shirley, British Colonial Governor of Massachusetts (played an important role in Britain’s struggle against France for control of North America), born in Preston, Sussex, England (d. 1771) Thomas Clap, American academic, 1st President of Yale University, born in Scituate, Massachusetts (d. 1767)

Benjamin Franklin

1706-01-17 Benjamin Franklin, US Founding Father, inventor, ambassador and writer (Poor Richards Almanac), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1790)

    Thomas Hutchinson, Loyalist politician of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, born in Boston, Massachusetts Bay British America (d. 1780) Ephraim Williams, American philanthropist, born in Newton, Massachusetts (d. 1755) William Wildman Shute Barrington, British statesman, born in Becket, Massachusetts (d. 1793) Jonathan Mayhew, American Congregational minister, born in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts (d. 1766)

Roger Sherman

1721-04-19 Roger Sherman, American lawyer and Founding Father of the United States (Declaration of Independence, Constitution), born in Newton, Massachusetts (d. 1793)

Samuel Adams

1722-09-27 Samuel Adams, American revolutionary (Boston Massacre-Tea Party) and politician (Lt Gov-Mass, 1789-94), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1803)

    Colonel Thomas Gardner, American heroic political figure and soldier, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (d. 1775) James Otis, American lawyer and patriot, born in Barnstable, Massachusetts (d. 1783) Thomas Cushing, American Continental Congressman and acting Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1788) James Bowdoin, American Revolutionary leader and politician, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1790) Artemas Ward, American politician and soldier (major general during the American Revolutionary War), born in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts (d. 1800)

Benjamin Lincoln

1733-01-24 Benjamin Lincoln, American military officer (Battles of Saratoga, Charleston and Yorktown during the American Revolutionary War), born in Hingham, Massachusetts (d. 1810)

Paul Revere

1735-01-01 Paul Revere, American silversmith and patriot who alerted the colonial militia to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1818)

John Adams

1735-10-30 John Adams, 2nd US President (1797-1801), born in Braintree, Massachusetts (d. 1826)

John Hancock

1737-01-23 John Hancock, American merchant & statesman who was 1st to sign the Declaration of Independence, born in Braintree, Massachusetts (d. 1793)

    Nathaniel Gorham, American politician (6th President of the Confederation Congress), born in Charlestown, Massachusetts (d. 1796) John Singleton Copley, American painter of portraits and historical objects, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1815) Benjamin Ruggles Woodbridge, doctor, Massachusetts militia officer, member of the Massachusetts legislature (d. 1819) Joseph Warren, American physician and soldier, born in Roxbury, Province of Massachusetts Bay (d. 1775) William Hooper, American attorney and signer of U.S. Declaration of Independence, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1790) James Sullivan, 7th Governor of Massachusetts (1807-08), born in Berwick, Province of Massachusetts Bay (d. 1808) Elbridge Gerry, American statesman who invented gerrymandering and 5th Vice President of the United States, born in Marblehead, Massachusetts Bay (d. 1814)

Abigail Adams

1744-11-22 Abigail Adams, 2nd US First Lady (1797-1801) (11/11 O.S.), born in Weymouth Massachusetts (d. 1818)

    Caleb Strong, 6th and 10th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1819) William Billings, American hymn composer (Rose of Sharon), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1800) Increase Sumner, American politician (5th Governor of Massachusetts), born in Roxbury, Province of Massachusetts Bay (d. 1799) Levi Lincoln, Sr., American revolutionary, statesman, politician, and acting Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1820) Elias Mann, American composer, born in Weymouth, Massachusetts (d. 1825) Henry Knox, American general (Continental Army and later the United States Army), born in Boston, Massachusetts Bay (d. 1806) Supply Belcher, American composer and singer (The Harmony of Maine), born in Stoughton, Massachusetts (d. 1836) John Brooks, 11th Governor of Massachusetts (1816-23), born in Medford (d. 1825) Benjamin Thompson, American physicist and inventor (Royal Institution of Great Britain), born in Woburn, Massachusetts (d. 1814) William Eustis, 12th Governor of Massachusetts (1823-25), born in Cambridge, Massachusetts Bay, British America (d. 1825) Rufus King, American politician and framer of US constitution, born in Scarborough, Massachusetts (d. 1827) Hannah Webster Foster, American author (The Coquette or, The History of Eliza Wharton), born in Salisbury, Massachusetts (d. 1840) Christopher Gore, American lawyer and politician (8th Governor of Massachusetts), born in Boston, Province of Massachusetts Bay (d. 1827) Samuel Adams Holyoke, American composer, born in Boxford, Massachusetts (d. 1820) Charles Bulfinch, 1st US pro architect (Mass State House), born in Boston, Massachusetts Oliver Holden, American composer, born in Shirley, Massachusetts (d. 1844)

Eli Whitney

1765-12-08 Eli Whitney, American inventor (Cotton Gin), born in Westborough, Massachusetts (d. 1825)

    Robert Bailey Thomas, American journalist and founder (The Farmer's Almanac), born in Grafton, Massachusetts (d. 1846) Jacob Perkins, American inventor, born in Newburyport, Massachusetts (d. 1849) Samuel Wilson, American meat packer and possible namesake of Uncle Sam, born in Menotomy, Province of Massachusetts Bay (d. 1854)

John Quincy Adams

1767-07-11 John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States (D) (1825-1829), born in Braintree, Massachusetts (d. 1848)

    Daniel Belknap, American composer, born in Framingham, Massachusetts (d. 1815) Nathaniel Bowditch, American mathematician, astronomer and author (Marine Sextant), born in Salem, Province of Massachusetts Bay (d. 1838) Johnny Appleseed [John Chapman], American pioneer nurseryman (introduced apple trees to Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois), born in Leominster, Massachusetts (d. 1845)

Laura Secord

1775-09-13 Laura Secord, Canadian war heroine, born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts Bay (d. 1868)

    Joseph Story, American lawyer and 19th Supreme Court justice (1812-45), born in Marblehead, Massachusetts (d. 1845) Jason Fairbanks, American murderer, born in Dedham, Massachusetts (d. 1801) Levi Lincoln, Jr., American lawyer and 13th Governor of Massachusetts (1825-34), born in Worcester, Massachusetts (d. 1868) Samuel Turell Armstrong, American politician and acting Governor of Massachusetts (1833- 36), born in Dorchester, Massachusetts (d. 1850) Marcus Morton, 16th and 18th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1864) William L. Marcy, American statesman, born in Southbridge, Massachusetts (d. 1857) John Davis, 14th and 17th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1854) John Ruggles, American politician, born in Westborough, Massachusetts (d. 1874) Calvin Phillips, American midget & shortest known adult male (67 cm 2' 2"), born in Bridgewater, Massachusetts (d. 1812)

Samuel Morse

1791-04-27 Samuel Morse, American inventor (telegraph, Morse code) and painter, born in Charlestown, Massachusetts (d. 1872)

    Charles Sprague, American banker and poet (Curiosity), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1875) John C. Clark, American politician, born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts (d. 1852) Edward Everett, American statesman and orator, born in Dorchester, Massachusetts (d. 1865) John Marston, U.S. Navy officer, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1885) George N. Briggs, American lawyer and politician, 19th Governor of Massachusetts, born in Adams, Massachusetts (d. 1861)

Horace Mann

1796-05-04 Horace Mann, American educator, author and editor who pioneered public schools, born in Franklin, Massachusetts (d. 1859)

    William H. Prescott, American historian, born in Salem, Massachusetts (d. 1859) Edwin Vose Sumner, American Major General (Union Army), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1863) Anson Jones, 5th and last President of Texas, born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts (d. 1858) Isaac Babbitt, American goldsmith who invented babbitt's metal for bearings, born in Taunton, Massachusetts (d. 1862) Rufus Choate, American lawyer (Hall of Fame), born in Ipswich, Massachusetts (d. 1859) Emory Washburn, 22nd Governor of Massachusetts (1854-55), born in Leicester, Massachusetts (d. 1877)

George Bancroft

1800-10-03 George Bancroft, American historian (History of the United States), born in Worcester Massachusetts (d. 1891)

    Benjamin Franklin Wade, American politician, US Senator from Ohio (1851-69), born in Springfield, Massachusetts (d. 1878) Samuel Gridley Howe, United States physician, abolitionist, and advocate of education for the blind, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1876) James Barnes, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1869) Lydia Maria Child, American author, journalist and abolitionist (Juvenile Miscellany), born in Medford, Massachusetts (d. 1880)

Ralph Waldo Emerson

1803-05-25 Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and philosopher (Concord Hymn), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1882)

    Otis Tufts, American machinist & inventor who built printing machines, steam engines, firefighting equipment and invented the steam pile driver, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (d. 1869) Alvan Clark, American astronomer and maker of the Dearborn Observatory telescope, the largest telescope in the world at the time, born in Ashfield, Massachusetts (d. 1887) Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, American educator, founder of first English-language kindergarten in the US, born in Billerica, Massachusetts (d. 1894) Willard Richards, American physician and religious leader, born in Hopkinton, Massachusetts (d. 1854)

Nathaniel Hawthorne

1804-07-04 Nathaniel Hawthorne, American author (House of 7 Gables, The Scarlet Letter), born in Salem, Massachusetts (d. 1864)

    Charles Thomas Jackson, American physician and geologist, born in Plymouth, Massachusetts (d. 1880) Horatio Greenough, American neo-classical sculptor and writer (Form & Function), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1852)

William Lloyd Garrison

1805-12-10 William Lloyd Garrison, American abolitionist, and publisher ("The Liberator"), born in Newburyport, Massachusetts (d. 1879)

    Lysander Cutler, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Royalston, Massachusetts (d. 1866) Charles Francis Adams Snr., American writer and diplomat, US Minister to the UK, son of President John Quincy Adams, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1886)
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Contents

The following structures have been verified using dendrochronology or some other type of architectural survey.

Building Image Location First Built Notes
Fairbanks House Dedham, Massachusetts 1641 Oldest verified wood-frame house in America, timbers dated from 1637-1641 using dendrochronology, and the oldest house verified with dendrochronology in Massachusetts largely preserved in original state. [2] [3]
James Blake House Dorchester, Massachusetts 1661 Oldest house in Boston (dendrochronology in 2007 determined the actual construction date [1] [dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org])
Pickering House Salem, Massachusetts 1664 [4] Oldest house in Salem still being lived in. It is located at 18 Broad Street in the Chestnut Street District. Dated using dendrochronology in 2007. [5]
Gedney House Salem, Massachusetts 1665 dated using dendrochronology in 2002 [5]
House of the Seven Gables Salem, Massachusetts 1668 National Historic Landmark, setting of the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel. Dated using dendrochronology in 2005. [5]
Gould House Topsfield, Massachusetts 1670 73 Prospect Street, Topsfield. Earliest section 1670 addition of 1700 [6]
Merchant-Choate House Ipswich, Massachusetts 1670/71 Also, known as Tuttle House (103 High Street). The House is definitely dated from 1670/71 by tree rings. [7]
Pickman House Salem, Massachusetts ca. 1672 [8] Recent dendrochronology finds trees felled in winter1671 museum site has not been updated, but cited source includes audio tour by architectural historian stating new results. Located on Charter Street behind the Peabody Essex Museum, the oldest continually operated museum in America. The house abuts the Witch Memorial is also next to the second oldest burying ground in America.
Narbonne House Salem, Massachusetts 1675 The house is on the waterfront in Salem at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and owned by the National Park Service. The site has 12 historic structures, including the Customs House, and a replica of the sailing ship Friendship of Salem. Dated using dendrochronology in 2002. [5]
Deane Winthrop House Winthrop, Massachusetts 1675 Dated by dendrochronology to 1675, [4] with an addition of 1695. Currently it is owned by the Winthrop Improvement and Historical Association. This building is one of the oldest wood frame houses in the country and it is the oldest continuously lived-in home. Located at 40 Shirley Street, the Deane Winthrop House is a registered National Historic Site.
Capen House Milton, Massachusetts 1675 Dating using dendrochronology in 2002. [5] House was moved from Dorchester to Milton in 1909 and "[d]espite the opposition of the Historical Commission, a new owner of this property had the Capen house disassembled and removed from the Hillside Street site in 2006. The commission has no information regarding any future reconstruction of this important building." [9]
General Israel Putnam House Danvers, Massachusetts 1677 Dating using dendrochronology in 2005. [10]
Whipple House Ipswich, Massachusetts 1677 National Historic Landmark. Dating using dendrochronology in 2002. [5]
Coffin House Newbury, Massachusetts 1678 One of the oldest extant examples of the principal rafter/common purlin roof. Dated using dendrochronology in 2002. [5]
Balch House Beverly, Massachusetts 1680 dated using dendrochronology in 2006 [5]
Hart House Ipswich, Massachusetts 1680 Now a tavern. It is located at 51 Linebrook Road and was dated using dendrochronology in 2006 [5] One room is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. [11]
Cooper-Frost-Austin House Cambridge, Massachusetts 1681 Oldest house in Cambridge, verified using dendrochronology in 2002. [5]
Pierce House (Dorchester, Massachusetts) Dorchester, Massachusetts 1683 One of the oldest houses in Boston. Dated using dendrochronology in 2002. [5]
20 White Place Brookline, Massachusetts 1683 Dated using dendrochronology in 2007. [5] Possibly the oldest surviving house in Brookline, and a private residence protected through Historic New England's stewardship easement program. [12]
William Murray House Salem, Massachusetts 1688 [13] A historic house at 39 Essex Street
Boardman House Saugus, Massachusetts 1692 [14] Formerly known as the Scotch Boardman House. Also known as the Bennet-Boardman House. Dated using dendrochronology in 2009.
Parson Capen House Topsfield, Massachusetts 1694
Isaac Goodale House Built in Salem, Massachusetts moved to Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1928. 1695 c. Date from architectural survey, available on Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System website. [15]
Dwight-Derby House Medfield, Massachusetts 1697 dated using dendrochronology in 2007. [5]
Alden House Duxbury, Massachusetts 1700 c. A National Historic Landmark, dating to ca. 1700 via dendrochronology. [16]
Thorndike Beverly 1702 With addition dating to late First Period [17]
White–Ellery House Gloucester, Massachusetts 1710 Affirmed traditional date in survey carried out around 2012.
Old Garrison House Rockport, Massachusetts 1711 [18]
The Old Castle Rockport 1712 [19] Owned by Sandy Bay Historical Society.
Parson Barnard North Andover 1715 Exposed, beaded beams, integral leanto [20]
John Adams Birthplace Quincy, Massachusetts 1722 [21] Oldest existing building within which a future President of the United States was born (John Adams, October 30, 1735) [22] Dated to 1722 by dendrochronology, but "The framing of the east side incorporates a number of reused timbers dating to the 1670s."
Bellingham-Cary House Chelsea, Massachusetts 1724 [23] The Bellingham-Cary House is a historic house museum at 34 Parker Street in Chelsea, Massachusetts. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Proctor House Peabody, Massachusetts 1727 c. Dated using dendrochronology in 2017. [24] John Proctor was hung on August 19, 1692 in Salem Village, Massachusetts Bay Colony during the Salem Witch Trials after being falsely accused and convicted for witchcraft. The Proctor House was built in the 1720s by his descendants.

The following structures are claimed to have been built at or around the time attested.


Old Historical Atlas Maps of Massachusetts

This Historical Massachusetts Map Collection are from original copies. Most historical maps of Massachusetts were published in atlases and spans over 350 years of growth for the state.

Some Massachusetts maps years have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines, and other features useful to the Massachusetts researcher.

Jeffery’s 1776 State County and Township Map of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island – Northern Section

  • Map Date: 1776
  • Map Locations: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut And Rhode Island
  • Map Publication: The American Atlas: Or, A Geographical Description Of The Whole Continent Of America
  • Map Type: World Atlas
  • Map Cartographer: Samuel Holland and Thomas Jefferys

Jeffery’s 1776 State Map of New England containing the Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island

  • Map Date: 1776
  • Map Locations:New Hampshire , Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut
  • Map Publication: The American Atlas: Or, A Geographical Description Of The Whole Continent Of America
  • Map Type: World Atlas
  • Map Cartographer: Samuel Holland and Thomas Jefferys

1776 State County and Township Map of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island – – Southern Section

  • Map Date: 1776
  • Map Locations: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut And Rhode Island
  • Map Publication: The American Atlas: Or, A Geographical Description Of The Whole Continent Of America
  • Map Type: World Atlas
  • Map Cartographer: Samuel Holland and Thomas Jefferys

Carey’s 1795 State Map of Massachusetts, Compiled from the best Authorities

  • Map Date: 1795
  • Map Locations: Massachusetts
  • Map Publication: Carey’s American Atlas: Containing Twenty Maps And One Chart
  • Map Type: National Atlas
  • Map Cartographer: Mathew Carey (1760– 1839)

Sotzmann’s 1796 State Map of Massachusetts Shows counties and minor civil subdivisions

  • Map Date: 1796
  • Map Locations: Massachusetts
  • Map Publication:
  • Map Type: National Atlas
  • Map Cartographer: Daniel Friedrich Sotzmann

Arrowsmith’s 1804 State Map of Massachusetts

  • Map Date: 1804
  • Map Locations: Massachusetts
  • Map Publication: A new and elegant general atlas, comprising all the new discoveries, to the present time.
  • Map Cartographer: Aaron Arrowsmith (1750-1823) and Samuel Lewis (1754-1822)

Carey’s 1814 State Map of Massachusetts

  • Map Date: 1814
  • Map Locations: Massachusetts
  • Map Publication: Carey’s General Atlas, Improved And Enlarged Being A Collection Of Maps Of The World And Quarters, Their Principal Empires, Kingdoms, &c
  • Map Type: World Atlas
  • Map Cartographer: Henry Charles Carey and Isaac Lea

Carey’s 1822 Geographical, Historical and Statistical State Map of Massachusetts

  • Map Date: 1822
  • Map Locations: Massachusetts
  • Map Publication: A Complete Historical, Chronological, And Geographical American Atlas, Being A Guide To The History Of North And South America, And The West Indies … To The Year 1822.
  • Map Type: National Atlas
  • Map Cartographer: Henry Charles Carey & Isaac Lea

Finley’s 1827 State Map of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island

  • Map Date: 1827
  • Map Locations: Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island
  • Map Publication: A New General Atlas, Comprising a Complete Set of Maps, representing the Grand Divisions of the Globe, Together with the several Empires, Kingdoms and States in the World Compiled from the Best Authorities, and corrected by the Most Recent Discoveries, Philadelphia, 1827.
  • Map Type: National Atlas
  • Map Cartographer: Anthony Finley (1784 – 1836)

Tanner’s 1836 State Map of Massachusetts and Rhode Island

  • Map Date: 1836 (Entered 1833)
  • Map Locations: Massachusetts and Rhode Island
  • Map Publication: A New Universal Atlas Containing Maps of the various Empires, Kingdoms, States and Republics Of The World.
  • Map Type: World Atlas
  • Map Cartographer: Henry Schenck Tanner (1786–1858)

Morse’s 1845 State Map of Massachusetts and Rhode Island

  • Map Date: 1842 (Entered 1842)
  • Map Locations: Massachusetts and Rhode Island
  • Map Publication: Morse’s North American atlas. Containing the following beautifully colored maps
  • Map Type: National Atlas
  • Map Cartographer: Sidney Edwards Morse (1794-1871 ) and Samuel Breese (1802-1873)

Colton’s 1856 State Map of Massachusetts and Rhode Island with Vicinity of Boston

  • Map Date: 1856 (Entered 1855)
  • Map Locations: Massachusetts, Rhode Island and City of Boston
  • Map Publication: Colton’s Atlas Of The World, Illustrating Physical And Political Geography.
  • Map Type: World Atlas
  • Map Cartographer: Joseph Hutchins Colton (1800-1893)

Mitchell’s 1880 State, County and Township Map of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island

  • Map Date: 1880 (Entered 1879)
  • Map Locations: Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island
  • Map Publication: Mitchell’s New General Atlas
  • Map Type: World Atlas
  • Map Cartographer: Samuel Augustus Mitchell Jr. (1827-1901)

Calendar of Events

The MHS offers an engaging roster of programming to foster historical knowledge and we welcome everyone to attend, question, and contribute. We provide a forum for debate host a variety of programs that delve into the complexities of history and encourage people to share their observations, interpretations, and ideas. MHS programs include author talks, conversations, panel discussions, gallery tours, brown-bag lunches, seminars, conferences, and exclusive events for Members and donors. If you missed a program or would like to revisit the material presented, our videos page has many past programs.

Online Event, Author Talk, Public Program Mercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy and the New Battleground of the Cold War 30 June 2021. Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM --> This is an online program Jeff Shesol in conversation with E.J. Dionne If the United States couldn&rsquot catch up to the Soviets in space, how could it compete with them .

If the United States couldn&rsquot catch up to the Soviets in space, how could it compete with them on Earth? That was the question facing John F. Kennedy at the height of the Cold War. On February 20, 1962, when John Glenn blasted into orbit aboard Friendship 7, his mission was not only to circle the planet it was to calm the fears of the free world and renew America&rsquos sense of self-belief. Mercury Rising re-creates the tension and excitement of a flight that shifted the momentum of the space race and put the United States on the path to the moon. Drawing on new archival sources, personal interviews, and previously unpublished notes by Glenn himself, Mercury Rising reveals how the astronaut&rsquos heroics lifted the nation&rsquos hopes

Public Program, Online Event Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood: African American Children in the Antebellum North 8 July 2021. Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM --> This is an online program Crystal Lynn Webster, University of Texas at San Antonio in conversation with Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, MHS For all that is known about the depth and breadth of African American history, we still understand .

For all that is known about the depth and breadth of African American history, we still understand surprisingly little about the lives of African American children. But hidden in institutional records, school primers and penmanship books, biographical sketches, and unpublished documents is a rich archive that reveals the social and affective worlds of northern Black children. Crystal Webster argues that young African Americans were frequently left outside the nineteenth century's emerging constructions of both race and childhood. They were marginalized in the development of schooling, ignored in debates over child labor, and presumed to lack the inherent innocence ascribed to white children. But Webster shows that Black children nevertheless carved out physical and social space for play, for learning, and for their own aspirations.

Public Program Force and Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence 13 July 2021. Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM --> This program co-sponsored by the MHS and hosted by the Boston Athenaeum Kellie Carter Jackson, Wellesley College This program is free for MHS Members/Fellows Please register through the Boston Athenaeum Register Here In Force and Freedom .

Please register through the Boston Athenaeum

In Force and Freedom, Kellie Carter Jackson provides the first historical analysis exclusively focused on the tactical use of violence among antebellum black activists. Through rousing public speeches, the burgeoning black press, and the formation of milita groups, black abolitionist leaders mobilized their communities, compelled national action, and drew international attention. Drawing on the precedent and pathos of the American and Haitian Revolutions, African American abolitionists used violence as a political language and a means of provoking social change. Through tactical violence, black abolitionist leaders accomplished what white nonviolent abolitionists could not: creating the conditions that necessitated the Civil War. Force and Freedom takes readers beyond the honorable politics of moral suasion and the romanticism of the Underground Railroad and into an exploration of the agonizing decisions, strategies, and actions of the black abolitionists who, though lacking an official political voice, were nevertheless responsible for instigating monumental social and political change.

Public Program, Online Event Borderland: The Life and Times of Blanche Ames Ames 15 July 2021. Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM --> This program is a virtual film screening followed by discussion Barbara F. Berenson ​Blanche Ames Ames (1878-1969) was an artist, an activist, a builder, an inventor, a birth control .

​Blanche Ames Ames (1878-1969) was an artist, an activist, a builder, an inventor, a birth control maverick, and a leader of the woman suffrage movement in Massachusetts. She was a woman of privilege who was not afraid to shock polite society. Her name doesn't appear in most American history books. This, too, is part of her story. Borderland: The Life & Times of Blanche Ames Ames is a 55-minute documentary that chronicles the life of a woman who was born in the 19th century, worked to change the 20th century, and whose wisdom still resonates in the 21st century. A screening of the film will be followed by audience discussion with consulting historian Barbara F. Berenson.

Public Program, Online Event, Conversation Nine Days: The Race to Save Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life and Win the 1960 Election 20 July 2021. Tuesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM --> This is an online program Stephen Kendrick in conversation with Larry Tye Less than three weeks before the 1960 presidential election, thirty-one-year-old Martin Luther King, .

Less than three weeks before the 1960 presidential election, thirty-one-year-old Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested at a sit-in in Atlanta. While King&rsquos imprisonment was decried as a moral scandal in some quarters and celebrated in others, for the two presidential candidates―John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon―it was the ultimate October surprise: an emerging civil rights leader was languishing behind bars, and the two campaigns raced to decide whether, and how, to respond. Nine Days is the first full recounting of an event that changed the course of one of the closest elections in American history. At once a story of electoral machinations, moral courage, and, ultimately, the triumph of a future president&rsquos better angels, Nine Days is a gripping tale with important lessons for our own time.

Public Program, Author Talk, Online Event Age of Acrimony: How Americans Fought to Fix Their Democracy, 1865-1915 29 July 2021. Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM --> This is an online program Jon Grinspan, National Museum of American History Democracy was broken. Or that was what many Americans believed in the decades after the Civil War. .

Democracy was broken. Or that was what many Americans believed in the decades after the Civil War. Shaken by economic and technological disruption, they sought safety in aggressive, tribal partisanship. The results were the loudest, closest, most violent elections in U.S. history, driven by vibrant campaigns that drew our highest-ever voter turnouts. At the century's end, reformers finally restrained this wild system, trading away participation for civility in the process. They built a calmer, cleaner democracy, but also a more distant one. Americans' voting rates crashed and never fully recovered. In telling the tale of what it cost to cool our republic, historian Jon Grinspan reveals our divisive political system's enduring capacity to reinvent itself.

Online Event, Author Talk, Public Program Mercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy and the New Battleground of the Cold War Register registration required at no cost 30 June 2021. Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Jeff Shesol in conversation with E.J. Dionne

If the United States couldn&rsquot catch up to the Soviets in space, how could it compete with them on Earth? That was the question facing John F. Kennedy at the height of the Cold War. On February 20, 1962, when John Glenn blasted into orbit aboard Friendship 7, his mission was not only to circle the planet it was to calm the fears of the free world and renew America&rsquos sense of self-belief. Mercury Rising re-creates the tension and excitement of a flight that shifted the momentum of the space race and put the United States on the path to the moon. Drawing on new archival sources, personal interviews, and previously unpublished notes by Glenn himself, Mercury Rising reveals how the astronaut&rsquos heroics lifted the nation&rsquos hopes

Public Program, Online Event Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood: African American Children in the Antebellum North Register registration required at no cost 8 July 2021. Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Crystal Lynn Webster, University of Texas at San Antonio in conversation with Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, MHS

For all that is known about the depth and breadth of African American history, we still understand surprisingly little about the lives of African American children. But hidden in institutional records, school primers and penmanship books, biographical sketches, and unpublished documents is a rich archive that reveals the social and affective worlds of northern Black children. Crystal Webster argues that young African Americans were frequently left outside the nineteenth century's emerging constructions of both race and childhood. They were marginalized in the development of schooling, ignored in debates over child labor, and presumed to lack the inherent innocence ascribed to white children. But Webster shows that Black children nevertheless carved out physical and social space for play, for learning, and for their own aspirations.

Public Program Force and Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence registration required 13 July 2021. Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM This program co-sponsored by the MHS and hosted by the Boston Athenaeum Kellie Carter Jackson, Wellesley College This program is free for MHS Members/Fellows

Please register through the Boston Athenaeum

In Force and Freedom, Kellie Carter Jackson provides the first historical analysis exclusively focused on the tactical use of violence among antebellum black activists. Through rousing public speeches, the burgeoning black press, and the formation of milita groups, black abolitionist leaders mobilized their communities, compelled national action, and drew international attention. Drawing on the precedent and pathos of the American and Haitian Revolutions, African American abolitionists used violence as a political language and a means of provoking social change. Through tactical violence, black abolitionist leaders accomplished what white nonviolent abolitionists could not: creating the conditions that necessitated the Civil War. Force and Freedom takes readers beyond the honorable politics of moral suasion and the romanticism of the Underground Railroad and into an exploration of the agonizing decisions, strategies, and actions of the black abolitionists who, though lacking an official political voice, were nevertheless responsible for instigating monumental social and political change.

Public Program, Online Event Borderland: The Life and Times of Blanche Ames Ames Register registration required at no cost 15 July 2021. Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This program is a virtual film screening followed by discussion Barbara F. Berenson

​Blanche Ames Ames (1878-1969) was an artist, an activist, a builder, an inventor, a birth control maverick, and a leader of the woman suffrage movement in Massachusetts. She was a woman of privilege who was not afraid to shock polite society. Her name doesn't appear in most American history books. This, too, is part of her story. Borderland: The Life & Times of Blanche Ames Ames is a 55-minute documentary that chronicles the life of a woman who was born in the 19th century, worked to change the 20th century, and whose wisdom still resonates in the 21st century. A screening of the film will be followed by audience discussion with consulting historian Barbara F. Berenson.

Public Program, Online Event, Conversation Nine Days: The Race to Save Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life and Win the 1960 Election Register registration required at no cost 20 July 2021. Tuesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Stephen Kendrick in conversation with Larry Tye

Less than three weeks before the 1960 presidential election, thirty-one-year-old Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested at a sit-in in Atlanta. While King&rsquos imprisonment was decried as a moral scandal in some quarters and celebrated in others, for the two presidential candidates―John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon―it was the ultimate October surprise: an emerging civil rights leader was languishing behind bars, and the two campaigns raced to decide whether, and how, to respond. Nine Days is the first full recounting of an event that changed the course of one of the closest elections in American history. At once a story of electoral machinations, moral courage, and, ultimately, the triumph of a future president&rsquos better angels, Nine Days is a gripping tale with important lessons for our own time.

Public Program, Author Talk, Online Event Age of Acrimony: How Americans Fought to Fix Their Democracy, 1865-1915 Register registration required at no cost 29 July 2021. Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Jon Grinspan, National Museum of American History

Democracy was broken. Or that was what many Americans believed in the decades after the Civil War. Shaken by economic and technological disruption, they sought safety in aggressive, tribal partisanship. The results were the loudest, closest, most violent elections in U.S. history, driven by vibrant campaigns that drew our highest-ever voter turnouts. At the century's end, reformers finally restrained this wild system, trading away participation for civility in the process. They built a calmer, cleaner democracy, but also a more distant one. Americans' voting rates crashed and never fully recovered. In telling the tale of what it cost to cool our republic, historian Jon Grinspan reveals our divisive political system's enduring capacity to reinvent itself.

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Massachusetts

People started living in what’s now called Massachusetts about 12,000 years ago, when retreating glaciers uncovered the land. Some artifacts have even been discovered in lakes and rivers created by melting glaciers. Thousands of years later Native American tribes including the Wampanoag, Mohegan, and Mohican lived on the land.

In 1620 a ship called the Mayflower arrived at Cape Cod carrying settlers called Pilgrims. These people were escaping religious persecution in England and created the first permanent European settlement in New England, called Plymouth. (New England is a region in the northeastern United States that was settled by people from England.) Soon after the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving with members of the Wampanoag tribe, which still exists in Massachusetts today.

Massachusetts has been the scene of many historical events. In 1639 America’s first post office opened in Boston. In 1692 and 1693, untrue rumors led to witch hunts in Salem, Massachusetts. And in 1876 Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated the first telephone.

But Massachusetts may be most historically significant for the role its people played in the Revolutionary War. Anger erupted in 1770 after five colonists were killed by British soldiers in what’s known as the Boston Massacre. Three years later, colonists disguised as Native Americans threw cases of tea into Boston Harbor to protest high taxes from England. The event is now known as the Boston Tea Party. In 1775 the Battles of Lexington and Concord became the first fight of the Revolutionary War. The movement of the British troops prompted silversmith Paul Revere to make his famous midnight ride to warn the colonists. Five years after the war ended, Massachusetts became the sixth U.S. state in 1788.

WHY’S IT CALLED THAT?

Massachusetts’ name might come from the Massachusett tribe, whose name can be translated to “near the great hill” or “near the range of hills.” It refers to the Blue Hills, southwest of Boston.

The state’s nickname the Bay State may originate from its many bays, or it might refer to the Massachusetts Bay Company, which was given a royal charter to colonize the land.


Contents

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was named after the indigenous population, the Massachusett, whose name likely derived from a Wôpanâak word muswachasut, segmented as mus(ây) "big" + wach8 "mountain" + -s "diminutive" + -ut "locative" (the '8' in these words refers to the 'oo' sound according to the Wôpanâak orthographic chart). [71] It has been translated as "near the great hill", [72] "by the blue hills", "at the little big hill", or "at the range of hills", referring to the Blue Hills, or in particular the Great Blue Hill, which is located on the boundary of Milton and Canton. [73] [74] Alternatively, Massachusett has been represented as Moswetuset—from the name of the Moswetuset Hummock (meaning "hill shaped like an arrowhead") in Quincy, where Plymouth Colony commander Myles Standish (a hired English military officer) and Squanto (a member of the now disappeared Patuxet band of the Wampanoag peoples) met Chief Chickatawbut in 1621. [75] [76]

The official name of the state is the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts". [77] While the designation "Commonwealth" forms part of the state's official name, it has no practical implications. [78] Massachusetts has the same position and powers within the United States as other states. [79] John Adams in 1779 may have chosen the word for the second draft of what became the 1780 Massachusetts Constitution because unlike the word "state", "commonwealth" at the time had the connotation of a republic, in contrast to the monarchy the former American colonies were fighting against. (The name "State of Massachusetts Bay" appeared in the first—rejected—draft.) [80]

Pre-colonization Edit

Massachusetts was originally inhabited by tribes of the Algonquian language family such as the Wampanoag, Narragansett, Nipmuc, Pocomtuc, Mahican, and Massachusett. [81] [82] While cultivation of crops like squash and corn supplemented their diets, these tribes were generally dependent on hunting, gathering and fishing for most of their food. [81] Villages consisted of lodges called wigwams as well as longhouses, [82] and tribes were led by male or female elders known as sachems. [83]

Colonial period Edit

In the early 1600s, after contact had been made with Europeans, large numbers of the indigenous peoples in the northeast of what is now the United States were killed by virgin soil epidemics such as smallpox, measles, influenza, and perhaps leptospirosis. [84] [85] Between 1617 and 1619, what was possibly smallpox killed approximately 90% of the Massachusetts Bay Native Americans. [86]

The first English settlers in Massachusetts, the Pilgrims, arrived on the Mayflower [87] at Plymouth in 1620, and developed friendly relations with the native Wampanoag people. [88] This was the second successful permanent English colony in the part of North America that later became the United States, after the Jamestown Colony. The event is known as the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World, which lasted for three days. The Pilgrims were soon followed by other Puritans, who established the Massachusetts Bay Colony at present-day Boston in 1630. [89]

The Puritans, who believed the Church of England needed to be purified and experienced harassment from English authority because of their beliefs, [90] came to Massachusetts intending to establish an ideal religious society. [91] Unlike the Plymouth colony, the bay colony was founded under a royal charter in 1629. [92] Both religious dissent and expansionism resulted in several new colonies being founded shortly after Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay elsewhere in New England. The Massachusetts Bay banished dissenters such as Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams due to religious and political disagreements. In 1636, Williams founded the colony of Rhode Island, and Hutchinson joined him there several years later. Religious intolerance continued. Among those who objected to this later in the century were the English Quaker preachers Alice and Thomas Curwen, who were publicly flogged and imprisoned in Boston in 1676. [93] [94]

In 1641, Massachusetts expanded inland significantly, acquiring the Connecticut River Valley settlement of Springfield, which had recently disputed with, and defected from its original administrators, the Connecticut Colony. [95] This established Massachusetts's southern border in the west, [96] though surveying problems resulted in disputed territory until 1803–04. [97]

Currency was another issue in the colonies. In 1652 the Massachusetts legislature authorized John Hull to produce coinage (mintmaster). "The Hull Mint produced several denominations of silver coinage, including the pine tree shilling, for over 30 years until the political and economic situation made operating the mint no longer practical." Mostly political for Charles II of England deemed the "Hull Mint" high treason in the United Kingdom which had a punishment of Hanging, drawing and quartering. "On April 6, 1681, Randolph petitioned the king, informing him the colony was still pressing their own coins which he saw as high treason and believed it was enough to void the charter. He asked that a writ of Quo warranto (a legal action requiring the defendant to show what authority they have for exercising some right, power, or franchise they claim to hold) be issued against Massachusetts for the violations." [98] [ better source needed ]

In 1691, the colonies of Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth were united (along with present-day Maine, which had previously been divided between Massachusetts and New York) into the Province of Massachusetts Bay. [99] Shortly after the arrival of the new province's first governor, William Phips, the Salem witch trials took place, where a number of men and women were hanged for alleged witchcraft. [100]

The most destructive earthquake yet known in New England occurred in 1755, causing considerable damage across Massachusetts. [101] [102]

The Revolutionary War Edit

Massachusetts was a center of the movement for independence from Great Britain colonists in Massachusetts had long uneasy relations with the British monarchy, including open rebellion under the Dominion of New England in the 1680s. [99] Protests against British attempts to tax the colonies after the French and Indian War ended in 1763 led to the Boston Massacre in 1770, and the 1773 Boston Tea Party escalated tensions. [103] In 1774, the Intolerable Acts targeted Massachusetts with punishments for the Boston Tea Party and further decreased local autonomy, increasing local dissent. [104] Anti-Parliamentary activity by men such as Samuel Adams and John Hancock, followed by reprisals by the British government, were a primary reason for the unity of the Thirteen Colonies and the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775. [105]

The Battles of Lexington and Concord initiated the American Revolutionary War and were fought in the eponymous Massachusetts towns. [106] Future President George Washington took over what would become the Continental Army after the battle. His first victory was the Siege of Boston in the winter of 1775–76, after which the British were forced to evacuate the city. [107] The event is still celebrated in Suffolk County as Evacuation Day. [108] On the coast, Salem became a center for privateering. Although the documentation is incomplete, about 1,700 letters of marque, issued on a per-voyage basis, were granted during the American Revolution. Nearly 800 vessels were commissioned as privateers and are credited with capturing or destroying about 600 British ships. [109]

Federal period Edit

Bostonian John Adams, known as the "Atlas of Independence", [110] was highly involved in both separation from Britain and the Constitution of Massachusetts, which effectively (the Elizabeth Freeman and Quock Walker cases as interpreted by William Cushing) made Massachusetts the first state to abolish slavery. David McCullough points out that an equally important feature was its placing for the first time the courts as a co-equal branch separate from the executive. [111] (The Constitution of Vermont, adopted in 1777, represented the first partial ban on slavery. Vermont became a state in 1791 but did not fully ban slavery until 1858 with the Vermont Personal Liberty Law. The Pennsylvania Gradual Abolition Act of 1780 [112] made Pennsylvania the first state to abolish slavery by statute.) Later, Adams was active in early American foreign affairs and succeeded Washington as the second United States President. His son John Quincy Adams, also from Massachusetts, [113] would go on to become the sixth United States President.

From 1786 to 1787, an armed uprising, known as Shays' Rebellion led by Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays wrought havoc throughout Massachusetts and ultimately attempted to seize the Federal armory. [54] The rebellion was one of the major factors in the decision to draft a stronger national constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation. [54] On February 6, 1788, Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the United States Constitution. [114]

19th century Edit

In 1820, Maine separated from Massachusetts and entered the Union as the 23rd state as a result of the ratification of the Missouri Compromise. [115]

During the 19th century, Massachusetts became a national leader in the American Industrial Revolution, with factories around cities such as Lowell and Boston producing textiles and shoes, and factories around Springfield producing tools, paper, and textiles. [116] [117] The economy transformed from one based primarily on agriculture to an industrial one, initially making use of water-power and later the steam engine to power factories. Canals and railroads were used for transporting raw materials and finished goods. [118] At first, the new industries drew labor from Yankees on nearby subsistence farms, and later relied upon immigrant labor from Europe and Canada. [119] [120]

Although Massachusetts was the first slave-holding colony dating back to the early 1600s, in the years leading up to the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center of progressivist and abolitionist activity. Horace Mann made the state's school system a national model. [121] Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson made major contributions to American philosophy. [122] Members of the transcendentalist movement emphasized the importance of the natural world and emotion to humanity. [122]

Although significant opposition to abolitionism existed early on in Massachusetts, resulting in anti-abolitionist riots between 1835 and 1837, [123] opposition to slavery gradually increased throughout the next few decades. [124] [125] Abolitionists John Brown and Sojourner Truth lived in Springfield and Northampton, respectively, while Frederick Douglass lived in Boston and Susan B. Anthony in Adams, Massachusetts. The works of such abolitionists contributed to Massachusetts's actions during the Civil War. Massachusetts was the first state to recruit, train, and arm a Black regiment with White officers, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. [126] In 1852, Massachusetts became the first state to pass compulsory education laws. [127]

20th century Edit

With the departure of several manufacturing companies, the area's industrial economy began to decline during the early 20th century. By the 1920s, competition from the South and Midwest, followed by the Great Depression, led to the collapse of the three main industries in Massachusetts: textiles, shoemaking, and precision mechanics. [128] This decline would continue into the latter half of the century between 1950 and 1979, the number of Massachusetts residents involved in textile manufacturing declined from 264,000 to 63,000. [129] The 1969 closure of the Springfield Armory, in particular, spurred an exodus of high-paying jobs from Western Massachusetts, which suffered greatly as it de-industrialized during the last 40 years of the 20th century. [130]

Massachusetts manufactured 3.4 percent of total United States military armaments produced during World War II, ranking tenth among the 48 states. [131] In Eastern Massachusetts, following World War II, the economy was transformed from one based on heavy industry into a service-based economy. [132] Government contracts, private investment, and research facilities led to a new and improved industrial climate, with reduced unemployment and increased per capita income. Suburbanization flourished, and by the 1970s, the Route 128 corridor was dotted with high-technology companies who recruited graduates of the area's many elite institutions of higher education. [133]

In 1987, the state received federal funding for the Central Artery/Tunnel Project. Commonly known as "the Big Dig", it was, at the time, the biggest federal highway project ever approved. [134] The project included making the Central Artery a tunnel under downtown Boston, in addition to the re-routing of several other major highways. [135] [ failed verification ] Often controversial, with numerous claims of graft and mismanagement, and with its initial price tag of $2.5 billion increasing to a final tally of over $15 billion, the Big Dig nonetheless changed the face of Downtown Boston. [134] It connected areas that were once divided by elevated highway (much of the raised old Central Artery was replaced with the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway), and improved traffic conditions along with several routes. [134] [135]

Notable 20th century politicians Edit

The Kennedy family was prominent in Massachusetts politics in the 20th century. Children of businessman and ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. included John F. Kennedy, who was a senator and U.S. president before his assassination in 1963, and Ted Kennedy, a senator from 1962 until his death in 2009, [136] and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a co-founder of the Special Olympics. [137] In 1966, Massachusetts became the first state to directly elect an African American to the U.S. senate with Edward Brooke. [138] George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States (1989–1993) was born in Milton in 1924. [139] Other notable Bay State politicians on the national level included John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House in the 1960s, and Tip O'Neill, whose service as Speaker of the House from 1977 to 1987 was the longest continuous tenure in United States history.

21st century Edit

On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage after a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling in November 2003 determined that the exclusion of same-sex couples from the right to a civil marriage was unconstitutional. [62] This decision was eventually superseded by the U.S. Supreme Court's affirmation of same-sex marriage in the United States in 2015.

In 2004, Massachusetts senator John Kerry who won the Democratic nomination for President of the United States narrowly lost to incumbent George W. Bush. Eight years later, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (Republican nominee) lost to Barack Obama in 2012. Another eight years later, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was a frontrunner in the Democratic primaries for the 2020 Presidential Election, but suspended her campaign and then endorsed presumptive nominee Joe Biden.

Two pressure cooker bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, at around 2:49 pm EDT. The explosions killed three people and injured an estimated 264 others. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) later identified the suspects as brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The ensuing manhunt ended on April 19 when thousands of law enforcement officers searched a 20-block area of nearby Watertown. Dzhokhar later said he was motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs and learned to build explosive devices from Inspire, the online magazine of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

On November 8, 2016, Massachusetts voted in favor of The Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative, also known as Question 4. [140] It was included in the 2016 United States presidential election ballot in Massachusetts as an indirectly initiated state statute. [141]

Massachusetts is the 7th-smallest state in the United States. It is located in the New England region of the Northeastern United States and has an area of 10,555 square miles (27,340 km 2 ), 25.7% of which is water. Several large bays distinctly shape its coast. Boston is the largest city, at the inmost point of Massachusetts Bay, and the mouth of the Charles River.

Despite its small size, Massachusetts features numerous topographically distinctive regions. The large coastal plain of the Atlantic Ocean in the eastern section of the state contains Greater Boston, along with most of the state's population, [46] as well as the distinctive Cape Cod peninsula. To the west lies the hilly, rural region of Central Massachusetts, and beyond that, the Connecticut River Valley. Along the western border of Western Massachusetts lies the highest elevated part of the state, the Berkshires.

The U.S. National Park Service administers a number of natural and historical sites in Massachusetts. [142] Along with twelve national historic sites, areas, and corridors, the National Park Service also manages the Cape Cod National Seashore and the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. [142] In addition, the Department of Conservation and Recreation maintains a number of parks, trails, and beaches throughout Massachusetts. [143]

Ecology Edit

The primary biome of inland Massachusetts is temperate deciduous forest. [144] Although much of Massachusetts had been cleared for agriculture, leaving only traces of old-growth forest in isolated pockets, secondary growth has regenerated in many rural areas as farms have been abandoned. [145] Currently, forests cover around 62% of Massachusetts. [146] The areas most affected by human development include the Greater Boston area in the east and the Springfield metropolitan area in the west, although the latter includes agricultural areas throughout the Connecticut River Valley. [147] There are currently 219 endangered species in Massachusetts. [148]

A number of species are doing well in the increasingly urbanized Massachusetts. Peregrine falcons utilize office towers in larger cities as nesting areas, [149] and the population of coyotes, whose diet may include garbage and roadkill, has been increasing in recent decades. [150] White-tailed deer, raccoons, wild turkeys, and eastern gray squirrels are also found throughout Massachusetts. In more rural areas in the western part of Massachusetts, larger mammals such as moose and black bears have returned, largely due to reforestation following the regional decline in agriculture. [151]

Massachusetts is located along the Atlantic Flyway, a major route for migratory waterfowl along the eastern coast. [152] Lakes in central Massachusetts provide habitat for many species of fish and waterfowl, but some species such as the common loon are becoming rare. [153] A significant population of long-tailed ducks winter off Nantucket. Small offshore islands and beaches are home to roseate terns and are important breeding areas for the locally threatened piping plover. [154] Protected areas such as the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge provide critical breeding habitat for shorebirds and a variety of marine wildlife including a large population of grey seals. Since 2009, there has been a significant increase in the number of Great white sharks spotted and tagged in the coastal waters off of Cape Cod. [155] [156] [157]

Freshwater fish species in Massachusetts include bass, carp, catfish, and trout, while saltwater species such as Atlantic cod, haddock, and American lobster populate offshore waters. [158] Other marine species include Harbor seals, the endangered North Atlantic right whales, as well as humpback whales, fin whales, minke whales, and Atlantic white-sided dolphins.

The European corn borer, a significant agricultural pest, was first found in North America near Boston, Massachusetts in 1917. [159]

Climate Edit

Most of Massachusetts has a humid continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. Far southeast coastal areas are the broad transition zone to Humid Subtropical climates. The warm to hot summers render the oceanic climate rare in this transition, only applying to exposed coastal areas such as on the peninsula of Barnstable County. The climate of Boston is quite representative for the commonwealth, characterized by summer highs of around 81 °F (27 °C) and winter highs of 35 °F (2 °C), and is quite wet. Frosts are frequent all winter, even in coastal areas due to prevailing inland winds. Due to its location near the Atlantic, Massachusetts is vulnerable to nor'easters, hurricanes and tropical storms.

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected cities in Massachusetts [160]
Location July (°F) July (°C) January (°F) January (°C)
Boston 81/65 27/18 36/22 2/−5
Worcester 79/61 26/16 31/17 0/−8
Springfield 84/62 27/17 34/17 1/−8
New Bedford 80/65 26/18 37/23 3/−4
Quincy 80/61 26/16 33/18 1/−7
Plymouth 80/61 27/16 38/20 3/−6

Climate change Edit

Climate change in Massachusetts will affect both urban and rural environments, including forestry, fisheries, agriculture, and coastal development. [161] [162] [163] The Northeast is projected to warm faster than global average temperatures by 2035, the Northeast is "projected to be more than 3.6°F (2°C) warmer on average than during the preindustrial era". [163] As of August 2016, the EPA reports that Massachusetts has warmed by over two degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.1 degrees Celsius. [164] This is almost twice as much as the average for the contiguous United States. Shifting temperatures also result in the shifting of rainfall patterns and the intensification of precipitation events. To that end, average precipitation in the Northeast United States has risen by ten percent from 1895 to 2011, and the number of heavy precipitation events has increased by seventy percent during that time. [164] These increased precipitation patterns are focused in the winter and spring. Increasing temperatures coupled with increasing precipitation will result in earlier snow melts and subsequent drier soil in the summer months.

The shifting climate in Massachusetts will result in a significant change to the built environment and ecosystems. In Boston alone, costs of climate change-related storms will result in 5 to 100 billion dollars in damage. [164] These costs are attributed to expected coastal home damage, roadway destruction, and existing utility infrastructure exposure. Warmer temperatures will also disrupt the migration of birds and the blooming of flora. With these changes, deer populations are expected to increase, resulting in a decrease in underbrush which smaller fauna use as camouflage. Additionally, rising temperatures will increase the number of reported Lyme disease cases in the state. Ticks can transmit the disease once temperatures reach 45 degrees, so shorter winters will increase the window of transmission. These warmer temperatures will also increase the prevalence of mosquitos, a carrier of the West Nile virus. [164]

To combat this change, the state of Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has outlined a path to decarbonization of the state's economy. On April 22, 2020, the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs of Massachusetts, Kathleen A. Theoharides, released a Determination of Statewide Emissions limits for 2050. In her letter, Theoharides stresses that as of 2020, the Commonwealth has experienced property damage attributable to climate change of more than $60 billion. To ensure that the Commonwealth experiences warming no more than 1.5 °C of pre-industrialization levels, the state will work to achieve net-zero emissions and the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by the year 2050. [165]

Initiatives Edit

The State of Massachusetts has developed a plethora of incentives to encourage the implementation of renewable energy and efficient appliances and home facilities. Mass Save has been formed in conjunction with the State by Berkshire Gas, Blackstone Gas Company, Cape Light Compact, Eversource, Liberty Utilities, National Grid and Unitil to provide homeowners and renters with incentives to retrofit their homes with efficient HVAC equipment and other household appliances. For example, up to a 100-dollar rebate can be obtained for upgrading to an ENERGY STAR certified smart or programmable thermostat. Other appliances such as water heaters, air conditioners, washers and driers, and heat pumps are eligible for additional rebates. [166]

The concept of Mass Save was created in 2008 by the passing of the Green Communities Act of 2008 during Deval Patrick’s tenure as governor. The main goal of the Green Communities Act was to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels in the State and to encourage new, more efficient technologies. Among others, one result of this act was a requirement for Program Administrators of utilities to invest in saving energy, as opposed to purchasing and generating additional energy where economically feasible. In Massachusetts, eleven Program Administrators, including NSTAR, National Grid, Western Massachusetts Electric, Cape Light Compact, Until, and Berkshire Gas, jointly own the rights to this program, in conjunction with the MA Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC). [167]

Mass Save also conducts no-cost in-home energy assessments so that homeowners, renters, and small business owners may educate themselves about energy efficiency-related home improvements and find opportunities to save money and energy. During the home assessment, Mass Save provides ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs, power strips, low flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and efficient thermostats free of charge. Additionally, air leaks will be detected in the home or building and patched, and recommendations will be made to install additional insulation to decrease the loss of heated or cooled air. Discounts of 75 percent or more are available on these insulation improvements. Due to COVID-19, Mass Save is currently conducting assessments remotely. Residents can schedule a remote assessment using the program's website or phone line. [168]

The State Revenue Service provides incentives for the installation of solar panels. In addition to the Federal Residential Renewable energy credit, Massachusetts residents may be eligible for a tax credit of up to 15 percent of the project. [169] Once installed, arrays are eligible for net metering. [170] Certain municipalities will offer up to $1.20 per watt, up to 50 percent of the system's cost on PV arrays 25 kW or less. [171] The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources also offers low-interest, fixed-rate financing with loan support for low-income residents. This program is currently set to terminate on December 31, 2020. [172]

As a part of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources’ effort to incentivize the usage of renewable energy, the MOR-EV, or Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles initiative was created. With this incentive, residents may qualify for a State incentive of up to $2,500 dollars for the purchase or lease of an electric vehicle, or $1,500 for the purchase or lease of a plug-in hybrid vehicle. [173] This rebate is available in addition to the tax credits offered by the United States Department of Energy for the purchase of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. [174]

For income-eligible residents, Mass Save has partnered with Massachusetts Community Action Program Agencies and Low-Income Energy Affordability Network (LEAN) to offer residents assistance with upgrades to their homes that will result in more efficient energy usage. Residents may qualify for a replacement of their heating system, insulation installation, appliances, and thermostats if they meet the income qualifications provided on Mass Save's website. For residents of 5+ family residential buildings, there are additional income-restricted benefits available through LEAN. If at least 50 percent of the residents of the building qualify as low income, energy efficiency improvements like those available through Mass Save are available. Residential structures operated by non-profit organizations, for profit operations, or housing authorities may take advantage of these programs. [175]

In late 2020, the Baker Administration released a Decarbonization Roadmap that aims for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The plan calls for major investments in offshore wind and solar energy and would require all new automobiles sold to be zero-emissions (electric or hydrogen powered) by 2035. [176] [177]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790378,787
1800422,845 11.6%
1810472,040 11.6%
1820523,287 10.9%
1830610,408 16.6%
1840737,699 20.9%
1850994,514 34.8%
18601,231,066 23.8%
18701,457,351 18.4%
18801,783,085 22.4%
18902,238,947 25.6%
19002,805,346 25.3%
19103,366,416 20.0%
19203,852,356 14.4%
19304,249,614 10.3%
19404,316,721 1.6%
19504,690,514 8.7%
19605,148,578 9.8%
19705,689,170 10.5%
19805,737,037 0.8%
19906,016,425 4.9%
20006,349,097 5.5%
20106,547,629 3.1%
20207,029,917 7.4%
[178] [179]


At the 2020 U.S. census, Massachusetts had a population of over 7 million, a 7.4% increase since the 2010 United States census. [180] [6] As of 2015, Massachusetts was estimated to be the third-most densely populated U.S. state, with 871.0 people per square mile, [181] behind New Jersey and Rhode Island. In 2014, Massachusetts had 1,011,811 foreign-born residents or 15% of the population. [181]

Most Bay State residents live within the Boston metropolitan area, also known as Greater Boston, which includes Boston and its proximate surroundings but also extending to Greater Lowell and to Worcester. The Springfield metropolitan area, also known as Greater Springfield, is also a major center of population. Demographically, the center of population of Massachusetts is located in the town of Natick. [182] [183]

Like the rest of the Northeastern United States, the population of Massachusetts has continued to grow in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Massachusetts is the fastest-growing state in New England and the 25th fastest-growing state in the United States. [184] Population growth was largely due to a relatively high quality of life and a large higher education system in the state. [184]

Foreign immigration is also a factor in the state's population growth, causing the state's population to continue to grow as of the 2010 Census (particularly in Massachusetts gateway cities where costs of living are lower). [185] [186] 40% of foreign immigrants were from Central or South America, according to a 2005 Census Bureau study, with many of the remainder from Asia. Many residents who have settled in Greater Springfield claim Puerto Rican descent. [185] Many areas of Massachusetts showed relatively stable population trends between 2000 and 2010. [186] Exurban Boston and coastal areas grew the most rapidly, while Berkshire County in far Western Massachusetts and Barnstable County on Cape Cod were the only counties to lose population as of the 2010 Census. [186]

By sex, 48.4% were male, and 51.6% were female in 2014. In terms of age, 79.2% were over 18 and 14.8% were over 65. [181]

Race and ancestry Edit

As of 2014, in terms of race and ethnicity, Massachusetts was 83.2% White (73.7% Non-Hispanic White), 8.8% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American and Alaska Native, 6.3% Asian American, <0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 2.1% from some other race, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race made up 11.2% of the population. [181]

The state's most populous ethnic group, non-Hispanic white, has declined from 95.4% in 1970 to 73.7% in 2014. [181] [188] As of 2011, non-Hispanic whites were involved in 63.6% of all the births, [189] while 36.4% of the population of Massachusetts younger than age 1 was minorities (at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white). [190] One major reason for this is that non-Hispanic whites in Massachusetts recorded a total fertility rate of 1.36 in 2017, the second-lowest in the country after neighboring Rhode Island. [191]

As late as 1795, the population of Massachusetts was nearly 95% of English ancestry. [192] During the early and mid-19th century, immigrant groups began arriving in Massachusetts in large numbers first from Ireland in the 1840s [193] today the Irish and part-Irish are the largest ancestry group in the state at nearly 25% of the total population. Others arrived later from Quebec as well as places in Europe such as Italy, Portugal, and Poland. [194] In the early 20th century, a number of [ vague ] African Americans migrated to Massachusetts, although in somewhat fewer numbers than many other Northern states. [195] Later in the 20th century, immigration from Latin America increased considerably. More than 156,000 Chinese Americans made their home in Massachusetts in 2014, [196] and Boston hosts a growing Chinatown accommodating heavily traveled Chinese-owned bus lines to and from Chinatown, Manhattan in New York City. Massachusetts also has large Dominican, Puerto Rican, Haitian, Cape Verdean and Brazilian populations. Boston's South End and Jamaica Plain are both gay villages, as is nearby Provincetown, Massachusetts on Cape Cod.

The largest ancestry group in Massachusetts are the Irish (22.5% of the population), who live in significant numbers throughout the state but form more than 40% of the population along the South Shore in Norfolk and Plymouth counties (in both counties overall, Irish-Americans comprise more than 30% of the population). Italians form the second-largest ethnic group in the state (13.5%), but form a plurality only in some suburbs north of Boston and in a few towns in the Berkshires. English Americans, the third-largest (11.4%) group, form a plurality only in some western towns. French and French Canadians also form a significant part (10.7%), [197] with sizable populations in Bristol, Hampden, and Worcester Counties. [198] [199] Lowell is home to the second-largest Cambodian community of the nation. [200] Massachusetts is home to a small community of Greek Americans as well, which according to the American Community Survey there are 83,701 of them scattered along the state (1.2% of the total state population). [201] There are also several populations of Native Americans in Massachusetts. The Wampanoag tribe maintains reservations at Aquinnah on Martha's Vineyard and at Mashpee on Cape Cod—with an ongoing native language revival project underway since 1993, while the Nipmuc maintain two state-recognized reservations in the central part of the state, including one at Grafton. [202]

Massachusetts has avoided many forms of racial strife seen elsewhere in the US, but examples such as the successful electoral showings of the nativist (mainly anti-Catholic) Know Nothings in the 1850s, [203] the controversial Sacco and Vanzetti executions in the 1920s, [204] and Boston's opposition to desegregation busing in the 1970s [205] show that the ethnic history of Massachusetts was not completely harmonious.

Languages Edit

Top 11 Non-English Languages Spoken in Massachusetts
Language Percentage of population
(as of 2010) [207]
Spanish 7.50%
Portuguese 2.97%
Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin) 1.59%
French (including New England French) 1.11%
French Creole 0.89%
Italian 0.72%
Russian 0.62%
Vietnamese 0.58%
Greek 0.41%
Arabic and Khmer (Cambodian) (including all Austroasiatic languages) (tied) 0.37%

As of 2010, 78.93% (4,823,127) of Massachusetts residents 5 and older spoke English at home as a first language, while 7.50% (458,256) spoke Spanish, 2.97% (181,437) Portuguese, 1.59% (96,690) Chinese (which includes Cantonese and Mandarin), 1.11% (67,788) French, 0.89% (54,456) French Creole, 0.72% (43,798) Italian, 0.62% (37,865) Russian, and Vietnamese was spoken as a primary language by 0.58% (35,283) of the population over 5. In total, 21.07% (1,287,419) of Massachusetts's population 5 and older spoke a first language other than English. [181] [207]

Religion Edit

Massachusetts was founded and settled by Brownist Puritans in 1620 [90] and soon after by other groups of Separatists/Dissenters, Nonconformists and Independents from 17th century England. [88] A majority of people in Massachusetts today remain Christians. [181] The descendants of the Puritans belong to many different churches in the direct line of inheritance are the various Congregational churches, the United Church of Christ and congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association. The headquarters of the Unitarian Universalist Association, long located on Beacon Hill, is now located in South Boston. [210] [211] Many Puritan descendants also dispersed to other Protestant denominations. Some disaffiliated along with Roman Catholics and other Christian groups in the wake of modern secularization.

Today, Christians make up 57% of the state's population, with Protestants making up 21% of them. Roman Catholics make up 34% and now predominate because of massive immigration from primarily Catholic countries and regions—chiefly Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Quebec, and Latin America. Both Protestant and Roman Catholic communities have been in decline since the late 20th century, due to the rise of irreligion in New England. It is the most irreligious region of the country, along with the Western United States. A significant Jewish population immigrated to the Boston and Springfield areas between 1880 and 1920. Jews currently make up 3% of the population. Mary Baker Eddy made the Boston Mother Church of Christian Science serve as the world headquarters of this new religious movement. Buddhists, Pagans, Hindus, Seventh-day Adventists, Muslims, and Mormons may also be found. Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, the Shaolin Meditation Temple in Springfield, and the Insight Meditation Center in Barre are examples of non-Abrahamic religious centers in Massachusetts. According to 2010 data from The Association of Religion Data Archives, (ARDA) the largest single denominations are the Catholic Church with 2,940,199 adherents the United Church of Christ with 86,639 adherents and the Episcopal Church with 81,999 adherents. [212] 32% of the population identifies as having no religion. [213]

In 2018, Massachusetts's overall educational system was ranked the top among all fifty U.S. states by U.S. News & World Report. [215] Massachusetts was the first state in North America to require municipalities to appoint a teacher or establish a grammar school with the passage of the Massachusetts Education Law of 1647, [216] and 19th century reforms pushed by Horace Mann laid much of the groundwork for contemporary universal public education [217] [218] which was established in 1852. [127] Massachusetts is home to the oldest school in continuous existence in North America (The Roxbury Latin School, founded in 1645), as well as the country's oldest public elementary school (The Mather School, founded in 1639), [219] its oldest high school (Boston Latin School, founded in 1635), [220] its oldest continuously operating boarding school (The Governor's Academy, founded in 1763), [221] its oldest college (Harvard University, founded in 1636), [222] and its oldest women's college (Mount Holyoke College, founded in 1837). [223] Massachusetts is also home to the highest ranked private high school in the United States, Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, which was founded in 1778. [224]

Massachusetts's per-student public expenditure for elementary and secondary schools was eighth in the nation in 2012, at $14,844. [225] In 2013, Massachusetts scored highest of all the states in math and third-highest in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. [226] Massachusetts' public-school students place among the top tier in the world in academic performance. [69]

Massachusetts is home to 121 institutions of higher education. [227] Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both located in Cambridge, consistently rank among the world's best private universities and universities in general. [228] In addition to Harvard and MIT, several other Massachusetts universities currently rank in the top 50 at the undergraduate level nationally in the widely cited rankings of U.S. News and World Report: Tufts University (#27), Boston College (#32), Brandeis University (#34), Boston University (#37) and Northeastern University (#40). Massachusetts is also home to three of the top five U.S. News and World Report ' s best Liberal Arts Colleges: Williams College (#1), Amherst College (#2), and Wellesley College (#4). [229] The public University of Massachusetts (nicknamed UMass) features five campuses in the state, with its flagship campus in Amherst, which enrolls more than 25,000. [230] [231]

The United States Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that the Massachusetts gross state product in 2017 was $527 billion. [232] The per capita personal income in 2012 was $53,221, making it the third-highest state in the nation. [233] As of January 2021, Massachusetts state general minimum wage is $13.50 per hour while the minimum wage for tipped workers is $5.55 an hour. [234]

In 2015, twelve Fortune 500 companies were located in Massachusetts: Liberty Mutual, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, TJX Companies, General Electric, Raytheon, American Tower, Global Partners, Thermo Fisher Scientific, State Street Corporation, Biogen, Eversource Energy, and Boston Scientific. [235] CNBC's list of "Top States for Business for 2014" has recognized Massachusetts as the 25th-best state in the nation for business, [236] and for the second year in a row the state was ranked by Bloomberg as the most innovative state in America. [237] According to a 2013 study by Phoenix Marketing International, Massachusetts had the sixth-largest number of millionaires per capita in the United States, with a ratio of 6.73 percent. [238] Billionaires living in the state include past and present leaders (and related family) of local companies such as Fidelity Investments, New Balance, Kraft Group, Boston Scientific, and the former Continental Cablevision. [239]

Massachusetts has three foreign-trade zones, the Massachusetts Port Authority of Boston, the Port of New Bedford, and the City of Holyoke. [240] Boston-Logan International Airport is the busiest airport in New England, serving 33.4 million total passengers in 2015, and witnessing rapid growth in international air traffic since 2010. [241]

Sectors vital to the Massachusetts economy include higher education, biotechnology, information technology, finance, health care, tourism, manufacturing, and defense. The Route 128 corridor and Greater Boston continue to be a major center for venture capital investment, [242] and high technology remains an important sector. In recent years tourism has played an ever-important role in the state's economy, with Boston and Cape Cod being the leading destinations. [243] Other popular tourist destinations include Salem, Plymouth, and the Berkshires. Massachusetts is the sixth-most popular tourist destination for foreign travelers. [244] In 2010, the Great Places in Massachusetts Commission published '1,000 Great Places in Massachusetts' that identified 1,000 sites across the commonwealth to highlight the diverse historic, cultural, and natural attractions. [245]

While manufacturing comprised less than 10% of Massachusetts's gross state product in 2016, the Commonwealth ranked 16th in the nation in total manufacturing output in the United States. [246] This includes a diverse array of manufactured goods such as medical devices, paper goods, specialty chemicals and plastics, telecommunications and electronics equipment, and machined components. [247] [248]

As of 2012, there were 7,755 farms in Massachusetts encompassing a total of 523,517 acres (2,120 km 2 ), averaging 67.5 acres (0.273 km 2 ) apiece. [249] Particular agricultural products of note include green house products making up more than one third of the state's agricultural output, cranberries, sweet corn and apples are also large sectors of production. [250] Massachusetts is the second-largest cranberry-producing state in the union after Wisconsin. [251]

The more than 33,000 nonprofits in Massachusetts employ one-sixth of the state's workforce. [252] In 2007, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a state holiday, Nonprofit Awareness Day.

In February 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Massachusetts the best state in the United States based upon 60 metrics including healthcare, education, crime, infrastructure, opportunity, economy, and government. The Bay State ranked number one in education, number two in healthcare, and number five in the handling of the economy. [70]

Taxation Edit

Depending on how it is calculated, state and local tax burden in Massachusetts has been estimated among U.S. states and Washington D.C. as 21st-highest (11.44% or $6,163 per year for a household with nationwide median income) [253] or 25th-highest overall with below-average corporate taxes (39th-highest), above-average personal income taxes, (13th-highest), above-average sales tax (18th-highest), and below-average property taxes (46th-highest). [254] In the 1970s, the Commonwealth ranked as a relatively high-tax state, gaining the pejorative nickname "Taxachusetts". This was followed by a round of tax limitations during the 1980s—a conservative period in American politics—including Proposition 2½. [255]

As of January 1, 2019, Massachusetts has a flat-rate personal income tax of 5.05%, [256] [ failed verification ] after a 2002 voter referendum to eventually lower the rate to 5.0% [257] as amended by the legislature. [258] There is a tax exemption for income below a threshold that varies from year to year. The corporate income tax rate is 8.8%, [259] and the short-term capital gains tax rate is 12%. [260] An unusual provision allows filers to voluntarily pay at the pre-referendum 5.85% income tax rate, which is done by between one and two thousand taxpayers per year. [261]

The state imposes a 6.25% sales tax [259] on retail sales of tangible personal property—except for groceries, clothing (up to $175.00), and periodicals. [262] The sales tax is charged on clothing that costs more than $175.00, for the amount exceeding $175.00. [262] Massachusetts also charges a use tax when goods are bought from other states and the vendor does not remit Massachusetts sales tax taxpayers report and pay this on their income tax forms or dedicated forms, though there are "safe harbor" amounts that can be paid without tallying up actual purchases (except for purchases over $1,000). [262] There is no inheritance tax and limited Massachusetts estate tax related to federal estate tax collection. [260]

Energy Edit

Massachusetts's electricity generation market was made competitive in 1998, enabling retail customers to change suppliers without changing utility companies. [263] In 2018, Massachusetts consumed 1,459 trillion BTU, [264] making it the seventh-lowest state in terms of consumption of energy per capita, and 31 percent of that energy came from natural gas. [264] In 2014 and 2015, Massachusetts was ranked as the most energy efficient state the United States [265] [266] while Boston is the most efficient city, [267] but it had the fourth-highest average residential retail electricity prices of any state. [264] In 2018, renewable energy was about 7.2 percent of total energy consumed in the state, ranking 34th. [264]

Massachusetts has 10 regional metropolitan planning organizations and three non-metropolitan planning organizations covering the remainder of the state [268] statewide planning is handled by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Transportation is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions by economic sector in Massachusetts. [269]

Regional public transportation Edit

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), also known as "The T", [270] operates public transportation in the form of subway, [271] bus, [272] and ferry [273] systems in the Metro Boston area.

Fifteen other regional transit authorities provide public transportation in the form of bus services in the rest of the state. [274] Four heritage railways are also in operation:

  • The Cape Cod Central Railroad, operating from Hyannis to Buzzard's Bay [275]
  • The Berkshire Scenic Railway, operating from Lee to Great Barrington [276] in Carver
  • The Lowell National Historical Park Trolley Line in Lowell

Long-distance rail and bus Edit

Amtrak operates several inter-city rail lines connecting Massachusetts. Boston's South Station serves as the terminus for three lines, namely the high-speed Acela Express, which links to cities such as Providence, New Haven, New York City, and eventually Washington DC the Northeast Regional, which follows the same route but includes many more stops, and also continues further south to Newport News in Virginia and the Lake Shore Limited, which runs westward to Worcester, Springfield, and eventually Chicago. [277] [278] Boston's other major station, North Station, serves as the southern terminus for Amtrak's Downeaster, which connects to Portland and Brunswick in Maine. [277]

Outside of Boston, Amtrak connects several cities across Massachusetts, along the aforementioned Acela, Northeast Regional, Lake Shore Limited, and Downeaster lines, as well as other routes in central and western Massachusetts. The Hartford Line connects Springfield to New Haven, operated in conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Transportation, and the Valley Flyer runs a similar route but continues further north to Greenfield. Several stations in western Massachusetts are also served by the Vermonter, which connects St. Albans, Vermont to Washington DC. [277]

Amtrak carries more passengers between Boston and New York than all airlines combined (about 54% of market share in 2012), [279] but service between other cities is less frequent. There, more frequent intercity service is provided by private bus carriers, including Peter Pan Bus Lines (headquartered in Springfield), Greyhound Lines, OurBus and BoltBus. Various Chinatown bus lines depart for New York from South Station in Boston.

MBTA Commuter Rail services run throughout the larger Greater Boston area, including service to Worcester, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Newburyport, Lowell, and Plymouth. [280] This overlaps with the service areas of neighboring regional transportation authorities. As of the summer of 2013 the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority in collaboration with the MBTA and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is operating the CapeFLYER providing passenger rail service between Boston and Cape Cod. [281] [282]

Ferry Edit

Ferry services are operated throughout different regions of the states.

Most ports north of Cape Cod are served by Boston Harbor Cruises, which operates ferry services in and around Greater Boston under contract with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Several routes connect the downtown area with Hingham, Hull, Winthrop, Salem, Logan Airport, Charlestown, and some of the islands located within the harbor. The same company also operates seasonal service between Boston and Provincetown. [283]

On the southern shore of the state, several different passenger ferry lines connect Martha's Vineyard to ports along the mainland, including Woods Hole, Hyannis, New Bedford, and Falmouth, all in Massachusetts, as well as North Kingstown in Rhode Island, Highlands in New Jersey, and New York City in New York. [284] Similarly, several different lines connect Nantucket to ports including Hyannis, New Bedford, Harwich, and New York City. [285] Service between the two islands is also offered. The dominant companies serving these routes include SeaStreak, Hy-Line Cruises, and The Steamship Authority, the latter of which regulates all passenger services in the region and is also the only company permitted to offer freight ferry services to the islands. [286]

Other ferry connections in the state include a line between Fall River and Block Island via Newport, [287] seasonal ferry service connecting Plymouth to Provincetown, [288] and a service between New Bedford and Cuttyhunk. [289]

Rail freight Edit

As of 2018, a number of freight railroads were operating in Massachusetts, with Class I railroad CSX being the largest carrier, and another Class 1, Norfolk Southern serving the state via its Pan Am Southern joint partnership. Several regional and short line railroads also provide service and connect with other railroads. [290] Massachusetts has a total of 1,110 miles (1,790 km) of freight trackage in operation. [291] [292]

Air service Edit

Boston Logan International Airport served 33.5 million passengers in 2015 (up from 31.6 million in 2014) [241] through 103 gates. [293] [294] Logan, Hanscom Field in Bedford, and Worcester Regional Airport are operated by Massport, an independent state transportation agency. [294] Massachusetts has 39 public-use airfields [295] and more than 200 private landing spots. [296] Some airports receive funding from the Aeronautics Division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration the FAA is also the primary regulator of Massachusetts air travel. [297]

Roads Edit

There are a total of 36,800 miles (59,200 km) of interstates and other highways in Massachusetts. [298] Interstate 90 (I-90, also known as the Massachusetts Turnpike), is the longest interstate in Massachusetts. The route travels 136 mi (219 km) generally west to east, entering Massachusetts at the New York state line in the town of West Stockbridge, and passes just north of Springfield, just south of Worcester and through Framingham before terminating near Logan International Airport in Boston. [299] Other major interstates include I-91, which travels generally north and south along the Connecticut River I-93, which travels north and south through central Boston, then passes through Methuen before entering New Hampshire and I-95, which connects Providence, Rhode Island with Greater Boston, forming a partial loop concurrent with Route 128 around the more urbanized areas before continuing north along the coast into New Hampshire.

I-495 forms a wide loop around the outer edge of Greater Boston. Other major interstates in Massachusetts include I-291, I-391, I-84, I-195, I-395, I-290, and I-190. Major non-interstate highways in Massachusetts include U.S. Routes 1, 3, 6, and 20, and state routes 2, 3, 9, 24, and 128. A great majority of interstates in Massachusetts were constructed during the mid-20th century, and at times were controversial, particularly the intent to route I-95 northeastwards from Providence, Rhode Island, directly through central Boston, first proposed in 1948. Opposition to continued construction grew, and in 1970 Governor Francis W. Sargent issued a general prohibition on most further freeway construction within the I-95/Route 128 loop in the Boston area. [300] A massive undertaking to bring I-93 underground in downtown Boston, called the Big Dig, brought the city's highway system under public scrutiny for its high cost and construction quality. [134]

Massachusetts has a long political history earlier political structures included the Mayflower Compact of 1620, the separate Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth colonies, and the combined colonial Province of Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Constitution was ratified in 1780 while the Revolutionary War was in progress, four years after the Articles of Confederation was drafted, and eight years before the present United States Constitution was ratified on June 21, 1788. Drafted by John Adams, the Massachusetts Constitution is currently the oldest functioning written constitution in continuous effect in the world. [301] [302] [303] It has been amended 120 times, most recently in 2000.

Massachusetts politics since the second half of the 20th century have generally been dominated by the Democratic Party, and the state has a reputation for being the most liberal state in the country. [304] In 1974, Elaine Noble became the first openly lesbian or gay candidate elected to a state legislature in US history. [305] The state housed the first openly gay member of the United States House of Representatives, Gerry Studds, in 1972 [306] and in 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex marriage. [62] In 2006, Massachusetts became the first state to approve a law that provided for nearly universal healthcare. [307] [308] Massachusetts has a pro-sanctuary city law. [309]

Government Edit

The Government of Massachusetts is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. The governor of Massachusetts heads the executive branch duties of the governor include signing or vetoing legislation, filling judicial and agency appointments, granting pardons, preparing an annual budget, and commanding the Massachusetts National Guard. [310] Massachusetts governors, unlike those of most other states, are addressed as His/Her Excellency. [310] The current governor is Charlie Baker, [311] a Republican from Swampscott. [312] The executive branch also includes the Executive Council, which is made up of eight elected councilors and the Lieutenant Governor seat, [310] currently occupied by Karyn Polito, a Republican from Shrewsbury). [311]

Abilities of the Council include confirming gubernatorial appointments and certifying elections. [310] The Massachusetts House of Representatives and Massachusetts Senate comprise the legislature of Massachusetts, known as the Massachusetts General Court. [310] The House consists of 160 members while the Senate has 40 members. [310] Leaders of the House and Senate are chosen by the members of those bodies the leader of the House is known as the Speaker while the leader of the Senate is known as the President. [310] Each branch consists of several committees. [310] Members of both bodies are elected to two-year terms. [313]

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (a chief justice and six associates) are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the executive council, as are all other judges in the state. [310]

Federal court cases are heard in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and appeals are heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. [316] In U.S. presidential elections since 2012, Massachusetts has been allotted 11 votes in the electoral college, out of a total of 538. [317] Like most states, Massachusetts's electoral votes are granted in a winner-take-all system. [318]

Politics Edit

Massachusetts has gradually shifted from a Republican-leaning state to one largely dominated by Democrats the 1952 victory of John F. Kennedy over incumbent Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. is seen as a watershed moment in this transformation. His younger brother Edward M. Kennedy held that seat until his death from a brain tumor in 2009. [319] Since the 1950s, Massachusetts has gained a reputation as being a politically liberal state and is often used as an archetype of modern liberalism, hence the phrase "Massachusetts liberal". [320]

Massachusetts is easily one of the most Democratic states in the country. Democratic core concentrations are everywhere, except for a handful of Republican leaning towns in the Central and Southern parts of the state. Until recently, Republicans were dominant in the Western and Northern suburbs of Boston, however both areas heavily swung Democratic in the Trump era. The state as a whole has not given its Electoral College votes to a Republican in a presidential election since Ronald Reagan carried it in 1984. Additionally, Massachusetts provided Reagan with his smallest margins of victory in both the 1980 [321] and 1984 elections. [322] Massachusetts had been the only state to vote for Democrat George McGovern in the 1972 Presidential Election. In 2020, Biden received 65.6% of the vote, the best performance in over 50 years for a Democrat.

Democrats have an absolute grip on the Massachusetts congressional delegation there are no Republicans elected to serve at the federal level. Both Senators and all nine Representatives are Democrats only one Republican (former Senator Scott Brown) has been elected to either house of Congress from Massachusetts since 1994. Massachusetts is the most populous state to be represented in the United States Congress entirely by a single party.

Party registration as of February 2021 [323]
Party Total voters Percentage
Unenrolled 2,717,293 57.42%
Democratic 1,494,980 31.59%
Republican 459,663 9.71%
Other 60,004 1.27%
Total 4,731,940 100%

As of the 2018 elections, the Democratic Party holds a super-majority over the Republican Party in both chambers of the Massachusetts General Court (state legislature). Out of the state house's 160 seats, Democrats hold 127 seats (79%) compared to the Republican Party's 32 seats (20%), an independent sits in the remaining one, [324] and 37 out of the 40 seats in the state senate (92.5%) belong to the Democratic Party compared to the Republican Party's three seats (7.5%). [325] Both houses of the legislature have had Democratic majorities since the 1950s.

Despite the state's Democratic-leaning tendency, Massachusetts has generally elected Republicans as Governor: only one Democrat (Deval Patrick) has served as governor since 1991, and among gubernatorial election results from 2002 to 2018, Republican nominees garnered 48.4% of the vote compared to 45.7% for Democratic nominees. [326] These have been considered to be among the most moderate Republican leaders in the nation [327] [328] they have received higher net favorability ratings from the state's Democrats than Republicans. [329]

A number of contemporary national political issues have been influenced by events in Massachusetts, such as the decision in 2003 by the state Supreme Judicial Court allowing same-sex marriage [330] and a 2006 bill which mandated health insurance for all Bay Staters. [331] In 2008, Massachusetts voters passed an initiative decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana. [332] Voters in Massachusetts also approved a ballot measure in 2012 that legalized the medical use of marijuana. [333] Following the approval of a ballot question endorsing legalization in 2016, Massachusetts began issuing licenses for the regulated sale of recreational marijuana in June 2018. The licensed sale of recreational marijuana became legal on July 1, 2018 however, the lack of state-approved testing facilities prevented the sale of any product for several weeks. [334] However, in 2020, a ballot initiative to implement Ranked-Choice Voting failed, despite being championed by many progressives.

Massachusetts is one of the most pro-choice states in the Union. A 2014 Pew Research Center poll found that 74% of Massachusetts residents supported the right to an abortion in all/most cases, making Massachusetts the most pro-choice state in the United States. [335]

In 2020, the state legislature overrode Governor Charlie Baker's veto of the ROE Act, a controversial law that codified existing abortion laws in the event that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, dropped the age of parental consent for those seeking an abortion from 18 to 16, and legalized abortion after 24 weeks, if a fetus had fatal anomalies. [336]

There are 50 cities and 301 towns in Massachusetts, grouped into 14 counties. [337] The fourteen counties, moving roughly from west to east, are Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, Worcester, Middlesex, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket. Eleven communities which call themselves "towns" are, by law, cities since they have traded the town meeting form of government for a mayor-council or manager-council form. [338]

Boston is the state capital in Massachusetts. The population of the city proper is 692,600, [339] and Greater Boston, with a population of 4,873,019, is the 11th largest metropolitan area in the nation. [340] Other cities with a population over 100,000 include Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, and Cambridge. Plymouth is the largest municipality in the state by land area, followed by Middleborough. [337]

Massachusetts, along with the five other New England states, features the local governmental structure known as the New England town. [341] In this structure, incorporated towns—as opposed to townships or counties—hold many of the responsibilities and powers of local government. [341] Most of the county governments were abolished by the state of Massachusetts beginning in 1997 including Middlesex County, [342] the largest county in the state by population. [343] [344] The voters of these now-defunct counties elect only Sheriffs and Registers of Deeds, who are part of the state government. Other counties have been reorganized, and a few still retain county councils. [345]

Massachusetts has contributed to American arts and culture. Drawing from its Native American and Yankee roots, along with later immigrant groups, Massachusetts has produced several writers, artists, and musicians. Some major museums and important historical sites are also located there, and events and festivals throughout the year celebrate the state's history and heritage. [348]

Massachusetts was an early center of the Transcendentalist movement, which emphasized intuition, emotion, human individuality and a deeper connection with nature. [122] Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was born in Boston but spent much of his later life in Concord, largely created the philosophy with his 1836 work Nature, and continued to be a key figure in the movement for the remainder of his life. Emerson's friend, Henry David Thoreau, who was also involved in Transcendentalism, recorded his year spent alone in a small cabin at nearby Walden Pond in the 1854 work Walden or, Life in the Woods. [349]

Other famous authors and poets born or strongly associated with Massachusetts include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, John Updike, Emily Dickinson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, E.E. Cummings, Sylvia Plath, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as "Dr. Seuss". [350] [351] [352] Famous painters from Massachusetts include Winslow Homer and Norman Rockwell [352] many of the latter's works are on display at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. [353]

Massachusetts is also an important center for the performing arts. Both the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops Orchestra are based in Massachusetts. [354] Other orchestras in Massachusetts include the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra in Barnstable, the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, [355] and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. [356] [357] Tanglewood, in western Massachusetts, is a music venue that is home to both the Tanglewood Music Festival and Tanglewood Jazz Festival, as well as the summer host for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. [358]

Other performing arts and theater organizations in Massachusetts include the Boston Ballet, the Boston Lyric Opera, [354] and the Lenox-based Shakespeare & Company. In addition to classical and folk music, Massachusetts has produced musicians and bands spanning a number of contemporary genres, such as the classic rock band Aerosmith, the proto-punk band The Modern Lovers, the new wave band The Cars, and the alternative rock band Pixies. [359] The state has also been the birthplace of the Nu Metal and Heavy Metal bands Staind and Godsmack, since they both formed in 1995, in Springfield and in Lawrence respectively. [360] [361] Film events in the state include the Boston Film Festival, the Boston International Film Festival, and a number of smaller film festivals in various cities throughout Massachusetts. [362]

Massachusetts is home to a large number of museums and historical sites. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and the DeCordova contemporary art and sculpture museum in Lincoln are all located within Massachusetts, [363] and the Maria Mitchell Association in Nantucket includes several observatories, museums, and an aquarium. [364] Historically themed museums and sites such as the Springfield Armory National Historic Site in Springfield, [142] Boston's Freedom Trail and nearby Minute Man National Historical Park, both of which preserve a number of sites important during the American Revolution, [142] [365] the Lowell National Historical Park, which focuses on some of the earliest mills and canals of the industrial revolution in the US, [142] the Black Heritage Trail in Boston, which includes important African-American and abolitionist sites in Boston, [366] and the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park [142] all showcase various periods of Massachusetts's history.

Plimoth Plantation and Old Sturbridge Village are two open-air or "living" museums in Massachusetts, recreating life as it was in the 17th and early 19th centuries, respectively. [367] [368]

Boston's annual St. Patrick's Day parade and "Harborfest", a week-long Fourth of July celebration featuring a fireworks display and concert by the Boston Pops as well as a turnaround cruise in Boston Harbor by the USS Constitution, are popular events. [369] The New England Summer Nationals, an auto show in Worcester, draws tens of thousands of attendees every year. [370] The Boston Marathon is also a popular event in the state drawing more than 30,000 runners and tens of thousands of spectators annually. [371]

Long-distance hiking trails in Massachusetts include the Appalachian Trail, the New England National Scenic Trail, the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, the Midstate Trail, and the Bay Circuit Trail. [372] Other outdoor recreational activities in Massachusetts include sailing and yachting, freshwater and deep-sea fishing, [373] whale watching, [374] downhill and cross-country skiing, [375] and hunting. [376]

Massachusetts is one of the states with the largest percentage of Catholics. It has many sanctuaries such as the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy (Stockbridge, Massachusetts). [377]

There are two major television media markets located in Massachusetts. The Boston/Manchester market is the fifth-largest in the United States. [378] The other market surrounds the Springfield area. [379] WGBH-TV in Boston is a major public television station and produces national programs such as Nova, Frontline, and American Experience. [380] [381]

The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Springfield Republican, and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette are Massachusetts's largest daily newspapers. [382] In addition, there are many community dailies and weeklies. The Associated Press maintains a bureau in Boston, and local news wire the State House News Service feeds coverage of state government to other Massachusetts media outlets. There are a number of major AM and FM stations which serve Massachusetts, [383] along with many more regional and community-based stations. Some colleges and universities also operate campus television and radio stations, and print their own newspapers. [384] [385] [386]

Massachusetts generally ranks highly among states in most health and disease prevention categories. In 2015, the United Health Foundation ranked the state as third-healthiest overall. [388] Massachusetts has the most doctors per 100,000 residents, [389] the second-lowest infant mortality rate, [390] and the lowest percentage of uninsured residents (children as well as the total population). [391] According to Businessweek, commonwealth residents have an average life expectancy of 80.41 years, the fifth-longest in the country. [392] 37.2% of the population is overweight and 21.7% is obese, [393] and Massachusetts ranks sixth-highest in the percentage of residents who are considered neither obese nor overweight (41.1%). [393] Massachusetts also ranks above average in the prevalence of binge drinking, which is the 20th-highest in the country. [394]

The nation's first Marine Hospital was erected by federal order in Boston in 1799. [395] [396] There are currently a total of 143 hospitals in the state. [397] According to 2015 rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Massachusetts General Hospital is ranked in the top three in two health care specialties. [398] Massachusetts General was founded in 1811 and serves as the largest teaching hospital for nearby Harvard University. [399]

The state of Massachusetts is a center for medical education and research including Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute [400] as well as the New England Baptist Hospital, Tufts Medical Center, and Boston Medical Center which is the primary teaching hospital for Boston University. [401] The University of Massachusetts Medical School is located in Worcester. [402] The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has two of its three campuses in Boston and Worcester. [403]

Massachusetts is home to four major league professional sports teams: seventeen-time NBA Champions Boston Celtics, [404] nine-time World Series winners Boston Red Sox, [405] six-time Stanley Cup winners Boston Bruins, [406] and six-time Super Bowl winners New England Patriots. [407] The New England Revolution is the Major League Soccer team for Massachusetts and the Boston Cannons are the Major League Lacrosse team. [408] Massachusetts is also the home of the Cape Cod Baseball League.

In the late 19th century, the Olympic sports of basketball [60] and volleyball [61] were invented in the Western Massachusetts cities of Springfield [60] and Holyoke, [61] respectively. The Basketball Hall of Fame is a major tourist destination in the City of Springfield and the Volleyball Hall of Fame is located in Holyoke. [61] The American Hockey League (AHL), the NHL's development league, is headquartered in Springfield. [409]

Several universities in Massachusetts are notable for their collegiate athletics. The state is home to two Division I FBS teams, Boston College of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and FBS Independent University of Massachusetts at Amherst. FCS play includes Harvard University, which competes in the famed Ivy League, and College of the Holy Cross of the Patriot League. Boston University, Northeastern University, UMASS Lowell, and Merrimack College also participate in Division I athletics. [410] [411] Many other Massachusetts colleges compete in lower divisions such as Division III, where MIT, Tufts University, Amherst College, Williams College, and others field competitive teams.

Massachusetts is also the home of rowing events such as the Eastern Sprints on Lake Quinsigamond and the Head of the Charles Regatta. [412] A number of major golf events have taken place in Massachusetts, including nine U.S. Opens and two Ryder Cups. [413] [414]

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  • Koplow, David A (2004). Smallpox: The Fight to Eradicate a Global Scourge. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN978-0-520-24220-3 .
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Overviews and surveys Edit

Secondary sources Edit

  • Abrams, Richard M. Conservatism in a Progressive Era: Massachusetts Politics, 1900–1912 (1964)
  • Adams, James Truslow. Revolutionary New England, 1691–1776 (1923)
  • Adams, James Truslow. New England in the Republic, 1776–1850 (1926)
  • Andrews, Charles M. The Fathers of New England: A Chronicle of the Puritan Commonwealths (1919), short survey
  • Conforti, Joseph A. Imagining New England: Explorations of Regional Identity from the Pilgrims to the Mid-Twentieth Century (2001)
  • Cumbler, John T. Reasonable Use: The People, the Environment, and the State, New England, 1790–1930 (1930), environmental history
  • Fischer, David Hackett. Paul Revere's Ride (1994), 1775 in depth
  • Flagg, Charles Allcott, A Guide to Massachusetts local history, Salem : Salem Press Company, 1907.
  • Green, James R., William F. Hartford, and Tom Juravich. Commonwealth of Toil: Chapters in the History of Massachusetts Workers and Their Unions (1996)
  • Huthmacher, J. Joseph. Massachusetts People and Politics, 1919–1933 (1958)
  • Labaree, Benjamin Woods. Colonial Massachusetts: A History (1979)
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot. The Maritime History of Massachusetts, 1783–1860 (1921)
  • Peirce, Neal R. The New England States: People, Politics, and Power in the Six New England States (1976), 1960–75 era
  • Porter, Susan L. Women of the Commonwealth: Work, Family, and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts (1996)
  • Sletcher, Michael. New England (2004).
  • Starkey, Marion L. The Devil in Massachusetts (1949), Salem witches
  • Tager, Jack, and John W. Ifkovic, eds. Massachusetts in the Gilded Age: Selected Essays (1985), ethnic groups
  • Zimmerman, Joseph F. The New England Town Meeting: Democracy in Action (1999)
  • Definitions from Wiktionary
  • Media from Wikimedia Commons
  • News from Wikinews
  • Quotations from Wikiquote
  • Texts from Wikisource
  • Textbooks from Wikibooks
  • Travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Resources from Wikiversity

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Salem's History

"Still making history." That’s our tagline, but it’s so much more. It’s everything that made Salem come to life, and everywhere we’ll go next. It’s witches, and ocean ships, making waves through literature, settlers, pirates and trading. And it’s all right here. What will you learn?

1626 - Founded by Roger Conant and a group of immigrants from Cape Ann. The settlement was first titled Naumkeag, but the settlers preferred to call it Salem, derived from the Hebrew word for peace.

1628 - Massachusetts Bay Company arrives and relieves the struggling Naumkeag settlement. John Endicott leads a group of settlers to lay ground for thousands of Puritans.

1629 - Town of Salem is issued a charter by the monarch of England, giving them the rights of autonomy and self-rule.

1629 - The First Congregational Society is founded by Puritan pioneers of the Massachusetts Bay Company.

1630 - There is a threat of charter revocation, and the colonists respond by preparing a defense. Governor John Endicott cuts the cross out of the English flag as an act of defiance.

1637 - The first Salem ship sails to the West Indies to trade salted cod.

1637 - First Militia Muster is organized by Massachusetts Bay Colony Court.

1637 - The Charter Street Cemetery or “Old Burying Point Cemetery” is created, now the oldest burying ground in Salem.

1643 - Winter Island is created as a fort, originally named after King William.

1644 - Fort Pickering, a strategic coastal defense military barracks for Salem Harbor, is established.

1649 - Salem Custom House built. It was responsible for collecting taxes on imported cargoes.

1668 - The House of the Seven Gables (Turner-Ingersoll Mansion) is built by John Turner, a wealthy merchant. The house was lived in by three generations of the Turner family, before being acquired by the Ingersoll family, relatives of Salem-born author, Nathaniel Hawthorne.

1675 - The Witch House is completed. Judge Jonathon Corwin, a judge who presided over the Salem Witch Trials, resided there, and some of the preliminary questioning for the witch trials was held there.

1686 - A Salem selectman purchases land, that today is Salem, Peabody and Danvers, from the heirs of the Naumkeag tribe for 20 pounds.

1692 - The Salem Witch Trials begin. This is the event that Salem is most known for, in only three months’ time 19 innocent people, 14 women and 5 men, were hanged, and one man was pressed to death. It was a time of hysteria, when courts believed in the devil, spectral evidence and teenage girls. The trials ceased when Governor William Phipps disbanded the court, after his wife was accused of being a witch herself. A Superior Court of Judicature formed to replace the Court of Oyer and Terminer and did not allow spectral evidence. The new court released those awaiting trial and pardoned those awaiting execution the trials were over.

1693 - Cotton Mather publishes his famous book, Wonders of the Invisible World, which contained “proof” of witchcraft.

1760 - The Salem Courthouse is torn down after being active from 1677 to 1718.

1762 - Derby Wharf is created/begins as one of the busiest, of the nearly 50, wharves in Salem. (It is extended to its present ½ mile length in 1806.)

1774 - Provincial Congress is organized, and the political revolution begins.

1774 - General Gage moves the General Court from Boston to Salem.

1775 - The first armed resistance of the Revolution happened in Salem when the Salem militia blocked British Lt. Colonel Leslie and his men from their mission to capture ammunition stored in Salem.

1776 - Salem-based privateers capture and sink 445 British vessels during the Revolutionary War.

1785 - The Old Courthouse is built it was designed by Samuel McIntire.

1790 - Salem is the sixth largest city in the country, and the richest per capita.

1797 - The Salem East Indiaman Friendship, or The Friendship as we know it today, was launched. She made 15 voyages during her career to Batavia, India, China, South America, the Caribbean, England, Germany, the Mediterranean and Russia.

1799 - The Peabody Essex Museum is founded by sea captains. It is the oldest continually operated museum in the country.

1799 - The East India Marine Society is founded.

1801 - The city of Salem transforms the “town swamp,” which is what the Salem Common was often called, into a park with trees and walks.

1807 - An embargo is ordered that grounds Salem’s fleet for 15 months and is soon followed by the War of 1812.

1810 - The Salem Athenaeum is founded from the merging of two older libraries.

1812 - The Friendship is captured as a prize of war by British Sloop of War HMS Rosamond in September of 1812. (The one we have in Salem Harbor is a replica.)

1813 - The battle of the frigates, Chesapeake and Shannon, takes place in Salem Harbor.

1819 - A chemical company is built near the North River.

1825 - The East India Marine Hall is completed, with an open hall on the second floor designed to hold the museum of the society.

1828 - Nathaniel Hawthorne self-publishes his first novel, Fanshawe. It was a romantic novel written in Salem while he was staying in the Manning House on Herbert Street.

1830 - The Salem Lyceum is formed, a building constructed to provide public entertainment and instruction.

1836 - Salem is incorporated as a city.

1838 - The Eastern Railroad line from Boston to Salem is opened, and the railroad tunnel is dug under Washington Street.

1839 - The City of Salem adopts the motto “To the Farthest Ports of the Rich East,” paying tribute to its glorious maritime past.

1850 - The Scarlet Letter is published by Nathaniel Hawthorne to great acclaim everywhere but in Salem, where the residents did not appreciate the depiction of the city and its people.

1850 - The House of the Seven Gables is written in Salem by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and is published in 1851.

1851 - Nathaniel Hawthorne’s world-renowned novel, The House of the Seven Gables is published. Inspired by the mansion, it helped make the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion one of the most famous historic houses in America.

1854 - Salem State College, now known as Salem State University, is founded. A major educational and cultural resource of the North Shore, right here in Salem.

1856 - The First Methodist New England Conference is held in Salem the United Methodist Women’s Club greets you with information, advice and refreshments. In addition: sandwiches, coffee, tea, and cold drinks are available.

1877 - First public demonstration of a long-distance phone conversation is held in the Lyceum Hall on Church Street.

1910 - The House of the Seven Gables opens as a museum and begins its legacy of providing educational opportunities for newly arriving immigrant families in its settlement house.

1914 - On June 25, a devastating fire ignited Boston Street in Blubber Hollow, the leather manufacturing district of Salem. Over the course of two days, this massive fire destroyed 1,376 buildings and left 18,000 people (almost half of Salem’s population) homeless and many without jobs. Salem State University has books, pamphlets, and online documents about this tragedy.

1938 - The Salem waterfront is designated a National Historic Site under the National Park Service.

1970 - Bewitched’s seventh season is filmed in Salem. It’s a very magical time for the city.

1971 - The Chestnut Street Historic District is established it was Salem’s first historic district (known today as the McIntire Historic District).

1982 - Salem hosts the first Haunted Happenings festival. It lasted one day.

1992 - Witch Trials Memorial is dedicated by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel to commemorate the tercentenary anniversary of the trials.

1993 - Hocus Pocus is released in theatres it was filmed at numerous locations here in Salem.

1996 - Congress designates Essex County as a National Heritage Area in order to enhance, preserve and encourage awareness of the county’s historic cultural and natural resources and traditions.

2001 - Construction on The Friendship, a replica of the 1797 East India Merchant Ship, is completed.

2013 - President Obama signs legislation recognizing Salem as Birthplace of the National Guard.


Massachusetts - History

Photo Credit: T.C. Fitzgerald, Photographer, Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth

What do you know about your state? How do you relate Massachusetts resources to your standards-based teaching? The Massachusetts Studies Project includes the themes of Massachusetts History, Geography and Government in its two databases which can be searched online. To make it easier for interested educators to focus on these themes, many resources are brought together on this Highlights page. Several are singled out for special status. This is a beginning, not a complete listing. We hope you will add to our collection by sending references, lessons and teaching ideas.

There are many opportunities in the new curriulum frameworks and standards,especially History/Social Science, to include the rich resources of the Commonwealth to enhance teaching and to make learning more relevant and immediate.

Massachusetts Bibliography

Selected Bibliography on Massachusetts History, Geography, Government.


Featured Teacher Organizations

The state affiliate of the National Council for the Social Studies supports K-college history/ social science teachers through networking, programs, publications and meetings, including the Northeast Regional Conference on the Social Studies, the largest gathering of social studies teachers in the country. Regional councils include Greater Boston, Central Mass., Merrimack Valley, South Shore, South East Mass., Cape and Islands, and Western Mass.

New! Four Videotapes on Massachusetts History

The Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies offers a video version of "Massachusetts Yesterday" created by Edward Kingsbury of Wellesley. • Part One: When the Pace of Life was Slower, 25 mins. • Part Two: The Early Decades, 14 mins. • Part Three: 1760-1860, 19 mins. • Part Four, 1861-1972, 17 mins. Four videotapes with scripts, resource materials, and lesson plans, $40 first set postpaid via UPS. Each additional set $25 ppd. Send order to MCSS, 200 Linden Street, PMB 195, Wellesley, MA 02482-7914 fax 781-237-4499. For information only, call 781-237-7478. All proceeds from sales benefit the MCSS.

Here are some related activities by Arlene Price of Spofford Pond School in Boxford

This state alliance of 2000 teachers offers workshops and conferences, resource library: Regional Service Centers are Salem State College, Bridgewater State College, Westfield State College, Clark University and Winchester School Department.

Featured Research Organizations

The State Archives is a public research repository of governmental records which documents official actions and also supports studies in areas such as law, medicine, architecture and history. Its Archives Advisory Commission serves as the Massachusetts Historical Records Advisory Board which provides information and guidance to the historical records community of the state. Check the site for a listing of research repositories and for information on the May 11th Community Forum at Worcester Centrum on "Building Alliances: Massachusetts Historical Records."

This private history organization has rich primary source collections on Massachusetts families and topics. Its new Center for the Study of New England History sponsors research projects, scholarly conferences and seminars, fellowships and publications. Information on research collections is available online.

Featured Teaching Materials

Historical Atlas of Massachusetts: This large-size, handsomely illustrated volume contains background information on periods of Mass. history, and topics such as population, ethnicity, and women's roles.

Teaching with Historic Places (TWHP): Of the 74 TWHP sites available for school visits in the U.S., five Massachusetts sites are included: Bunker Hill Monument, Saugus Iron Works, John F. Kennedy Birthplace, Boott Cotton Mills of Lowell, and Boston's Arnold Arboretum. Find out about TWHP programs of the National Park Service sites, Jackdaws lesson plan booklets and a Curriculum Framework Guide.

Exemplary Teachers

We salute Richard Aieta, ( in tribute ), Kathleen Callanan Babini , and Karen Board Moran. These exemplary teachers share their Massachusetts Studies teaching ideas with you.

Featured Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans developed by teachers in a DOE-funded summer institute of the Mass. Studies Project on Mass. History, Geography and Government held at UMass Boston from 1997-98.


Massachusetts

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Massachusetts, constituent state of the United States of America. It was one of the original 13 states and is one of the 6 New England states, lying in the northeastern corner of the country. Massachusetts (officially called a commonwealth) is bounded to the north by Vermont and New Hampshire, to the east and southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Rhode Island and Connecticut, and to the west by New York. It is the seventh smallest of the U.S. states in terms of total area. Its capital is Boston, the state’s most populous city. English explorer and colonist John Smith named the state for the Massachuset tribe, whose name meant “near the great hill”—believed to refer to Blue Hill, which rises south of Boston in an otherwise flat area. Massachusetts’s residents represent an amalgamation of the prototypical Yankee spirit of an earlier America and the energies of the later immigrants who flocked to its cities in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Massachusetts is unique among states because its history and culture predate and epitomize the experiences of the country as a whole. It is commonly known that the Puritans and Pilgrims set the stage for eventual liberty of religious belief when they fled an oppressive government to settle in the New World. With such documents as the Mayflower Compact (1620) and the Body of Liberties (1641), an early code of law, they provided the basis for the concept that governments should rule by consent of the governed and with guarantees to protect individual expression.

These notions of individual liberty came into conflict with the colonies’ status as part of the British Empire. The American Revolution originated in Massachusetts with the first resistance against British colonial rules. It was in Massachusetts that the colonists raised the hue and cry against taxation without representation, as exemplified by the Boston Tea Party the activism of the Massachusetts colonists inspired others and culminated in the “shot heard round the world” at the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775.

Massachusetts was in the vanguard when the new country began transforming itself from an agrarian to an industrial economy. The state’s merchants, such as Francis Cabot Lowell, whose fortunes depended on trade, sought safer investments after severe losses during the War of 1812. Textile, boot, and machinery manufacturing began in Massachusetts (and Rhode Island) and set the groundwork for the eventual industrialization and urbanization of the northeastern states. Farmers and their sons and daughters trekked to the new cities by the mid-1870s, Massachusetts had become the first state in the Union in which more people lived in towns and cities than in rural areas.

Throughout the 19th century, Massachusetts was a leading manufacturing centre. Southern competition in the first half of the 20th century led to a massive economic decline, resulting in the closing of factories throughout the state. But World War II and the Cold War created new high-technology industries that depended on federal largesse in the form of defense spending. Meanwhile, service activities such as finance, education, and health care expanded, helping to create a new economy with Boston as its centre. In 2004 Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage the law pointed out that excluding certain citizens from a valued institution was incompatible with the principles of individual autonomy and legal equality. Massachusetts’s long struggle to maintain individual liberty while paying attention to communal needs resulted in the coalition of democratic principles and capitalist drives that are the hallmark of the United States. Area 10,554 square miles (27,336 square km). Population (2010) 6,547,629 (2019 est.) 6,892,503.

The Massachusetts coastline is about 1,500 miles (2,400 km) in length, yet the cross-country distances are only 190 miles (310 km) from east to west and 110 miles (180 km) from north to south. The coast—whose configuration marked by numerous embayments gave rise to Massachusetts’s nickname, the Bay State—winds from Rhode Island around Cape Cod, in and out of scenic harbours along the shore south of Boston, through Boston Harbor and up the North Shore, swinging around the painters’ paradise of Cape Ann to New Hampshire.


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