As far as area is concerned, Massachusetts comes only as the 44th state in the nation, yet all through the centuries, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has always played a prominent role as a national leader. In Massachusetts, the nation’s first printing press, the first regularly published newspapers, the first U.S. college, and the first secondary school in America were established.
The beautiful state of Massachusetts also provided the nation with four presidents, and has, for a long time, been among the top states regarding all sorts of manufacturing. The thriving and historic city of Boston contains one of America’s biggest seaports and Logan Airport is a major international hub. The region around Boston boasts many colleges and universities, making this area world-class research, education, and cultural center.
Massachusetts is the place where the American Revolutionary War really started, and probably all Americans some knowledge of the Boston Massacre, the battles of Lexington & Concord, the Boston Tea Party, or the Battle of Bunker Hill. The state of Massachusetts also has been producing more than its fair share of thinkers, writers, and statesmen. The important city of Boston is continuing to progress in cultural, economic, and political diversity.
Quick Facts about Massachusetts
– The first governing document, the Mayflower Compact.
– First American Popular election.
– The ‘town hall meeting’ was institutionalized here.
– In 1621, the first Thanksgiving.
– The American Revolution began here.
– Birthplace of American iron and steel industry.
– First U.S. state to have a public school.
– Home of the oldest U.S. University, Harvard.
– Mather School in Boston is the oldest U.S. private secondary school.
– Phillips Academy in Andover is the nation’s oldest boys’ boarding school.
– America’s first pipe organ.
Massachusetts brief history
In the period 1497 – 1498, John Cabot made a voyage as probably the first European pioneer in what we now know as Massachusetts, and Bartholomew Gosnold noted in 1602 so many codfish in that specific area that he named the region “Cape Cod”.
Around 100 dissenters of the Church of England were seeking their religious freedom in this New World. They sailed from England on a ship called the Mayflower in 1620. On November 11 of that year, the ship reached the Cape Cod shores, in what is now Massachusetts, close to what is present-day Provincetown.
They sent out a scouting party and later, in December, landed at Plymouth Harbor. Here they established the first permanent European settlement in the New England area. These first settlers of Plymouth Colony are also referred to as the ‘Pilgrim Fathers’, or simply ‘the Pilgrims’.
But, as often, there is some controversy. A well-reputed Harvard historian is contending that the ship, the Mayflower, could never have landed at the site of Plymouth Rock. He is sure the direction of the strong current would have made that an impossibility.
1621. In April that year, Wampanoag chief Massasoit and the Pilgrims made an important treaty regarding the Pilgrims’ settlement. This treaty was kept by the Indian Chief for the remainder of his life. In the fall of that year, the Pilgrims Fathers, together with all of their Indian friends, held a great celebration which later became understood as the nation’s first Thanksgiving.
One Night Stands With American History reveals that in old colonial Massachusetts, observing or celebrating Christmas was illegal. Everybody who did observe the day was violating this rule and was to be fined five shillings…
Governor Michael S. Dukakis wrote:
… This is a spirit that’s as American as apple pie. The spirit of Massachusetts truly is the real spirit of America…
Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote:
… Massachusetts is really the cornerstone of a nation…
Statesman and orator Daniel Webster wrote:
… Upon Massachusetts, I shall enter on no encomium as she is in need of none. There Massachusetts is. Behold her and just judge for yourself…