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Honoring The States: The 6th State - Massachusetts...

Massachusetts is the sixth state of the 13 original states to ratify the federal Constitution in 1788. It is known as the "Bay State", as it originates from many bays in the area. The entire eastern coastline of Massachusetts was created by glaciers that exposed these rocky bays. Many historical events have taken place in this state including the Revolutionary War, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, and the famous midnight ride of warning by Paul Revere. The very first postal office was opened in 1639 in Boston. The witch hunts of Salem in 1692 and 1693 began with lies and rumors. In 1876, the first telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell. The very first purebred dog was born in 1869 by an English Bulldog that was bred with an English Terrier to birth the Boston Terrier. The capital is Boston, the state bird is the Black-Capped Chickadee, the state flower is the Mayflower, and the state tree is the American Elm.


Massachusetts was the first state to have an Indigenous name. The Algonquin word "Massadchu-es-et" means "great hill small place" after the hills around Boston. For at least 12,000 years, the land that is now known as Massachusetts was home to many different tribes and tens of thousands of indigenous people. The Pawtucket (Penacook), the Massachusett, the Pokantoket (Wampanoag), the Nipmuck, and the Pocumtuck all occupied the area. From the coast of Salem to Plymouth, and into the land to Worcester, the Indigenous lived, made tools and weapons, hunted, fished, and worked their land. They planted fields of grains, beans, corn, squash, and other crops that helped them live, share in rituals, and sell their goods to gain prosperity. In the early 1600's, the first English settlers traded goods and lived among the Indigenous people until their diseases started spreading, wiping out 80% of the Indigenous population. English immigrants continued to arrive in large numbers and implemented their beliefs, rules, culture, and religion onto the Indigenous. They established "praying plantations" where they converted them into Christians. In 1630, around 1,000 Puritan refugees from England landed in Massachusetts on the Mayflower. In 1675, the European settlers and the Indigenous people fought in First Indian War (King Philip's War). It was the final fight for land and power between the two people, and King Philip led the Europeans to victory over the Indigenous after 14 months of fighting. Many Indigenous were killed, died of disease, or were traded as slaves if they didn't convert to Christianity and surrender to the lifestyle and rules set by the Europeans. The peace that was once between the two peoples ended when the peace treaties were stopped by King Philip. He died along with hundreds of settlers in the war. Two separate colonies were formed prior to 1685. One was around Plymouth and Cape Cod that was settled by the Pilgrims. Massachusetts grew commercially and industrially, and 111 new towns and districts were incorporated between 1692-1765. The Massachusetts militia fought their first battle in American Revolutionary War over the ideas of equality, freedom, and unity. The Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party helped to close the port of Boston, and the Battle of Bunker Hill caused British troops to leave the area. A special state army of troops were called out to suppress Shay's Rebellion, an armed insurrection the helped move the energy toward the ratification of the US Constitution in 1788. In the mid-19th century, Massachusetts was one of the leaders of the Industrial Revolution. The production of textiles, machinery, and shoes on a much larger scale was developed and urban areas were formed with railroads over time. By 1860, Massachusetts became the second most densely populated state.

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