Massachusetts History (Part 1 of 2)

Before the arrival of the Europeans, the area that is now the state of Massachusetts was populated by various Algonquian Native peoples, including Massachusett, Pennacook, Wampanoag, Nauset, Nipmuc, Pocomtuc, Mahikane, Narragansett, and Mohegan. Unfortunately, all these peoples soon devoured smallpox when the Europeans first arrived in North America.

In 1620, the Pilgrims arrived from England on the Mayflower, establishing a colony in Plymouth. Like the Indians, the Pilgrims suffered from measles. However, they were helped by the Wampanoagi and celebrated their first Thanksgiving with the Indians in 1621. The English settlers were known as Indians, as Yengeeze (their pronunciation of "English"). This is the source of the word "Yankee".

For decades to come, the Pilgrims were followed by the Puritans, who established a colony in Boston, as well as the Anglicans and Quakers. However, there were religious tensions, with the prohibition of Quakerism, and four Quakers were hanged in the Boston colony. Connecticut and Rhode Island's English colonies were founded at this time by dissidents fleeing a lack of religious tolerance in the Massachusetts Bay colony.

During the reign of King James II of England, who was a devious Catholic, the charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was annulled. Short-term domination of New England was formed, but the colonial rule was overthrown by the royal governor. After the overthrow of James, the colony of Plymouth Bay and Colony Bay Massachusetts Bay (Boston) was merged, and in 1692 a new royal charter was granted.

The trial of the Salem witches was also announced in 1692. The trials lasted until May 1693, resulting in the deaths of 20 people (14 women and 6 men) and a prison sentence of more than 150.