Massachusetts Bay Colony




Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded in 1630 as one of the original English settlements. The Puritans settled the colony under Governor John Winthrop, who used an Algonquin name meaning “a city set upon a hill.” The Puritans arrived on four ships, which carried five hundred Puritans. Thanks to Governor Winthrop being prepared when they joined the struggling colony of Salem, the new colony flourished. 

A significant event in the colony’s history was the Salem witch trials, which took place between June to September in 1692. Twenty people were accused of witchcraft and killed. One hundred years later, the successful colony became a state on February 6, 1788, and now is the state of Massachusetts.

Due to rough and poor soil, it was hard to farm in Massachusetts. Wheat was tough to grow, however, corn, pumpkins, rye, and beans grew well. Typical jobs included lumbering, shipbuilding, teaching, and farming.

Colonists fished, constructed ships, and created other goods that were sold to England, Africa, and other colonies. Slaves were also critical to the economic success of the settlement, as they were part of the Triangle Trade Route.

The Puritans and Governor John Winthrop believed that government was the same as religion, and since they had freedom of religion, they also had the privilege of government. Only men had the right to vote and get involved in politics. Even though women were very influential and educated, they were not allowed to be involved in government. The way the government was set up was very meaningful to the people because it was set up, so the people got a say in almost everything. The government was well organized, honest. And had strong principles, allowing the colony to thrive. However, they were extremely intolerant of any other religious beliefs and did not accept anyone to live in the territory who did not follow the same religion. The punishment for not going to church was getting put in the stocks.

The people in the Massachusetts Bay colony had to be stubborn, tough, and able to adapt to the climate around them. In the winter, they endured the long cold days with not much food. The warmer growing season for planting was short. The jagged coastlines made it hard to get supplies by ship, but there were a lot of bays and inlets that provided a source of food.

The colony was located on the Northern coast of New England. They had snow and tree-covered mountains and hills as far as the eye could see.

  • The Massachusetts bay colony is one of four new England colonies.
  • Everyone was required to go to church. Church services lasted for hours, including prayers that could continue for an hour.
  • Education was very important to the people in the colony. All children attended school and even girls were taught to read.
  • For fun, people enjoyed activities such as checkers, throwing horseshoes, or reading the bible.

The Massachusetts bay colony benefited from a strong foundation of Puritan values. They had religious and government freedom to worship as they had established in their colony, and were very well educated. An educated population was able to survive against challenges in the new world. A well known college, the school of Harvard was started in Massachusetts bay colony.

22 thoughts on “Massachusetts Bay Colony”

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