The Thirteen Colonies
The Massachusetts Bay Colony was an English settlement on the east coast of North America in the 17th century, in New England, situated around the present-day cities of Salem and Boston. The territory administered by the colony included much of present-day central New England, including portions of the U.S. states of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Territory claimed but never administered by the colonial government extended as far west as the Pacific Ocean.The colony was founded by the owners of the Massachusetts Bay Company, which included investors in the failed Dorchester Company, which had in 1624 established a short-lived settlement on Cape Ann. The second attempt, begun in 1628, was successful, with about 20,000 people migrating to New England in the 1630s. The population was strongly Puritan, and its governance was dominated by a small group of leaders who were strongly influenced by Puritan religious leaders. Although its governors were elected, the electorate were limited to freemen, who had been examined for their religious views and formally admitted to their church. As a consequence, the colonial leadership exhibited intolerance to other religious views, including Anglican, Quaker, and Baptist theologies.