Massachusetts Colonies

By: Marie and Claire

Why Come?

There are two colonies in Massachusetts. One colony, Massachusetts Bay, was founded by John Winthrop and the other was founded by William Bradford. This colony was called Plymouth. They were founded in the 1630's. The colonists from both came because they wanted to practice their religion without having the strict rules and religious intolerance.

Massachusetts Geography

Massachusetts Colony was a part of the New England colonies. The people of Massachusetts depended on the ocean to feed them through whaling. Since there was a lot of trees, logging, shipbuilding and trapping were also important. The Massachusetts area was large and hilly. Massachusetts also had the right climate to grow crops. Wheat, barley, and corn were some of the important ones. They also grew tobacco and rice.

Economy

Massachusetts usually depended on it's oceans for food. Fishing was the most important to the economy, although whaling, trapping, shipbuilding, and logging were also important. Eventually, Massachusetts got richer, made more ships, and started trading with Africa for slaves, and in return, the English gave them rum, an alcoholic drink. They also traded the West Indies slaves for molasses. Massachusetts was big into the farming and fishing industries. The people made their own clothes and shoes. They grew a lot of their own food. Crops like wheat and corn grew in big clumps, and most were shipped westward to England. Foods that didn't grow in America were shipped from England. The major New England port was Boston.

Religion

The people of Massachusetts had a meetinghouse where they held church services. There were hard wooden benches where people sat for almost a full day because these services were very long. Most of the people who lived in Massachusetts had strict lifestyles because they were Puritans. The people who lived in the Massachusetts colony believed they had the right to govern themselves.


Government

American colonists believed they had the right to govern themselves. They didn't think that they had to pay such high taxes to England. Especially since they had no say in the government. The people who lived in the Plymouth colony wrote The Mayflower Compact, even before they got off the ship. The Mayflower Compact was signed by about 41 men, and helped keep these colonists peaceful for a while.