World History

Massachusetts State History – War, Capital, Population, Facts

Native Americans

Before Europeans arrived, the land that is now Massachusetts was inhabited by many Native American tribes. These tribes spoke the Algonquian language and included the Massachusetts, Wampanoag, Nauset, Nipmuc, and Mohicans. Some people lived in domed dwellings called wigwams, while others lived in large apartment buildings called longhouses.

Information about Massachusetts State:

Capital Boston
Population 6,981,974 (Source: 2022 U.S. Census)
Major Cities Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, Cambridge, New Bedford
Borders Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Atlantic Ocean
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $688,391.6 million (2022 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)
Key Industries Electronics and computers, granite, fishing, insurance and financial services, biotechnology, and tourism

Flag of Massachusetts State:

Europeans Arrive

Early explorers, including John Cabot in 1497, visited the Massachusetts coast. Europeans brought disease. Diseases such as smallpox killed about 90% of Native Americans living in Massachusetts.


An Englishman he founded the first settlement in 1620 when the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth. The Pilgrims were Puritans seeking religious freedom in the New World. With the help of local Indians, including Squanto, the pilgrims survived the first harsh winter. After the founding of Plymouth, more settlers came. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded in Boston in 1629.

Massachusetts State Symbols

  • Massachusetts State Nickname: Bay State
  • Massachusetts State Slogan: Make It Yours; The Spirit of America (on its license plate)
  • Massachusetts State Motto: Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty)
  • Massachusetts State flower: Mayflower
  • Massachusetts State bird: Black-capped Chickadee
  • Massachusetts State fish: Atlantic cod
  • Massachusetts State tree: Elm
  • Massachusetts State mammal: Right whale, Boston Terrier, Morgan horse
  • Massachusetts State foods: Corn Muffin, Baked Navy Bean, Boston Cream Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookie


As more people migrated, tensions between Native American tribes and colonists turned violent. Between 1675 and 1676, a series of battles called “King Philip’s War” took place. Most of the Indians were defeated. In 1691, the Plymouth Colony and the Massachusetts Bay Colony merged to form Massachusetts.

Protesting British Taxes

As the Massachusetts colony began to grow, its people became more independent. In 1764, Britain passed the Stamp Act, which taxed the colonies to help finance the war. The epicenter of protests against this law took place in Boston, Massachusetts.

During a protest in 1770, British soldiers opened fire on settlers, killing five. The day was called the Boston Massacre. Years later, Boston residents again poured tea into Boston Harbor in protest, as part of what became known as the Boston Tea Party.

The Geography of Massachusetts State:

  • Total Size of Massachusetts: 7,840 sq. miles (source: 2003 Census)
  • Geographical Low Point of Massachusetts: Atlantic Ocean at Sea Level (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Geographical High Point of Massachusetts: Mt. Greylock at 3,491 feet, located in the county/subdivision of Berkshire (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Central Point of Massachusetts: Located in Worcester County approx. North part of City of Worcester (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Counties of Massachusetts: 14 (source: National Association of Counties)
  • Bodies of Water of Massachusetts: Atlantic Ocean, Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts Bay, Nantucket Sound, Charles River, Merrimack River, Connecticut River, Quabbin Reservoir

American Revolution

The American Revolutionary War began in Massachusetts. In 1775 British troops arrived in Boston. Paul Revere rode through the night to warn the settlers. The Revolutionary War began on April 19, 1775, with the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Massachusetts played an important role during the war, with leaders and founding fathers such as Samuel Adams, John Adams, and John Hancock.

Becoming a State

Massachusetts became her sixth state to join the United States on February 6, 1788. Boston native John Adams was sworn in as first vice president and second president of the United States.

Famous People of Massachusetts State:

Eli Whitney Inventor of the cotton gin.
Dr. Seuss Author and illustrator of children’s literature
Paul Revere Folk hero who warned that the British were coming
Edgar Allen Poe Author who wrote The Raven and The Tell-Tale, Heart
John F. Kennedy The 35th President of the United States
Benjamin Franklin Founding Father and inventor
Ralph Waldo Emerson Poet
Emily Dickinson Poet
W.E.B. du Bois Civil rights activist
Matt Damon Actor
Steven Carell Actor and comedian
Abigail Adams First Lady who was married to John Adams.
John Adams The second President of the United States and Founding Father.
John Quincy Adams The sixth President of the United States.
Clara Barton Founder of the American Red Cross and nurse
George H. W. Bush The 41st President of the United States

Interesting Facts of Massachusetts State:

The first Baseball World Series was held in Boston in 1903.

Volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan of Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Harvard University is the first university established in North America.

Basketball was invented by Jim Naismith in Massachusetts. The Basketball Hall of Fame is located in Springfield.

The state is named after the Native Americans of Massachusetts.

Another nickname for this state is the “Baked Bean State”.

The first lighthouse in the United States was the Boston Harbor Lighthouse, built in 1716.

The chocolate chip cookie was invented by Ruth Wakefield in 1930. She baked it at the Tollhouse Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts.

The first subway system she built in Boston in 1897.

Four US presidents were born in Massachusetts. These include John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and George H.W. Kennedy. Bush.

Timeline Overview:

1497 – John Cabot runs up the coast of Massachusetts.
1620 – The Pilgrims arrive at Plymouth and establish England’s first permanent settlement.
1621 – Pilgrims hold the first Thanksgiving.
1629 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony is founded.
1691 – The state of Massachusetts is formed by the merger of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Plymouth Colony.
1692 – Nineteen people are executed for witchcraft in the Salem witch trials.
1770 – Five Boston settlers are shot by the British in the Boston Massacre.
1773 – Boston settlers throw chests of tea into the harbor as part of the Boston Tea Party.
1775 – The Revolutionary War begins with the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
1788 – Massachusetts becomes the sixth state in the United States.
1820 – Maine separates from Massachusetts, becoming the 23rd state.
1961 – John F. Kennedy becomes the 35th President of the United States.
1987 – The “Big Dig” construction project begins in Boston.