Massachusetts Bay Colony

Map of Massachusetts Bay Colony
Photo by: Kmusser Creative Commons

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was a settlement established by the English along the east coast of North America during the seventeenth century; it is the area which is known as present-day Boston along with parts of Salem. The local officials claimed to own the territory, although it was never governed by colonialists. The area that were part of New England include: Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. At that time, the territory is believed to have extended all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

New England

The colony was built by the Massachusetts Bay Company. One of the company’s investors was Dorchester Company, despite its reputation of having been a failure. Dorchester Company was given the rein to manage Cape Ann, a fishing village at that time, the venture proved to be unprofitable that people who financially supported the Dorchester Company, no longer backed the company by 1625. Four years later, in 1628, people began migrating to New England which made the settlement successful. The influx of were composed mostly of Puritans.

The government was influenced by Puritan religious leaders. Although the governor was elected by the people, the election was said to have been influenced by religious officials. Voters were being questioned about their religious views before they were permitted to cast a vote. The colony officials were not open to other religious views, which included Quakers, Baptists and Anglicans. Puritans did not celebrate holidays, not even Christmas, because of their belief that these holidays had pagan roots.

Economics & Diplomacy

When it came to the economy, the Massachusetts Bay Colony maintained had a successful economic growth. They were involved in trade with England and the West Indies. The colony did not have enough “cash”, which led them to institute minting in 1652. Political challenges became a hindrance for the people that, in 1686, King James II established the Dominion of New England which placed the colonies under the control of the crown.

The relationship with the native population offered hope and colonial officials gave them the respect expected. But because of cultural differences, two wars emerged from their misunderstandings: the Pequot war which took place for two years from 1636 to 1638, and King Phillip’s war which lasted for a year from1675 until 1676. In the second war between the native Americans and the colonizers, the natives living in the southern part of New England were killed and driven out. Some were “pacified.”

During the early years of the Colony, life was difficult. Early colonizers lived in rudimentary structures such as dugouts, wigwams and huts with dirty floors made from daub and wattle. After a few years, there was a marked improvement in the construction of homes. They began to use materials which included clap boards, flat timber roofs, and wooden chimneys.

People with money added convenience to their homes, such as a lean-to, which provided additional space for a bigger kitchen. They included extra rooms and an attic. The interior designs of the colonizers improved over the years. Plaster walls and wainscoting were used as more expensive homes began to be built.

6 responses to “Massachusetts Bay Colony”

  1. juandiego says:


  2. K.Davis says:

    This article needs a good edit, and some sources.

  3. Cierra says:

    Needs edits

  4. Taylor says:

    Great research for a project like I am doing now!

  5. playa says:

    this websit needs a bibliography

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