Massachusetts: A Concise History (Google eBook)

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Univ of Massachusetts Press, 2000 - History - 361 pages
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From the moment the first English colonists landed on the shores of Plymouth Bay, the experiences of the people of Massachusetts have been emblematic of larger themes in American history. The story of the first Pilgrim thanksgiving is commemorated as a national holiday, while the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere's ride have passed into the national mythology. Even the grimmer aspects of the American experience -- Indian warfare and the conquest of an ever expanding frontier -- were part of the early history of Massachusetts.

In this book, Richard D. Brown and Jack Tager survey the rich heritage of this distinctive, and distinctly American, place, showing how it has long exerted an influence disproportionate to its size. A seedbed of revolt against British colonial rule, Massachusetts has supplied the nation with a long line of political leaders -- from Samuel and John Adams to William Lloyd Garrison and Lucy Stone to John, Robert and Edward Kennedy. Its early textile mills helped shape the industrial revolution, while its experiences with urbanization, immigration, ethnic conflict, and labor strife reflected the growth of the national economy. In the twentieth century, the state continued to lead the country through a series of wrenching economic changes as it moved from the production of goods to the provision of services, eventually becoming a center of the high-tech revolution in telecommunications.

If there is one common theme in the Bay State's history, Brown and Tager make clear, it is the capacity to adapt to change. In part this trait can be attributed to the state's unique blend of resources, including its many distinguished colleges and universities. But it can also becredited to the people themselves, who have created a singular sense of place by reconciling claims of tradition with the possibilities of innovation. This book tells their story.

  

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Contents

The Country That the English Found
1
The Worlds of Bradford and Winthrop
11
Piety and Plenty in the American Canaan
36
Revolutionary Vanguard
58
A Republic of Virtue or Liberty?
89
Hive of Industry and Elite Paternalism
113
Missions to the Nation
144
Irish Immigration and the Challenges to Industrial Paternalism
162
Abolition and the Civil War
183
Urbanization and the Emergence of Pluralism in the Gilded Age
200
The TwentiethCentury Metropolitan Commonwealth
241
Reinventing Massachusetts
275
Notes
317
Suggestions for Further Reading
331
Index
343
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Page 23 - Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid ; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
Page 24 - ... spared no pains, night nor day, but with abundance of toil and hazard of their own health, fetched them wood, made them fires, dressed them meat, made their beds, washed their loathsome clothes, clothed and unclothed them...
Page 22 - We shall find that the God of Israel is among us when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies, when he shall make us a praise and glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantations, "The Lord make it like that of New England.

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About the author (2000)

Brown is professor of history at the University of Connecticut.

Tager is professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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