Massachusetts Bay Colony

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What was the purpose of the Massachusetts Bay Colony?

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The Massachusetts Bay Colony was originally established as a place of refuge for Puritans fleeing religious persecution in England. In the early 17th century, the established Church of England became increasingly intolerant of those Protestants who wanted to purify its practices, making it look more like the kind of church that existed in the early years of Christianity. The state's draconian response to Protestant dissent caused many to flee England for places such as Holland and America, where they could openly practice their religion without fear.

Although the first settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony were primarily motivated by religious concerns, there were also economic imperatives at work. The Puritans, firm believers in the innate godliness of hard work, were successful traders, artisans, and farmers, and wanted to turn the new colony into a veritable hive of economic activity. As well as embodying their deepest spiritual convictions, the coming to fruition of this ambitious vision would also ensure the colony's long-term growth and viability.

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