Massachusetts Bay Colony

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Why was the Massachusetts Bay Colony founded?

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The Massachusetts Bay colony was started by Puritans leaving their home country of England and immigrating to the American continent to practice their religious beliefs without interference from the Church of England and the British Monarchy. Puritans broke from the church in dissent over the integration of the church with the British government. The King of England headed both government and church. Puritans believed the church was wavering in its doctrine and was incorporating secular practices under the guise of religious ideology.

The result of the hard work of the Puritans in establishing a viable colony encouraged others to come to join with them. The dynamic growth created new commercial opportunities that investors were eager to participate in. The structure of the governance of the Massachusetts Bay Colony provided stability and encouraged a further increase in the colony. As the settlement expanded in population, economic growth, and reputation, so did the commitment to progressive ideas spun from the Puritan religious practice of charity.

One of the ideas was the start of an education system. Many of the Puritans that arrived in the colony were well educated by the standards of the time. They wanted to ensure future generations had the same emphasis and opportunity to attend an educational institution. Some of the premier institutions we have in modern times (for example, Harvard) were Puritan founded and sponsored.

In summary, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded for religious and political freedom, economic investment, and the promotion of education.

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Why was Massachusetts founded?

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded by religious dissenters who wanted to leave England because of the persecution they were experiencing while Charles I was on the throne.

In 1628, a group of Puritans was able to secure a land grant through the Council of New England and pursued a for-profit project called the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay. By 1629 there were small colonies at Cape Ann and Salem, and the group of Puritan businessmen received a charter from Charles I. It began as a trading company run by Puritans who established a theocratic government.

By 1630, John Winthrop had spearheaded the arrival of around 1000 people who ultimately settled near Boston. In ten years time, the population grew to 20,000.

There was no distinction between the colony and the Massachusetts Bay Company until 1684 when the charter was revoked. A new 1691 charter was granted, and remained in effect until Massachusetts ratified its own constitution in 1780, after the Revolutionary War.

In short, the colony was founded so that some prominent English religious dissenters could undertake a venture in the New World where they would be free to worship as they wanted and prosper economically.

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