history of new england


  • New England is the oldest clearly defined region of the United States, being settled more than 150 years before the American Revolution.

  • The region remained Republican until the early 20th century, when immigration turned the states of southern New England towards the Democrats.

  • [48] The first immigrants went to nearby areas of northern Vermont and New Hampshire, but southern Massachusetts became the principal destination from the late 1870s until
    the end of the last immigration wave in the early 1900s.

  • [19][20] First Boston Latin School house All the New England colonies required towns to set up schools.

  • Starting in the 1890s, he began financing the major New England railroads, such as the New Haven and the Boston and Maine, dividing territory so that they would not compete.

  • New England proved to be the center of the strongest abolitionist sentiment in the country, along with areas that were settled from New England, such as upstate New York,
    Ohio’s Western Reserve, and the states of Michigan and Wisconsin.

  • They also left their homes due to population pressures to look for opportunities in expanding New England cities.

  • [29] New England remained distinct from the other states in terms of politics, often going against the grain of the rest of the country.

  • The Dominion of New England (1686–1689)[edit] Main article: Dominion of New England King James II of England became concerned about the increasingly independent ways of the
    colonies, in particular their self-governing charters, open flouting of the Navigation Acts, and increasing military power.

  • Manufacturing in the United States began to shift south and west during the 20th century, and New England experienced a sustained period of economic decline.

  • Two factors were primarily responsible for the revolutionary changes from 1790 to 1850: The rise of the manufacturing industry in New England (industrialization), and agricultural
    competition from the western states.

  • [15] The growing population led to shortages of good farmland on which young families could establish themselves; one result was to delay marriage, and another was to move
    to new lands farther west.

  • “[17] Education[edit] The first public schools in America were established by the Puritans in New England during the 17th century.

  • [42] The agricultural competition that emerged from the western states due to transportation improvements also helped shape agriculture in New England.

  • [8] Map of the British and French dominions in America in 1755, showing what the English considered New England Government of the colonies[edit] Most of the colonial charters
    were significantly modified after the Glorious Revolution in 1689, with the appointment of royal governors to nearly every colony.

  • He decreed the Dominion of New England in 1686, an administrative union of all the New England colonies, and the Province of New York and the Province of New Jersey were added
    into it two years later.

  • [49] Many of these later immigrants were looking for short-term employment that would allow them to make enough money to go back home and settle comfortably, but approximately
    half of the Canadian settlers remained permanently.

  • [33] Hence, much of the New England agricultural economy was characterized by a “lack of exchange; lack of differentiation of employments or division of labor; the absence
    of progress in agricultural methods; a relatively low standard of living; emigration and social stagnation.”[33] As Bidwell writes, the farming in New England at this time was “practically uniform” with many farmers distributing their land
    “in about the same proportions into pasturage, woodland, and tillage, and raised about the same crops and kept about the same kind and quantity of stock” as other farmers.

  • [10] Economics[edit] The New England colonies were settled largely by farmers who became relatively self-sufficient.

  • [3][5] Colonial era Early English plans (1607–1620)[edit] Further information: Popham Colony A 17th-century map shows New England as a coastal enclave extending from Cape
    Cod to New France On April 10, 1606, King James I of England issued a charter for the Virginia Company of Plymouth, (often referred to as the Plymouth Company).

  • The 1860 Census showed that 32 of the 100 largest cities in the country were in New England, as well as the most highly educated.

  • The region was the manufacturing center of the entire United States for much of the nineteenth century, and it played an important role during the American Civil War as an
    intellectual, political, and cultural promoter of abolitionism and civil rights.

  • [59] Economy[edit] See also: 1922 New England Textile Strike The New England economy was radically transformed after World War II.

  • [6] They fled England and attempted to create a “nation of saints” or a “City upon a Hill” in America, a community designed to be an example for all of Europe.

  • [22] The most famous was the Boston Latin School, which is still in operation as a public high school.

  • [26] A 1779 five-shilling note issued by Massachusetts Early national period[edit] After independence, New England ceased to be a unified political unit but remained a defined
    historical and cultural region consisting of its constituent states.

  • French Canadians[edit] Further information: French Americans and New England French French Canadians living in rural Canada were attracted to New England textile mills after
    1850,[46][47] and about 600,000 migrated to the U.S., especially to New England.

  • [54] Since 1900 Railroads[edit] The New Haven system The New Haven railroad was the leading carrier in New England from 1872 to 1968.

  • [25] 1764–1900 American Revolution[edit] See also: American Revolution and Boston campaign Boston in 1775 New England was the center of revolutionary activity in the decade
    before 1775.

  • [18] Lawrence Cremin writes that colonists tried at first to educate by the traditional English methods of family, church, community, and apprenticeship, with schools later
    becoming the key agent in “socialization”.

  • [34] There was not a sufficiently large New England–based home market for agricultural products due to the absence of a large non-agricultural population, so New England farmers
    had little incentive to commercialize their farms.

  • There were French newspapers; more than 250 came into being and became defunct from the mid-19th century to the 1930s, some lasting months at a time, others remaining for

  • Massachusetts and Connecticut were among the last refuges of the Federalist Party, and New England became the strongest bastion of the new Whig Party when the Second Party
    System began in the 1830s.

  • [41] Another important result of the manufacturing boom in New England was the new abundance of cheap products that formerly had to be produced on the farm.

  • The largely differentiated agricultural landscape of the New England of 1850[44] was distinct from the subsistence-dominated landscape that existed 40 to 60 years earlier.

  • Recruiters were hired by mill agents to bring young women and children from the countryside to work in the factories, and thousands of farm girls left their rural homes in
    New England to work in the mills between 1830 and 1860, hoping to aid their families financially, save up for marriage, and widen their horizons.

  • Twenty-seven delegates from all over New England met in Hartford in the winter of 1814-15 for the Hartford Convention to discuss changes to the US Constitution that would
    protect the region and retain political power.

  • Autumn in Grafton County, New Hampshire, a notable feature of New England New England and political thought[edit] The writings of Henry David Thoreau influenced thinkers as
    diverse as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and the modern environmental movement During the colonial period and the early years of the American republic, New England leaders such as James Otis, John Adams, and Samuel Adams
    joined Patriots in Philadelphia and Virginia to define Republicanism and lead the colonies to a war for independence against Great Britain.

  • Historian Peter Temin has pointed out that the “transformation of the New England economy in the middle fifty years of the nineteenth century was comparable in scope and intensity
    to the Asian ‘miracles’ of Korea and Taiwan in the half-century since World War II.”[45] The extensive changes in agriculture that occurred were an important aspect of this economic process.

  • Immigration also grew along with the growth of the textile industry—but the number of young women working in the mills decreased as the number of Irish workers increased.

  • [7] On March 3, 1636, the Connecticut Colony was granted a charter and established its own government, absorbing the nearby New Haven Colony.

  • In 1642, the Massachusetts Bay Colony made education compulsory, and other New England colonies followed.

  • The larger towns in New England opened grammar schools, the forerunner of the modern high school.

  • Women consequently found new employment elsewhere, typically at the mills, many of which had a shortage of workers, and they began to earn cash incomes.

  • Today, New England is defined as the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

  • By the 1840s, New England was the center of the American anti-slavery movement and was the leading force in American literature and higher education.

  • Rhode Island and Connecticut[edit] Main articles: Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and Connecticut Colony Incorporated Towns in New England as they appeared
    around 1700 Roger Williams preached religious liberty, separation of Church and State, and a complete break from the Church of England.

  • A large influx of Puritans populated the New England region during the Puritan migration to New England (1620–1640), largely in the Boston and Salem area.

  • [12] New England became an important mercantile and shipbuilding center, along with agriculture, fishing, and logging, serving as the hub for trading between the southern
    colonies and Europe.

  • Consequently, many New England farms came to specialize in “highly perishable and bulky produce,” according to historian Darwin Kelsey.

  • [42] New England farmers now aimed to produce goods with which western farmers could not compete.

  • He said that every man in New England is a property owner, “has a Vote in public Affairs, lives in a tidy, warm house, has plenty of good Food and Fuel, with whole clothes
    from Head to Foot, the Manufacture perhaps of his own family.

  • Hard work and entrepreneurship characterized the New England region, as the Puritans and Yankees endorsed the “Protestant Work Ethic” which enjoined men to work hard as part
    of their divine calling.

  • Certificate of the government of Massachusetts Bay acknowledging loan of £20 to state treasury 1777 A ship was planning to land tea in Boston on December 16, 1773, and Patriots
    associated with the Sons of Liberty raided it and dumped all the tea into the harbor.

  • This closed the port of Boston, the economic lifeblood of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and it ended self-government, putting the people under military rule.

  • [38] The increasing specialization of agriculture even led to the production of tobacco, a predominantly southern crop, from central Connecticut to northern Massachusetts,
    where natural conditions were amenable to its growth.

  • New England writers and events in the region helped launch the American War of Independence, which began when fighting erupted between British troops and Massachusetts militia
    in the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

  • They sought to reform the Church of England by creating a new, pure church in the New World.

  • [21] Common schools appeared in the 18th century, where students of all ages were under the control of one teacher in one room.

  • By the beginning of the 21st century, however, the region had become a center for technology, weapons manufacturing, scientific research, and financial services.

  • [14] New England conducted a robust trade within the English domain in the mid-18th century.

  • The majority of female workers came from rural farming towns in northern New England.

  • [32] Agriculture[edit] New England’s urban, industrial economy transformed from the beginning of the early national period (c. 1790) to the middle of the nineteenth century,
    but its agricultural economy did, as well.

  • British troops were forced back to Boston by the local militias on the 19th in the Battles of Lexington and Concord where the famous “shot heard ’round the world” was fired.

  • The region’s economy gradually began to focus on crafts and trade, in contrast to the Southern colonies whose agrarian economy focused more heavily on foreign and domestic

  • [27] During the War of 1812, some Federalists considered seceding from the Union, and some New England merchants opposed the war with Britain because she was their greatest
    trading partner.

  • [30] Industrialization[edit] The Slater Mill Historic Site in Pawtucket, Rhode Island New England was an early center of the industrial revolution.

  • [33] Farmers could not find very many markets nearby to sell to, and they generally could not earn enough income with which to buy many new products for themselves.

  • The textile mills one by one went out of business from the 1920s to the 1970s.


Works Cited

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Textile Industries of the United States: Including Sketches and Notices of Cotton, Woolen, Silk, and Linen Manufacturers in the Colonial Period. (1893) Vol. I. Pg 97.
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Primary sources[edit]
• Axtell, James, ed.
The American People in Colonial New England (1973), excerpts from primary sources; online
• Dwight, Timothy. Travels Through New England and New York (circa 1800) 4 vol. (1969) online
• McPhetres, S. A. A political manual for the campaign of 1868,
for use in the New England, states, containing the population and latest election returns of every town (1868)
• Who’s who in New England. A.N. Marquis. 1915. p. 1.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nikontino/13561966423/’]