The people who lived there… • NEW ENGLAND • New England is in the northeast of North America and has generally thin and stony soil, relatively little flat land, and long cold winters, making it hard to make a living from farming. • New Englanders harnessed water power and established grain mills and sawmills. Good forests encouraged shipbuilding. • Excellent harbors promoted trade, and the sea became a source of great wealth. In Massachusetts, the cod (fishing) industry alone quickly furnished a good basis for profit and prosperity.
On Sept. 16, 1620 the ship "Mayflower" set off from Plymouth, England on it journey to the New World. There were 102 passengers on the Mayflower including 41 Christian Puritan Separatists. • After spending many years in Holland exiled from the English Church, the Puritans were seeking a new life of religious freedom in America.
The group had obtained a Patent from the London Virginia Company which indentured them into service for the Company for seven years after they arrived and settled. • When they arrived they anchored off the tip of Cape Cod, in an area now known as Massachusetts, and before they even set foot on shore they wrote, and signed, an agreement called the "Mayflower Compact" that would set the rules to guide them through the early hard times. The Compact served as the official Constitution of the Plymouth Colony for many years.
After landing they explored the area around Cape Cod for over a month using the maps they had obtained in England. • During their exploration they had a few minor encounters with the local natives. Finally, on December 21, they decided on a location near Plymouth Harbor which they named Plymouth. • Nearly half of the colonists and crew died from illnesses that first winter as they struggled to build their town.
Squanto and the Pilgrims. • The following spring they were visited by a local Wampanoag native named Samoset who introduced the settlers to another native named Squanto who's village had occupied the area before the Pilgrims arrived. His people had all been killed by diseases brought by European explorers. • Squanto spoke English very well and he stayed with the Pilgrims and taught them many valuable skills that enabled them to survive in their new country. He also played a very big part in bringing the Pilgrims and the local native population together, leading, eventually, to a lasting peace treaty.
John Winthrop and the Puritans • Not long after the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth more Puritans came to Massachusetts and settled Naumkeag (later named Salem). • John Winthrop, carrying the Massachusetts Bay Charter, arrived in 1630 and founded Boston. Maine was annexed (claimed and taken) by Massachusetts in 1652 and later the Plymouth Colony was too.
Rhode Island Colony • In 1635, Roger Williams was put on trial by the Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and found guilty of holding four opinions at difference with those officially allowed. • His sentence was banishment from the colony: • After spending the winter with the Indians he finally bought land from them in what is now called Providence. The new Rhode Island colony became a haven for those seeking religious freedom.
The colony of Rhode Island, founded on complete religious toleration, separation of church and state, and political democracy, became a refuge for people persecuted for their religious beliefs, even in Massachusetts. • Rhode Island colonists participated in a simple form of democratic government, with each family represented in political meetings by the vote of the head of the family. • Anabaptists and Quakers fled the persecutions of the Puritans to settle in Rhode Island. • In 1658, a Jewishcommunity arrived in Newport, Rhode Island, seeking religious freedom.
Rhode Island Native Americans • Roger Williams maintained close ties to the Narragansett Indians and continued to protect them from the land greed of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. • His respect for the Indians, his fair treatment of them, and his knowledge of their language enabled him to carry on peace negotiations between the native peoples and European settlers. • Although Williams preached to the Indians, he gave up the attempt to convert them, extending his principle of religious freedom to include all forms of worship.
Connecticut Colony • Clergyman Thomas Hooker and his followers arrived in Hartford and declared freedom from all save Divine Authority. In 1639 the "Fundamental Orders" were enacted to govern the colony. In 1662 Connecticut finally obtained a Royal Charter under John Winthrop Jr.
Thomas Hooker • Thomas Hooker arrived in Massachusetts in 1633. For a time Thomas and his family settled there while he served as the pastor of the 8th church in that colony. The civil situation was not completely harmonious between the leaders. • John Cotton, another leader, wanted to set up a community in which only men who were members of the church and held property could vote. Thomas Hooker, like Cotton, wanted to build a godly community, but he believed all the men should have a voice and a vote.
Thomas Hooker left and led about one hundred people away to begin a new settlement, which is now called Hartford, Connecticut. • Later, three settlements merged to form the Connecticut Colony. This colony put Hooker's principles into practice when it adopted the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut which is sometimes called the first written constitution in America.
New Hampshire • John Wheelwright, banished from Boston, founded the colony of New Hampshire. In 1639 the settlers signed the "Exeter Compact" patterned after the "Mayflower Compact". • The towns that formed the colony were all on land claimed by Massachusetts and were subject to it’s authority • Each town would send a representative to the massachusetts council in Boston until finally being given self government by the King in 1679.