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In 1641, Massachusetts expanded inland significantly, acquiring the Connecticut River Valley settlement of Springfield, which had recently disputed with, and defected from its original administrators, the Connecticut Colony.
Plymouth was the site of the first colony in New England, founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims, passengers of the Mayflower.
In 1692, the town of Salem and surrounding areas experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem witch trials.
for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution.
Massachusetts was a center of the movement for independence from Great Britain; colonists in Massachusetts had long uneasy relations with the British monarchy, including open rebellion under the Dominion of New England in the 1680s.
Anti-Parliamentary activity by men such as Samuel Adams and John Hancock, followed by reprisals by the British government, were a primary reason for the unity of the Thirteen Colonies and the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775.
Harvard University in Cambridge is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, Kendall Square in Cambridge has been called "the most innovative square mile on the planet", in reference to the high concentration of entrepreneurial start-ups and quality of innovation which have emerged in the vicinity of the square since 2010.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony was named after the indigenous population, the Massachusett, likely derived from a Wôpanâak word muswach8sut, segmented as mus(ây) "big" wach8 "mountain" -s "diminutive" -ut "locative" (the '8' in these words refers to the 'oo' sound according to the Wôpanâak orthographic chart).
On the coast, Salem became a center for privateering.
Although the documentation is incomplete, about 1700 letters of marque, issued on a per-voyage basis, were granted during the American Revolution.
The state is named for the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the area.
The capital of Massachusetts and the most populous city in New England is Boston.
Future President George Washington took over what would become the Continental Army after the battle.