The capital of Massachusetts and the most populous city in New England is Boston.
Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry.
It may have been chosen by John Adams for the second draft of the Massachusetts Constitution because unlike the word "state", "commonwealth" at the time had the connotation of a republic, in contrast to the monarchy the former American colonies were fighting against.
(The "State of Massachusetts Bay" was in the first draft that had been rejected by the legislature.) In the early 1600s, after contact had been made with Europeans, large numbers of the indigenous peoples in the northeast of what is now the United States were killed by virgin soil epidemics such as smallpox, measles, influenza, and perhaps leptospirosis.
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).
Alternatively, Massachusett has been represented as Moswetuset—from the name of the Moswetuset Hummock (meaning "hill shaped like an arrowhead") in Quincy, where Plymouth Colony commander Myles Standish, hired English military officer, and Squanto, part of the now disappeared Patuxet band of the Wampanoag peoples, met Chief Chickatawbut in 1621.
Nearly 800 vessels were commissioned as privateers and are credited with capturing or destroying about 600 British ships.
was an important figure in both the struggle for independence as well as the formation of the new United States.The Massachusetts Bay banished dissenters such as Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams due to religious and political disagreements.In 1636, Williams founded the colony of Rhode Island and Hutchinson joined him there several years later. Among those who objected to this later in the century were the English Quaker preachers Alice and Thomas Curwen, who were publicly flogged and imprisoned in Boston in 1676.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.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.