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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.
During the 19th century, Massachusetts became a national leader in the American Industrial Revolution, with factories around cities such as Lowell and Boston producing textiles and shoes, and factories around Springfield producing tools, paper, and textiles.On the coast, Salem became a center for privateering.Although the documentation is incomplete, about 1,700 letters of marque, issued on a per-voyage basis, were granted during the American Revolution.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.Adams was highly involved in the push for separation from Britain and the writing of the Constitution of Massachusetts in 1780 which, in the Elizabeth Freeman and Quock Walker cases, effectively made Massachusetts the first state to have a constitution that declared universal rights and, as interpreted by Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice William Cushing, abolished slavery.
David Mc Cullough points out that an equally important feature was its placing for the first time the courts as a co-equal branch separate from the executive.The Pilgrims were soon followed by other Puritans, who established the Massachusetts Bay Colony at present-day Boston in 1630.Both religious dissent and expansionism resulted in several new colonies being founded shortly after Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay elsewhere in New England.This was the second successful permanent English colony in the part of North America that later became the United States, after the Jamestown Colony.The event known as the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World which lasted for three days.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.