The Massachusetts Bay Colony

Essay by Neal RodefferCollege, Undergraduate November 1996

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In the early 1600's people were searching, searching for freedom from

the tyrannical kings of Europe and searching for new lives. Many

people found this freedom and the new life they were looking for by

moving to the new world. The land was first settled by Christopher

Columbus and his trio of ships. After word got back to England of

the settlements, more and more people started to migrate to the new

world. Some of these people who moved to the new world were

called puritans.

Around 1629, the King of England, Charles I granted a charter to the

'Governor and company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England.'

These were a group of rich investors which included influential

puritans. This charter authorized trade in the colony and gave them

the right to settle in the area between the Merrimack and Charles

rivers. This charter which gave only basic rules and rights served as

the basic government for the Massachusetts Bay Colony for a while,

until a better form of government could be developed.

In 1630, the puritan leaders, John Winthrop, Thomas Dudley and Sir

Richard Sultanstalle along with about 1000 men arrived in Salem,

Massachusetts (Encyclopedia Americana, 1995). These prosperous

farmers were said to be socially, economically and intellectually

above the earlier settlers (Tunis, Edwin Colonial Living 1957). This

helped the settlers to become better equipped and better organized

than either the Virginians or the Pilgrims had been. When the

puritans landed in Salem, Winthrop brought the Massachusetts Bay

charter and the governmental administration for the colony with him.

He was said to be carrying a bible under one arm and the royal

charter under the other arm (Tunis, Edwin Colonial Living 1957).

The English authorities did not expect the puritans to bring the

charter to the...