New England History

Birthplace of the Revolution. Backbone of the Union. New England has long been the most prosperous and well-established region of the United States.

Did the Mayflower Go Off Course on Purpose? And Other Questions...

The Mayflower landed on the coast of Cape Cod, hundreds of miles away from its intended destination. Was this intentional?

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  • c.8000 B.C. - First American Indians arrive in what is now the New England region, migrating from the west. They largely consist of Algonquin speakers.
  • c.1550 - European fur traders begin to filter into the region.
  • 1615 - Epidemic of leptospirosis reduces the number of Wampanoag by up to ninety percent.
  • 1620 - Plymouth Colony founded by the Mayflower pilgrims, who missed their target of Virginia by a wide margin.
  • 1636 - Harvard College is founded in Boston, and is still the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.
  • 1675-1678 - Metacomet unsuccessfully leads the Wampanoag against the English in King Philip's War.
  • 1686 - The short-lived Dominion of New England is established by King James II with Sir Edmund Andros as governor.
  • 1773 - The Boston Tea Party occurs, and the British place Massachusetts under military rule.
  • 1775 - First shots of the Revolutionary War are fired at Lexington and Concord, forcing a British withdrawal.
  • 1786-1787 - Shays' Rebellion leads to breakdown of order in Massachusetts, and gives ammunition to supporters of a new Constitution.
  • 1787 - First American cotton mill is founded in Beverly, Massachusetts. Textile mills become a key New England industry.
  • 1830-1840 - Transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau become prominent intellectual voices.
  • 1845 - The Atlantic whaling industry reaches its heights, as immortalized in Moby Dick.
  • 1850-1900 - Irish and Italian immigrants transform the demographics of the region, particularly in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 1919 - The Boston Red Sox trade Babe Ruth to the Yankees for cash considerations.
  • 2004 - Facebook is launched, initially limited to active students of Harvard University.