The capital of Massachusetts and the most populous city in New England is Boston.
Over 80% of Massachusetts' population lives in the Greater Boston metro area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry.
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.
Both religious dissent and expansionism resulted in several new colonies being founded shortly after Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay elsewhere in New England.
It has been translated as "near the great hill", 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 Miles Standish, hired English military officer, and Squanto, part of the now disappeared Patuxet band of the Wampanoag peoples, met Chief Chickatawbut in 1621.
In the early 1600s, after contact had been made with Europeans, large numbers of the indigenous people in the northeast of what is now the United States were killed by virgin soil epidemics such as smallpox, measles, influenza, and perhaps leptospirosis.
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 Pilgrims were soon followed by other Puritans, who established the Massachusetts Bay Colony at present-day Boston in 1630.Before the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center for the abolitionist, temperance, Many prominent American political dynasties have hailed from the state, including the Adams and Kennedy families.Harvard University in Cambridge is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, The Massachusetts Bay Colony was named after the indigenous population, the Massachusett, whose name can be segmented as mass-adchu-s-et, where mass- is "large", -adchu- is "hill", -s- is a diminutive suffix meaning "small", and -et is a locative suffix, identifying it as a place.; officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States.