The Massachusetts Bay Colony was settled in 1630 by a group of English Puritans who left England to escape religious persecution. The Puritans in Massachusetts Bay Colony established a strict theocratic government. In 1684 the Crown, concerned about colony’s growing independence, annulled the colony’s charter and created a royal government under a new charter in 1691.
Gordon Wood is Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History at Brown University and the author of The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin. Wood presents an unusual portrait of this celebrated American folk hero, tracing Franklin’s evolution from an ardent supporter of the British Empire to a pivotal leader in the American fight for independence.