Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance and maritime trade.
The assertion of this right [of secession] has been repeatedly made by their [New England] politicians when their party was weak, and Massachusetts, the leading state in hostility to the South, declares in the preamble to her constitution, that the people of that commonwealth 'have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free sovereign and independent state, and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right which is not, or may hereafter be by them expressly delegated to the United States of America in congress assembled.' ... R. E. Lee
Somehow, Franklin got his hands on six explosive letters by Massachusetts governor Thomas Hutchinson. In one, drafted after the Stamp Act crisis, Hutchinson had written: 'There must be an abridgment of what are called English liberties ... there must be a great restraint of natural liberty.' On December 2, 1772, Franklin secretly sent them to Thomas Cushing, Speaker of the Massachusetts Assembly, asking that they be kept confidential. But Samuel Adams broke the news, and the letters were published. The Massachusetts Assembly petitioned George III to remove Hutchinson as governor.
Empire or Liberty: The Antifederalists and Foreign Policy, 1787-1788 [PDF], by Jonathan Marshall, The Journal of Libertarian Studies, 1980
Describes the arguments regarding foreign policy made during the period of ratification of the United States Constitution by the Federalists and the counterarguments, "largely ignored" by historians, from the Antifederalists
'John De Witt,' writing to the citizens of Massachusetts, highlighted the implausibility of Federalist claims in his caricature of their position. 'Our foreign and domestic debts will be as a feather,' he wrote; '... in short, if we STAND STILL, our country, notwithstanding, will be like the blessed Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey.' ... 'I had rather be a free citizen of the small republic of Massachusetts than an oppressed subject of the great American empire,' declared one Boston polemicist. ... Winthrop put it more concretely, 'It is impossible for one code of laws to suit Georgia and Massachusetts.'
And [Thoreau's] contempt for the state government of Massachusetts grew as well. In an effort to block local cooperation with the new federal law [the fugitive slave law of 1850], Massachusetts had adopted an ordinance of its own officially denying state officials the authority to 'detain or aid in the ... detention,' anywhere within the state, 'of any person, for the reason that he is claimed as a fugitive slave.' But in 1851 and again in 1854, black citizens of Massachusetts were arrested and returned to their 'owners,' and the state government did nothing to prevent this injustice.
Sidney stayed in Europe, trying to elude the thugs Charles II dispatched to kidnap or kill his political enemies. He visited Copenhagen University and signed the guest book with these explosive words: 'Manus haec inimica tyrannis, Ense petit placidam sub liberate quietem.' Translated, they say: 'This hand, enemy to tyrants, By the word seeks calm peacefulness with liberty.' Sidney's friends were so shocked that they offered to remove the page, but he insisted it remain.... In 1775, Massachusetts took its motto from Sidney's words in the Copenhagen guest book ...
In a speech before the Massachusetts Legislature on February 21, 1838, whereby Angelina Grimke became the first woman to speak before an American legislative body, she continued to mix the two issues: "Mr. Chairman, it is my privilege to stand before you ... on behalf of the 20,000 women of Massachusetts whose names are enrolled on petitions ... these petitions relate to the great and solemn subject of slavery ... it has often tauntingly been said that women have nothing to do with it. Are we aliens because we are women? Are we bereft of citizenship because we are mothers, wives, and daughters of a mighty people?"