Permanent Exhibit

The Massachusetts Experiment in Democracy: 1620–Today

The exhibit traces the Massachusetts experience through the colonial, revolutionary, federal, and nineteenth century reform periods. The sub-theme, “Tracing our Roots,” tells the story of four representative Massachusetts families of Native American, English, African-American and Irish heritage.

Colonial

1630–1763

Massachusetts est. 1630

Many of the people who settled in the New World came to escape religious persecution. In both Virginia and Massachusetts, the colonists flourished with some assistance from Native Americans.

John Winthrop

portrait of John Winthrop
Revolutionary

1763–1783

Declaration of Independance

The American Revolution was a colonial revolt that took place between 1765 and 1783. The American Patriots in the Thirteen Colonies won independence from Great Britain, becoming the United States of America.

George Washington

portrait of George Washington
Federal

1788–1800

US Constitution

During this era, the Federalist Party and its predecessors were dominant in American politics. The era saw the creation of a new, stronger federal government under the United States Constitution.

William Apess

portrait of William Apess
19th Century Reform

1890–1920s

Civil Rights

The main objectives of the this movement were eliminating problems caused by industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and corruption in government.

Dorothea Dix

portrait of Dorothea Dix