Massachusetts was one of the thirteen British colonies participating in the North American Rebellion and now forms part of the Northern Confederation of the Confederation of North America. Its capital city is Boston. The original focus of the Rebellion and the site of both the start of hostilities and the rebels' greatest success, Massachusetts saw violent insurrection once again in the 1840's.
In the wake of the French and Indian war, Parliament levied a series of unpopular taxes on the colonies. Opposition to these taxes became violent, most prominently in Massachusetts where, under the leadership of such men as Samuel Adams, John Adams, and John Hancock, the colonials organized economic resistance and finally destroyed a consignment of tea in Boston harbor in December of 1773. Parliament's reaction was to close the port of Boston and send a force to occupy the city. Rebels began gathering arms in the surrounding countryside, and in April of 1775 an expedition to seize some of these arms caches was fired upon by rebel militia which then besieged Boston. A British attempt to improve the position in June proved too costly to be repeated, and finally the British force under William Howe evacuated the city in March of 1776. The entire colony remained in rebel hands until the Continental Congress sued for peace in 1778.
Strong rebel sentiment in Massachusetts, inadequately handled by the initial military occupation under Howe, led to the incorporation of Massachusetts and the other New England colonies into a Northern Confederation dominated by New York and Pennsylvania. Massachusetts initially prospered economically as part of the N.C., with strong shipbuilding and new textile mills started by English investors. Despite improvements paid for by the N.C.'s Harbors Act of 1823, Boston declined as a port and was eclipsed as a financial and cultural center by New York and Philadelphia.
As the London financial panic of 1835 spread to the CNA, Massachusetts was the first province of the N.C. to see widespread unemployment. Economic distress led to political demands for radical reform, particularly by Franz Freund's Grand Consolidated Union of Producers, and eventually to violence. Terrorism by the Sons of Liberty, a militant offshoot of the Consolidated, provoked a violent reaction by private armies of the manufacturers, aided in many instances by N.C. troops under the command of Governor Henry Gilpin. Across the N.C., an estimated 40,000 people were killed and 78,000 wounded in this civil conflict, which helped lead to the reforms of the Second Britannic Design and thus to the modern CNA itself.