Colonial Entrepreneurship 1620 to 1700: “Massachusetts Inc.”

The Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Plymouth Plantation are generally thought of as communities of refuge for English religious dissidents. They were also entrepreneurial ventures financed by English investors. This course examines the history of these ventures and some of the entrepreneurial characters engaged in these enterprises.

One can look at the ventures as three stages that are typical of entrepreneurial companies. The “startup” phase from 1620 to 1640. The “going concern” phase from 1640 to 1690. Finally, the “corporate takeover” phase that was solidified from 1690 into the early 18th century. Among the major historical events that happened during these years which impacted the colonial ventures were the following: the Great Migration from England; the English Civil War; King Philip’s War; the Salem Witch Trials, and King William’s War.

During each class, I will deliver a lecture that provides an overview of what was happening during these phases. I will also invite class members to actively participate.


Group Leader: JOHN F. HODGMAN
Meets on: Thursdays 10:00 am to noon
Starting: 10/8/2020
Sessions: 5
Class Size: 20
Teaching Style: Lecture and discussion
Weekly Preparation: None
Group Leader Biography:

From 1968 to 1983 John F. Hodgman was a personnel officer in one of the Big Eight CPA firms, the director of the Massachusetts Employment Security Agency, and president of a computer software company. In 1984, he became president of the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), the Commonwealth’s venture capital firm, until his retirement in 2001. Subsequently, he taught entrepreneurship courses at Tufts University until his second and final retirement in 2015. During the fall 2019 BHS term, he was the group leader for a course titled: “From Textile Mills to AI and Life Sciences: Massachusetts’ Economic Revolution.”