Massachusetts ( (listen), ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on 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.
Plymouth was the site of the second colony in New England after Popham Colony in 1607 in what is now Maine. Plymouth was founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims, passengers of the Mayflower. In 1692, the town of Salem and surrounding areas experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem witch trials. In 1777, General Henry Knox founded the Springfield Armory, which during the Industrial Revolution catalyzed numerous important technological advances, including interchangeable parts. In 1786, Shays' Rebellion, a populist revolt led by disaffected American Revolutionary War veterans, influenced the United States Constitutional Convention. In the 18th century, the Protestant First Great Awakening, which swept the Atlantic World, originated from the pulpit of Northampton preacher Jonathan Edwards. In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution.
is the capital
of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
and its largest city, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States
. It was named Boston by early settlers from Boston, Lincolnshire
in England. The largest city in New England
, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper
, covering 48.43 square miles, had an estimated population of 625,087 in 2011 according to the U.S. Census
, making it the 21st largest in the country
In 1630, Puritan colonists from England founded the city on the Shawmut Peninsula. During the late 18th century, Boston was the location of several major events during the American Revolution, including the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. Several early battles of the American Revolution, such as the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston, occurred within the city and surrounding areas. Through land reclamation and municipal annexation, Boston has expanded beyond the peninsula. After American independence was attained Boston became a major shipping port and manufacturing center, and its rich history helps attract many tourists. The city was the site of several firsts, including the United States' first public school, Boston Latin School (1635), and the first subway system in the United States (1897).
With many colleges and universities within the city and surrounding area, Boston is an international center of higher education and a center for medicine. The city's economic base includes research, manufacturing, finance, and biotechnology. As a result, the city is a leading finance center, ranking 12th in the Z/Yen top 20 Global Financial Centers. The city was also ranked number one for innovation, both globally and in North America. Boston has one of the highest costs of living in the United States, though it remains high on world livability rankings, ranking third in the US and 36th globally.
was a machine company executive, an inventor
, and a volunteer officer in the Union Army
during the American Civil War
. Raised in Springfield, Massachusetts
, Edwards moved to Illinois as a young man to pursue a career as a manager of manufacturing. At the start of the Civil War, he became adjutant
of the 10th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
and later aide-de-camp
to Brigadier General Darius N. Couch
. In the fall of 1862, he took command of the 37th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
and led that unit through numerous major battles including the Battle of Gettysburg
. Just after Gettysburg, in July 1863, he was placed in command of a provisional brigade sent to assist in quelling the New York Draft Riots
. During the Overland Campaign
in the spring of 1864, he was placed in command of a brigade
and, during the Valley Campaigns of 1864
he was briefly placed in command of a division
of the VI Corps
. For his service, he would be given the honorary rank of major general
. After the war, Edwards returned to a career in manufacturing, most notably as manager of the Florence Machine Company in Northampton, Massachusetts
and the Gardner Machine and Gun Company in England.
is a city in Essex County
, Massachusetts, and one of its two county seats
. Home to Salem State University
, the Salem Willows
Park and the Peabody Essex Museum
, Salem is a residential and tourist area which includes the neighborhoods of Salem Neck, The Point, South Salem and North Salem, Witchcraft Heights, Pickering Wharf, and the McIntire Historic District, which is named after famous architect and Salem native Samuel McIntire
. Salem was one of the most significant seaports in early America, and a center for privateering
during the American Revolution
Featured notably in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, much of the city's cultural identity is reflective of its role as the location of the Salem witch trials of 1692. Tourism is the backbone of Salem's economy, spurred by the city's connection with the witch trials. Salem also claims to be the birthplace of the Army National Guard, owing to that in 1637 a muster was held on Salem Common, where for the first time a regiment of militia drilled for the common defense of a multi-community area.
Location of Massachusetts in the United States
- Capital: Boston
- Governor: Charlie Baker (R)
- Lieutenant Governor: Karyn Polito (R)
- Secretary of the Commonwealth: William F. Galvin (D)
- Attorney General: Maura Healey (D)
- Treasurer: Deb Goldberg (D)
- Auditor: Suzanne M. Bump (D)
- U.S. Senators: Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)
- U.S Representatives: Richard Neal (D), Jim McGovern (D), Lori Trahan (D), Joseph Kennedy III (D), Katherine Clark (D), Seth Moulton (D), Ayanna Pressley (D), Stephen Lynch (D), Bill Keating (D)
- Area: Ranked 44th in the US
- Total: 10,555 sq miles (27,336 km²)
- Width: 183 miles (295 km)
- Length: 113 miles (182 km)
- % Water: 25.7
- Latitude: 41° 14′ N to 42° 53′ N
- Longitude: 69° 56′ W to 73° 30′ W
- Total: 6,349,097 (13th in U.S.)
- Population Density: 809.8/sq miles (312.7/km²) (3rd in U.S.)
- Median income: $ 46,721 (3rd, 2006)
- Ratification of Constitution: February 6, 1788 (6th)
Atlas of Massachusetts with Greater Boston highlighted
Did you know
In this month
- June 10, 1692 – Two days after being convicted, Bridget Bishop becomes the first person to be executed as a result of the Salem witch trials (pictured).
- June 11, 1837 – The Broad Street Riot, a thousand person melee between Yankee English and Irish residents of Boston, breaks out.
- June 15, 1780 – The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the state's fundamental governing document, is ratified.
- June 17, 1775 – In the Battle of Bunker Hill, British forces capture the Charlestown peninsula, but suffer heavy casualties.
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