Location and Geography:
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The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a New England state found directly beneath New Hampshire and Vermont. It is known for its complicated system of bays and capes, as well as the socially and historically important city of Boston.
Counties and Regions:
Massachusetts has fourteen counties, although some of these are actually less powerful than certain town and city governments in the state. Dividing Massachusetts into general regions gives the following breakdown:
- The Berkshires (western Massachusetts)
- Cape Ann
- Cape Cod
- Central Massachusetts
- Greater Boston (metropolitan area)
- Martha’s Vineyard (island)
- Merrimack Valley
- Nantucket (island)
- North Shore
- Pioneer Valley
- South Coast
- South Shore
- Southeastern Massachusetts
More than 6.5 million people live in Massachusetts, which is remarkable considering its relatively small size. Though it is the seventh smallest state by land area, it is also has the third highest population density.
The most important city in Massachusetts is without a doubt its state capital, Boston. Its metropolitan area, called Greater Boston, has more or less 4.5 million people living there (or about two-thirds of the entire state’s population).
Story Behind the Name:
The state was named after the Massachusetts Native Americans who originally inhabited the area. Their name could be roughly translated as meaning “the people who live near the big hill,” although there are several theories as to its exact meaning. Very few descendants of the Massachusetts people live there today.
History and Colonization: Massachusetts was one of the first areas of the modern-day United States to be settled by British colonists. The new arrivals of the 1600s were Puritans with strict Christian beliefs, who were seeking a new place to make their home due to religious disagreements with the Anglican majority in England. They were famously narrow-minded, and did not cultivate very good relations with the native tribes that already inhabited the area. The Puritans that disagreed and thought that they should treat the natives better were rejected for their views, and many moved out to found their own settlements in what would later become Maine and Rhode Island. Most of the natives were eventually killed through disease and strife.
The Puritans controlled many aspects of the local society for several decades, but European immigrants
from other traditions had become much more common by the eighteenth century. The city of Boston became the lifeblood of the area and one of the most important cities in colonial America. The thriving colony in Massachusetts began to chafe more and more under British rule, and it was to become the biggest hotbed of revolutionary sentiment in North America. Fighting in Massachusetts sparked it and the other Thirteen Original Colonies to wage a revolution against the Crown, and several important battles were to take place there. Then in 1786, an uprising of farmers in western Massachusetts, called Shays’ Rebellion, prompted a push for a stronger federal government. The result of this push would ultimately be the United States Constitution, which Massachusetts was the sixth state to ratify.
Even into the nineteenth century, Massachusetts maintained its reputation for being especially politically active. Immigrants poured in from Ireland and other European countries, transforming the social landscape of the state and making it ever more diverse. The Industrial Revolution brought great prosperity to Massachusetts and the Boston area in particular, with the Progressive movement booming along with it. This would begin to swing downwards as the twentieth century dawned, however.
The Great Depression destroyed much of the manufacturing heritage of the state, but technology rose to replace it as the dominant industry after the World War years. Massachusetts still has a technology and service economy, supplemented with tourism and trade. It is known as a haven of progressive politics even to this day, as well as the population center of the states that make up New England.
More Massachusetts Facts & Trivia
1) Massachusetts is nicknamed "The Bay State".
2) The capital of Massachusetts is Boston and it is also the biggest city of the state.
3) The state of MA was admitted to the Union on February 6, 1788 and became the sixth state of the U.S.
4) The Norfolk County is the hometown of four American presidents and they are John Quincy Adams, John Adams, George Herbert Walker Bush, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
5) With an elevation of 3,492 feet, the tallest point in Massachusetts is Mount Greylock.
6) The official motto is "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty".
7) The official bird is the Chickadee.
8) The official anthem is "All Hail to Massachusetts". It was written and composed by Arthur J. Marsh.
9) The official flower is the Mayflower.
10) The official beverage is the Cranberry Juice.
11) The official tree is the American Elm.
12) Lowell is the famous place where the industrial revolution in the United States started.
13) The official dessert of the state is the Boston Cream Pie.
14) The official mammal is the Right Whale and the official horse is the Morgan Horse.
15) The official fish is the Cod.
16) Massachusetts shares its boundaries with Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire.
17) The demonym of the state is Bay Stater.
18) The official reptile is the Garter snake.
19) The official insect is the Laby bug.
20) The important industries of the state include electronics, textiles, education, printing, fishing, and travel and tourism.
Last Updated on: September 29th, 2017