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.
The Siege of Boston
(April 19, 1775 – March 17, 1776) was the opening phase of the American Revolutionary War
, in which New England
militiamen—who later became part of the Continental Army
—surrounded the town of Boston, Massachusetts
, to prevent movement by the British Army garrisoned
within. After eleven months of siege, the American colonists, led by George Washington
, forced the British to withdraw by sea.
The siege began on April 19 after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, when the militia from many Massachusetts communities surrounded Boston and blocked land access to the then-peninsular town, limiting British resupply to naval operations. The Continental Congress chose to adopt the militia and form the Continental Army, and unanimously elected George Washington as its Commander in Chief. In June 1775, the British seized Bunker and Breed's Hills, but the casualties they suffered were heavy and their gains were insufficient to break the siege. For the rest of the siege, there was little action other than occasional raids, minor skirmishes, and sniper fire. Both sides had to deal with resource supply and personnel issues over the course of the siege, and engaged in naval operations in the contest for resources.
In November 1775, Washington sent a 25 year-old bookseller-turned-soldier named Henry Knox to bring heavy artillery that had been captured at Fort Ticonderoga to Boston. In a technically complex and demanding operation, Knox brought many cannons to the Boston area in January 1776. In March 1776, these artillery pieces were used to fortify Dorchester Heights, overlooking Boston and its harbor and threatening the British naval supply lifeline. The British commander William Howe, realizing he could no longer hold the town, chose to evacuate it. He withdrew the British forces, departing on March 17 (celebrated today as Evacuation Day) for Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Arthur Forrester Devereux
was a captain
in the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia prior to the Civil War
and a colonel
in the Union Army
during the Civil War. Born in Salem, Massachusetts
, Devereux attended Harvard College
and the United States Military Academy
at West Point. Devereux did not graduate West Point, however, and instead moved to Chicago, Illinois
to pursue a career in business, which ultimately proved unsuccessful. Returning to Massachusetts in 1855, Devereux was eventually elected captain of the Salem Light Infantry company in 1859. Devereux enhanced the Salem company's prestige by transforming it into a Zouave
unit and training its members in precision drill. During the Battle of Gettysburg
, the 19th Massachusetts, under his command, played an important role in filling a breach in the Union lines during Pickett's Charge
. After his active service had concluded, Devereux was awarded the honorary rank of brevet brigadier general
of the United States Volunteers. During the Civil War, Salem company would be attached to the 8th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, which for a time served on USS Constitution
. After the 8th Regiment mustered out, Devereux served with the 19th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.
is a town
in Worcester County
, incorporated in 1727, and named for the Earl of Uxbridge
is the midpoint of the Blackstone Valley National Historic Park
, marking America’s earliest industrialization. In 1662, a Nipmuc
chief, deeded land to settlers. Deborah Sampson
posed as an Uxbridge soldier in the Revolutionary War
. 140 years of manufacturing military uniforms and clothing began with 1820 power looms. The town weaves a unique "tapestry of early America".
Lt. Colonel Seth Reed, who fought at Lexington and Bunker Hill, was instrumental in adding E Pluribus Unum to U.S. Coins. Shays Rebellion's opening salvos led Governor John Hancock to order suppression of local riots. By 1855, 560 workers manufactured 22,859 km of cloth. Local innovators developed blended fabrics, 'wash and wear', and cashmeres. "Uxbridge Blue" became the first US Air Force Dress Uniform. Uxbridge reportedly granted rights to America's first colonial woman voter, Lydia Taft, and was home to America's first known hospital for mental illness. Two local Quakers became national antislavery champions. The Great Gatsby (1974) and Oliver's Story (1978) were filmed locally. Brian Skerry is a National Geographic photojournalist, protecting global sea life. BJ's Wholesale Club distribution warehouse is a major employer today.
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
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