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New England
New England USA.svg New England USA closeup.svg
Regional statistics
Composition Maine Maine
Connecticut Connecticut

Massachusetts Massachusetts
New Hampshire New Hampshire
Rhode Island Rhode Island
Vermont Vermont

 - Total

71,991.8 sq mi (186,458.8 km²)
(Slightly larger than Washington.)
 - Total

 - Density

14,303,542 (2008 est.)[1]
198.2/sq mi (87.7/km²)
Largest city Boston (pop. 620,535)
GDP $636 billion (2007)[2]
Metropolitan Area Boston-Cambridge-Quincy

New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Canada and the state of New York, consisting of the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. [3]

In one of the earliest European settlements in the New World, Pilgrims from the Kingdom of England first settled in New England in 1620, in the colony of Plymouth. 10 years later, the Puritans settled north of Plymouth Colony in Boston, thus forming Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. In the late 18th century, the New England colonies would be among the first North American British colonies to demonstrate ambitions of independence from the British Crown via the American Revolution, although they would later oppose the War of 1812 between the United States and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

New England produced the first pieces of American literature and philosophy and was home to the beginnings of free public education. In the 19th century, it played a prominent role in the movement to abolish slavery in the United States. It was the first region of the United States to be transformed by the Industrial Revolution.[4]

The region is one of the most liberal in the United States and it voted for the Democratic Party Presidential nominee in the 1992, 1996, 2004, and 2008 elections, and every state but New Hampshire voted for Al Gore in the presidential election of 2000. Currently all members of the United States House of Representatives from New England belong to or caucus with the Democratic Party. The only democratic socialist in the United States Congress is from New England, as Senator Bernie Sanders represents Vermont.



The naval Red Ensign of the former Kingdom of England from which the flags of New England are derived.[5]
An early flag of the Massachusetts Bay Colony with the St George's cross of England removed.[6]
The First Flag (and Ensign) of New England, used by Colonial merchant ships sailing out of New England ports, 1686-c.1737.[7] [8]

New England's earliest inhabitants were Algonquian-speaking Native Americans including the Abenaki, the Penobscot, and the Wampanoag. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Western Abenakis inhabited New Hampshire and Vermont, as well as parts of Québec and western Maine. Their principal town was Norridgewock, in present-day Maine. The Penobscot were settled along the Penobscot River in Maine. The Wampanoag occupied southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The Connecticut region was inhabited by the Mohegan and Pequot tribes prior to European colonization.

The Virginia Companies compete

On April 10, 1606, King James I of England issued two charters, one each for the Virginia Companies, of London and Plymouth, respectively.[10][11][12] Due to a duplication of territory (between Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound), the two companies were required to maintain a separation of 100 Miles, even where the two charters overlapped.[10][11][12]

These were privately-funded proprietary ventures, and the purpose of each was to claim land for England, trade, and return a profit.[13] Competition between the two companies grew to where their potential New World territory overlapped, and would be finalized based upon results.

The London Company was authorized to make settlements from North Carolina to New York (31 to 41 degrees North Latitude), provided there was no conflict with the Plymouth Company’s charter.

The Popham Colony was planted at the mouth of Maine's Kennebec River by the Virginia Company of Plymouth in the fall of 1607. Unlike the Jamestown Settlement, it was not successful, and was abandoned the following spring.[14] The Virginia Company of Plymouth's charter included land extending as far as present-day northern Maine.[15] Captain John Smith, exploring the shores of the region in 1614, named the region "New England"[16] in his account of two voyages there, published as A Description of New England.

Plymouth Council for New England

The first coins struck in the Colonies were the silver "Pine Tree" Shillings

The name "New England" was officially sanctioned on November 3, 1620[17], when the charter of the Virginia Company of Plymouth was replaced by a royal charter for the Plymouth Council for New England, a joint stock company established to colonize and govern the region.[18] Shortly afterwards, in December 1620, a permanent settlement was established near present-day Plymouth by the Pilgrims, English religious separatists arriving via Holland, after they famously disembarked at Plymouth Rock. The Massachusetts Bay Colony, which would come to dominate the area, was established in 1628 with its major city of Boston established in 1630.

Banished from Massachusetts for heresy, Roger Williams led a group south, and founded Providence, Rhode Island in 1636. On March 3 of the same year, Thomas Hooker also left Massachusetts and the Connecticut Colony was granted a charter, establishing its own government in Hartford. At this time, Vermont was yet unsettled, and the territories of New Hampshire and Maine were governed by Massachusetts.

New England Confederation

In these early years, relationships between colonists and Native Americans alternated between peace and armed skirmishes. Six years after the bloodiest of these, the Pequot War in 1643, the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, New Haven, and Connecticut joined together in a loose compact called the New England Confederation (officially "The United Colonies of New England"). The confederation was designed largely to coordinate mutual defense against possible wars with Native Americans, the Dutch in the New Netherland colony to the west, the Spanish in the south, and the French in New France to the north, as well as to assist in the return of runaway slaves. The confederation lost its influence when Massachusetts refused to commit itself to a war against the Dutch.

The first coins struck in the Colonies, prompted by a shortage of change, were the New England coins produced by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The first series was a simple design including "NE" on the obverse and the various denominations on the reverse. Other series included the "Willow," "Oak," and "Pine Tree." The "Pine Tree" coinage was the last type in the series, struck by coiner John Hull. Although the majority were dated 1652, it is generally acknowledged that production spanned about thirty years, despite the disapproval of King Charles II.[19]

All Puritans worked. As a result there was a "Working ethic." Workers were the backbone of the community. There were blacksmiths, wheelrights, carpenters, joiners, cordwainers, tanners, ironworkers, spinners, and weavers, when someone needed something - unlike the Southern colonies, who had to buy these items from England.[20]

Dominion of New England

Copy of early English map of New England, c. 1670

In 1686, King James II, concerned about the increasingly independent ways of the colonies, including their self-governing charters, open flouting of the Navigation Acts, and increasing military power, established the Dominion of New England, an administrative union comprising all of the New England colonies. On August 11, 1688[21], the provinces of New York and New Jersey, seized from the Dutch in 1664, and confirmed on September 12, 1673, were added.[21] The union, imposed from the outside and contrary to the rooted democratic tradition of the region, was highly unpopular among the colonists.

Nevertheless, those two present states are reckoned as "greater New England" in a social or cultural context, as that is where Yankee colonists expanded to; before 1776. Cultural identity in that era changed once one moved to Pennsylvania, as the Pennamite-Yankee War attests to. Colonists from New England proper in that era, were rather well received in the Mohawk Valley and on Long Island in New York.

After the Glorious Revolution in 1689, Bostonians imprisoned the Royal Governor and other sympathizers of King James II on April 18, 1689, thus ending the Dominion Of New England de facto.[22][23] The charters of the colonies were significantly modified after this change in English politics, with the appointment of Royal Governors to nearly every colony. An uneasy tension existed between the Royal Governors, their officers, and the elected governing bodies of the colonies. The governors wanted unlimited authority, and the different layers of locally elected officials would often resist them. In most cases, the local town governments continued operating as self-governing bodies, just as they had before the appointment of the Royal Governors. This tension culminated itself in the American Revolution, boiling over with the breakout of the American War of Independence in 1775.

Region of the United States

Boston College: The Old World's enduring influence over New England is evident in the architecture

The colonies were now formally united as newly-formed states in a larger (but not yet federalist) union United States of America. In the 18th century and the early 19th century, New England was still considered to be a very distinct region of the colony and country, as it is today. During the War of 1812, there was a limited amount of talk of secession from the Union, as New England merchants, just getting back on their feet, opposed the war with their greatest trading partner—Great Britain.[24] Delegates from all over New England met in Hartford in the winter of 1814-15. The gathering was called the Hartford Convention. The 27 delegates met to discuss changes to the US Constitution that would protect the region from similar legislation and attempt to keep political power in the region. History has remembered the convention as being aimed at secession, but this was based on claims from the Convention's critics.[citation needed]

For the remainder of the Antebellum period, New England remained distinct. In terms of politics, it often went against the grain of the rest of the country. Massachusetts and Connecticut were among the last refuges of the Federalist Party, and, when the Second Party System began in the 1830s, New England became the strongest bastion of the new Whig Party. The Whigs were usually dominant throughout New England, except in the more Democratic Maine and New Hampshire. Many of the leading statesmen — including Daniel Webster — hailed from the region. New England was also distinct in other ways. It was, as a whole, the most urbanized part of the country (the 1860 Census showed that 32 of the 100 largest cities in the country were in New England), as well as the most educated. Many of the major literary and intellectual figures produced by the United States in the Antebellum period were New Englanders, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, George Bancroft, William H. Prescott, and others.

New England was also an early center of the industrial revolution. Pawtucket, Rhode Island is considered the birthplace of America's industrial revolution,[25] the city in which Slater's Mill was founded. Despite the nickname, several textile mills were already underway before Slater Mill was established. The first textile mill in the United States was built in 1787 at Beverly, Massachusetts by entrepreneur John Cabot. Towns like Lawrence, Massachusetts, Lowell, Massachusetts, Woonsocket, Rhode Island, and Lewiston, Maine became famed as centers of the textile industry following models from Slater Mill and Beverly. The textile manufacturing in New England was growing rapidly, which caused a shortage of workers. Recruiters were hired by mill agents to bring young women from the countryside to work in the factories. Between 1830 and 1860, thousands of farm girls came from their rural homes in New England to work in the mills. Farmers’ daughters left their homes to aid their families financially, save for marriage, and widen their horizons. They also left their homes due to population pressures to look for opportunities in expanding New England cities. Stagecoach and railroad services made it easier for the rapid flow of workers to travel from the country to the city. The majority of female workers came from rural farming towns in northern New England. As the textile industry grew, immigration grew as well. As the number of Irish workers in the mills increased, the number of young women working in the mills decreased. Mill employment of women caused a population boom in urban centers.[26]

Autumn in Grafton County, New Hampshire, a notable feature of New England

New England and areas settled from New England, like Upstate New York, Ohio's Western Reserve and the upper midwestern states of Michigan and Wisconsin, also proved to be the center of the strongest abolitionist sentiment in the country. Abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips were New Englanders, and the region was also home to anti-slavery politicians like John Quincy Adams, Charles Sumner, and John P. Hale. When the anti-slavery Republican Party was formed in the 1850s, all of New England, including areas that had previously been strongholds for both the Whig and the Democratic Parties, became strongly Republican, as it would remain until the early 20th century, when immigration would begin to turn the formerly solidly Republican states of Lower New England towards the Democrats.

Aside from the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, or "New Scotland," New England is the only North American region to inherit the name of a kingdom in the British Isles. New England has largely preserved its regional character, especially in its historic places. Its name is a reminder of the past, as many of the original English-Americans have migrated further west. Today, the region is more ethnically diverse, having seen waves of immigration from Ireland, Québec, Italy, Portugal, Asia, Latin America, Africa, other parts of the United States, and elsewhere. The enduring European influence can be seen in the region, from use of traffic rotaries to the bilingual French and English towns of northern Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire, as innocuous as the sprinkled use of British spelling, and as obvious as the region's heavy prevalence of English town and county names, and its unique, often non-rhotic coastal dialect reminiscent of southeastern England.

New England is the traditional center of ethnic English ancestry and culture in the United States. The only place in the U.S. outside New England with a significant majority English ethnicity is Utah-Eastern Idaho, the traditional core of the Jello Belt region, whose proportion of English Americans is actually higher today than that of New England, with Utah being the most English of U.S. states with 29.0% English ancestry, followed by New England states Maine with 21.5% and Vermont with 18.4%. This population is, in contrast, far more conservative than modern New England and is mainly LDS in religion, but its substratal cultural character is largely reminiscent of both early 19th-century New England and Victorian England (due to later direct handcart immigration).


New england ref 2001.jpg
A USGS map depicts a small piece of Maine's fjordlike coast

New England's long rolling hills, mountains, and jagged coastline are glacial landforms resulting from the retreat of ice sheets approximately 18,000 years ago, during the last glacial period. The coast of the region, extending from southwestern Connecticut to northeastern Maine, is dotted with lakes, hills, swamps, and sandy beaches. Further inland are the Appalachian Mountains, extending through Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Among them, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire is Mount Washington, which at 1,917 m (6,289 ft), is the highest peak in the northeast United States. It is also the site of the highest recorded wind speed on Earth.[27] Vermont's Green Mountains, which become the Berkshire Hills in western Massachusetts and Connecticut, are smaller than the White Mountains. Valleys in the region include the Connecticut River Valley and the Merrimack Valley.

The longest river is the Connecticut River, which flows from northeastern New Hampshire for 655 km (407 mi), emptying into the Long Island Sound, roughly bisecting the region. Lake Champlain, wedged between Vermont and New York, is the largest lake in the region, followed by Moosehead Lake in Maine and Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.


Weather patterns vary throughout the region. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have a humid continental short summer climate, with mild summers and cold winters. Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, have a humid continental long summer climate, with warm summers and cold winters. Owing to thick deciduous forests, fall in New England brings bright and colorful foliage, which comes earlier than in other regions, attracting tourism by 'leaf peepers'.[28] Springs are generally wet and cloudy. Average rainfall generally ranges from 1,000 to 1,500 mm (40 to 60 in) a year, although the northern parts of Vermont and Maine see slightly less, from 500 to 1,000 mm (20 to 40 in). Snowfall can often exceed 2,500 mm (98 in) annually. As a result, the mountains and ski resorts of Vermont and New Hampshire are popular destinations in the winter.[4][29]

The lowest recorded temperature in New England was −50 °F (−45.6 °C) at Bloomfield, Vermont, on December 30, 1933. This was tied by Big Black River, Maine in 2009.[30]


The area is geologically part of the New England province.


Boston is considered to be the cultural and historical capital of New England.

In 2005, the total population of New England was 14,239,724 people, roughly a 50% increase from its 1929 population of 9,813,000.[31] If New England were one state, its population would rank 5th in the nation, behind Florida. Its land area, at 62,808.96 sq mi (162,674.5 km2), would rank 21st, behind Washington and ahead of Georgia. The region's average population density is 221.66 inhabitants/sq mi (85.59/km²), although a great disparity exists between its northern and southern portions, as noted below. It is much greater than that of the United States as a whole (79.56/sq mi) or even just the contiguous 48 states (94.48/sq mi).

In 2009, two states were among the five highest in the country in divorce rates. Maine was second highest with 13.6% of people over 15 divorced; Vermont was fifth with 12.6% divorced.[32] Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, on the other hand, have below-average divorce rates. Massachusetts is tied with Georgia with the lowest divorce rate in the U.S., at 2.4%.[33]

Southern New England

Three-quarters of the population of New England and most of the major cities are in the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Their combined population density is 786.83/sq mi, compared to northern New England's 63.56/sq mi (2000 census). The most populous state is Massachusetts, and the most populous city is Massachusetts' political and cultural capital, Boston.

Providence claims the largest contiguous area of National Register of Historic Places-listed buildings in the U.S.

Coastal New England

The coastline is more urban than western New England, which is typically rural, even in urban states like Massachusetts. This characteristic of the region's population is due mainly to historical factors; the original colonists settled mostly on the coastline of Massachusetts Bay. The only New England state without access to the Atlantic Ocean, Vermont, is also the least urbanized[34]. After nearly 400 years, the region still maintains, for the most part, its historical population layout.

New England's coast is dotted with urban centers, such as Portland, Portsmouth, Boston, New Bedford, Fall River, Providence, New Haven, Bridgeport, and Stamford as well as smaller cities, like Newburyport, Gloucester, Biddeford, Bath, Rockland, Newport, Westerly, Rhode Island, and the small twin cities of Groton, Connecticut and New London.

Urban New England

Southern New England forms an integral part of the BosWash megalopolis, a conglomeration of urban centers that spans from Boston to Washington, D.C.. The region includes three of the four most densely populated states in the United States; only New Jersey has a higher population density than the states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Worcester, Massachusetts

Greater Boston, which includes parts of southern New Hampshire, has a total population of approximately 4.4 million,[35], while over half the population of New England falls inside Boston's Combined Statistical Area of over 7.4 million.[36] The most populous cities are as of 2000 Census (2008 estimates in parenthesis):[37][38]

  1. Boston, Massachusetts: 589,141[39] (620,535)
  2. Providence, Rhode Island: 173,618 (171,557)
  3. Worcester, Massachusetts: 172,648 (182,596)
  4. Springfield, Massachusetts: 152,082 (150,640)
  5. Bridgeport, Connecticut: 139,529 (136,405)
  6. Hartford, Connecticut: 124,558 (124,062)
  7. New Haven, Connecticut: 123,626 (123,669)
  8. Stamford, Connecticut: 117,083 (119,303)
  9. Waterbury, Connecticut: 107,271 (107,037)
  10. Manchester, New Hampshire: 107,006 (108,586)
  11. Lowell, Massachusetts: 105,167 (103,615)
  12. Cambridge, Massachusetts: 101,355 (105,596)

During the 20th century, urban expansion in regions surrounding New York City has become an important economic influence on neighboring Connecticut, parts of which belong to the New York Metropolitan Area. The US Census Bureau groups Fairfield, New Haven and Litchfield counties in western Connecticut together with New York City, and other parts of New York and New Jersey as a combined statistical area.[40]


Hartford, the "Insurance Capital of the World"
Portland, Maine, the largest tonnage seaport city in New England.

Several factors contribute to the uniqueness of the New England economy. The region is geographically isolated from the rest of the United States, and is relatively small. It has a climate and a supply of natural resources (such as granite, lobster, and codfish) that are different from many other parts of the country. Its population is concentrated on the coast and in its southern states, and its residents have a strong regional identity. America's textile industry began along the Blackstone River with the Slater Mill at Pawtucket, Rhode Island,[41] and was duplicated at similar sources of water power such as Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Uxbridge, Massachusetts, and Lawrence, Massachusetts. Exports consist mostly of industrial products, including specialized machines and weaponry, built by the region's educated workforce. About half of the region's exports consist of industrial and commercial machinery, such as computers and electronic and electrical equipment. This, when combined with instruments, chemicals, and transportation equipment, makes up about three-quarters of the region's exports. Granite is quarried at Barre, Vermont,[42] guns made at Springfield, Massachusetts and Saco, Maine, boats at Groton, Connecticut and Bath, Maine, and hand tools at Turners Falls, Massachusetts. Insurance is a driving force in and around Hartford, Connecticut.

New England also exports food products, ranging from fish to lobster, cranberries, Maine potatoes, and maple syrup. The service industry is also highly important, including tourism, education, financial and insurance services, plus architectural, building, and construction services. The U.S. Department of Commerce has called the New England economy a microcosm for the entire United States economy.[43]

As of December 2008, the unemployment rate in New England was 6.9%, below the national average. New Hampshire, with the lowest of the six states, had a rate of 4.6%. The highest was Rhode Island, with 10.0%. The metropolitan statistical area (MSA) with the lowest rate, 2.5%, was Manchester, New Hampshire; the MSA with the highest rate, 10.8%, was Lawrence-Methuen-Salem, in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.[44]

New England has two of the ten poorest cities (by percentage living below the poverty line) in the United States: the state capital cities of Providence, Rhode Island and Hartford, Connecticut.[45] These cities have struggled as manufacturing, their traditional economic mainstay, has declined.[46]

On the other hand, New Hampshire and Connecticut had some of the lowest poverty rates in the country in 2006.[47]

With its rocky soil and climate, New England is not a strong agricultural region. Some New England states, however, are ranked highly among U.S. states for particular areas of production. Maine is ranked ninth for aquaculture,[48] and has abundant potato fields in its northeast part. Vermont fifteenth for dairy products,[49] and Connecticut and Massachusetts seventh and eleventh for tobacco, respectively.[50][51] Cranberries are grown in Massachusetts' Cape Cod-Plymouth-South Shore area, and blueberries in Maine. As of 2007, the inflation-adjusted combined GSPs of the six states of New England was $744.6 billion, with Massachusetts contributing the most, and Vermont the least.[52] If a single state, this would rank fourth, behind New York, Texas, and California.


The region is mostly very energy efficient compared to the country at large. Rhode Island has the lowest per capita energy consumption of any state in the country and five of the New England states placed in the lowest eleven. Maine, by contrast, had the 17th-highest per capita consumption.[53]

Maine is leading New England in wind power production, and the state's agenda states that by 2030, the state will produce twice the amount of energy in wind power than it consumes. [54]

The six New England states collectively have the highest electricity costs in the nation. The best rates are in Vermont which stands 41st in the country; the worst, Rhode Island, is 50th (out of 51).[55]

Three of the six New England states are among the country's highest consumers of nuclear power: Vermont (first, 73.7%), Connecticut (fourth, 48.9%), and New Hampshire (sixth, 46%).[56]


In the US, milk prices collapsed in 2009. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders accused Dean Foods of controlling 70% of New England's milk market. He has requested the United States Department of Justice to pursue an anti-trust investigation.[57]


The early European settlers of New England were English Protestants fleeing religious persecution. This, however, did not prevent them from establishing colonies where religion was legislated to an extreme, and where those who deviated from the established doctrine were persecuted greatly. The early history of much of New England is marked by religious intolerance and harsh laws. In the beginning, there was no separation of church and state in these places, and the activities of the individual were severely restricted.[58] This contrasts sharply with the strong separation of church and state upon which Rhode Island was founded. Providence had no public burial ground and no Common until the year 1700 (64 years after its founding) because religious and government institutions were so rigorously kept distinct.[59]

New England and political thought

Samuel Adams, a brewer and patriot during the revolutionary period

During the colonial period and the early years of the American republic, New England leaders like John Hancock, John Adams, and Samuel Adams joined those in Philadelphia and Virginia to assist and lead the newly-forming country. Daniel Webster was influential in expressing the political views of many New-Englanders in the early 19th century. At the time of the American Civil War, New England, the mid-Atlantic, and the Midwest, which had long since abolished slavery, united against the Confederate States of America, ending the practice in the United States. Henry David Thoreau, iconic New England writer and philosopher, made the case for civil disobedience and individualism, and has been adopted by the anarchist tradition. Benjamin Tucker, of Massachusetts, was a proponent of individualist anarchism. A modern example of this individualist spirit is the Free State Project in New Hampshire, and The Second Vermont Republic in Vermont.

While modern New England is known for its liberal tendencies, Puritan New England was highly intolerant of any deviation from strict social norms. During the 1960s civil rights era, Boston brewed with racial tension over school bussing to end de facto segregation of its public schools.[60]

Eight presidents of the United States have been born in New England, however only five are usually affiliated with the area. They are, in chronological order: John Adams (Massachusetts), John Quincy Adams (Massachusetts), Franklin Pierce (New Hampshire), Chester A. Arthur (born in Vermont, affiliated with New York), Calvin Coolidge (born in Vermont, affiliated with Massachusetts), John F. Kennedy (Massachusetts), George H. W. Bush (born in Massachusetts, affiliated with Texas) and George W. Bush (born in Connecticut, affiliated with Texas).

Nine vice presidents of the United States have been born in New England, however, again only five are usually affiliated with the area. They are, in chronological order: John Adams, Elbridge Gerry (Massachusetts), Hannibal Hamlin (Maine), Henry Wilson (born in New Hampshire, affiliated with Massachusetts), Chester A. Arthur, Levi P. Morton (born in Vermont, affiliated with New York), Calvin Coolidge, Nelson Rockefeller (born in Maine, affiliated with New York), George H.W. Bush.

Eleven of the Speakers of the United States House of Representatives have been elected from New England. They are, in chronological order: Jonathan Trumbull, Jr. (2nd Speaker, Connecticut), Theodore Sedgwick (5th Speaker, Massachusetts), Joseph Bradley Varnum (7th Speaker, Massachusetts), Robert Charles Winthrop (22nd Speaker, Massachusetts), Nathaniel Prentice Banks (25th Speaker, Massachusetts), James G. Blaine (31st Speaker, Maine), Thomas Brackett Reed (36th and 38th, Maine), Frederick Gillett (42nd, Massachusetts), Joseph William Martin, Jr. (49th and 51st, Massachusetts), John William McCormack (53rd, Massachusetts) and Tip O'Neill (55th, Massachusetts).

Contemporary politics

Since 1962, the dominant party in New England has been the Democratic Party. In every New England state, both legislative houses have a majority of Democratic representatives. Since 2006, the parties have split the governor's positions with Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts being Democratic and Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont being held by Republicans. The latter three states have legislatures with veto-overriding Democratic super-majorities.[61][62][63]

In the election of 2008, the Democratic Party won all of New England's seats in the lower house of Congress, as Congressman Chris Shays of Connecticut's fourth Congressional District, New England's lone Republican in the House of Representatives, lost to Democrat Jim Himes.

Due to the liberal lean of the region, the state Republican parties and the elected Republican officials have been more politically and socially moderate than the national Republican Party, including Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Scott Brown of Massachusetts as well as Governors Donald Carcieri (RI), Jodi Rell (CT) and Jim Douglas (VT). Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire has been moderate-to-conservative, but this is reflective of New Hampshire being the most conservative state in the region, as New Hampshire, prior to the 2006 election, had the only Republican-controlled legislature in New England.

Collectively, New England has as many electoral votes (34) as Texas, though they are decided by each state. Comparatively, New England has better electoral representation—the population of New England is over 14 million while the population of Texas just under 24 million. In the 2000 presidential election, Democratic candidate Al Gore carried all of the New England states except for New Hampshire, and in 2004, John Kerry, a New Englander himself, won all six New England states.[64] In both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, every congressional district with the exception of New Hampshire's 1st district were won by Gore and Kerry respectively. During the 2008 Democratic primaries, Hillary Clinton won the three New England states containing Greater Boston (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire), while Barack Obama won the three that did not (Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont). In the 2008 presidential election, the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, carried all six states by 9 percentage points or more.[65] He also carried every county in New England except for Piscataquis County, Maine, which he lost by 4% to Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

Anti-nuclear movement

The national movement against nuclear power had its roots in New England in the 1970s. Its beginnings can be traced to 1974 when activist Sam Lovejoy toppled a weather tower at the site of the proposed Montague Nuclear Power Plant in Western Massachusetts.[66] The movement “reached critical mass’’ with the arrests at Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant on May 1, 1977, when 1,414 anti-nuclear activists from the Clamshell Alliance were arrested at the Seabrook site. Harvey Wasserman, a Clamshell spokesman at Seabrook, and Frances Crowe of Northampton, an American Friends Service Committee member, played key roles in the movement.[66]


In a study from 2005 to 2008, three New England states, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire were among the five states with the highest average property taxes, in percent of home value, in the country.[67]

Town meetings

A derivative of meetings held by church elders, town meetings were and are an integral part of governance of many New England towns. At such meetings, any citizen of the town may discuss issues with other members of the community and vote on them. This is the strongest example of direct democracy in the United States today, and the form of dialogue has been adopted under certain circumstances elsewhere, most strongly in the states closest to the region, such as New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Such a strong democratic tradition was even apparent in the early 19th century, when Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in Democracy in America that in:

New England, where education and liberty are the daughters of morality and religion, where society has acquired age and stability enough to enable it to form principles and hold fixed habits, the common people are accustomed to respect intellectual and moral superiority and to submit to it without complaint, although they set at naught all those privileges which wealth and birth have introduced among mankind. In New England, consequently, the democracy makes a more judicious choice than it does elsewhere.

James Madison, a critic of town meetings, however, wrote in Federalist No. 55 that, regardless of the assembly, "passion never fails to wrest the scepter from reason. Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob."[68] Today, the use and effectiveness of town meetings, as well as the possible application of the format to other regions and countries, is still discussed by scholars.[69]

Notable laws

New England abolished the death penalty for crimes like robbery and burglary in the 19th century, before much of the rest of the United States did. New Hampshire and Connecticut are the only New England states that allow capital punishment,[70] although New Hampshire currently has one death row inmate but has not held an execution since 1939. Connecticut held an execution in 2005, the first in New England since a previous Connecticut execution in 1960.[71]

In 2006, Massachusetts adopted a health care reform that requires nearly all state residents obtain health insurance.[72] In 2009, the Connecticut legislature overrode a veto by Governor M. Jodi Rell to pass SustiNet, the first significant public-option health care reform legislation in the nation.[citation needed]

Same-Sex Marriage is permitted in four New England states. In Rhode Island it is presently being debated in the legislature. In Maine, it was defeated in a 2009 referendum.


Colleges and universities

New England is home to four of the eight Ivy League universities. Pictured here is Dartmouth Hall on the campus of Dartmouth College.

New England contains some of the oldest and most renowned institutions of higher learning in the United States. The first such institution, subsequently named Harvard College, was founded at Cambridge, Massachusetts, to train preachers, in 1636. Yale University was founded in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, in 1701, and awarded the nation's first doctoral (Ph.D.) degree in 1861. Yale moved to New Haven, Connecticut, in 1718 where it has remained to the present day. Brown University, the first college in the nation to accept students of all religious affiliations and seventh-oldest institution of higher learning, was founded in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1764. Dartmouth College was founded five years later in Hanover, New Hampshire, with the mission of educating the local American Indian population as well as English youth. The University of Vermont, the fifth oldest university in New England, was founded in 1791, the same year Vermont joined the Union.

In addition to four out of eight Ivy League schools, New England also contains the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Little Three, four of the original seven sisters, the bulk of institutions identified as the Little Ivies, and the Five Colleges consortium in western Massachusetts.

Private and independent secondary schools

At the pre-college level, New England is home to a number of American independent schools (also known as private schools). The concept of the elite "New England prep school" (preparatory school) and the "preppy" lifestyle is an iconic part of the region's image. The region is home to many of the highest ranked high schools in the United States, such as the Maine School of Science and Mathematics located in Limestone, Maine.[73]

See the list of private schools for each state:
Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont.

Public education

New England is home to some of the oldest public schools in the nation. Boston Latin School is the oldest public high school in America. Several signers of the Declaration of Independence attended Boston Latin.[74] Portland High School in Portland, Maine is the second oldest operating high school in the United States. [75]

New England states fund their public schools with expenditures per student, and teacher salaries above the national median. As of 2005, the National Education Association ranked Connecticut with the highest-paid teachers in the country. Massachusetts and Rhode Island ranked eighth and ninth, respectively.

Three New England states, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, have cooperated in developing a New England Common Assessment Program test under the No Child Left Behind guidelines. These states can compare the resultant scores with each other.

Maine's Maine Learning Technology Initiative program supplies all 7-8th graders and half of the states high schoolers with Apple MacBook laptops.

Academic journals and press

Several academic journals and publishing companies are published in the region, including The New England Journal of Medicine, Harvard University Press, and Yale University Press. Also, many of its institutions lead the open access alternative to conventional academic publication, including MIT, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Maine. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston publishes the New England Economic Review.[76]

Public health and safety

The six states ranked within the top thirteen "healthiest states" in 2007.[77] In 2008 they all placed within the top eleven states. New England had the largest proportion of its population covered by health insurance.[78]

For 2006, four states in the region, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, joined 12 others nationwide, where death from drugs had overtaken traffic fatalities. This was due in part to declining traffic fatalities and partly due to increased deaths from prescription drugs.[79]

In comparing national obesity rates by state, four of the six lowest obesity states were Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island. New Hampshire and Maine had the 15th and 18th lowest obesity rates, making New England the least overweight part of the United States.[80]

In 2008, three of New England's states had the least number of uninsured motorists (out of the top five states) - Massachusetts - 1%, Maine - 4%, and Vermont - 6%.[81]

Nursing home care can be expensive in the region. A private room in Connecticut averaged $125,925 annually. A one-bedroom in an assisted living facility averaged $55,137 in Massachusetts. Both are national highs.[82]


Cushing house, Hingham, Massachusetts

New England has a history of shared heritage and culture primarily shaped by waves of immigration from Europe. In contrast to other American regions, many of New England's earliest Puritan settlers came from eastern England, contributing to New England's distinctive accents, foods, customs, and social structures.[83] Within modern New England a cultural divide exists between urban New Englanders living along the densely-populated coastline and rural New Englanders in western Massachusetts, northwestern Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, where population density is low.[84]

Today, New England is the least religious part of the United States. In 2009, less than half of those polled in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont claimed that religion was an important part of their daily lives. In Connecticut and Rhode Island, also among the top ten least religious states, only 55 and 53 percent, respectively, of those polled claimed that it was.[85]

Cultural roots

The first European colonists of New England were focused on maritime affairs such as whaling and fishing, rather than more continental inclinations such as surplus farming. One of the older American regions, New England has developed a distinct cuisine, dialect, architecture, and government. New England cuisine is known for its emphasis on seafood and dairy; clam chowder, lobster, and other products of the sea are among some of the region's most popular foods.


There are several American English accents spoken in the region including New England English and Boston English.

The often-parodied Boston accent is native to the region. Many of its most stereotypical features (such as r-dropping and the so-called broad A) are believed to have originated in Boston from the influence of England's Received Pronunciation, which shares those features. While at one point Boston accents were most strongly associated with the so-called "Eastern Establishment" and Boston's upper class, today the accent is predominantly associated with blue-collar natives as exemplified by movies like Good Will Hunting and The Departed. The Boston accent and accents closely related to it cover eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.[86]

Social activities and music

In much of rural New England, particularly Maine, Acadian and Québécois culture are included in the region's music and dance. Contra dancing and country square dancing are popular throughout New England, usually backed by live Irish, Acadian, or other folk music.

Traditional knitting, quilting and rug hooking circles in rural New England have become less common; church, sports, and town government are more typical social activities. New Englanders of all ages also enjoy ice cream socials.[citation needed] These traditional gatherings are often hosted in individual homes or civic centers; larger groups regularly assemble at special-purpose ice cream parlors that dot the countryside. In fact, New England leads the country in ice cream consumption per capita.[87][88]

In the United States, candlepin bowling is essentially confined to New England, where it was invented in the 19th century.[89]


The leading national cable sports broadcaster ESPN is headquartered in Bristol, Connecticut. New England has several regional cable networks, including New England Cable News (NECN) and the New England Sports Network (NESN). New England Cable News is the largest regional news network in the United States, broadcasting to more than 3.2 million homes in all of the New England states. Its studios are located in Newton, Massachusetts, outside of Boston, although it maintains bureaus in Manchester, New Hampshire; Hartford, Connecticut; Worcester, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine; and Burlington, Vermont.[90] In Connecticut, Litchfield, Fairfield, and New Haven counties broadcast New York based news programs—this is due to the immense influence New York has on this region's economy and culture.

NESN broadcasts the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins throughout the region, save for Fairfield County, Connecticut.[91] Most of Connecticut (save for Tolland and Windham counties in the state's northeast corner) and even southern Rhode Island gets YES network, the channel which the New York Yankees are broadcasted on. For the most part, the same areas also carry SNY, Sports New York, which is the channel New York Mets games are broadcasted on.

Comcast SportsNet New England carries the Boston Celtics and Boston Cannons.

While most New England cities have daily newspapers, the Boston Globe and New York Times are distributed widely throughout the region. Major newspapers also include the The Providence Journal, and Hartford Courant, the nation's oldest continuously published newspaper.[92]


New Englanders are well represented in American comedy. Writers for The Simpsons often come by way of the Harvard Lampoon. Family Guy, an animated sitcom situated in Rhode Island, as well as American Dad, were created by Connecticut native and Rhode Island School of Design graduate Seth MacFarlane. Many Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast members have origins in New England, from Adam Sandler to Amy Poehler, who also stars in the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. Former Daily Show show correspondents Rob Corddry and Steve Carrell are from Massachusetts, with the latter also being involved in film and the American adaptation of The Office. Late night television hosts Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien have origins in the Boston area. Many well-known stand-up comedians, including Dane Cook, Sarah Silverman, and Louis CK, are also from the region. Former SNL cast member Seth Meyers once attributed the region's imprint on American humor to its "sort of wry New England sense of pointing out anyone who's trying to make a big deal of himself," with the Boston Globe suggesting that irony and sarcasm, as well as Irish influences, are its trademarks.[93]


Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston and spent most of his literary career in Concord, Massachusetts

The literature of New England has had an enduring influence on American literature in general, with themes such as religion, race, the individual versus society, social repression, and nature, emblematic of the larger concerns of American letters.[94]

New England has been the birthplace of many American authors and poets. Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston. Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts, where he famously lived, for some time, by Walden Pond, on Emerson's land. Nathaniel Hawthorne, romantic era writer, was born in historical Salem; later, he would live in Concord at the same time as Emerson and Thoreau. Emily Dickinson lived most of her life in Amherst, Massachusetts. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was from Portland, Maine. Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston. According to many reports, the famed Mother Goose, the author of fairy tales and nursery rhymes was originally a person named Elizabeth Foster Goose or Mary Goose who lived in Boston. Poets James Russell Lowell, Amy Lowell, and Robert Lowell, a Confessionalist poet and teacher of Sylvia Plath, were all New England natives. Anne Sexton, also taught by Lowell, was born and died in Massachusetts. Much of the work of Nobel Prize laureate Eugene O'Neill is often associated with the city of New London, Connecticut where he spent many summers. The 14th U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall, a New Hampshire resident, continues the line of renowned New England poets. Noah Webster, the Father of American Scholarship and Education, was born in West Hartford, Connecticut. Pulitzer Prize winning poets Edwin Arlington Robinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Robert P. T. Coffin were born in Maine. Poets Stanley Kunitz and Elizabeth Bishop were both born in Worcester, Massachusetts. Pulitzer Prize winning poet Galway Kinnell was born in Providence, Rhode Island. Oliver La Farge was a New Englander of French and Narragansett descent, won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel, the predecessor to the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, in 1930 for his book Laughing Boy. John P. Marquand grew up in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Novelist Edwin O'Connor, who was also known as a radio personality and journalist, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Edge of Sadness. Pulitzer Prize winner John Cheever, a novelist and short story writer, was born in Quincy, Massachusetts set most of his fiction in old New England villages based on various South Shore towns around his birthcity. E. Annie Proulx was born in Norwich, Connecticut. David Lindsay-Abaire, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2007 for his play Rabbit Hole, was raised in Boston.

Ethan Frome, written in 1911 by Edith Wharton, is set in turn-of-the-century New England, in the fictitious town of Starkfield, Massachusetts. Like much literature of the region, it plays off themes of isolation and hopelessness. New England is also the setting for most of the gothic horror stories of H. P. Lovecraft, who lived his life in Providence, Rhode Island. Real New England towns such as Ipswich, Newburyport, Rowley, and Marblehead are given fictional names such as Dunwich, Arkham, Innsmouth, Kingsport, and Miskatonic and then featured quite often in his stories. Lovecraft had an immense appreciation for the New England area, and when he had to re-locate to New York City, he longed to return to his beloved native land.

The region has also drawn the attention of authors and poets from other parts of the United States. Mark Twain found Hartford to be the most beautiful city in the United States and made it his home, and wrote his masterpieces there. He lived directly next door to Harriett Beecher Stowe, a local whose most famous work is Uncle Tom's Cabin. John Updike, originally from Pennsylvania, eventually moved to Ipswich, Massachusetts, which served as the model for the fictional New England town of Tarbox in his 1968 novel Couples. Robert Frost was born in California, but moved to Massachusetts during his teen years and published his first poem in Lawrence; his frequent use of New England settings and themes ensured that he would be associated with the region. Arthur Miller, a New York City native, used New England as the setting for some of his works, most notably The Crucible. Herman Melville, originally for New York City, bought the house now known as Arrowhead in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and while he lived there he wrote his greatest novel Moby-Dick. Poet Maxine Kumin was born in Philadelphia, currently resides in Warner, New Hampshire. Pulitzer Prize winning poet Mary Oliver was born in Maple Heights, Ohio has lived in Provincetown, Massachusetts for the last forty years. Charles Simic who was born in Belgrade, Serbia (at that time Yugoslavia) grew up in Chicago and lives in Strafford, New Hampshire, on the shore of Bow Lake and is the professor emeritus of American literature and creative writing at the University of New Hampshire. Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and short story writer Steven Millhauser, who was born in New York City and short story Eisenheim the Illusionist was adapted into the 2006 film was raised in Connecticut.

More recently, Stephen King, born in Portland, Maine, has used the small towns of his home state as the setting for much of his horror fiction, with several of his stories taking place in or near the fictional town of Castle Rock. Just to the south, Exeter, New Hampshire was the birthplace of best-selling novelist John Irving and Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code. Rick Moody has set many of his works in southern New England, focusing on wealthy families of suburban Connecticut's Gold Coast and their battles with addiction and anomie. Derek Walcott, a playwright and poet, who won the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature, teaches poetry at Boston University. Pulitzer Prize winner Cormac McCarthy, whose novel No Country for Old Men was made into the Academy Award for Best Picture winning film in 2007, was born in Providence (although he moved to Tennessee when he was a boy).

Largely on the strength of its local writers, Boston was for some years the center of the U.S. publishing industry, before being overtaken by New York in the middle of the nineteenth century. Boston remains the home of publishers Houghton Mifflin and Pearson Education, and was the longtime home of literary magazine The Atlantic Monthly. Merriam-Webster is based in Springfield, Massachusetts. Yankee, a magazine for New Englanders, is based in Dublin, New Hampshire.


Two popular American sports were invented in New England. Basketball was invented by James Naismith (a Canadian) in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891.[95] Volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in 1895.[96].

The World Wrestling Entertainment has its headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway is an oval racetrack which has hosted several NASCAR and American Championship Car Racing races, whereas Lime Rock Park is a traditional road racing venue home of sports car races. Events at these venues have had the "New England" moniker, such as the NASCAR Cup Series New England 300, the NASCAR Nationwide Series New England 200, the IndyCar Series New England Indy 200 and the American Le Mans Series New England Grand Prix.

Professional and semi-professional sports teams

The major professional sports teams in New England are based in the Boston area: the Boston Red Sox, the New England Patriots (based in Foxborough, Massachusetts), the Boston Celtics, the Boston Bruins and the New England Revolution (also based in Foxborough). Hartford had a professional hockey team, the Hartford Whalers from 1975 until they left for North Carolina in 1997. Due to the proximity of New York City, New York teams are followed by many in western Connecticut.[97]

There are also minor league baseball and hockey teams based in larger cities such as the Pawtucket Red Sox (baseball), the Providence Bruins (hockey), the Worcester Tornadoes (baseball) and the Worcester Sharks (hockey), the Lowell Spinners (baseball) and the Lowell Devils (hockey), the Portland Sea Dogs (baseball) and the Portland Pirates (hockey), the Nashua Pride (baseball),the Bridgeport Bluefish (baseball), the Connecticut Defenders (baseball), the New Britain Rock Cats (baseball), the Vermont Lake Monsters (baseball), the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (baseball), the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (hockey), the Brockton Rox (baseball),the Hartford Wolf Pack (hockey), the Manchester Monarchs (hockey) and the Springfield Falcons (hockey).

New England is also represented in the Premier Basketball League by the Vermont Frost Heaves of Barre, Vermont and the Manchester Millrats from Manchester, New Hampshire.

Portland, Maine is represented in the NBA Development League by the Maine Red Claws who began play in 2009. The Red Claws are affiliated with the Boston Celtics and the Charlotte Bobcats.

Thanksgiving Day high school football rivalries date back to the 19th century, and the Harvard-Yale rivalry ("The Game") is the oldest active rivalry in college football. The Boston Marathon, run on Patriot's Day every year, is a New England cultural institution and the oldest annual marathon in the world. While the race offers far less prize money than many other marathons, and the Newton hills have helped ensure that no world record has been set on the course since 1947, the race's difficulty and long history make it one of the world's most prestigious marathons.[98]

Notable places

Boats on the Kennebunk River between Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, Maine


New England features many of the oldest cities and towns in the country. The following places are replete with historic buildings, parks, and streetscapes (following the coast from New Haven):

The New Haven Green was created in 1638 and remains preserved today as the heart of what could be considered to be the first planned city in America.[99]


The Appalachian Mountains run through northern New England which make for excellent skiing. Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine are home to various ski resorts.

Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts are popular tourist destinations for their small-town charm and beaches. All have restrictive zoning laws to prevent sprawl and overdevelopment.

Acadia National Park, off the coast of Maine, preserves most of Mount Desert Island and includes mountains, an ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes.

Additionally, the coastal New England states are home to many oceanfront beaches.

The financial magazine Money, in a 2006 survey entitled "Best Places to Live," ranked several New England towns and cities in the top one hundred. In Connecticut, Fairfield, part of the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut area, was ranked ninth, while Stamford was ranked forty-sixth. In Maine, Portland ranked eighty-ninth. In Massachusetts, Newton was ranked twenty-second. In New Hampshire, Nashua, a past number one, was ranked eighty-seventh. In Rhode Island, Cranston was ranked seventy-eighth, while Warwick was ranked eighty-third.[100]


Six Interstate highways cross New England. Two of them (Interstate 84 and Interstate 90) are signed east-west, while the remaining four (Interstate 89, Interstate 91, Interstate 93, and Interstate 95) are signed north-south.

Interstate 91 is the longest interstate highway whose entire route is located within the New England states.

See also


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Further reading

  • Weeden, William Babcock, Economic and Social History of New England, 1620-1789, Boston and New York : Houghton, Mifflin and company, 1890. 2 volumes. ISBN 0217708773
  • Buell, Lawrence. New England Literary Culture: From Revolution through Renaissance. Cambridge University Press, 1986. A literary history of New England. ISBN 052137801X
  • Chenoweth, James. Oddity Odyssey: A Journey Through New England's Colorful Past. Holt, 1996. Humorous travel guide. ISBN 0805036717
  • Muse, Vance. The Smithsonian Guide to Historic America: Northern New England. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1998. A photographic guide to historic sites in New England. ISBN 1556706359
  • Wiencek, Henry. The Smithsonian Guide to Historic America: Southern New England. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1998. A photographic guide to historic sites in New England. ISBN 1556706332
  • Beckius, Kim. Everything Family Guide to New England: Where to eat, play, and stay in America's scenic and historic Northeast Adams Media ISBN 1598694480
  • Beckius, Kim. Backroads of New England: Your Guide To New England's Most Scenic Backroad Adventures. Adams Media ISBN 0896586081
  • Berman, Eleanor. Eyewitness Travel Guides New England. ISBN 0756626978
  • Ray Bartlett, Gregor Clark, Dan Eldridge, Brandon Presser. New England Trips. ISBN 1741797284
  • The Spiritual Traveler Boston and New England: A Guide to Sacred Sites and Peaceful Places, Jana Riess, Published by HiddenSpring ISBN 1587680084

External links

Coordinates: 44°12′20.00″N 70°18′23.13″W / 44.20556°N 70.306425°W / 44.20556; -70.306425

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

There is more than one place called New England:


United States

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

NEW ENGLAND, a general name for the north-east section of the United States of America, embracing the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. It has an area of 66,424 sq. m. (4448 sq. m. being water); and in 1910 its population was 6,552,681, more than onehalf of which was in Massachusetts, although that state contains less than one-eighth of the total area. The region is traversed by the broken mountain ranges which form the N.E. continuation of the Appalachian system; the soil is rather sterile, except in the river valleys; and the climate of the long winters is often severe. But the picturesque scenery and delightful summer climate have made New England a favourite resort. When the commerce of New England was interrupted as a consequence of the Napoleonic wars, the abundance of water power afforded by the rivers encouraged manufacturing, and the region rapidly acquired prominence in this industry, especially in the manufacture of textiles, of boots and shoes, and of paper and wood pulp; in 1905 the value of the textile products of New England (excluding flax, hemp and jute) alone was $522,821,440 (more than 45% of that of the entire country), the value of boots and shoes was $181,023,946 (more than 55% of the total for the entire country), the value of paper and wood pulp was $49,813,133 (more than one-quarter of that of the entire country), and the value of all factory products amounted to $2,025,998,437 (nearly one-seventh of the total for the entire country).

Northmen very probably visited this region at the beginning of the 11th century. (See Vinland). To Europeans who visited it in the 16th century it was included in "Norumbega," and some of the early explorers searched here for the mythical city of that name. Title to the territory was claimed by the English on the basis of its alleged exploration by the Cabots in 1498, and by the French on the basis of its exploration by Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524. It was made favourably known to the English by the explorations of Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602, of Martin Pring in 1603 and of George Weymouth in 1605, and was at this time called North Virginia. In 1606 King James I. granted it to the Plymouth Company with a view to encouraging settlement, and in the next year a colony was planted at the mouth of the Sagadahoc (now Kennebec) river, but this was abandoned in 1608; the efforts of the French to establish settlements along the Maine coast were likewise unsuccessful. In1614-1616Captain John Smith traversed the coast as far east as the mouth of the Penobscot river and as far south as Cape Cod, gathered much information from the Indians, wrote an attractive descrip tion of the country, prepared a map of it, suggested its present name, New England, and made another unsuccessful attempt to found a settlement. A new charter of 1620 conveyed to the New England Council, the successor of the Plymouth Company, all. the territory in North America between latitudes 40° and 48° N. under the name of New England, and in the same year a. permanent settlement was established at Plymouth by a band of Separatists, who, although they had expected to settle in Virginia, were prevailed upon by the captain of their vessel to land in New England. During its existence of fifteen years the New England Council made numerous grants of territory, and from three of these grew three of the present states: Massachusetts, from a grant to the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1628; Maine, from the grant to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and John Mason (the two most influential members of the council) in 1622; and New Hampshire, from the grant to John Mason in 1629. The Council attempted to establish a general government over its entire domain, but the scheme of some of its members for supporting such a government with contributions from each member in return for an allotment of land was a failure, and although Robert Gorges, the second son of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, was sent over as governor-general in 1623, he accomplished nothing and returned in the next year in disgust. In 1635, when the Dutch were hemming in its domain on the west and the French on the north, the Council made a final allotment of its remaining territory among its members and surrendered its charter. Connecticut was founded in the same year by emigrants from Massachusetts without any other authority than that given by the mother colony. A separate colony was founded at New Haven in 1638 by emigrants from England who had stayed for a time in Boston and other Massachusetts towns, but this was annexed to Connecticut in 1664 under the Connecticut charter of 1662. Rhode Island was founded in 1636 by exiles from Massachusetts who had no authority whatever from a superior government. Plymouth was a separate colony until its union with Massachusetts under the charter of 1691. New Hampshire was a part of Massachusetts from1641-1643to 1679. Maine, having passed under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts in 1652, did not regain its independence until 1820. Vermont was settled largely by emigrants from New Hampshire, but New York claimed the territory and the dispute was not settled until the new state was erected in 1791.

Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven constituted in their early years a group of neighbouring colonies, substantially independent of the mother country, and possessing a unity of purpose and similar institutions but in need of mutual protection from the Indians, the Dutch and the French, and also needing an arbiter to whom they might refer their own disputes, especially those relating to boundaries and trade. To meet these needs they organized, under Articles of Confederation signed in 1643, the first form of colonial union in America; they called it The United Colonies of New England, but it is more commonly known as the New England Confederacy. The confederate authority was vested in a board of eight commissioners, two from each colony chosen annually by its General Court.

This board was to meet annually in September, two years of every five at Boston, one year of every five at Hartford, one at New Haven, and one at Plymouth; special meetings also might be called by three magistrates of any of the four colonies. The commissioners chose their president at each meeting, but this officer had only the powers of a moderator. An agreement of six commissioners was necessary to pass any measure, but if there was an agreement of less than six the measure might be referred to the General Courts and become a law of the Confederacy if all of those courts approved. The most important powers of the Confederacy were those relating to defence, and in case of an invasion its entire force, consisting of 1 00 men from Massachusetts and 45 men from each of the other colonies (or some other proportion which the commissioners might name), was to march out if so requested by three magistrates of any of the contracting colonies. The expenses of every defensive war which the commissioners declared to be just were to be defrayed by the several colonies in proportion to their number of men and boys between the ages of sixteen and sixty. Other matters within the jurisdiction of the commissioners were such as related to disputes between two or more colonies and the return of escaped servants, prisoners and fugitives from justice. As the commissioners had no means of enforcing their orders, their function was chiefly advisory, but it was nevertheless of considerable importance on several occasions. Although the number of commissioners from each of the colonies was the same, those from Massachusetts exerted the dominant influence.

The commissioners met regularly until 1684 - annually until New Haven submitted to Connecticut in 1664, and triennially from 1664 to 1684, when Massachusetts lost its first charter. Upon the downfall of the Puritan Commonwealth in the mother country (1660) numerous grievances were presented to King Charles II. against the Puritan governments of New England, among them Massachusetts' extension of its jurisdiction over the towns of Maine and New Hampshire, the persecution of the Quakers, and the denial of the right of appeal to the crown, and in 1664 a royal commission, consisting of Richard Nicolls, Samuel Maverick, Robert Carr and George Cartwright, was sent over to settle disputes and secure some measure of imperial control, but Massachusetts, the chief offender; successfully baffled all attempts at interference, and the mission was almost a complete failure. The grievances of English merchants arising from the violation of the navigation laws by the colonies continued, however, to receive the attention of the home government.

In 1676 the Lords of Trade and Plantations sent over Edward Randolph to investigate and gather information which would show the justice and expediency of imposing imperial control, and two years later Randolph was appointed Collector and Surveyor of Customs in New England. Randolph sent back many charges, especially against Massachusetts, with the effect that, in 1684, the charter of that colony was annulled by a decree in Chancery on a writ of quo warranto. This done, the home government set to work to organize the royal domain which should be known as New England, or the Dominion of New England, and its plan for this provided for the annulment of the charters of Rhode Island and Connecticut, and the inclusion in the Dominion of these colonies, and New Hampshire, Maine, New York and the Jerseys, thereby restoring to New England all the territory, with the exception of Pennsylvania, that was included in the grant to the New England Council in 1620. A temporary government was established at Boston in May 1686, with Joseph Dudley as president, and in December of the same year Edmund Andros arrived with a commission and instructions which were a copy of those to the governor of New York and made him governor of all New England except Rhode Island and Connecticut. Rhode Island offered no resistance to the writ against its charter and Andros extended his authority over it immediately after his arrival. Connecticut successfully baffled the royal servants for a time, but when threatened with a division of its territory agreed not to resist the royal purpose, and on the last day of October 1687 it passed under the general government of New England. Finally, a new commission to Andros, issued in April 1688, extended his jurisdiction over New York and the Jerseys, and the whole region over which he was made governor by this instrument was named "Our Territory and Dominion of New England in America." But the English Revolution of 1688 inspired a revolt in New England by which Andros was deposed in April 1689. Under William and Mary no attempt was made to preserve the Dominion of New England, but Rhode Island and Connecticut were permitted to resume government under their old charters, Massachusetts received a new one, and New Hampshire again became a separate royal province.

New England is prominent in American colonial history as the "Land of the Puritans" and the home of the corporate colony. The chief motive of its founders in coming to the New World was the establishment of a new Christian commonwealth, but subordinate to this there was from the first an economic motive. So long as the religious motive remained dominant, "blue laws" were a prominent feature of the administration, but by a slow transition the economic motive became the dominant one, and, as a consequence of this transition and of the corporate form of government, European institutions were transformed into American institutions and new political ideas were generated more rapidly in New England than in either the Middle or the Southern colonies. Owing to its geographical position, nearer to Canada than any other group of colonies, New England had to stand the brunt of the fighting during the wars between the English and the French (aided by their Indian allies) in America, terminating with the conquest of Canada by the English in 1759-1760, and a sense of common danger helped to create a certain solidarity, which made easier the union of the colonies for common action against the mother country at the time of the War of American Independence. After that war, New England was long the most essentially commercial and industrial group of states, and was a stronghold of Federalism; and in the period immediately before and during the War of 1812, when its commercial interests suffered terribly, first from the restrictive measures of the general government and then from warfare, New England was a centre of that opposition to the policy of the National Administration (then Democratic), which culminated in the famous Hartford Convention of1814-1815(see Hartford).

See the articles on the separate New England states and the authorities there given; among good general works are J. G. Palfrey, History of New England (5 vols., Boston, 1858-1890); J. A. Doyle, The Puritan Colonies (2 vols., New York, 1889); B. B. James, The Colonization of New England (Philadelphia, 1904); H. L. Osgood, The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century (3 vols., New York, 1904-1907); John Fiske, The Beginnings of New England, or the Puritan Theocracy in its Relation to Civil and Religious Liberty (Boston, 1896); S. A. Drake, The Making of New England (New York, 1896); W. B. Weeden, Economic and Social History of New England (2 vols., Boston, 1890); and Edward Channing, History of the United States, vols. i. and ii. (New York, 1905, 1908).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun

New England


New England

  1. Collectively, the six states of the United States colonized by the English in the 17th century, namely Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
  2. (Australia) a loosely defined region in the north of the state of New South Wales.


Simple English

New England is a part in the north of the United States. It is a region (area) in the northeast part of the U.S. There are six states in the New England region. These states are Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. In the early days, their economy was mostly made of fishing.

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