Massachusetts is one of the original 13 colonies that formed the United States and was the sixth state to ratify the federal constitution. It ranks 45th in terms of land area, with an area of 8,284 square miles (21,456 sq. km). Massachusetts is a highly urbanized and industrialized state. Much of its population is concentrated on the cluster of cities from Boston, which is also the capital. It is bounded by Vermont and New Hampshire in the north, Atlantic Ocean in the east, Rhode Island and Connecticut in the south, and in the west by New York.
Other Metropolitan Areas:
• Fall River
• New Bedford
Origin of Name:
The word Massachusetts probably came from the Algonquian words “massa” (great), “wadchu” (hill) and “set” (near), meaning “near the great hill”.
Boston, the capital and largest city, and an Atlantic Seaport of Massachusetts, is considered the largest city in the New England states of the Northeastern United States. It has many historic sites and educational institutions that make it a rich cultural center.
State Nickname: The Bay State
State Motto: Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (“By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.”)
State Flag: A field of white, bearing one side a representation of a green pine tree.
State Song: All Hail To Massachusetts
State Flower: Mayflower
State Tree: American Elm
State Bird: Chickadee
Statehood: February 6, 1788
The sate is roughly rectangular in shape, extending 130 miles from New York bordering in the west to Massachusetts Bay in the east, and about 50 miles from North to South. Nearly all of the state is hilly and is covered by rocks, stones, or a soil so thin that it supports only the forest region of the state.
The population of the Bay State is a complex mixture of different races. It ranked 13th by 1990, and was the fourth largest state in population. Majority of the population are Whites, which includes Irish, Italian, French-Canadian, Hispanic backgrounds, Polish, Portuguese, and Russian Jews. The number of Blacks is relatively small, but increasing. In the next years, Massachusetts experienced a great influx of Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Caribbean Nationals, and other Asian immigrants. The state’s religious majority is Roman Catholic, but is historically associated with Puritanism.
Massachusetts has already been a pioneer in education. Most form of education used in the U.S was conceived and implemented in the state, like the following private institutions of higher education:
• Boston Latin School
• Amherst College
• Boston College
• Boston University
• Harvard University
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology
• Smith College
• Tufts University
• Wellesley College
• Williams College
Recreation and Place of Interests:
Recreation is a growing industry in Massachusetts. Many residents and tourists have fun in the state’s sandy beaches, like the Cape Cod National Seashore. Extensive hiking and skiing occurs in the Appalachian Trail. Among the state’s historical sites are Old North Church, Paul Revere’s house, and Old State House.
In recent years, Massachusetts ranked highest in the value of its commercial areas among the New England States. In manufacturing, textile weaving was the most productive industry, followed by shoe manufacturing. Massachusetts is not an agricultural state, but somehow, dairying and poultry raising is the primary source of farm income, along with crops such as apples, tobacco, cranberries, and vegetables. Fishing has also been an important economic activity. Gloucester, New Bedford, and Boston are the state’s major ports.