Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, Human Development Index, median household income in the United States, it is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, Long Island Sound to the south. Its capital is Hartford and its most populous city is Bridgeport, it is part of New England, although portions of it are grouped with New York and New Jersey as the Tri-state area. The state is named for the Connecticut River which bisects the state; the word "Connecticut" is derived from various anglicized spellings of an Algonquian word for "long tidal river". Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutchmen who established a small, short-lived settlement called Fort Hoop in Hartford at the confluence of the Park and Connecticut Rivers. Half of Connecticut was part of the Dutch colony New Netherland, which included much of the land between the Connecticut and Delaware Rivers, although the first major settlements were established in the 1630s by the English.
Thomas Hooker led a band of followers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded the Connecticut Colony. The Connecticut and New Haven colonies established documents of Fundamental Orders, considered the first constitutions in America. In 1662, the three colonies were merged under a royal charter; this was one of the Thirteen Colonies. Connecticut is the third smallest state by area, the 29th most populous, the fourth most densely populated of the 50 states, it is known as the "Constitution State", the "Nutmeg State", the "Provisions State", the "Land of Steady Habits". It was influential in the development of the federal government of the United States; the Connecticut River, Thames River, ports along Long Island Sound have given Connecticut a strong maritime tradition which continues today. The state has a long history of hosting the financial services industry, including insurance companies in Hartford and hedge funds in Fairfield County. Landmarks and cities of Connecticut Connecticut is bordered on the south by Long Island Sound, on the west by New York, on the north by Massachusetts, on the east by Rhode Island.
The state capital and fourth largest city is Hartford, other major cities and towns include Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury, Danbury, New Britain and Bristol. Connecticut is larger than the country of Montenegro. There are 169 incorporated towns in Connecticut; the highest peak in Connecticut is Bear Mountain in Salisbury in the northwest corner of the state. The highest point is just east of where Connecticut and New York meet, on the southern slope of Mount Frissell, whose peak lies nearby in Massachusetts. At the opposite extreme, many of the coastal towns have areas that are less than 20 feet above sea level. Connecticut has a long maritime history and a reputation based on that history—yet the state has no direct oceanfront; the coast of Connecticut sits on Long Island Sound, an estuary. The state's access to the open Atlantic Ocean is both to the east; this situation provides many safe harbors from ocean storms, many transatlantic ships seek anchor inside Long Island Sound when tropical cyclones pass off the upper East Coast.
The Connecticut River cuts through the center of the state. The most populous metropolitan region centered within the state lies in the Connecticut River Valley. Despite Connecticut's small size, it features wide regional variations in its landscape. Connecticut's rural areas and small towns in the northeast and northwest corners of the state contrast with its industrial cities such as Stamford and New Haven, located along the coastal highways from the New York border to New London northward up the Connecticut River to Hartford. Many towns in northeastern and northwestern Connecticut center around a green, such as the Litchfield Green, Lebanon Green, Wethersfield Green. Near the green stand historical visual symbols of New England towns, such as a white church, a colonial meeting house, a colonial tavern or inn, several colonial houses, so on, establishing a scenic historical appearance maintained for both historic preservation and tourism. Many of the areas in southern and coastal Connecticut have been built up and rebuilt over the years, look less visually like traditional New England.
The northern boundary of the state with Massachusetts is marked by the Southwick Jog or Granby Notch, an 2.5 miles square detour into Connecticut. The origin of this anomaly is established in a long line of disputes and temporary agreements which were concluded in 1804, when southern Southwick's residents sought to leave Massachusetts, the town was split in half; the southwestern border of Connecticut where it abuts New York State is marked by a panhandle in Fairfield County, containing the towns of Greenwich, New Canaan and parts of Norwalk and Wilton. This irregularity in the boundary is the result of territorial disputes in the late 17th century, culminating
Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, the 8th-most densely populated of the U. S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States; the Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital. Florida's $1.0 trillion economy is the fourth largest in the United States. If it were a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world, the 58th most populous as of 2018. In 2017, Florida's per capita personal income was ranking 26th in the nation; the unemployment rate in September 2018 was 3.5% and ranked as the 18th in the United States. Florida exports nearly $55 billion in goods made in the 8th highest among all states.
The Miami Metropolitan Area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. This is more than twice the number of the next metro area, the Tampa Bay Area, which has a GDP of $145.3 billion. Florida is home to 51 of the world's billionaires with most of them residing in South Florida; the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida upon landing there in the Easter season, known in Spanish as Pascua Florida. Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845, it was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, racial segregation after the American Civil War. Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues; the state's economy relies on tourism and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century.
Florida is renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, as a popular destination for retirees. Florida is the flattest state in the United States. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the U. S. state of Florida. Florida's close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of daily life. Florida is a reflection of multiple inheritance. Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, continues to attract celebrities and athletes, it is internationally known for golf, auto racing, water sports. Several beaches in Florida have emerald-colored coastal waters. About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States 1,350 miles, not including the contribution of the many barrier islands. Florida has a total of 4,510 islands; this is the second-highest number of islands of any state of the United States.
It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is characterized by sedimentary soil. Florida has the lowest high point of any U. S. state. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south; the American alligator, American crocodile, American flamingo, Roseate spoonbill, Florida panther, bottlenose dolphin, manatee can be found in Everglades National Park in the southern part of the state. Along with Hawaii, Florida is one of only two states that has a tropical climate, is the only continental state with either a tropical climate or a coral reef; the Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world. By the 16th century, the earliest time for which there is a historical record, major Native American groups included the Apalachee of the Florida Panhandle, the Timucua of northern and central Florida, the Ais of the central Atlantic coast, the Tocobaga of the Tampa Bay area, the Calusa of southwest Florida and the Tequesta of the southeastern coast.
Florida was the first region of the continental United States to be visited and settled by Europeans. The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. Ponce de León spotted and landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513, he named the region Florida. The story that he was searching for the Fountain of Youth is mythical and only appeared long after his death. In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto skirted the coast of Florida, searching for a deep harbor to land, he described seeing a thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as 70 feet, with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult. The Spanish introduced Christianity, horses, the Castilian language, more to Florida. Spain established several settlements with varying degrees of success. In 1559, Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a settlement at present-day Pensacola, making it the first attempted settlement in Florida, but it was abandoned by 1561.
In 1565, the settlement of St. Augustine was established under the leadership of admiral and
Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U. S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census. The state was named for the Colorado River, which early Spanish explorers named the Río Colorado for the ruddy silt the river carried from the mountains; the Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, on August 1, 1876, U. S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed Proclamation 230 admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it became a state one century after the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence. Colorado is bordered by Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the northeast, Kansas to the east, Oklahoma to the southeast, New Mexico to the south, Utah to the west, touches Arizona to the southwest at the Four Corners.
Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, high plains, canyons, plateaus and desert lands. Colorado is part of the western and southwestern United States, is one of the Mountain States. Denver is most populous city of Colorado. Residents of the state are known as Coloradans, although the antiquated term "Coloradoan" is used. Colorado is notable for its diverse geography, which includes alpine mountains, high plains, deserts with huge sand dunes, deep canyons. In 1861, the United States Congress defined the boundaries of the new Territory of Colorado by lines of latitude and longitude, stretching from 37°N to 41°N latitude, from 102°02'48"W to 109°02'48"W longitude. After 158 years of government surveys, the borders of Colorado are now defined by 697 boundary markers and 697 straight boundary lines. Colorado and Utah are the only states that have their borders defined by straight boundary lines with no natural features; the southwest corner of Colorado is the Four Corners Monument at 36°59'56"N, 109°2'43"W.
This is the only place in the United States where four states meet: Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The summit of Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet elevation in Lake County is the highest point in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains of North America. Colorado is the only U. S. state that lies above 1,000 meters elevation. The point where the Arikaree River flows out of Yuma County and into Cheyenne County, Kansas, is the lowest point in Colorado at 3,317 feet elevation; this point, which holds the distinction of being the highest low elevation point of any state, is higher than the high elevation points of 18 states and the District of Columbia. A little less than half of Colorado is flat and rolling land. East of the Rocky Mountains are the Colorado Eastern Plains of the High Plains, the section of the Great Plains within Nebraska at elevations ranging from 3,350 to 7,500 feet; the Colorado plains are prairies but include deciduous forests and canyons. Precipitation averages 15 to 25 inches annually. Eastern Colorado is presently farmland and rangeland, along with small farming villages and towns.
Corn, hay and oats are all typical crops. Most villages and towns in this region boast both a grain elevator. Irrigation water is available from subterranean sources. Surface water sources include the South Platte, the Arkansas River, a few other streams. Subterranean water is accessed through artesian wells. Heavy use of wells for irrigation caused underground water reserves to decline. Eastern Colorado hosts considerable livestock, such as hog farms. 70% of Colorado's population resides along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in the Front Range Urban Corridor between Cheyenne and Pueblo, Colorado. This region is protected from prevailing storms that blow in from the Pacific Ocean region by the high Rockies in the middle of Colorado; the "Front Range" includes Denver, Fort Collins, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and other townships and municipalities in between. On the other side of the Rockies, the significant population centers in Western Colorado are the cities of Grand Junction and Montrose.
The Continental Divide of the Americas extends along the crest of the Rocky Mountains. The area of Colorado to the west of the Continental Divide is called the Western Slope of Colorado. West of the Continental Divide, water flows to the southwest via the Colorado River and the Green River into the Gulf of California. Within the interior of the Rocky Mountains are several large parks which are high broad basins. In the north, on the east side of the Continental Divide is the North Park of Colorado; the North Park is drained by the North Platte River, which flows north into Nebraska. Just to the south of North Park, but on the western side of the Continental Divide, is the Middle Park of Colorado, drained by the Colorado River; the South Park of Colorado is the region of the headwaters of the South Platte River. In southmost Colorado is the large San Luis Valley, where the headwaters of the Rio Grande are located; the valley sits between the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and San Juan Mountains, consists of large desert lands that run into the mountains.
The Rio Grande drains due south into New Mexico and Texas. Across the Sangre de Cristo Range to the east of the S
Minnesota is a state in the Upper Midwest and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U. S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has a large number of lakes, is known by the slogan the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord. Minnesota is the 12th largest in area and the 22nd most populous of the U. S. states. This area is the center of transportation, industry and government, while being home to an internationally known arts community; the remainder of the state consists of western prairies now given over to intensive agriculture. Minnesota was inhabited by various indigenous peoples for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans. French explorers and fur traders began exploring the region in the 17th century, encountering the Dakota and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe tribes. Much of what is today Minnesota was part of the vast French holding of Louisiana, purchased by the United States in 1803.
Following several territorial reorganizations, Minnesota in its current form was admitted as the country's 32nd state on May 11, 1858. Like many Midwestern states, it remained centered on lumber and agriculture. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a large number of European immigrants from Scandinavia and Germany, began to settle the state, which remains a center of Scandinavian American and German American culture. In recent decades, immigration from Asia, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, Latin America has broadened its demographic and cultural composition; the state's economy has diversified, shifting from traditional activities such as agriculture and resource extraction to services and finance. Minnesota's standard of living index is among the highest in the United States, the state is among the best-educated and wealthiest in the nation; the word Minnesota comes from the Dakota name for the Minnesota River: The river got its name from one of two words in the Dakota language,'Mní sóta' which means "clear blue water", or'Mnißota', which means cloudy water.
Native Americans demonstrated the name to early settlers by dropping milk into water and calling it mnisota. Many places in the state have similar names, such as Minnehaha Falls, Minneota, Minnetonka and Minneapolis, a combination of mni and polis, the Greek word for "city". Minnesota is the second northernmost U. S. state and northernmost contiguous state. Its isolated Northwest Angle in Lake of the Woods county is the only part of the 48 contiguous states lying north of the 49th parallel; the state is part of the U. S. region known as part of North America's Great Lakes Region. It shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and a land and water border with Wisconsin to the east. Iowa is to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota are to the west, the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba are to the north. With 86,943 square miles, or 2.25% of the United States, Minnesota is the 12th-largest state. Minnesota has gneisses that are about 3.6 billion years old. About 2.7 billion years ago, basaltic lava poured out of cracks in the floor of the primordial ocean.
The roots of these volcanic mountains and the action of Precambrian seas formed the Iron Range of northern Minnesota. Following a period of volcanism 1.1 billion years ago, Minnesota's geological activity has been more subdued, with no volcanism or mountain formation, but with repeated incursions of the sea, which left behind multiple strata of sedimentary rock. In more recent times, massive ice sheets at least one kilometer thick ravaged the state's landscape and sculpted its terrain; the Wisconsin glaciation left 12,000 years ago. These glaciers covered all of Minnesota except the far southeast, an area characterized by steep hills and streams that cut into the bedrock; this area is known as the Driftless Zone for its absence of glacial drift. Much of the remainder of the state outside the northeast has 50 feet or more of glacial till left behind as the last glaciers retreated. Gigantic Lake Agassiz formed in the northwest 13,000 years ago, its bed created the fertile Red River valley, its outflow, glacial River Warren, carved the valley of the Minnesota River and the Upper Mississippi downstream from Fort Snelling.
Minnesota is geologically quiet today. The state's high point is Eagle Mountain at 2,301 feet, only 13 miles away from the low of 601 feet at the shore of Lake Superior. Notwithstanding dramatic local differences in elevation, much of the state is a rolling peneplain. Two major drainage divides meet in Minnesota's northeast in rural Hibbing, forming a triple watershed. Precipitation can follow the Mississippi River south to the Gulf of Mexico, the Saint Lawrence Seaway east to the Atlantic Ocean, or the Hudson Bay watershed to the Arctic Ocean; the state's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes", is apt, as there are 11,842 Minnesota lakes over 10 acres in size. Minnesota's portion of Lake Superior is the largest at 962,700 acres and deepest body of wate
Iowa is a state in the Midwestern United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states. In colonial times, Iowa was a part of Spanish Louisiana. After the Louisiana Purchase, people laid the foundation for an agriculture-based economy in the heart of the Corn Belt. In the latter half of the 20th century, Iowa's agricultural economy made the transition to a diversified economy of advanced manufacturing, financial services, information technology and green energy production. Iowa is the 26th most extensive in land area and the 30th most populous of the 50 U. S states, its capital and largest city by population is Des Moines. Iowa has been listed as one of the safest states in, its nickname is the Hawkeye State. Iowa derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many Native American tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa is bordered by the Mississippi River on the east.
The southern border is the Des Moines River and a not-quite-straight line along 40 degrees 35 minutes north, as decided by the U. S. Supreme Court in Missouri v. Iowa after a standoff between Missouri and Iowa known as the Honey War. Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are formed by rivers. Iowa has 99 counties; the state capital, Des Moines, is in Polk County. Iowa's bedrock geology increases in age from west to east. In northwest Iowa, Cretaceous bedrock can be 74 million years old. Iowa is not flat. Iowa can be divided into eight landforms based on glaciation, soils and river drainage. Loess hills lie along the western border of the state. Northeast Iowa along the Upper Mississippi River is part of the Driftless Area, consisting of steep hills and valleys which appear mountainous. Several natural lakes exist, most notably Spirit Lake, West Okoboji Lake, East Okoboji Lake in northwest Iowa. To the east lies Clear Lake. Man-made lakes include Lake Odessa, Saylorville Lake, Lake Red Rock, Coralville Lake, Lake MacBride, Rathbun Lake.
The state's northwest area has many remnants such as Barringer Slough. Iowa's natural vegetation is tallgrass prairie and savanna in upland areas, with dense forest and wetlands in flood plains and protected river valleys, pothole wetlands in northern prairie areas. Most of Iowa is used for agriculture; the Southern part of Iowa is categorised as the Central forest-grasslands transition ecoregion. The Northern, drier part of Iowa is categorised as the Central tall grasslands and is thus considered to be part of the Great Plains. There is a dearth of natural areas in Iowa; as of 2005 Iowa ranked 49th of U. S. states in public land holdings. Threatened or endangered animals in Iowa include the interior least tern, piping plover, Indiana bat, pallid sturgeon, the Iowa Pleistocene land snail, Higgins' eye pearly mussel, the Topeka shiner. Endangered or threatened plants include western prairie fringed orchid, eastern prairie fringed orchid, Mead's milkweed, prairie bush clover, northern wild monkshood.
There is little proof to suggest that the explosion in the number of high-density livestock facilities in Iowa has led to increased rural water contamination and a decline in air quality. In fact, covered manure storage in modern barns prevent that manure from washing away into surface water, as it does in open lots as snow melts and thunderstorms occur. Other factors negatively affecting Iowa's environment include the extensive use of older coal-fired power plants and pesticide runoff from crop production, diminishment of the Jordan Aquifer. Iowa has a humid continental climate throughout the state with extremes of both cold; the average annual temperature at Des Moines is 50 °F. Winters are harsh and snowfall is common. Spring ushers in the beginning of the severe weather season. Iowa averages about 50 days of thunderstorm activity per year; the 30 year annual average Tornadoes in Iowa is 47. In 2008, twelve people were killed by tornadoes in Iowa, making it the deadliest year since 1968 and the second most tornadoes in a year with 105, matching the total from 2001.
Iowa summers are known for heat and humidity, with daytime temperatures sometimes near 90 °F and exceeding 100 °F. Average winters in the state have been known to drop well below freezing dropping below −18 °F. Iowa's all-time hottest temperature of 118 °F was recorded at Keokuk on July 20, 1934. Iowa has a smooth gradient of var
Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia to its south and west. The state's largest city is Baltimore, its capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, the Chesapeake Bay State, it is named after the English queen Henrietta Maria, known in England as Queen Mary. Sixteen of Maryland's twenty-three counties border the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay estuary and its many tributaries, which combined total more than 4,000 miles of shoreline. Although one of the smallest states in the U. S. it features a variety of climates and topographical features that have earned it the moniker of America in Miniature. In a similar vein, Maryland's geography and history combines elements of the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic regions of the country. One of the original Thirteen Colonies of Great Britain, Maryland was founded by George Calvert, a Catholic convert who sought to provide a religious haven for Catholics persecuted in England.
In 1632, Charles I of England granted Calvert a colonial charter, naming the colony after his wife, Queen Mary. Unlike the Pilgrims and Puritans, who enforced religious conformity in their settlements, Calvert envisioned a colony where people of different religious sects would coexist under the principle of toleration. Accordingly, in 1649 the Maryland General Assembly passed an Act Concerning Religion, which enshrined this principle by penalizing anyone who "reproached" a fellow Marylander based on religious affiliation. Religious strife was common in the early years, Catholics remained a minority, albeit in greater numbers than in any other English colony. Maryland's early settlements and population centers clustered around rivers and other waterways that empty into the Chesapeake Bay, its economy was plantation-based, centered on the cultivation of tobacco. The need for cheap labor led to a rapid expansion of indentured servants, penal labor, African slaves. In 1760, Maryland's current boundaries took form following the settlement of a long-running border dispute with Pennsylvania.
Maryland was an active participant in the events leading up to the American Revolution, by 1776 its delegates signed the Declaration of Independence. Many of its citizens subsequently played key military roles in the war. In 1790, the state ceded land for the establishment of the U. S. capital of Washington, D. C. Although a slave state, Maryland remained in the Union during the U. S. Civil War, its strategic location giving it a significant role in the conflict. After the war, Maryland took part in the Industrial Revolution, driven by its seaports, railroad networks, mass immigration from Europe. Since the Second World War, the state's population has grown to six million residents, it is among the most densely populated states in the nation; as of 2015, Maryland had the highest median household income of any state, owing in large part to its close proximity to Washington, D. C. and a diversified economy spanning manufacturing, higher education, biotechnology. Maryland has been ranked as one of the best governed states in the country.
The state's central role in American history is reflected by its hosting of some of the highest numbers of historic landmarks per capita. Maryland is comparable in overall area with Belgium, it is the 42nd largest and 9th smallest state and is closest in size to the state of Hawaii, the next smaller state. The next larger state, its neighbor West Virginia, is twice the size of Maryland. Maryland possesses a variety of topography within its borders, contributing to its nickname America in Miniature, it ranges from sandy dunes dotted with seagrass in the east, to low marshlands teeming with wildlife and large bald cypress near the Chesapeake Bay, to rolling hills of oak forests in the Piedmont Region, pine groves in the Maryland mountains to the west. Maryland is bounded on its north by Pennsylvania, on its west by West Virginia, on its east by Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean, on its south, across the Potomac River, by West Virginia and Virginia; the mid-portion of this border is interrupted by District of Columbia, which sits on land, part of Montgomery and Prince George's counties and including the town of Georgetown, Maryland.
This land was ceded to the United States Federal Government in 1790 to form the District of Columbia.. The Chesapeake Bay nearly bisects the state and the counties east of the bay are known collectively as the Eastern Shore. Most of the state's waterways are part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, with the exceptions of a tiny portion of extreme western Garrett County, the eastern half of Worcester County, a small portion of the state's northeast corner. So prominent is the Chesapeake in Maryland's geography and economic life that there has been periodic agitation to change the state's official nickname to the "Bay State", a nickname, used by Massachusetts for decades; the highest point in Maryland, with an elevation of 3,360 feet, is Hoye Crest on Backbone Mountain, in the southwest corner of Garrett County, near the bo
Massachusetts 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, New York to the west; the state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, 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 and industry. Dependent on agriculture 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, higher education 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 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 entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts has played a powerful commercial and cultural role in the history of the United States. Before the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center for the abolitionist and transcendentalist movements.
In the late 19th century, the sports of basketball and volleyball were invented in the western Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Holyoke, respectively. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U. S. state to recognize same-sex marriage as a result of the decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Many prominent American political dynasties have hailed from the state, including the Adams and Kennedy families. Harvard University in Cambridge is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, with the largest financial endowment of any university, Harvard Law School has educated a contemporaneous majority of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Kendall Square in Cambridge has been called "the most innovative square mile on the planet", in reference to the high concentration of entrepreneurial start-ups and quality of innovation which have emerged in the vicinity of the square since 2010. Both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, have been ranked among the most regarded academic institutions in the world.
Massachusetts' public-school students place among the top tier in the world in academic performance, the state has been ranked as one of the top states in the United States for citizens to live in, as well as one of the most expensive. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was named after the indigenous population, the Massachusett derived from a Wôpanâak word muswach8sut, segmented as mus "big" + wach8 "mountain" + -s "diminutive" + -ut "locative", it has been translated as "near the great hill", "by the blue hills", "at the little big hill", or "at the range of hills", referring to the Blue Hills, or in particular the Great Blue Hill, located on the boundary of Milton and Canton. Alternatively, Massachusett has been represented as Moswetuset—from the name of the Moswetuset Hummock in Quincy, where Plymouth Colony commander Myles Standish, hired English military officer, Squanto, part of the now disappeared Patuxet band of the Wampanoag peoples, met Chief Chickatawbut in 1621; the official name of the state is the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts".
While this designation is part of the state's official name, it has no practical implications. Massachusetts has powers within the United States as other states, it may have been chosen by John Adams for the second draft of the Massachusetts Constitution because unlike the word "state", "commonwealth" at the time had the connotation of a republic, in contrast to the monarchy the former American colonies were fighting against. Massachusetts was inhabited by tribes of the Algonquian language family such as the Wampanoag, Nipmuc, Pocomtuc and Massachusett. While cultivation of crops like squash and corn supplemented their diets, these tribes were dependent on hunting and fishing for most of their food. Villages consisted of lodges called wigwams as well as longhouses, tribes were led by male or female elders known as sachems. In the early 1600s, after contact had been made with Europeans, large numbers of the indigenous peoples in the northeast of what is now the United States were killed by virgin soil epidemics such as smallpox, measles and leptospirosis.
Between 1617 and 1619, smallpox killed ap