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Portal:Massachusetts

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Introduction

Flag of Massachusetts.svg

Massachusetts (/ˌmæsəˈsɪts/ (About this sound listen), /-zɪts/), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.

Plymouth was the site of the first colony in New England, founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims, passengers of the Mayflower. In 1692, the town of Salem and surrounding areas experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem witch trials. In 1777, General Henry Knox founded the Springfield Armory, which during the Industrial Revolution catalyzed numerous important technological advances, including interchangeable parts. In 1786, Shays' Rebellion, a populist revolt led by disaffected American Revolutionary War veterans, influenced the United States Constitutional Convention. In the 18th century, the Protestant First Great Awakening, which swept the Atlantic World, originated from the pulpit of Northampton preacher Jonathan Edwards. In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution.

Selected article

An illustration of the arrest of Sir Edmund Andros
The 1689 Boston revolt was a popular uprising on April 18, 1689, against the rule of Sir Edmund Andros, the governor of the Dominion of New England. A well-organized "mob" of provincial militia and citizens formed in the city and arrested dominion officials. Members of the Church of England, believed by Puritans to sympathize with the administration of the dominion, were also taken into custody by the rebels. Neither faction sustained casualties during the revolt. Leaders of the former Massachusetts Bay Colony then reclaimed control of the government.

Andros, commissioned governor of New England in 1686, had earned the enmity of the local populace by enforcing the restrictive Navigation Acts, denying the validity of existing land titles, restricting town meetings, and appointing unpopular regular officers to lead colonial militia, among other actions. Furthermore, he had infuriated Puritans in Boston by promoting the Church of England, which was disliked by many Nonconformist New England colonists.

When the other New England colonies in the Dominion were informed of the overthrow of Andros, pre-dominion colonial authorities moved to restore their former governments to power. Rhode Island and Connecticut resumed governance under their earlier charters, and Massachusetts resumed governance according to its vacated charter after being temporarily governed by a committee composed of magistrates, Massachusetts Bay officials, and a majority of Andros's council. The committee was disbanded after some Boston leaders felt that radical rebels held too much sway over it. New Hampshire was temporarily left without formal government and was controlled by Massachusetts and its governor, Simon Bradstreet, who served as de facto ruler of the northern colony. Plymouth also resumed its previous form of governance.

Selected biography

Portrait of Samuel Adams by John Singleton Copley
Samuel Adams was a Massachusetts statesman, politician, writer, and political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Adams was instrumental in garnering the support of the colonies in rebellion against Great Britain, ultimately resulting in the American Revolution. He was also one of the key architects of the principles of American republicanism that shaped American political culture. Adams organized protests against the British, including the Boston Tea Party in 1773, and participated in the Continental Congress. He also advocated for the adoption of the Declaration of Independence at the Second Continental Congress. Following the American Revolution, Adams helped draft the Articles of Confederation. After the war ended, he ran for the House of Representatives in the 1st United States Congressional election, but was unsuccessful in his bid. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in 1789 and after John Hancock's death in 1793, Adams served as the acting governor, until he was elected governor in January of the following year. He served in that position until June 1797 when he decided to retire from politics.

Selected location

The Orange Line Bridge over the Mystic River
The Mystic River is a 7.0-mile-long (11.3 km) river in Massachusetts. Its name derives from the Wampanoag word "muhs-uhtuq", which translates to "big river." In an Algonquian language, "Missi-Tuk" means "a great river whose waters are driven by waves", alluding to the natural tidal nature of the Mystic. It lies to the north of and flows approximately parallel to the lower portions of the Charles River. The river flows from the Lower Mystic Lake and travels through the Boston-area communities of Arlington, Medford, Somerville, Everett, Charlestown, Chelsea, and East Boston. The river joins the Charles River to form inner Boston Harbor. Significant portions of the river's shores are within the Mystic River Reservation and are administered by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The river has been the inspiration for the Lydia Child poem "Over the River and Through the Woods", and was one of the settings of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride". The river gave its name to the 2001 Dennis Lehane novel and its 2003 Academy Award winning Clint Eastwood film adaptation, Mystic River.


Selected images

State facts

Location of Massachusetts in the United States
Location of Massachusetts in the United States
Atlas showing the location of the major urban areas and roads in Massachusetts
Atlas of Massachusetts with Greater Boston highlighted

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In this month

Illustration of the Beacon Hill Reservoir

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State symbols

Colors Blue, Green, and Cranberry
Motto Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem
Song All Hail to Massachusetts
Bird Black-capped Chickadee
Tree American Elm
Flower Mayflower
Bug Ladybug
Mineral Babingtonite
Fish Cod
Beverage Cranberry Juice
Fossil Dinosaur Tracks
Soil Paxton Soil

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