New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the
States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Canada and the
state of New
York, consisting of the modern U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
Island, and Connecticut.
In one of the earliest European settlements in the New World
the Kingdom of England
settled in New England in 1620, in the colony of Plymouth
. 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
New England produced the first pieces of American literature
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
The region voted for the Democratic Party Presidential nominee
the 1992, 1996, 2004, and 2008 elections, and every state but New
Hampshire voted for Al Gore
in the presidential election
. Following the 2008 elections, all members of the
House of Representatives
from New England belong to the Democratic Party. Democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont caucuses with the Democratic
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
Wampanoag occupied southeastern
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the islands of Martha's
Vineyard and Nantucket.
The Connecticut region was inhabited by the
tribes prior to European colonization.
The Virginia Companies compete
On April 10, 1606, King James I of
issued two charters, one each for the Virginia Companies
, of London
, respectively. 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.
These were privately-funded proprietary ventures, and the purpose
of each was to claim land for England, trade, and return a profit.
Competition between the two companies grew to where their potential
New World territory overlapped, and would be finalized based upon
The London Company was authorized to make settlements from North
Carolina to New York (31
41 degrees North
provided there was no conflict with the Plymouth Company’s
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. The Virginia Company of Plymouth's
charter included land extending as far as present-day northern
Maine. Captain John Smith
exploring the shores of the region in 1614, named the region "New
England" in his account of two voyages there, published as A
Description of New England
Plymouth Council for New England
The name "New England" was officially sanctioned on November 3,
1620, when the charter of the Virginia Company of Plymouth was
replaced by a royal charter
Plymouth Council for
, a joint stock
established to colonize and govern the region. 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
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
in 1643, the colonies of Massachusetts Bay
, and Connecticut
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
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
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
Dominion of New England
In 1686, King James II
concerned about the increasingly independent ways of the colonies,
including their self-governing charters, open flouting of the
, and increasing
military power, established the Dominion of New England
administrative union comprising all of the New England colonies. On
August 11, 1688, the provinces of New York
and New Jersey
, seized from the Dutch in
1664, and confirmed on September 12, 1673, were added. The union,
imposed from the outside and contrary to the rooted democratic
tradition of the region, was highly unpopular among the
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.
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
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
. 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
, boiling over with the breakout of the American War of Independence
Region of the United States
Boston College: The Old World's
enduring influence over New England is evident in the
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
Delegates from all over New England met in
Hartford in the winter of 1814-15. The gathering was called the
. 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
For the remainder of the Antebellum period, New England remained
distinct. Politically, 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 most prominently 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
, William H. Prescott
, and others.
New England was also an early center of the industrial revolution.
Rhode Island is considered the birthplace of America's
industrial revolution, the city in which Slater's
Mill was founded.
Despite the nickname, several
textile mills were already under way 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.
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
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
Prominent abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison
and Wendell Phillips
were New Englanders, and
the region was also home to prominent anti-slavery politicians like
John Quincy Adams
, Charles Sumner
, and John P. Hale
the anti-slavery Republican Party
in the 1850s, all of New England, including areas which 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
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.
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.
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.
enduring European influence can be seen in the region, from use of
to the bilingual French
and English towns of northern Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire, as
innocuous as the sprinkled use of British
, and as obvious as the region's heavy prevalence of
English town and county names, and its unique, often non-rhotic
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 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%.
population is contrastingly far more conservative than modern New
England and is mainly LDS
religion, but its substratal cultural character is largely
reminiscent of both early 19th century New England and Victorian England
(due to later direct
New England's long rolling hills, mountains, and jagged coastline
are glacial landforms
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
Mountains of New Hampshire is Mount
Washington, which at , is the highest peak in the northeast
It is also the site of the highest recorded
wind speed on Earth. 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
and the Merrimack
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
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'. 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
annually. As a result, the mountains and ski resorts of Vermont and
New Hampshire are popular destinations in the winter.
lowest recorded temperature in New England was at Bloomfield,
Vermont, on December 30,
This was tied by Big Black River,
Maine in 2009.
The area is geologically part of the New England province
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.
England were one state, its population would rank 5th in the
nation, behind Florida. Its land area, at , would rank 21st, behind
Washington and ahead of Georgia.
The region's average population density
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.
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).
populous state is Massachusetts, and the most populous city is
Massachusetts' political and cultural capital, Boston.
Coastal New England
The coastline is more urban than western New England, which is
typically rural, even in urban states like Massachusetts.
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. After
nearly 400 years, the region still maintains, for the most part,
its historical population layout.
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, and New London.
Urban New England
New England forms an integral part of the BosWash megalopolis, a
conglomeration of urban centers that spans from Boston to Washington,
The region includes three of the four
populated states in the United States
; only New Jersey has a
higher population density than the states of Rhode Island,
Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
, which includes parts
of southern New Hampshire, has a total population of approximately
4.4 million,, while over half the population of New England falls
inside Boston's Combined
of over 7.4 million. The most populous cities
as of 2000 Census (2008 estimates in parenthesis):
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
- Boston, Massachusetts: 589,141 (609,023)
- Providence, Rhode Island: 173,618 (175,255)
- Worcester, Massachusetts: 172,648 (175,454)
- Springfield, Massachusetts: 152,082 (150,640)
- Bridgeport, Connecticut: 139,529 (136,405)
- Hartford, Connecticut: 124,558 (124,062)
- New Haven, Connecticut: 123,626 (123,669)
- Stamford, Connecticut: 117,083 (119,303)
- Waterbury, Connecticut: 107,271 (107,037)
- Manchester, New Hampshire: 107,006 (108,586)
- Lowell, Massachusetts: 105,167 (103,615)
- Cambridge, Massachusetts: 101,355 (105,596)
Several factors contribute to the uniqueness of the New England
. 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
) 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, and was duplicated at similar sources of water
power such as Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Uxbridge, Massachusetts, and Lawrence, Massachusetts. Exports
mostly of industrial products, including specialized machines
by the region's educated workforce. About half of the region's
exports consist of industrial and commercial machinery, such as
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
Vermont, 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
. 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.
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
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.
These cities have struggled as
manufacturing, their traditional economic mainstay, has
On the other hand, New Hampshire and Connecticut had some of the
lowest poverty rates in the country in 2006.
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
, and has
abundant potato fields in its northeast part. Vermont fifteenth for
dairy products, and Connecticut and Massachusetts seventh and
eleventh for tobacco
Cranberries are grown in Massachusetts'
Cod-Plymouth-South Shore area, and blueberries in
As of 2007, the inflation-adjusted combined GSP
of the six states of New England was
$744.6 billion, with Massachusetts contributing the most, and
Vermont the least. If a single state, this would rank fourth, behind
York, Texas, and
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.
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).
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%).
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
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
in these places, and the activities of the individual
were severely restricted. This contrasts sharply with the strong
separation of church and state upon which Rhode Island was founded.
Providence had no public burial
and no Common until the year 1700 (64 years after its
founding) because religious and government institutions were so
rigorously kept distinct.Woodward, Wm
Guide to Providence Architecture
. 1st ed. 2003: United
New England and political thought
During the colonial period and the early years of the American
republic, New England leaders like John
, 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
, 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 has been adopted by the
tradition. Benjamin Tucker
, of Massachusetts, was a
proponent of individualist
. A modern example of this individualist spirit is the
Free State Project
Hampshire, and The Second
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
segregation of its public schools.
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
(Massachusetts), John Quincy
(New Hampshire), Chester
(born in Vermont,
affiliated with New York), Calvin
(born in Vermont, affiliated with Massachusetts),
John F. Kennedy
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,
Maine, affiliated with New York), George H.W. Bush.
Ten of the Speakers of the United States House of Representatives
have been elected from New England. They are, in chronological
order: Theodore Sedgwick
Speaker, Massachusetts), Joseph
(7th Speaker, Massachusetts), Robert Charles Winthrop
Speaker, Massachusetts), Nathaniel Prentice Banks
Speaker, Massachusetts), James G.
(31st Speaker, Maine),
Thomas Brackett Reed
38th, Maine), Frederick Gillett
(42nd, Massachusetts), Joseph
William Martin, Jr.
(49th and 51st, Massachusetts), John William McCormack
Massachusetts) and Tip O'Neill
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.
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
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 as well as
Governors Donald Carcieri (RI),
Jodi Rell (CT) and Jim Douglas (VT).
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.
In both the 2000 and 2004 presidential
elections, every congressional district with the exception of
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. He also
carried every county in New England except for Piscataquis County,
Maine, which he lost by 4% to Senator John
As does the rest of the United States, New England has winner-take-all single-member
representation in the national Congress. As a result of majority
Democratic support in every district in 2008, there were no
opposition (Republican) members of United States House of
elected in New England.
A derivative of meetings held by church elders, town meetings
were and are an integral part of
governance of many New England
. At such meetings, any citizen of the town may discuss
issues with other members of the community and vote on them.
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,
Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Such a strong democratic tradition was even
apparent in the early 19th century, when Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America
, 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." 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.
New England abolished the death
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
although New Hampshire currently has one death
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.
In 2006, Massachusetts adopted a health care reform
that requires nearly all state residents obtain health insurance.
In 2009, the Connecticut legislature overrode a veto by Governor
to pass SustiNet
, the first
significant public-option health care reform legislation in the
Colleges and universities
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.
founded in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, in 1701, and awarded the nation's first
doctoral (Ph.D.) degree in 1861. Yale moved to
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.
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
prominent American independent
(also known as private
). The concept of the elite "New England prep school
(preparatory school) and the "preppy
lifestyle is an iconic part of the region's image.
- See the list of private schools for each state:
Maine, New Hampshire,
School is the oldest public high school in
Several signers of the Declaration of Independence
attended Boston Latin.
New England states fund their public schools with expenditures per
student, and teacher salaries above the national median. As of
2005, the National
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
test under the No Child Left Behind
states can compare the resultant scores with each other.
Academic journals and press
New England is home to several prominent academic journals and
publishing companies, including The New England Journal of
, and Yale
. Also, many of its institutions lead the
open access alternative to
conventional academic publication, including MIT, the
of Connecticut, and the University of Maine.
The Federal Reserve Bank of
publishes the New England Economic
Public health and safety
The six states ranked within the top thirteen "healthiest states"
in 2007. In 2008 they all placed within the top eleven states. New
England had the largest proportion of its population covered by
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.
In comparing national obesity
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.
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%.
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.
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. 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
The first European colonists of New England were focused on
affairs such as whaling
than more continental
as surplus farming
. One of the older American regions, New
England has developed a distinct cuisine
, 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
spoken in the region.
The often-parodied Boston accent
(see Mayor Quimby
) is native to the region. Many of its most
stereotypical features (such as r-dropping
and the so-called
) are believed to have originated in
Boston from the influence of British 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
The Boston accent and accents closely related to
it cover eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Social activities and music
In much of rural New England, particularly Maine, Acadian
culture are included in
the region's music and dance. Contra
and country square
are popular throughout New England, usually backed by
live Irish, Acadian, or other folk music.
circles in rural New England have become less common;
and town government
are more typical
social activities. New Englanders of all ages also enjoy ice cream
socials. 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.
In the United States, candlepin
is essentially confined to New England, where it was
invented in the 19th century.
leading national cable sports broadcaster ESPN
is headquartered in Bristol, Connecticut.
New England has several regional cable
networks, including New England
(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.
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
NESN broadcasts the Boston Red Sox
and Boston Bruins
region, save for Fairfield County, Connecticut. 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
carries the Boston
and Boston Cannons
While most New England cities have daily newspapers, the
and New York Times
are distributed widely
throughout the region. Major newspapers also include the
, and Hartford
, the nation's oldest continuously published
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
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,
was from Portland, Maine. Edgar Allan Poe
was born in Boston.
According to many reports, the famed Mother
, 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
, Amy Lowell
, a Confessionalist
poet and teacher of
, 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
Edwin Arlington Robinson
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Robert P. T. Coffin
were born in Maine.
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
was a New Englander of French and Narragansett descent,
won the Pulitzer Prize for
, the predecessor to the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
1930 for his book Laughing Boy
John P. Marquand grew up in Newburyport,
, 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.
Proulx was born in Norwich, Connecticut. David
, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama
for his play Rabbit Hole
, was raised in
, written in 1911 by
, 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.
lived directly next door to Harriett Beecher Stowe
, a local whose
most famous work is Uncle Tom's
. 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.
, a New York City native,
used New England as the setting for some of his works, most notably
. 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
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.
recently, Stephen King, born in
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.
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
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
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
. 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. Volleyball
was invented by William G. Morgan
Massachusetts, in 1895.
Professional and semi-professional sports teams
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
There are also minor league baseball and hockey teams based in
larger cities such as the Pawtucket
(baseball), the Providence
(hockey), the Worcester
(baseball) and the Worcester Sharks
(hockey), the Lowell Spinners
(baseball) and the Lowell Devils
(hockey), the Portland Sea Dogs
(baseball) and the
(baseball),the Bridgeport Bluefish
(baseball), the New Britain Rock
(baseball), the Vermont
(baseball), the New Hampshire Fisher Cats
(baseball), the Bridgeport Sound
(hockey), the Brockton Rox
(baseball),the Hartford Wolf Pack
(hockey), the Manchester
(hockey) and the Springfield Falcons
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.
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.
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
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):
- New Haven, Connecticut
- Hartford, Connecticut
- Springfield, Massachusetts
- Providence, Rhode Island
- Newport, Rhode Island
- Plymouth, Massachusetts
- Boston and its surrounding
- Salem, Massachusetts
- Gloucester, Massachusetts
- Newburyport, Massachusetts
- Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Portland, Maine
Appalachian Mountains run through northern New England which make for
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.
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
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.
- "New England," Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia
2006. Archived 2006-10-13
- Paullin, Charles O.; Atlas of the Historical Geography of
the United States.; Edited by John K. Wright; New York, New
York and Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution of
Washington and American Geographical
Society of New York, 1932:Plate 42. ; Excellent section on
International and interstate boundary disputes.
- Swindler, William F.., ed. Sources and Documents of United
States Constitutions. 10 Volumes; Dobbs Ferry,
New York; Oceana Publications, 1973-1979; Vol. 10;
Pps. 17-23; The most complete and up-to-date compilation for the
- Van Zandt, Franklin K.; Boundaries of the United States and
the Several States; Geological Survey Professional Paper 909.
Washington, D.C.; Government Printing
Office; 1976. The standard compilation for its subject.; Page
- "In addition to claiming land for England and bringing the
faith of the Church of England to the native peoples,
each of the Virginia Companies was also enjoined both by the crown
and its members to make a tidy profit by whatever means it found
- Woodard, Colin. The
Lobster Coast. New York. Viking/Penguin, ISBN
0-670-03324-3, 2004, pp. 78-80
- Swindler, William F., ed; Sources and Documents of United
States Constitutions. 10 Volumes; Dobbs Ferry,
New York; Oceana Publications, 1973-1979. Volume
5: Pages 16-26.
- "...joint stock company organized in 1620 by a charter from the
British crown with authority to colonize and govern the area now
known as New England." New England, Council for. (2006). In
Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved July 13, 2006, from Encyclopædia
Britannica Premium Service: Britannica.com
- Charles French and Scott Mitchell. American Guide To U.S.
Coins: The Most Up-to-Date Coin Prices Available. Available
Coin-collecting.info (Accessed August 14,
- O’Callaghan, E. B., ed; Documents Relative to the Colonial
History of the State of New York, Volumes 1 -
11.;Albany, New York; 1853-1887 ; Volume 3:
- Craven, Wesley Frank; Colonies in Transition, 1660 –
1713.;New York, New York: Harper and Row, 1968.
- Morris, Gerald E., and Kelly, Richard D., eds; Maine
Bicentennial Atlas: An Historical Survey. Plate 11. Portland, Maine;
Portland Historical Society;
- James Schouler, History of the United States vol 1 (New York:
Dodd, Mead & Company. 1891; copyright expired).
- Dublin, Thomas. "Lowell Millhands." Transforming Women's Work.
Ithica: Cornell UP. 77-118.
- New England Climate Initiative. Available at Unh.edu (Accessed July 26, 2006).
- US Census figures
- U.S. Census Bureau - Metropolitan and
micropolitan statistical area population and estimated components
of change: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural
Statistics Service, available at:
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural
Statistics Service. Available at:
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural
Statistics Service. Available at:
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural
Statistics Service. Available at:
- Bureau of Economic Analysis. Available at: Bea.gov (Accessed February 19, 2009).
- History of the United States of America, by Henry William
Elson, The MacMillan Company, New York, 1904. Chapter VI p.
127–130. Available at: Usgennet.org (Accessed July 19, 2006).
- "School Integration in Boston: Introduction." Available at:
(Accessed July 19, 2006)
- Madison, James. Federalist No. 55. Quotation
attributed at Ilsr.org (Accessed July 19, 2006).
- See Harvard lecturer Robert I. Rotberg review Real
Democracy: the New England town meeting and how it works at
Democraciaparticipativa.net (Accessed July 19,
2006) , .
- "Death Penalty Information Center." Available at Deathpenaltyinfo.org (Accessed July 19, 2006).
- "New Hampshire has not executed anyone since 1939 and has no
one on death row. Seven inmates are waiting to die in Connecticut,
which conducted New England's last execution in 1960." FOXNews.com.
"Supreme Court Lifts Order Blocking Connecticut Execution."
Available at FOXNews.com Accessed July 19, 2006.
- Fahrenthold, David A. "Mass. Bill Requires Health Coverage," The
Washington Post April 5, 2006; Page A01. Retrieved December 6,
2006. See also Massachusetts 2006
Health Reform Statute.
- "She graduated from the elite Boston Latin School, the oldest
high school in America, in 1999." Taken from the New York
Post, available at Nypost.com (Accessed July 19, 2006).
- David Hackett Fischer, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in
America (Oxford University Press US, 1991) 30-50 
- New England Cable News. Available at Boston.com (Accessed July 19, 2006).
- New England Sports Network. Available at Boston.com (Accessed July 19, 2006).
- The Hartford Courant-Older Than the Nation : Courant.com, Accessed June 12, 2009.
- "In marathoning, it has a foothold - History means Boston can
give any race in the world a run for its money" by John Powers,
The Boston Globe, April 10, 2005
- Adams, James Truslow. The
Founding of New England (1921)
- Adams, James Truslow. Revolutionary New England,
- Adams, James Truslow. New England in the Republic,
- Andrews, Charles M. The Fathers of New England: A Chronicle
of the Puritan Commonwealths (1919), short survey.
- Axtell, James, ed. The American People in Colonial New
England (1973), new social history
- Black, John D. The rural economy of New England: a regional
- Brewer, Daniel Chauncey. Conquest of New England by the
- Conforti, Joseph A. Imagining New England: Explorations of
Regional Identity from the Pilgrims to the Mid-Twentieth
- Dwight, Timothy. Travels
Through New England and New York (circa 1800) 4 vol. (1969)
Online at: vol 1; vol 2; vol 3; vol 4
- Hall, Donald, foreword, Feintuch, Burt and Watters, David H.,
editors, Encyclopedia of New England (2005)
- Karlsen, Carol F. The Devil in the Shape of a Woman:
Witchcraft in Colonial New England (1998)
- Lilly, Lamberth. History of New England (1847)
- Lockridge, Kenneth A. A New England Town: The First Hundred
Years: Dedham, Massachusetts, 1636–1736 (1985), new social
- McPhetres, S. A. A political manual for the campaign of 1868,
for use in the New England states, containing the population and
latest election returns of every town (1868)
- Palfrey, John Gorham. History of New England (5 vol
- Zimmerman, Joseph F. The New England Town Meeting:
Democracy in Action (1999)
- New York: Atlas of Historical County Boundaries; John H. Long,
Editor; Compiled by Kathryn Ford Thorne; A Project of the Dr.
William M. Scholl Center for Family and Community History; The new
Berry Library; Simon & Schuster; 1993.
- Contributors: U.S. Census Bureau. . Retrieved May 11, 2005
- The Washington Post, Mass. Bill Requires Health Coverage
- The Guardian, Movers and Shakers
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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.
- 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
- 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
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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
- Berman, Eleanor. Eyewitness Travel Guides New England.
- 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