MASSACHUSETTS - STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS

Boston

Massachusetts

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. Most of its population of 6.6 million lives in the Boston metropolitan area. The eastern half of the state consists of urban, suburban, and rural areas, while Western Massachusetts is mostly rural. Massachusetts is the most populous of the six New England states and ranks third among U.S. states in GDP per capita.

Massachusetts has been significant throughout American history. Plymouth was the second permanent English settlement in North America. Many of Massachusetts's towns were founded by colonists from England in the 1620s and 1630s. During the 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution and the independence of the United States from Great Britain. It was also a center of the temperance movement and abolitionist activity before the American Civil War. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legally recognize same-sex marriage. The state has contributed many prominent politicians to national service, including members of the Adams family and of the Kennedy family.

Originally dependent on fishing, agriculture, and trade with Europe, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, the state's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Today, the state is a leader in higher education, health care technology, high technology, and financial services.

Massachusetts is the 7th smallest state in the United States. It is located in the New England region of the northeastern United States, and has an area of 10,555 square miles (27,340 km2).Several large bays distinctly shape its coast. Boston is the largest city, at the inmost point of Massachusetts Bay, and the mouth of the Charles River.

Despite its small size, Massachusetts features numerous distinctive regions: in the west, the rolling Berkshire Mountains surround the fertile Connecticut River Valley (the latter of which contains metropolitan Springfield); in central Massachusetts, rural hill-towns surround Worcester; while the east encompasses the urban environs of Greater Boston, the sandy beaches of Cape Cod, and the rocky shorelines of the northern coast.

The National Park Service administers a number of natural and historical sites in Massachusetts. Along with twelve national historic sites, areas, and corridors, the National Park Service also manages the Cape Cod National Seashore and the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation maintains a number of parks, trails, and beaches throughout Massachusetts.

Luciano Mende

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