Massachusetts State Overview

By | October 5, 2022

The federal state of Massachusetts is located in the northeast of the United States of America, which joined the Union on February 6, 1788. Massachusetts thus became the 6th state of the USA. It lies in the New England region and borders the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. The eastern and southeastern coasts are washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. With its area of 27,336 km2, Massachusetts is the 44th state of the USA.

The state got its name from the original Massachusetts Indian tribe that inhabited the Massachusetts Bay area. The name Massachusetts means “big hilly place” in translation. Inland, there are highlands, only the coast is mainly lowland. The highest mountain reaches a height of 1,064 meters above sea level. Major rivers such as the Charles River, the Connecticut River, and the Merrimack flow through the state. Beautiful lakes have also formed here, the most attractive of which is Quabbin Reservoir.

In the past, the present-day states of Maine and New Hampshire were also part of Massachusetts, but they later broke away. The first settlement on the territory of the state was Plymouth, where the first inhabitants settled. It was a very puritanical colony that did not tolerate any other religions. In 1675, a huge influx of slaves from Africa and Latin America was recorded. At that time, every recognized family had to have at least one slave.

In 1692, the bloody Salem witch trials broke out in Massachusetts, during which 24 people lost their lives. The 1870s were marked by revolution. In 1773, for example, there was a protest of American colonists against the British Empire called the “Boston Tea Drinking” or “Boston Tea Party”. At that time, several crates of pressed tea were destroyed in Boston harbor by the British, and this conflict led to the American Revolution for independence.

According to TRACKAAH, today, the state of Massachusetts has about 6.5 million inhabitants, of which about 85% are white, 5.5% are black, and the rest are Indians, Asians and other races. Hispanics make up about 7% of the population, regardless of race. The population is strongly religious, approximately 80% are Christians, of which the largest share is Roman Catholics and Protestants. However, we also find here Mormons, Jews and many other religions.

The main sectors of the economy today include industry, agriculture and tourism. The electrotechnical, electronic, engineering, shipbuilding, textile and rubber industries are of great importance. In agriculture, the cultivation of potatoes, tobacco, fruit and cattle breeding are important.

According to COUNTRYAAH, the capital and at the same time the largest city is Boston, where around 7.5 million people live. It is one of the oldest and culturally very important cities in the USA, which is a frequent venue for various colorful cultural events and interesting sports events. Major sports are, for example, baseball, ice hockey, basketball and American football. However, Boston is also a traditional center for science and research. The prestigious Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have their headquarters here. Other large cities include Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, Cambridge, Brockton, New Bedford, Fall River, Lynn or Quincy.

Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor

The Blackstone River Valley is a region in the state of Massachusetts and part of Rhode Island. It is the place where it was born and where the foundations of the American Industrial Revolution were laid. The region was named after the river that flows through it for 80 kilometers and its catchment covers an area of approximately 1,400 square kilometers.

The Blackstone River itself was named after the Reverend William Blackstone, originally from Great Britain. He settled in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1623, becoming the first European settler in the modern history of Boston and Rhode Island. In 1635 he moved to Rhode Island, where he built a house on the river. The original Native American population of this location called the river Kittacuck, which translated means “Big Funnel Mouth”. The river was very rich in salmon and lamprey in colonial times.

The American Industrial Revolution began in the United States in 1790 when Samuel Slater built the Slater Mill near Pawtucket Falls. It was the first textile mill in the US to be powered by water from the Blackstone River. Subsequently, other factories also began to use the water power of this river to drive, which is why the Blackstone River was later nicknamed “the hardest working river in America”. However, industrial development in the area made the river the primary source of pollution in the Narragansett Bay area, which it was until the late 20th century.

In 1955, frequent floods on the river caused considerable damage. The originally 21-meter-wide riverbed turned into a 1.6-kilometer-wide strip of water that rolled over the fertile land. The floods were caused by persistent rains brought here by a tropical cyclone that swept over the state. The Blackstone River was designated a National River Monument in 1998 along with the Woonasquatucket River. Currently, the Blackstone River is a special type of national park. It is a populated landscape, but it also includes thousands of natural, cultural and historical treasures. Here we can find large cities, towns and villages, which together are inhabited by over one million people.

Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor