Massachusetts (State)

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°18’NB, 71°48’WL
General
Surface 27.360 km²
(25,7% water)
Residents 6.587.536
(249 inhabitants/km²)
Capital city Boston
Politics
Governor Charlie Baker (R)
Other
Time zone Eastern Standard Time (UTC−5)
Joined 6 februari 1788
Nickname Bay State (official)
Lied All Hail to Massachusetts
ISO 3166-2 US-MA
Website mass.gov

Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is one of the states of the United States and is located in the New England region. The state’s nickname is the “Bay State” (“Bay State”), after Massachusetts Bay, the part of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Massachusetts. The capital is Boston.

Name

The name Massachusetts is said to come from the native Massa-dchu-es-at, or “big hill, small place”.

Its official designation is “Commonwealth of Massachusetts”, after the name of the original colony before the United States Declaration of Independence. Commonwealth only has meaning as part of the name; it does not change Massachusetts’ status as a state of the United States.

History

In 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers who arrived with the Mayflower founded a colony, the Plymouth Colony, where the town of Plymouth is now. Not long after, the Puritans founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Puritan principles were strictly applied here; for example, there was a 5 Shilling fine for celebrating Christmas on December 25. It wasn’t until 1856 that this day would be recognized as a public holiday in Massachusetts.

When they landed here, the group of the Pilgrim Fathers entered land that was not uninhabited. Several American Indian tribes lived there: Pemaquid, Wampanoags, Pokanokets, and Narragansetts. A Pemaquid and some Wampanoags helped the Pilgrim Fathers through the first winter. They also provided seeds. Living together went well for a number of years, but more and more settlers came, who wanted more and more land from the tribes to build settlements. In short, 40 years later, the Wampanoags had largely drifted west into the wilderness. In 1675, after a series of provocations on the part of the whites, war broke out between an alliance of native tribes and settlers with their firearms. This marked the downfall of the Wampanoags and Narragansetts.

Massachusetts was one of thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule. (See also: Boston Tea Party). The Boston Massacre took place on March 5, 1770, when British troops fired on protesting civilians. On February 9, 1775, the British Parliament ruled that the colony rebelled, after which additional troops were sent. On April 19 of that year, the War of Independence began with skirmishes in Lexington and Concord. On February 6, 1788, Massachusetts ratified the new United States Constitution, making it the sixth state of the United States.

On March 15, 1820, Maine, until then part of Massachusetts, became an independent state within the United States.

Geography

The state covers an area of ​​27,360 km², of which 20,317 km² is land. This makes it one of the smallest states. The highest point is Mount Greylock (1063 m). The state is rich in large and small lakes. The main river is the Connecticut.

Located on the Atlantic Ocean, Massachusetts includes the Cape Cod Peninsula and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. It is bordered to the north by the states of New Hampshire and Vermont, to the west by New York, and to the south by Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The main cities are the capital Boston, Springfield, Worcester and Lowell. Massachusetts uses the Eastern time zone.

Demography and Economics

According to TRACKAAH, Massachusetts had 6,416,505 inhabitants (235 per km²). In 2003, the state’s gross product was $297 billion, or $39,504 per capita, making it the fourth wealthiest state. Massachusetts is home to many well -known educational institutions, such as Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

A Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling has allowed gays in Massachusetts to marry each other since May 17, 2004.

List of counties in Massachusetts

According to COUNTRYAAH, the US state of Massachusetts is divided into 14 counties. In a number of counties with a strong municipal (town) level governance structure, county government has been abolished. In these cases, the county’s duties have been taken over by the state government. The judiciary usually remains organized per county. Therefore, the sheriff, who is responsible for law enforcement in the county, is still elected at the county level. Because the county has partly disappeared as a government layer, Massachusetts has passed a law that allows municipalities to work together and, for example, to set up communal services.

Three counties have two capitals: Essex County, Middlesex County and Plymouth.

County Inhabitants
1 July, 2007
County Seat Inhabitants
1 July, 2007
Barnstable 222.175 Barnstable 46.738
Berkshire 129.798 Pittsfield 42.931
Bristol 523.024 Taunton 55.783
Dukes 15.485 Edgartown 3920
Essex 733.101 Salem
Lawrence
40.922
70.066
Franklin 71.602 Greenfield 13.736
Hampden 457.908 Springfield 149.938
Hampshire 153.147 Northampton 28.411
Middlesex 1.473.416 Cambridge
Lowell
101.388
103.512
Nantucket 10.531 Nantucket 4211
Norfolk 654.909 Dedham 23.594
Plymouth 490.258 Brockton
Plymouth
93.092
7914
Suffolk 713.049 Boston 599.351
Worcester 781.352 Worcester 173.966

Politics

The executive branch of the state is headed by a governor, who is directly elected by the voters in the state. Massachusetts is one of the most liberal states in the country, traditionally voting for the Democratic party in presidential elections. At the local level, however, the results are more varied, for example, in 2014 Charlie Baker of the Republican Party was elected governor of the state of Massachusetts. In January 2015, he succeeded Democrat Deval Patrick, who served as governor of Massachusetts for eight years.

The legislature is made up of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (Massassa House of Representatives) with 160 members and the Massachusetts Senate (Massachusetts Senate) with 40 members. For more than twenty years, Democrats have had a majority in both houses.

The death penalty has been abolished in Massachusetts.

Other information

  • Part of Herman Melville ‘s book Moby Dick was set on the island of Nantucket.
  • Well-known sports teams include the Boston Celtics (basketball), the New England Patriots (American football), the Boston Bruins (ice hockey), and the Boston Red Sox (baseball).
  • Massachusetts is also mentioned in literature, for example in The Crucible (Arthur Miller). This is where the Salem Witch Trials are discussed.
  • The inhabitants of this state are called Baystaters after the nickname.

Flag of Massachusetts