Massachusetts: The Bay State
Geography and Industry
Massachusetts is both one of the smallest states and one of the most thickly populated states. Most of the people who live in Massachusetts live in the eastern part of the state, near the coast. The western part of the state has more mountains, with fewer cities, smaller towns, and a lot fewer people living there.
Because of its long and varied history, Massachusetts has a lot of places listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including three national historical parks: Lowell, Boston, and Minute Man.
Massachusetts is also home to many ponds and small lakes, such as the famous Walden Pond and Lake Chargogg.
Massachusetts has a lot of islands off of its coast, including such large ones as Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Rivers such as the Merrimack are short and speedy, and helped provide the waterpower that the early textile mills of the 1800s needed in order to run faster than any had before. These textile mills were part of the Industrial Revolution in America.
All About Massachusetts
- CAPITAL: Boston
- LARGEST CITY: Boston
- POPULATION: 6,349,097 (2000 Census)
- STATE BIRD: Chickadee
- STATE TREE: American Elm
- STATE FLOWER: Mayflower
- STATE MOTTO: “Ense Petit Placidam Sub Libertate Quietem (By the Sword We Seek Peace, but Peace Only under Liberty)”
- STATEHOOD: February 6, 1788
- POSTAL ABBREVIATION: MA
Starting at number 1, connect the dots in order to find a maple surprise.
EXTRA FUN: Take the total number of dots and divide by 2. This is how many gallons of sap from a maple tree it takes to make one gallon of pure New England maple syrup!
Massachusetts' economy relies heavily on industry. In other words, a lot of the people who live in Massachusetts make things for a living. Electronic items like computer parts, electrical wires and cords, plus tools, a lot of plastics, and many other manufactured things are all made in Massachusetts. Massachusetts has so much manufacturing within its borders partly because when industries began to manufacture goods in the modern way, Massachusetts was one of the first places where companies set up modern plants with assembly lines.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is one of the original thirteen states, and the second oldest of the English colonies (after Virginia). Its capital city of Boston was founded in 1630 by Puritans seeking religious freedom.
The Puritans were a group of people who came from England to America because of their religious differences with England's official church, the Anglican Church. Originally, this group of people hoped to “purify” the Anglican Church of some of its religious practices that they didn't like. This is how they got the nickname “Puritans.” Today the spiritual descendants of the Puritans are members of the Episcopalian Church of America.
Massachusetts has a rich history, and has many interesting things to see if you go visit, such as the battlefields of Lexington and Concord, where the American Revolution started. Also, the U.S. Navy's oldest active commissioned warship, a sailing vessel called the USS Constitution, is permanently docked in Boston Harbor. She is over two hundred years old!
The Words to Know
This is the longest name of any body of water in the United States. It is a Native American name that means “You fish on your side and I'll fish on my side, and nobody fishes in the middle,” and was probably named in honor of an agreement between two tribes on how best to peacefully share access to it.