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New England is a geographically and culturally distinct region of the United States of America, located in the northeastern corner of the country. It consists of the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Current residents are called New Englanders. Its original residents and their descendants are called Yankees.

The region was inhabited by indigenous peoples when English Pilgrims, fleeing religious persecution in Europe, arrived 1620-1640. The colonies prospered economically and developed a distinctive religious culture, based on Puritanism (which became the Congregational denomination), and a commitment to local self-government and democracy. In the 1770s, Massachusetts, supported by its neighbors and all 13 colonies, defied British efforts to restrict the traditional rights of the people. The American Revolution broke out, with New England supplying soldiers, ships and battlefields. The Industrial Revolution in America, following closely the British model, developed rapidly in New England after 1810, with textile mills and machine shops supported by Boston finance. Known for its political conservatism, 1790-1840, the region was a center of economic and social modernization, as well as high culture and education. It built great colleges like Harvard and Yale, and created the public school system copies by every state. Thanks to the pietistic religious sentiments the region became the center of anti-slavery agitation and a base for the Republican party that emerged in the 1850s and came to power in the 1860 election.

With Boston as its financial, transportation and cultural hub, New England was an economic powerhouse by 1900, attracting French immigrants from Canada along with Irish Catholics. It reached the acme of economic and political power 1900-1930, but never fully recovered from the Great Depression of the 1930s. Long a Republican bastion, the heavily Catholic cities moved the region toward the Democratic party and the New Deal Coalition after 1928. In the 1960-1980 era the region went through a painful economic transformation, as most textile mills and factories were shuttered. It transformed into a premier center of higher education, science, medicine and financial services.


New England had long been inhabited by Algonquian-speaking native peoples, including the Abenaki, the Penobscot, the Wampanoag, and others. Before the arrival of Europeans in the region, the Western Abenakis mostly inhabited New Hampshire and Vermont, but also ranged into parts of Quebec and western Maine. The Penobscot were settled along the Penobscot River in Maine. The Wampanoag occupied southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

Plymouth Council for New England

In 1620 a royal charter was issued to the Plymouth Council for New England, a joint stock company established to colonize and govern the region. In December 1620, a permanent settlement was established at present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts by the Pilgrims. They were a small tight-knit body of English religious separatists who had moved to Holland. The much larger colony, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was established at Boston, Massachusetts in 1628. After beiung banished from Massachusetts for religious heresy, Roger Williams led a group south, and founded Providence, Rhode Island in 1636. The Connecticut Colony was granted a charter in 1628, and established its own government. At this time, Vermont was yet unsettled, and the territories of New Hampshire and Maine were part of Massachusetts.

New England Confederation

In these early years, relationships between colonists and Native Americans alternated between peace and war. The bloodiest was the Pequot War, in 1643 the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, New Haven, and Connecticut joined together in a loose compact called the New England Confederation. It coordinated mutual defense against threats from Native 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. It fell apart when Massachusetts refused to commit itself to a war against the Dutch.

Dominion of New England

By the 1680s London decided to consolidate the American colonies into a few large provinces for the sake of better administration of defense, commerce, and justice. They experimented with New England, setting up the "Dominion of New England" in 1686, under Gov. Edmund Andros. Power was vested in the governor and a council, appointed by the king; there was no representative assembly. Andros' strict administration of the Navigation Acts, his attempts to establish English land law, and above all the menace of taxation without representation drew all groups into opposition. Upon new the Glorious Revolution of 1688 had overthrown King James II, the Puritans rose in revolt and easily overthrew him without bloodshed in April 1689.

American Revolution

Early Republic

Civil War and Gilded Age

20th century to 1940

1940 to 1975

1975 to present

Geography and climate

New England's geography is the result of retreating ice sheets that shaped the landscape thousands of years ago, leaving behind long rolling hills, mountains, and a jagged coastline. The seacoast of the region, extending from southwestern Connecticut to northeastern Maine, is dotted with lakes, hills, swamps, and sandy beaches, especially in Cape Cod. Farther from the coast are higher elevations, including mountain ranges and rocky hills, which extend through Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. These are a part of the Appalachian Mountains. Mount Washington, at 1,917 m (6,288 ft), in New Hampshire's White Mountains, is the highest peak in the northeast United States. 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, are smaller than the White Mountains. Valleys in the region include the Connecticut River Valley and the Merrimack Valley. They comprise major tourist destinations, with summer homes along the lakes and ski sloped active in the winter, and with "leaf peepers" driving long distances to view the spectacular colors of the fall foliage.

The region has many rivers and streams. The longest is the Connecticut River, which flows from northeastern New Hampshire for 655 km (407 mi) until it empties into the Long Island Sound. Lake Champlain, between Vermont and New York, is the largest lake in the region, followed by Moosehead Lake (Maine), Lake Winnipesaukee (New Hampshire), Quabbin Reservoir (Massachusetts), and Candlewood Lake (Connecticut).

The climate in New England is known for its unpredictability, and it varies throughout the region. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, in the north of the region, have a humid continental short summer climate, with cooler summers and long, cold winters. Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, in the south, have a humid continental long summer climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Fall in New England is known for its bright and colorful foliage which comes earlier than in other states, and is an important tourist season. Springs are generally wet and cloudy. The average rainfall for most of the region is 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 2,500 mm (100 in) annually.


Demographic history

Between 1790 and 1840, median completed family size fell by half. Age at marriage rose only moderately during this period, but the rate of premarital pregnancy plummeted, intervals between births lengthened, and mothers' age at last birth fell to thirty-seven. Analysis of the number of children born to a subset of mothers younger than thirty around 1820 suggests that couples' motives for postponing births appear to have been as much cultural as economic.[1]


As of 2000, the total population of New England was 13,900,000, double the 1910 total of 6,600,000. If New England were one state, its population would rank 5th in the nation, behind Florida. The total area, at 70,100 sq mi (180,000 sq km), would rank 20th, behind North Dakota.

Southern New England

Three quarters of New England's population is concentrated in Massachusetts, Connecticut,and Rhode Island, with a population density over 600/sq mi. During the late 20th century, New York City suburbs reached into southwestern Connecticut; towns like Greenwich became high-income suburbs and now have the headquarters of major industrial and financial firms whose CEO's live nearby. Boston's suburbs spread out 50 miles to the north and west, reaching to Worcester, the third-largest city in the region.

Coastal New England

The coastline is more urban than western New England, which is typically rural, even in urban states like Massachusetts. This 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-populated. After nearly 400 years, the region still maintains, for the most part, its historical population layout.

New England's coast is dotted with urban centers, such as Portland, Portsmouth, Boston, New Bedford, Fall River, Newport, Providence, New Haven, Bridgeport, and Stamford as well as smaller cities, like Newburyport, Gloucester, Biddeford, Bath, Rockland, and New London. The smaller fishing towns, like Gloucester, are popular tourist attractions, as they tend to retain their historical character, and often have colorful pasts.

Cape Cod, the signature hook-shaped peninsula of Massachusetts, also a popular tourist attraction, is lined with sandy beaches and dotted with bed and breakfast tourist lodgings. The picturesque and rugged coast of Maine is best known for its beauty and for lobster. New Hampshire, which has the shortest coastline of any coastal state, is home to Hampton Beach, also frequented by visitors to the region.

Urban New England

Southern New England forms an integral part of the megalopolisthat spans from Boston to Washington. Providence is the second-largest city in New England and is distibguished by many buildinggs on the National Register. The Boston metropolitan area, which includes parts of southern New Hampshire, has a total population of 5.8 million. The largest cities by population in New England (2000 data) are listed; their metropolitan area populations are much larger:

  1. Boston, Massachusetts: 596,638
  2. Providence, Rhode Island: 173,618
  3. Worcester, Massachusetts: 172,648
  4. Springfield, Massachusetts: 152,082
  5. Bridgeport, Connecticut: 139,529
  6. Hartford, Connecticut: 124,558
  7. New Haven, Connecticut: 123,626
  8. Stamford, Connecticut: 117,083
  9. Waterbury, Connecticut: 107,271
  10. Manchester, New Hampshire: 107,006
  11. Lowell, Massachusetts: 105,167


Several factors contribute to the uniquenesses of the New England economy. 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 granite, lobster, and codfish, 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 earliest textile industry developed at sources of water power such as in Lowell and Lawrence, Massachusetts, Manchester, New Hampshire, and Woonsocket, Rhode Island but have long since departed due to high operating costs there. Exports consist mostly of industrial products, including specialized machines and weaponry, built by the region's educated workforce. About half of the region's exports consist of industrial and commercial machinery, such as computers 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 at Barre, Vermont, guns made at Springfield, Massachusetts, boats at Groton, Connecticut and Bath, Maine, and hand tools at Turners Falls, Massachusetts. Insurance is a driving force in and around Hartford, Connecticut.

Hartford, the "Insurance Capital of the World".New England also exports food products, ranging from fish to lobster, cranberries, Maine potatoes, and maple syrup. 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 May 2006, the unemployment rate in New England was 4.5%, below the national average. Vermont, with the lowest of the six states, had a rate of 3%. The highest was Rhode Island, with 5.5%. The metropolitan statistical area (MSA) with the lowest rate, 2.5%, was Burlington-South Burlington, in Vermont; the MSA with the highest rate, 7.9%, was Lawrence-Methuen-Salem, in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

New England is home to 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, and others in the region, because of their age have struggled with the transition from compact, pre-1950 settlement and industrial patterns to the contemporary, more suburban and spread-out patterns of residential and industrial living and decline of American industry.

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, Vermont fifteenth for dairy products, and Connecticut and Massachusetts seventh and eleventh for tobacco, respectively. Cranberries are grown in the Cape Cod - Plymouth area, and blueberries in Maine. As of 2005, the inflation-adjusted combined GSPs of the six states of New England was $623.1 billion, with Massachusetts contributing the most, and Vermont the least.


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 most of New England is marked by religious intolerance and harsh laws. In the beginning, there was no separation of church and state 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 ground and no Common until the year 1700 (64 years after its founding) because religious and government institutions were so rigorously kept distinct.

Town meetings

A derivative of meetings held by church elders, town meetings were and are an integral part of governance of the New England town. At such meetings, any citizen of the town may discuss issues with other members of the community and vote on them. This is 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, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Such a strong democratic tradition was even apparent in the early 19th century, when Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in Democracy in America that in

New England, where education and liberty are the daughters of morality and religion, where society has acquired age and stability enough to enable it to form principles and hold fixed habits, the common people are accustomed to respect intellectual and moral superiority and to submit to it without complaint, although they set at naught all those privileges which wealth and birth have introduced among mankind. In New England, consequently, the democracy makes a more judicious choice than it does elsewhere.

James Madison, 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 and political thought

Samuel Adams, a brewer and patriot during the revolutionary periodDuring the colonial period and the early years of the American republic, New England leaders like John Hancock, John Adams, and Samuel Adams joined those in Philadelphia and Virginia to assist and lead the newly-forming country. At the time of the American Civil War, 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 individualism, and has been adopted by the anarchist tradition. Benjamin Tucker, of Massachusetts, was a proponent of individualist anarchism. A modern example of this separatist spirit is the Free State Project in New Hampshire, and The Second Vermont Republic in Vermont.

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 busing to end de facto segregation of its public schools.

Contemporary politics

Elections of 2006

The dominant party in New England is the Democratic Party. In the U.S. general elections of 2006, which determined the composition of the 110th Congress, Democrats made a number of gains in the region. The U.S. Senators from New England is comprised of six elected Democrats, two elected independents that caucus with the Democrats, and four Republicans. Of the twenty-two congressmen elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, there is only one Republican, Christopher Shays of Connecticut. In all of the New England states, both legislative houses have a majority of Democratic representatives. Democrats hold half of New England's governor's positions, those of Maine, New Hampshire, and as of 2007, Massachusetts. While the governors of Connecticut and Rhode Island remain Republicans, the legislatures have veto-overriding Democratic super-majorities in both states (as well as Massachusetts). The Republican state parties in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts are weak.

In 2006, Massachusetts elected Deval Patrick; the first Democratic governor elected in the state since Michael Dukakis's 1986 election to a third term. Patrick is the second black elected governor in the United States. Democrats took over the New Hampshire General Court and Executive Council for the first time since the 1875. New Hampshire, prior to the 2006 election, was the only Republican-controlled legislature in New England. In Rhode Island, the Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee was narrowly defeated. Four Republican members of the House of Representatives in New England were defeated; Charlie Bass and Jeb Bradley in New Hampshire and Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons in Connecticut. Simmons lost his seat to Democrat Joe Courtney by 91 votes, the closest House race in the country.

Presidential elections, 2000, 2004

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 New Hampshire's 1st district were won by Gore and Kerry respectively.


New England has a history of shared heritage and culture primarily shaped by waves of immigration from Europe. A cultural divide, however, also exists between urban New Englanders living along the densely-populated coastline and rural New Englanders in western Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, where population density is low.

Connecticut is a cultural paradox, compared to the other states in the region. The southwestern part of the state is largely suburban dotted with larger cities Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford, and Danbury, and as part of the New York metropolitan area, is culturally tied more with New York City than the rest of the New England region. The remainder of the state, however, is culturally similar to neighboring Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Residents of this area are often referred to as "Swamp Yankees." An example of Connecticuts's cultural dichotomy can be found in residents' allegiance to sports teams. Western Connecticut residents tend to support New York teams, unlike the rest of the state who tend to be loyal to Boston teams. Television broadcasts in Hartford and New Haven typically give equal coverage to sports teams from both Boston and New York.

Cultural roots

The first European colonists of New England were focused on maritime affairs such as whaling and fishing, rather than more continental inclinations such as surplus farming. One of the older American regions, New England has developed a distinct cuisine, dialect, architecture, 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, such as New Haven's famous white clam pizza.


The often-parodied Boston accent is native to the region. Many of its most stereotypical features (such as r-dropping and the so-called broad A) are the result of influence of high-prestige English accents on Boston's upper class. The Boston accent and accents closely related to it cover eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, though there is of course significant dialect variation within this area.

Also found in New England is the distinctively conservative dialect of Rhode Island. The accent family of western New England (most of Connecticut, western Massachusetts, and Vermont) differs sharply from the Boston accent to its east and the New York accent to its southwest, but is thought to be closely related to the so-called Inland North accent of the Great Lakes region due west of it, to which western New England contributed many early settlers.

Social activities and music

Bars and pubs, especially those with Irish themes, are popular social venues. Closer to Boston, musicians from Ireland often tour pubs, playing traditional Irish folk music, usually with a singer, a fiddler, and a guitarist. This area also has thriving hardcore, punk, and indie rock music scenes. Surf rock was pioneered by Dick Dale of Quincy, Massachusetts, and the Pixies, of Boston, influenced the grunge movement of the 1990s. Dropkick Murphys, from South Boston, mix hardcore and punk music with Irish music in a style known as Celtic Punk. Also, both Boston and New Haven have had a big influence on ska musicians from the Northeast.

In much of rural New England, particularly Maine, Acadian and Quebecois culture are included in local music and dance. Contra dancing and country square dancing are popular throughout New England, usually backed by live Irish, Acadian, or other folk music.

Traditional knitting, quilting and rug hooking circles in rural New England have become less common; church, sports, and town government are more typical social activities.


New England has several regional broadcasting companies, including New England Cable News (NECN) and the New England Sports Network (NESN) as well as the national cable sports broadcaster ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut. The former 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.

The New England Sports Network covers New England sports teams throughout the region, save for Fairfield County, Connecticut.

While most New England cities have daily newspapers, the Boston Globe and New York Times are distributed widely throughout the region.


New England is home to four of the eight Ivy League universities. Pictured here is Dartmouth Hall on the campus of Dartmouth College. New England contains some of the oldest and most renowned institutions of higher learning in the United States. The first such institution, Harvard, was founded at Cambridge, Massachusetts, to train preachers, in 1636. Yale University was founded in New Haven, Connecticut in 1701 and awarded the first Ph.D. degree in the United States in 1861, and was the first to formally integrate sciences into its curriculum. It is therefore sometimes considered the first true American university. According to US News and World Report, 8 of the nation's top 50 universities and 13 of its top 50 liberal arts colleges are located in New England. These include four out of the eight universities in the Ivy League (Brown University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University and Yale University), Amherst College, Bates College, Boston College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, the College of the Holy Cross, Connecticut College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Middlebury College, Rhode Island School of Design, Trinity College, Tufts University, Wellesley College, Wesleyan University, Williams College and many others.

In addition, New England is home to fourteen ABA accredited law schools, including Boston University School of Law, Franklin Pierce Law Center, Harvard Law School, Roger Williams University School of Law, Vermont Law School, Yale Law School and others.

At the pre-college level, New England is home to a majority of the most prominent American independent schools (also known as private schools), such as Buckingham Browne & Nichols, Deerfield Academy, Phillips Academy, Noble and Greenough School, Milton Academy, and Groton Academy in Massachusetts, St. Paul's School and Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, Choate Rosemary Hall, Hotchkiss School, Cheshire Academy, Hopkins Grammar School, Avon Old Farms, Brunswick School, Greenwich Academy, Miss Porter's, Ethel Walker School, Westminster School and Loomis Chaffee in Connecticut, and the schools of the Independent School League. The concept of the elite "New England prep school" and the "preppy" lifestyle is an iconic part of the region's image.

New England states also fund their public schools well, with high spending rates per student and teacher salaries higher than elsewhere. As of 2005, the National Education Association ranked Connecticut with the highest-paid teachers in the country. Massachusetts and Rhode Island ranked eighth and ninth, respectively. Every state but New Hampshire is in the top ten for educational spending per student.[41] Boston Latin School is the oldest public high school in America. Several signers of the Declaration of Independence attended Boston Latin.

New England is home to several prominent academic journals and publishing companies, including The New England Journal of Medicine, Harvard University Press, and Yale University Press. Also, many of its institutions lead the open access alternative to conventional academic publication, including MIT, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Maine. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston publishes the New England Economic Review.


Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston and spent most of his literary career in Concord, Massachusetts.New England has been the birthplace of many American authors and poets. Ralph Waldo Emerson was born near Boston. Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts, where he famously lived, for some time, by Walden 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. Henry W. Longfellow was from Portland, Maine. Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston. Robert Lowell, Confessionalist poet and teacher of Sylvia Plath, was also a New England native. Plath hailed from Boston. Anne Sexton, also taught by Lowell, was born and died in Massachusetts. Current 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.

Ethan Frome, written in 1911 by Edith Wharton, 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.

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. He lived directly next door to Harriett Beecher Stowe, a local whose most famous work is Uncle Tom's Cabin. 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 insured that he would be associated with the region.

More recently, Stephen King of Main, 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. Just to the south, Rick Moody has set 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.

Boston has laways beena major center for publishing; it was upstaged by New York in the miod 19th century. Boston remains the home of publishers Houghton Mifflin and Pearson Education, and was the longtime home of literary magazine The Atlantic Monthly. Merriam-Webster is based in Springfield, Massachusetts. Yankee, a magazine for New Englanders, is based in Dublin, New Hampshire.


The region's colleges developed a rich athletic program in the 19th century, creating a model for the nation in intercollegiate athletics. Two popular American sports were invented in New England. Basketball was invented by James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891. Volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in 1895. The earliest known written reference to the sport of baseball is a 1791 Pittsfield, Massachusetts by-law banning the playing of the game within 80 yards of the town's new meeting house.

High school football rivalries date back to the 19th century, and the Harvard-Yale rivalry is the oldest in college football. The Boston Marathon, run on Patriot's Day every year, is a New England cultural institution.

New England major league sports fans generally consider their local teams to be Boston area based, although this varies in Connecticut.

List of Sports Teams in New England

see Subpage


The Appalachian Mountains run through northern New England which make for excellent skiing. Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine are home to various ski resorts.

Acadia National Park, off the coast of Maine, preserves most of Mount Desert Island and includes mountains, an ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes.

The coastal New England states are home to many oceanfront beaches, with the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts an upscale summer resort area.

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 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.

Further reading

See the detailed guide at the Bibliography subpage

  • Hall, Donald, Burt Feintuch, and David H. Watters, , eds. Encyclopedia of New England (2005), the major scholarly resource
  • Adams, James Truslow. The Founding of New England (1921) online editionu
  • Adams, James Truslow. Revolutionary New England, 1691-1776 (1923) online edition
  • Adams, James Truslow. New England in the Republic, 1776-1850 (1926) online edition
  • Andrews, Charles M. The Fathers of New England: A Chronicle of the Puritan Commonwealths (1919), short survey by leading scholar. online edition


  • Hall, Donald, Burt Feintuch, and David H. Watters, , eds. Encyclopedia of New England (2005), the major scholarly resource

General and political

  • Adams, James Truslow. The Founding of New England (1921) online edition
  • Adams, James Truslow. Revolutionary New England, 1691-1776 (1923) online edition
  • Adams, James Truslow. New England in the Republic, 1776-1850 (1926) online edition
  • Andrews, Charles M. The Fathers of New England: A Chronicle of the Puritan Commonwealths (1919), short survey by leading scholar. online edition
  • Axtell, James, ed. The American People in Colonial New England (1973), new social history
  • Beals, Carleton; Our Yankee Heritage: New England's Contribution to American Civilization (1955) online
  • Brooke, John L. The Heart of the Commonwealth: Society and Political Culture in Worcester County, Massachusetts, 1713-1861 (1989)
  • Bushman, Richard L. From Puritan to Yankee: Character and the Social Order in Connecticut, 1690–1765 (1967) online at ACLS e-books
  • Formisano, Ronald P. Transformation of Political Culture: Massachusetts Parties, 1790s-1840s (1983)
  • Handlin, Oscar. "Yankees", in Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, ed. by Stephan Thernstrom, (1980) pp 1028–1030.
  • Hill, Ralph Nading. Yankee Kingdom: Vermont and New Hampshire. (1960).
  • Palfrey, John Gorham. History of New England (5 vol 1859-90)
  • Pierce, Neal. The New England States (1972), in depth look at politics and society
  • Scherr, Arthur. "Thomas Jefferson's Nationalist Vision of New England and the War of 1812." The Historian. 69#1 (2007) pp 1+ online edition
  • Zimmerman, Joseph F. The New England Town 7Meeting: Democracy in Action (1999) online edition

Ethnicity and race

  • Dauphinais, Paul R. "Structure and Strategy: French-Canadians in Central New England, 1850–1900" (PhD diss., University of Maine, 1991)
  • Hareven, Tamara K. Family Time and Industrial Time: The Relationship Between the Family and Work in a New England Industrial Community (1982). on French millworkers in Manchester NH* Piersen, William Dillon. Black Yankees: The Development of an Afro-American Subculture in Eighteenth-Century New England (1988)
  • MacDonald, William, "The French Canadians in New England," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Apr., 1898), pp. 245-279 in JSTOR
  • Melish, Joanne Pope. Disowning Slavery: Gradual Emancipation and "Race" in New England, 1780-1860. (1998) 310 pp
  • Quintal, Claire, ed. Steeples and Smokestacks: A Collection of Essays on the Franco-American Experience in New England,(Worcester, MA: Assumption College, Institut français, 1996).
  • Waldron, FlorenceMae. "'I Never Dreamed It Was Necessary To Marry!': Women and Work in New England French Canadian Communities, 1870–1930," Journal of American Ethnic History 24, no. 2 (Winter 2005): 34–64
  • Waldron, FlorenceMae. "The Battle over Female (In)Dependence: Women in New England Quebecois Migrant Communities, 1870–1930." Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 26.2 (2005) 158-205 in Project Muse

Demographic, gender and family studies

  • Brewer, Daniel Chauncey. Conquest of New England by the Immigrant (1926). online edition
  • Cott, Nancy F. The Bonds of Womanhood: "Woman's Sphere" in New England, 1780-1835 (1977)
  • Dayton, Cornelia Hughes. "Taking the Trade: Abortion and Gender Relations in an Eighteenth-Century New England Village," William and Mary Quarterly, 48#1 (1991), 19–49, tells of a young unmarried woman who took an abortifacient at the urging of her lover and subsequently died
  • Dublin, Thomas. Transforming Women's Work: New England Lives in the Industrial Revolution (1994)
  • Gevitz, Norman. "'The Devil Hath Laughed at the Physicians': Witchcraft and Medical Practice in Seventeenth-Century New England," Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 55#1 January 2000, pp. 5-36 - in Project Muse
  • Hareven, Tamara K. Family Time and Industrial Time: The Relationship Between the Family and Work in a New England Industrial Community (1982). on French millworkers in Manchester NH
  • Karlsen, Carol F. The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England (1998) online edition
  • Kelly, Catherine E. "The Consummation of Rural Prosperity and Happiness": New England Agricultural Fairs and the Construction of Class and Gender, 1810-1860" American Quarterly 49#3 September 1997, pp. 574-602 in Project Muse
  • Knights, Peter R.; Yankee Destinies: The Lives of Ordinary Nineteenth-Century Bostonians (1991) online
  • Lockridge, Kenneth A. A New England Town: The First Hundred Years: Dedham, Massachusetts, 1636-1736 (1985), new social history
  • Lockridge, Kenneth. "Land, Population, and the Evolution of New England Society, 1630-1790," Past and Present 34 (1968): 62-80.
  • Main, Gloria L. "An Inquiry into When and Why Women Learned to Write in Colonial New England," Journal of Social History, 24 (1992), 579–589. in JSTOR
  • Main, Gloria L. "Rocking the Cradle: Downsizing the New England Family," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 37#1 Summer 2006, pp. 35-58 in [Project Muse]]
  • Mathews, Lois K. The Expansion of New England: The Spread of New England Settlement and Institutions to the Mississippi River, 1620-1865 (1909). online edition
  • Morgan, Edmund S. "Puritans and Sex," New England Quarterly, 15 (1942), 591–607 in JSTOR
  • Preston, Jo Anne. "Domestic Ideology, School Reformers, and Female Teachers: Schoolteaching Becomes Women's Work in Nineteenth-Century New England" New England Quarterly (1993) 66#4: 531-51. in JSTOR
  • Sievens, Mary Beth. "Female Consumerism and Household Authority in Early National New England," Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 4#2, Fall 2006, pp. 353-371 in Project Muse
  • Smith, Daniel Scott, and Michael S. Hindus, "Premarital Pregnancy in America 1640–1971: An Overview and Interpretation," Journal of Interdisciplinary History, V (1975), 537–570.
  • Ulrich, Laura T. A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785–1812. (1990)

Economic, class and labor studies

  • Bailyn, Bernard. New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century (1955)
  • Barron, Hal S. Those Who Stayed Behind: Rural Society in Nineteenth-Century New England (1984).
  • Bidwell, Percy Wells, and John I. Falconer. History of Agriculture in the Northern United States, 1620-1860 (1941)
  • Black, John D. The rural economy of New England: a regional study (1950) online edition
  • Blewett, Mary H. Men, Women, and Work: Class, Gender, and Protest in the New England Shoe Industry (1988)
  • Carroll, Charles. The Timber Economy of Puritan New England (1975)
  • Clark, Christopher. "Economics and Culture: Opening Up the Rural History of the Early American Northeast," American Quarterly 43 (June 1991): 279-301 in JSTOR
  • Clark, Christopher. The Roots of Western Capitalism, Western Massachusetts, 1780-1860 (1990).
  • Cole, Arthur H. The American Carpet Manufacture: A History and an Analysis (1941)
  • Hareven, Tamara K. Family Time and Industrial Time: The Relationship Between the Family and Work in a New England Industrial Community (1982). on French millworkers in Manchester NH
  • Henretta, James A. "Families and Farms: Mentalité in Pre-Industrial America," William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser. 35 (Jan. 1978): 3-32
  • Henretta, James A. The Origins of American Capitalism: Collected Essays (1991)
  • Lockridge, Kenneth. "Land, Population, and the Evolution of New England Society, 1630-1790," Past and Present 34 (1968): 62-80.
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot. The Maritime History of Massachusetts, 1783-1860 (1921) online edition
  • Newell, Margaret Ellen. From Dependency to Independence: Economic Revolution in Colonial New England (1998)
  • Prude, Jonathan. The Coming of the Industrial Order: Town and Factory Life in Rural Massachusetts (1983);
  • Rothenberg, Winifred B. "The Market and Massachusetts Farmers, 1750-1855," Journal of Economic History 41 (June 1981): 283-314 in JSTOR
  • Weeden, William Babcock. Economic and Social History of New England, 1620-1789 (1891) 964 pages; online edition
  • Wood, Joseph S. "'Build, Therefore, Your Own World': The New England Village as Settlement Ideal," Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 81, No. 1 (Mar., 1991), pp. 32-50 in JSTOR

Religion and culture

  • Bremer, Francis J. "New or Old? Piety in Eighteenth-Century New England,"

Reviews in American History - Volume 28, Number 4, December 2000, pp. 499-505 in Project Muse

  • Conforti, Joseph A. Imagining New England: Explorations of Regional Identity from the Pilgrims to the Mid-Twentieth Century (2001) online
  • Gildrie, Richard P. The Profane, the Civil, & the Godly: The Reformation of Manners in Orthodox New England, 1679-1749 1994 online edition
  • Jaffee, David. "The Village Enlightenment in New England, 1760-1820" William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser. 47 (July 1990):
  • Miller, Perry. The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century 1939, highly influential intellectual history. online edition
  • Peterson, Mark. The Price of Redemption: The Spiritual Economy of New England (1997).
  • Roth, Randolph. The Democratic Dilemma: Religion, Reform, and the Social Order in the Connecticut River Valley of Vermont, 1791-1850 (1987)
  • Schweitzer, Ivy. "Salutary Decouplings: The Newest New England Studies," American Literary History 13#3 Fall 2001, pp. 578-591 in Project Muse
  • Stout, Harry S. The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England (1986);

Travel guides

Primary sources

  • Dwight, Timothy. Travels Through New England and New York (circa 1800) 4 vol. (1969) Online at: vol 1; vol 2; vol 3; vol 4
  • Hareven, Tamara K., and Randolph Langenbach, eds. Life and Work in an American Factory-City (1978), interviews with millworkers in Manchester NH
  • Hosmer, James Kendall, ed. Winthrop's Journal, 1630-1649 (3 vol 1908) online edition

External links

See also

  1. Main, Gloria L. (Gloria Lund), 1933- Rocking the Cradle: Downsizing the New England Family Journal of Interdisciplinary History - Volume 37, Number 1, Summer 2006, pp. 35-58 -