Massachusetts: A Historic State in the Eastern Coast
A state located in the northeastern United States. It has an area of 10,565 square miles, which makes it the 7th smallest state of the country, and a population of 6,902,000 inhabitants, making it the 15th most populous state and the 3rd with a higher density of population. The capital of the state is Boston. Due to the exiguity of its territory, physical characteristics, industrial activity, urban centers and its density of population, Massachusetts shares similar features with the states of Rhode Island and Connecticut, neighboring states.
Harvard University, in Cambridge (Massachusetts)
The relieves from northern New England, Green and White Mountains, are represented by a series of isolated hills or "monadnocks" (some of them reach the 3300-feet mark) before ending up in the Ocean. The soils in the state favor the development of forests, but they are not too good for crop plantations, but the valleys (Connecticut, Merrimack) offered since the colonial era, good lands for agriculture and hydraulic energy. The climate is the typical one of eastern facades located at medium latitudes: the winters are generally mild, at least at the coast (30 degrees on January and 94 days of winter frost in Boston.) Precipitations spread equally throughout the year (around 43 inches) and could take place on winter in the form of violent blizzards; the summers are cool at the coast (average of 68 degrees) and warmer in the interior valleys (73 degrees on average). The coastal forests of oaks and tulip trees were plowed a long time ago; on the interior, lie numerous forests of conifers, birch trees, and maples, which gradually are again extending towards the cultivated areas.
The coast of Massachusetts was colonized in the 17th century by English immigrants (especially by Puritans). The bad harvests from agriculture were counteracted by the activities on the coast: boat fishing, whale hunting, and maritime commerce. The technical revolutions of the 19th century, a strong migration influx (mostly Europeans and French Canadians) and the plantations of a wide range of crops in the west, resulted in the expansion of the industry and the decadence of the agriculture on the eastern coast. The industry employs more than 650,000 people and represents an aggregated value of around 15 billion dollars. The textile, clothing, and fur industries have lost their importance of the past, in the same way as in the neighboring states. The advanced-technological industries have been gradually substituting the old industries mentioned before: mechanical and electrical engineering, instruments of precision, printing, and editing. The presence of prestigious Universities, very popular all over the world, such as Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, Clark University in Worcester have, without any doubt, help in the development of new and innovative technological activities in the state. Also, Massachusetts is known for its manufacturers of weapons and equipment for the Navy. The development of the secondary and tertiary sectors has resulted in the continuous growth of its population (in the last 40 years, its population has experimented a 20% growth), a high urbanization rate (90%) and a strong density of population (871 inhabitants per square mile). Besides Boston, the main urban centers are: Springfield-Chicopee-Holyoke (631,000 inhabitants, some of them in Connecticut.) This area, also known as "Greater Springfield", together with the Boston metropolitan area, contains 3/4 of the total population of the state. The rest of the population is included in small cities of around 100,000 inhabitants, such as Newton, Somerville, Cambridge, Fall River and Lowell (textile centers), Lynn (one of the world's capitals of footwear), and New Bedford (fishing port). The maritime activities continue to be important. The main commercial port is Boston. Regarding fishing, no port in Massachusetts, except New Bedford, is in the list of the 10 largest U.S fishing ports in terms of tons captured, but if we are looking for economic value of the captures, the Port of New Bedford is in second place (flatfish, turbot, pollocks...) The tourism at the coast is also an important economic activity (Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket). Regarding agriculture, its recent history is one of fast decadence: the abandonment of agriculture on hills, a decrease in the number of exploitations and cultivated areas... In 1940, there were almost 2 million acres of cropland; in 1990, the numbers dropped to 701,000 acres. The sales of agrarian products have an aggregated value of 475 million dollars (0.08% of Massachusetts' GDP). These agrarian products are mainly: milk derivatives, eggs, tobacco, apples, and blueberries. Hay meadows, tobacco plantations, and orchards make up the rural landscape. Source: Wikipedia