The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
(often simply, "Massachusetts") is a state in the New England region of
the northeastern United States. Most of its population of 6.4 million lives in
the Boston metropolitan area. The eastern half of this relatively small state is
mostly urban and suburban, while the west is primarily rural. It is the most
populous of the six New England states.
The first Europeans to settle New England landed in present-day Massachusetts. These settlers were Pilgrims and Puritans from England seeking religious freedom. They founded Plymouth, Salem, and Boston, which soon became the hub of the region. A century and a half later, Massachusetts became known as the 'Cradle of Liberty' for the revolutionary ferment in Boston that helped spawn the war of the Thirteen Colonies for independence.
During the 19th century, Massachusetts transformed itself from a mainly agricultural economy to a manufacturing one, making use of its many rivers for power to operate factories for shoes, furniture, and clothing. Its economy declined in the early twentieth century when industry moved south in search of cheaper labor. A revitalization came in the 1970s when, nourished by the graduates of the area's many elite institutions of higher education, the Boston suburbs (particularly those near Route 128) became home to dozens of high-technology companies. Massachusetts's colleges and universities, as well as its technology sectors, continue to thrive. More .... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts
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