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Capital: Augusta
State motto: Dirigo
Surface: 91,646 km²
Residents: 1,331,479 (2016 estimated) (14 U / km²)
Member since: March 15, 1820
Time zone: UTC − 5 / −4
The highest point: 1,606 m ( Mount Katahdin )
Average Height: 180 m
Deepest point: 0 m Atlantic Ocean
Governor : Janet T. Mills ( D )
Post  / Office /  ISO ME / / US-ME
Map of Maine
Map of Maine
Portland Head lighthouse
Portland Head lighthouse

Maine ( English pronunciation  [ meɪ̯n ] ) is a state of the United States and part of the New England region . Please click to listen!Play

The origin of the name is unclear. It is probably named after the French Maine landscape , but the name may also be a short form of "Mainland" ("mainland", "main land"). The postal abbreviation of the state is ME . The nickname Maines is The Pine Tree State ("Pine State"). The capital is Augusta .


Maine is the easternmost state of the Continental States and lies on the very edge of the United States. Looking at their territory as a whole, some of Alaska's islands are in the eastern hemisphere .

The highest point of Maine is Mount Katahdin in Piscataquis County (1,606 m). Maine is the US state with the highest percentage of forest. Since more than 90% of the land area is covered with pine trees, the nickname of the state is "Pine Tree State". The scenic tranquility attracts numerous tourists. The Acadia National Park is the only national park in the area and one of the most visited in the US. Eastport is the easternmost city and West Quoddy Head is the easternmost landmark in the United States.

Of the 91,646 km² area, 12.8% (11,715 km²) are water areas.

Extension of the national territory

The country extends from north to south of 515 km between 43 ° 4 ′ N and 47 ° 28 ′ N. From east to west the country has a latitude of 305 km between 66 ° 57 ′ W and 71 ° 7 ′ W.

Neighbore states

Southeast Maine is home to the Atlantic . In the northeast is the Canadian province of New Brunswick . In the northwest is Québec, also Canadian . To the southwest is New Hampshire . Maine is the only US state that borders on exactly one other state.



Early history


The circumpolar ice armor of the last glacial period

During the ice ages , the last of which is known as the Wisconsin Glaciation , hardly any people could live in the Maine area. The ice sheet of North America stretched south to Pennsylvania . In the Maine area, this shield towered over 1,500 m. The large amounts of water that were bound in the ice masses of the polar regions were withdrawn from the oceans, so that the sea ​​level was over 100 m lower. Around 19,000 BC The glaciation was strongest, around 16,000 BC. The retreat of the glaciers began between 13,000 and 12,000 BC. The ice masses released the land in Maine as well. Around 9000 BC The state was ice-free. At the same time, the sea level rose, so that the Atlantic advanced up to 100 km into the country. This effect was partially canceled out again as the land that had been freed from the ice masses slowly rose. This created large lakes such as Lake Degeer . Between 8000 and 7000 BC In BC the sea level was again around 60 m below its current level, the coast was up to 20 km east of the current coastline. Since then, the sea level has risen unevenly, which is likely to have destroyed numerous artifacts .

Mosses, lichens and grasses returned to the water-rich, still cool, but ice-free area, followed later by tree species that were able to survive in the tundra landscape. While Maine's north and the mountainous areas remained a tundra for a long time , forests of oak , larch and elm settled in the south , with birch , spruce and pine trees dominating in the middle . The megafauna , which marked the period, and whose representatives were woolly mammoth ( Mammuthus primigenius ), prairie mammoth ( Mammuthus jeffersonii or columbi ) and mastodon , was supplemented by horses , bison and caribou . Remains of a mammoth were found near Scarborough , which could be dated to the time around 12,200 Before Present . In Massachusetts they probably only disappeared after 9000 BC. Chr.

Recovered in 1946 from Cowan's Cave on Moosehead Lake, the scraper is the state's oldest human artifact. It is estimated to be around the 11th millennium BC. Dated. It is part of the collection of the Center for Moosehead History of the Moosehead Historical Society .

The first human inhabitants of Maine hunted the large mammals, but until a few decades ago only scattered finds were their projectile points known in Lebanon in the far southwest, Lewiston , Monmouth , Arrowsic , Boothbay , Rumford Center , on Graham on Brassta- and on Flagstaffsee discovered had been. It was not until the late 1970s that two workshops were found at Munsungan and Chase Lakes north of Baxter State Park , i.e. locations where certain types of stone were extracted and processed into rough pieces. This made it possible to reconstruct the process from the extraction of the stone to the manufacture of spearheads, as well as scratches and scrapers . Other sites on the Magalloway River in northwest Maine allowed conclusions to be drawn about life in the camps of hunters, fishermen and gatherers. The largest of these sites is the Vail site , which is now covered by the waters of Aziscohos Lake . Around 9000 BC However, it was on the east bank of the Magalloway. Find densities (loci) could be detected in eight places, the tents of the residents measured 4.5 by 6 m and were warmed by a recessed fireplace. The loci probably did not exist at the same time, but were used seasonally in different years. In total, more than 4000 tools were found, the projectile tips being very similar to those on the Debert site in Nova Scotia , Canada . Even if stone was extracted about 25 km north of the site, in the headwaters of the Magalloway, many varieties came from the Champlain Lowlands in western Vermont or from Lake Munsungan, and even from New York and Pennsylvania .

The same applies to the Adkins site , but one third of the artifacts there consist of crystalline quartz , plus rhyolite (probably from New Hampshire). This variable composition of the raw materials is characteristic of all sites of the Magalloway complex, such as the Michaud site . There are four types of flint, namely black and gray-green, and Munsungan flint; Green stone was only used for the simplest, rough tools. Henry Lamoreau discovered the site named after him in the nearby Moose Brooke , which was probably inhabited at the same time as the Michaud site. Similar to these two sites, the Dam site in Wayne was located in an area of ​​old sand dunes, the top layer of which was carried away by the wind, releasing the finds. Here too there were three or four loci. The stone artifacts came from far and wide, namely from Nova Scotia and North Maine in the north, from central New York and West Vermont in the west, and from Pennsylvania.

In general, the large New England sites, where several family groups come together seasonally, are surrounded by a cluster of smaller camps. It is likely that not only the sites of particularly beautiful or practical stones determined the seasonal migrations, but above all the migrations of the prey animals, above all the caribou. Around 8000 BC Chr. Ended the production of the characteristic of the Paleo-Indians fluted tips of the fluted points .

Archaic Period (8000-1500 BC)

The term archaic period was first applied in 1932 by William A. Ritchie and today describes the epoch between the Paleo-Indian cultures and the early peasant cultures of North America, i.e. the period between around 8000 and 1500 BC. Usually this epoch is divided into an early, a middle and a late phase, the delimitations of which are around 6000 and 4000 BC. Chr. Lie.

The Paleo-Indian culture was tied to an open landscape, but dense forest was now spreading across New England. The large herds of animals disappeared, and the retreat of the glaciers allowed them to migrate further north. In addition, this wooded area in Maine changed around 8000 BC. From a boreal landscape dominated by poplar , birch and spruce trees to a temperate region in which from around 7000 BC onwards. BC oak and hemlock increased. Moose , deer , American black bear ( Ursus americanus ) and numerous other mammals expanded their habitat from the southern and western areas to the north. Whether the Paleo-Indians followed the caribou herds or whether they adapted to the new conditions is unclear in the northeast, in contrast to the Midwest and the Southeast, where an adaptation took place. While no fluted peaks were found in Québec, new shapes were developed there that may have been an adaptation during the north migration.

Little is known about the early archaic period, possibly related to the fact that most of the people lived on the coastal fringes, so their remains have been destroyed by the rising sea levels. On many lakes, however, fell between 6500 and 3000 BC. By global warming of the water level. It appears that the local rock types continued to be in use, although harder stones were preferred. But technology and possibly new residents came from the south, such as North Carolina . In addition, woodworking techniques emerged, such as the construction of dugouts , how waterways were established as the main means of transport, and boats as the main means of transport. One believes that this can at least be concluded from the fact that the sites of this time were on waterways. Instead of bison and caribou, bears, deer, beavers and muskrats , birds and turtles were hunted . Traces of rituals were often found, the dead were burned.

The people of the subsequent, middle archaic period continued this lifestyle. But the noticeable innovations used were grooved axes and spear throwers (possibly with weights). They probably came from central archaic groups from the south, but so-called “ground slate points” were created on site. They were made of slate , a material that was less suitable but nowhere near as rare as flint in Maine . Knives were also made from these more common materials such as quartz and slate. Furthermore, groups of 20 to 25 members lived mostly on the banks and coasts. There was evidence of a fish weir at Sebasticook Lake near Newport . Apparently, eel was the fish of choice. Ocher was now widely used in funeral rituals.

The late archaic period is divided into two phases, namely the Vergennes phase from 3000 BC. And the Small Stemmed Point tradition , which began around the same time and also continued until 1500 BC. Chr. Was enough. It was characterized by small stalked or shanked projectile points . The Vergennes phase is rarely seen in Maine, but Otter Creek Points have been found, spearheads that belong to this phase and that were used to hunt large animals. Possibly these artifacts belonged to small groups that had invaded the Maine area. Small stalked spearheads, mostly made of quartz, are common in New England, but less common in Maine and there almost exclusively on the coast. The tips were used to hunt deer, but mussels and fish, especially cod or cod ( Gadus morhua ), played an important role. Another group is represented in the Moorehead phase , which also lasted from 3000 to 1500 BC. Is verifiable. People used red paint at funerals and burned personal belongings of the dead, such as weapons and tools, but also jewelry and beautiful objects. Their culture was so similar to that of the Canadian maritime provinces as far as Newfoundland that it is assumed that they belonged to a vast, overarching culture.

Woodland period, trade wars, population collapse due to epidemics

Wigwam that was built in Acadia National Park. Its ceiling is made of birch bark.

The woodland culture followed the archaic period. Around 800 it was characterized by birch bark canoes, wigwams and above all ceramics . The residents of today's Maine were Algonquin -speaking Indians of the eastern Abenaki the tribes of the Pigwacket , Androscoggin tribe , Kennebec and Penobscot and smaller at the latest in historical times tribes like the Amaseconti, Arsicantegou, Kwapahag, Ossipee, Rocameca and Wewenoc, also Mi'kmaq , Maliseet and Passamaquoddy .


The Mi'kmaq , of whom only the Maine-based Aroostock Band of Micmac is officially recognized in the USA today, were the first to come into contact with Europeans. They used petroglyphs as a means of communicating with transcendent powers. Their villages were assigned to seven different political centers. Each village had a chief, an elder, a women's council and a grand chief . The villages consisted of wigwams in which 10 to 20 people lived. Seasonally, they mainly followed the elk, but also hunted deer or caribou, using maple bows. In the summer they lived in fishing villages on the coast. To have killed a moose was a prerequisite for being active in the political bodies. The Mi'kmaq Confederation was a loose alliance of numerous groups, the internal organization followed the rules of the clans.

Giovanni Caboto brought three Mi'kmaq to England in 1497. The Indians were soon trading with the Europeans, with furs and fish being the main goods. From 1564 to 1570 the first epidemic raged among the Mi'kmaq, in 1586 it was typhus . Meanwhile, Penobscot and Abenaki profited more from the trade, so that they threatened the supremacy of the Mi'kmaq. From 1607 to 1615 there was open war between Abenaki and Penobscot on the one hand and Mi'kmaq and Maliseet on the other. When some Mi'kmaq killed the sachem (chief) of the Penobscot, the war ended. The winners raided numerous Abenaki villages. They brought in diseases that killed three quarters of the tribesmen. In 1620, only 4,000 of the 20,000 or so Mi'kmaq remained in Maine.

Maliseet and Passamaguoddy

The Maliseet were often in league with the Mi'kmaq. Their name comes from the powerful neighbors and it means "people who cannot speak properly". You call yourself Wolastoqiyik. Wolastoq is her name for the Saint John River , the "shining river". They migrated down this river in spring and up in autumn. They hunted, fished, but also farmed.

In 1604 Samuel de Champlain had his first meeting with Europeans; at the time they were at war with the Abenaki. They greeted the French with beaver pelts and caribou meat. Missionaries converted part of the tribe to Christianity, the other part adhered to their religion, called Midewin .

They were closely related to the Passamaguoddy, so that they were collectively referred to as "Etchmins" by Europeans. Like the Mi'kmaq, the Passamaguoddy, who lived mainly at the estuary and only hunted when necessary, suffered from severe epidemics. Their population also collapsed from around 20,000 to 4,000. A typhoid epidemic followed in 1586. The few survivors found themselves together with Abenaki and Penobscot in the Wabanaki Confederation .


The Penobscot lived mainly by hunting bears, beavers, moose and otters , but they also fished and farmed. Only in winter did they move to areas richer in game. Due to the trade with the Europeans, the beaver populations soon declined, since the skins and furs of these animals were the main means of exchange for European goods such as guns, tools, pans and pots, tobacco, flour or sugar. They too suffered from epidemics and the consumption of alcohol, and also got into disputes with the Wabanaki Confederation over trade privileges. The few survivors were baptized, but came into conflict with the Mohawk in the mid-17th century . At the beginning of the contact with the Europeans there were around 10,000 Penobscot, in 1803 there were only 347.


Abundant rainfall, plus cold and long winters, made soil cultivation, such as the cultivation of pumpkins, difficult. Hunting and fishing were therefore the main sources of food. Maple trees provided syrup and sugar. The Penacook , who lived in southern New Hampshire , enjoyed a milder climate. They grew corn , beans, and pumpkins, which Maine barely thrived. But in 1668 the Mohawk drove the Pennacook through New Hampshire to southern Maine. The perhaps 2500 survivors joined the Wabanaki Confederation, their descendants are now organized in the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People and live in the states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, others live in Canada.

First Europeans, Anglo-French dispute, Abenaki and Mohawk

From 1497 to 1499 Giovanni Caboto , Italian in English service, stayed on the American east coast. At the beginning of the 17th century, the English King James I claimed the entire territory of New England with reference to the voyages of "John Cabot".

But the first European settlers were French in 1604. Samuel de Champlain tried to establish a colony on St. Croix Island, but in 1607 it was relocated to Port Royal in what was to become Nova Scotia . This year there was an attack of Souriquois on Almouchaquois the Saco River . The former can only be identified with one of today's tribal groups, namely the Mi'kmaq, who still live in the region today through the relatively long list of words in Marc Lescarbot's Histoire de la Nouvelle France . The fur trade already played an important role for the Wabanaki. Bessabez was the chief and dominated the trade in the large area between Mount Desert Island and the Saco River known as Mawooshen. In 1604 he met Champlain, who was going down the Penobscot River . However, he was killed in fighting with Etchemin tribes in 1615. Smallpox epidemics probably killed three-quarters of Maine's Indians in 1616-1619.

In 1607 the first English supported by the Plymouth Company settled here . George Popham and Raleigh Gilbert tried to build the Popham Colony at the mouth of the Kennebec . However, it had to be abandoned after Popham's death in 1608. In contrast, the Jamestown colony in southern Virginia survived , and fishermen first came to the coast of Maine from there as early as 1610. They set up the first permanent stations there.

But the English and French colonies fought each other. Biard, a French Jesuit, was able to establish a settlement on Somes Sound on Mount Desert Island in 1613 , which the Penobscot called Pemetic (sloping land), but the English captain Samuel Argall from Virginia destroyed the French settlements on Somes Sound, Port Royal and on St. Croix Island. In 1614 John Smith came to Maine and wrote his Description of New England , which induced some English to emigrate there.

The coastal areas were assigned by the king to the Council for New England , a group of nobles who wanted to colonize the area , from 1621 onwards . This is why Ferdinando Gorges , the "father of English colonization", is also considered the founder of Maine from 1622 onwards. His interest in colonization had been aroused by Captain George Weymouth, who had presented him with captured Indians. As a partner in the Plymouth Company, he was involved in the failed Popham colony. Together with John Mason, he received a land grant deed in 1622 for an area that was initially between Merrimack and Kennebec. In 1625 a trading post was established in Pejepscot, in 1628 there were posts in Cushnoc (Augusta) and on Richmond Island . In 1634 the first sawmill in North America was built on Piscataqua , and in 1636 the first court met in Saco in the south of Maine. Eastern, less populated Maine north of Kennebec was designated as the territory of Sagadahock in the 17th century . In 1630, the settlement efforts of the Massachusetts Bay Colony , founded that year, were increased. Settlements arose in York , Cape Porpus and Saco, and in 1631 in Kittery .

For their part, the French continued to pursue their goal of gaining the region for New France , their American colony. In 1640, the first Abenaki chief was won over to Catholicism by French missionaries and Jean Baptiste was baptized. In 1671 the east of Maine became French again. For a short time it seemed as if Mount Desert Island would be populated by the French. In 1688 Antoine Laumet was granted about 400 km² of land on the coast including the entire island. Laumet, who had given himself the title Sieur de la Mothe Cadillac , wanted to establish feudal rule there, but the project failed.

But not only the English and the French fought each other. In 1642 Mohawk raided west Maine, in 1661 Abenaki killed 30 of the attacking Mohawks while trying to subjugate their territory to the Iroquois. The next year the Mohawk struck back and attacked Etchemin; almost 100 opponents were killed or taken prisoner. It was not until 1671, when the majority of the tribes had already fallen victim to severe epidemics, that a peace agreement was reached.

Death of the Jesuit father Sebastien Rale on August 23, 1724, illustration from 1856

The area in its former borders, i.e. the southwest of Maine, became part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1652 . By 1690 it almost seemed as if the French and Abenaki would succeed in driving the English Protestant colonists out of Maine. William Dummer, the London-appointed governor of the colony, set himself the goal of destroying the Abenaki and the French Jesuits under the leadership of Sebastien Rale . He fought both in the King Williams War (1689–1697) and in the Queen Anne War (1702–1713) against the English. During the war from 1722 to 1725, the Jesuit priest was killed in the Norridgewock massacre, which is now euphemistically referred to as the "Battle of Norridgewock". Significantly, this war is given various names by the Anglo-Saxons, including "Father Rale's War" or "Governor Dummer's War", while the Francophones mostly refer to it as "Guerre anglo-wabanaki". After the defeat of the French in the 1740s, the area east of the Penobscot fell under the nominal administration of the province of Nova Scotia .

Disputes between British and Americans then ranged from the American Revolutionary War to the War of 1812 , which lasted until 1814. British forces occupied Maine in both conflicts.

State of the USA, border conflicts

After US independence, Maine, although not directly adjacent to it, was part of the state of Massachusetts until 1820 . In the War of 1812 , Britain occupied almost all of eastern Maine for eight months with the intention of permanently annexing it for Canada. Even after the peace treaty of 1814, the border between Canada and the USA remained unclear. By the Missouri Compromise , which provided that the slave state Missouri in the Union could be added if the same non slaveholding state would added to the votes of a tie in the Senate of the United States to obtain, it was separated from Massachusetts and on March 15, as the 23rd state to join the Union. Therefore, in addition to Maine, Massachusetts was also involved, because a large part of the disputed area at Saint John and Madawaska was still in his possession. The majority were of French descent, while the settlers who immigrated from the 1820s onwards were mainly Americans and British, who lived mostly on the Aroostook and west of the Saint John. The Francophones were so-called Brayons and viewed themselves as members of the unofficial République du Madawaska . John Baker hoisted an American flag on July 4, 1827 on the west bank of the Saint John at what is now Baker Brook. He declared his place of residence to be the capital of the Republic of Madawaska , but was immediately detained by the British colonial authorities until he was fined. In the summer of 1830, troops were deployed and the British and American Foreign Ministers had to meet. King William I of the Netherlands tried to mediate in the border dispute and London accepted his proposal. But the state of Maine refused, President Andrew Jackson was turned on, and the Senate finally rejected the mediation proposal.

Maine's capital was originally Portland until Augusta assumed this role in 1832 . The final border with New Brunswick was established in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1842 after the Aroostook War (1838/39) . Until then there had been arguments again and again. In February 1839, Maine had sent a thousand volunteers to reinforce the upper aroostook. On the other hand, British troops rallied, the Mohawk offered their support, and New Brunswick armed forces rallied at Saint John. There were around 32,000 armed men in the disputed area.

The Congress approved a force of 50,000 men, while Maine from 3000 to 10,000 militiamen ready made. General Winfield Scott , who led the Cherokee evacuation , was posted to the conflict area. He arranged for the Maine militias to be recalled and exchanged for regular troops in May and June 1839. Construction on Fort Fairfield and Fort Kent began in late summer . In 1840 Maine founded Aroostook County . Finally, the states involved agreed on a border commission and on August 9, 1842 the Webster-Ashburton Treaty was signed, which ended the border disputes. He granted the United States 18,170 km² and Canada 12,890 km² of the disputed area. The residential areas of the Brayons were divided, which in turn became the reason for Maine's bilingualism today.

Civil War to this day

Maine was the first state in the northeast to support the anti-slavery movement. During the Civil War (1861-1865), the population of Maine was loyal to the Union and, in percentage terms, sent the most soldiers per state.

In the 20th century, Maine struggled with the decline of the textile and shipping industries, making it and remaining the poorest state in the Northeast.


Although Maine is generally in the cool-temperate zone, it can be divided into roughly three climatic zones: The northern inland, which covers 60% of the area and has a continental climate , has comparatively warm summers for the climatic region, but also very harsh winters. The southern inland is the warmest part of Maine and is characterized by comparatively warm summers. Finally, in the approx. 30 km inland coastal area, because of the proximity to the sea, the temperatures are more moderate than inland. Hurricanes are the exception in Maine, there are seldom hurricanes , but the "coastal storms", which bring heavy rain and wind, and sometimes snow in winter are common.

Population density in Maine according to 2010 census
Population development
Census Residents ± in%
1790 96,540 -
1800 151.719 57.2%
1810 228.705 50.7%
1820 298,335 30.4%
1830 399.455 33.9%
1840 501.793 25.6%
1850 583.169 16.2%
1860 628.279 7.7%
1870 626.915 -0.2%
1880 648.936 3.5%
1890 661.086 1.9%
1900 694.466 5%
1910 742.371 6.9%
1920 768.014 3.5%
1930 797.423 3.8%
1940 847.226 6.2%
1950 913,774 7.9%
1960 969.265 6.1%
1970 992.048 2.4%
1980 1,124,660 13.4%
1990 1,227,928 9.2%
2000 1,274,923 3.8%
2010 1,334,532 4.7%
Before 1900

1900–1990 2000 + 2010


Maine has 1,328,361 residents (as of 2010 Census). Of these, 95.2% were white, 1.2% black and African-American, 1.0% Asian, 0.6% Native American, just under 0.3% Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, 0.3% other ethnicity and 1.6% of two or more ethnicities. Maine has the largest number of residents over the age of 65, at around 20%.

Biggest cities

Waterville (Maine) Westbrook (Maine) Saco (Maine) Augusta (Maine) Biddeford Auburn (Maine) South Portland Bangor (Maine) Lewiston (Maine) Portland (Maine)


Maine is the only state in the United States that is officially bilingual. The most widely spoken language is English, followed by French. Francophones live mostly in the north, where they are called brayons . By 1993, 88% of the residents of Fort Kent , Van Buren, and Madawaska had also grown up with French. By 1960, French was obsolete in Maine's politics and school lessons in this language were expressly forbidden. Between 1987 and 1991 alone, their use fell by 18%. On the other hand, contact with the French Canadians is intensifying on the other side of the Saint-John River, where Edmundston is the French-speaking metropolis.

There are also the Indian languages Abenaki , Micmac and Passamaquoddy , which belong to the Algonquin languages . Added to this are the languages ​​of the immigrants, such as several thousand Somalis recently.


The religious communities with the largest number of members in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church with 283,024, the United Methodist Church with 31,689 and the United Church of Christ with 29,122 followers.

According to a 2010 study, Maine has more non-religious residents than any other state in the United States.


The most important state universities are combined in the University of Maine system with headquarters in Orono . Other colleges can be found on the Maine List of Universities .


Presidential election results
year republican Democrats
2016 44.9% 335,593 47.8% 357,735
2012 41.0% 292,276 56.3% 401,306
2008 40.4% 295,273 57.7% 421,923
2004 44.6% 330,201 53.6% 396,842
2000 44.0% 286,616 49.1% 319,951
1996 30.8% 186,378 51.6% 312,788
1992 30.4% 206.504 38.8% 263,420
1988 55.3% 307,131 43.9% 243,569
1984 60.8% 336,500 38.8% 214,515
1980 45.6% 238,522 42.3% 220,974
1976 48.9% 236,320 48.1% 232,279
1972 61.5% 256,458 38.5% 160,584
1968 43.1% 169,254 55.3% 217,312
1964 31.1% 118,701 68.8% 262,264
1960 57.1% 240,608 43.0% 181,159

Politically, the state of Maine is primarily characterized by the differentiated voting behavior of its citizens. Although Maine always elected Democratic candidates in presidential elections from 1992 to 2012 , it had two female senators in 1995, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins , who, however, are by far the most liberal members of the Republican Party . After Snowe did not run again in 2012, former governor Angus King was elected as an independent candidate to succeed her. This makes Maine, along with New Hampshire, the only one of the "New England States" that has no clear ties to the Democratic Party. The governorship has been a Democrat, Janet T. Mills , since January 2019 .

The allocation of electoral votes in Maine differs from that of other states in the USA in that it has special voting rights. Maine gives two of its four electoral votes to the nationwide winner. The two remaining electors are determined by the “Popular Vote” in the two congressional electoral districts of Maines. This makes it possible for a candidate to win the entire federal state and only one of the two electoral districts, but his opponent is ahead in the second district. In this case, for Maine at Electoral College, three of the electors cast their votes for the first candidate and one his vote for the second candidate. This “splitting the vote” occurred for the first time in the 2016 election since the re-introduction of this electoral mode (1972) in Maine . Hillary Clinton received three votes and Donald Trump received one vote. The only other state that also votes according to this process is Nebraska .



Same-sex marriage

On November 6, 2012, the majority of the population of Maine voted in a referendum to give same-sex couples the legal opportunity to get married. Between May 6, 2009 and November 3, 2009, Maine briefly became the fifth state in the United States to allow same-sex marriages - however, at that time, a majority of 53% of the electorate rescinded the marriage by voting in a referendum limited heterosexual couples.

Legalization of marijuana

In November 2016, a majority voted in a referendum to legalize the sale and possession of marijuana in small quantities for adults over the age of 21.


Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia National Park

A major tourist attraction in Maine is Acadia National Park, founded in 1929 . The only national park in the New England states is one of the ten most visited parks in the USA with over two million visitors a year (as of 2003). Located on and around Mount Desert Island , it offers stretches of coastline and mountains up to 470 meters high with views of the island with its small lakes and countless smaller islands.

Maine's coast also attracts tourists elsewhere. Sandy beaches are primarily in the south of the state at seaside resorts like York , Ogunquit , Wells Beach, and Kennebunkport ; the water temperatures are around 12-14 ° C even in summer . Rocky sections predominate further to the north.

Maine has over 40 state parks and state historic sites that boast over two million visitors annually.

Economy and Infrastructure

Affordable delicacy on the coast: cooked Maine lobster

The real gross domestic product per capita (per capita GDP) was USD 44,518 in 2016 (national average of the 50 US states: USD 57,118; national ranking: 41). The unemployment rate was 3.3% in November 2017 (national average: 4.1%).

The main products of agriculture are seafood (the Maine lobster is famous ), poultry , eggs, potatoes, dairy products, ranching, blueberries and apples. Industrial products include paper, wood and furniture, electronics, food, leather and textiles. Maine is a tourist area for the major cities on the American east coast (see Tourism ).

Furthermore, the 49 km² large and over 1,600 men counting US Navy base Brunswick Naval Air Station was in Maine, which was the only military base in New England. Maritime reconnaissance and transport units were stationed here . However, in August 2005 it was decided that the base would be closed and its units relocated to Florida .


Inland Maine

The state of Maine is still very well served by railways despite the sparse population. The first railroad, the Bangor and Piscataquis Canal and Railroad , ran as early as November 1836 and connected Bangor with Old Town . The further expansion of the route network came mainly from Portland .

In 1842, the route to Portsmouth was opened by Portland, Saco and Portsmouth Railroad , which had connections to Boston and thus to the rest of the US railroad network. In 1846 the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad opened the first section of the route to Montreal , which was completed in 1853. From 1849 to 1855, the Portland – Bangor connection (later Maine Central Railroad ) went into operation in sections. From 1851 Gorham was linked by the York and Cumberland Railroad , which reached Rochester in 1871 . The connection to Augusta was completed in 1852. From 1869 the Portland and Ogdensburg Railway opened a railway in sections towards the White Mountains , which went into operation in 1877 to Swanton (Vermont) . In 1873 the Boston and Maine Railroad opened a new main line towards Dover . Since the many rail companies that met in Portland each had their own terminus, the city decided to build a common central station, which could be opened in 1888 by the Portland Union Railroad Station Company .

Bangor also developed into a railway junction. From 1868 to 1871 the European and North American Railway built the line to Vanceboro and on to New Brunswick. In 1874 the Eastern Maine Railway opened a line to Bucksport , and in 1883 the Maine Shore Line Railroad to Mount Desert Ferry went into operation. In 1905, the Northern Maine Seaport Railroad took the north-south tangent from South La Grange to Searsport into operation, which passed Bangor to the west. The Bangor to Vanceboro and Portland railways were like the Atlantic & St. Lawrence was initially built in a gauge of 1676 millimeters ("colonial gauge"), but had to be converted to the standard gauge (1435 mm) generally used in the USA by 1877 for economic reasons .

Bangor & Aroostook train in Caribou in October 1940

The northeast of the state was mainly opened up from 1893 by the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad . Numerous smaller companies opened up the less important traffic axes. From 1879, the construction of narrow-gauge railways began in Maine , which had a gauge of 2 feet (610 mm).

The dismantling of the railway network began in the late 1920s. Initially, the narrow-gauge railways disappeared by 1943. Almost all of the formerly important main routes are still in operation today, only the routes from Portland to Portsmouth and into the White Mountains have been closed. Most of the branch lines, however, fell victim to road competition over time.

Passenger traffic has only been back after a 35-year interruption on December 5, 2001, when Amtrak put the Boston – Portland express service into operation. The connection, which runs over the route of the former Boston and Maine Railroad , operates four times a day . Freight traffic on the still existing network is mainly handled by the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (in the north) and Pan Am Railways . There are also the local companies Eastern Maine Railway , Maine Eastern Railroad , New Hampshire Northcoast and the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad as well as the shunting company Turners Island LLC . As of December 31, 2005, there was a total of 1869 km of routes. In 2005 around seven million tons of goods with a total of 101,652 wagon loads were moved. The most important transport goods were paper products.



  • John F. Bauman: Gateway to Vacationland. The Making of Portland, Maine. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst MA et al. 2012, ISBN 978-1-55849-909-6 .
  • Bruce J. Bourque: Diversity and Complexity in Prehistoric Maritime Societies. A Gulf of Maine Perspective. Plenum Press, New York NY et al. 1995, ISBN 0-306-44874-2 .
  • Bruce J. Bourque: Twelve Thousand Years. American Indians in Maine. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln NE et al. 2004, ISBN 0-8032-6231-0 .
  • Mary Frances Farnham: Documentary History of the State of Maine. sl, Gale Ecco 2012, ISBN 978-1-277-08889-2 (covers the period from 1620–1926).
  • Harry Gratwick: Mainers in the Civil War. History Press, Charleston SC 2011, ISBN 978-1-59629-962-7 .
  • Patricia M. Higgins: Hidden History of Midcoast Maine. The History Press, Charleston SC 2014, ISBN 978-1-62619-365-9 .
  • Jeffrey D. Merrill Sr .: Maine State Prison, 1824-2002. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston SC 2009, ISBN 978-0-7385-6244-5 .
  • Daniel S. Murphree (Ed.): Native America. A State-by-State Historical Encyclopedia. Volume 2: Maine - Ohio. Greenwood, Santa Barbara CA et al. 2012, ISBN 978-0-313-38126-3 , pp. 469-471.
  • Judy Monroe Peterson: Maine. Past and Present. Rosen Central, New York NY 2011, ISBN 978-1-4358-9484-6 .
  • Don Whitney, Michael Daicy: Portland's Greatest Conflagration. The 1866 Fire Disaster. The History Press, Charleston SC 2010, ISBN 978-1-59629-955-9 .


  • Kenneth T. Palmer, G. Thomas Taylor, Marcus A. LiBrizzi, Jean E. Lavigne: Maine Politics and Government. 2nd edition. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln NE 2009, ISBN 978-0-8032-8785-3 .
  • Kimberly A. Huisman, Mazie Hough, Kristin M. Langellier, Carol Nordstrom Toner (Eds.): Somalis in Maine. Crossing Cultural Currents. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley CA 2011, ISBN 978-1-55643-926-1 (have been fleeing to Lewiston since 2001).

Web links

Wiktionary: Maine  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations
Wikivoyage: Maine  Travel Guide
Commons : Maine  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. This and the following from: Steven L. Cox: The Palaeo-Indian Period, in: Bruce J. Bourque: Twelve Thousand Years. American Indians in Maine , University of Nebraska Press 2004, pp. 13-36.
  2. This and the following according to Daniel S. Murphree (ed.): Native America. A State-by-State Historical Encyclopedia , Santa Barbara 2012, pp. 469-471.
  3. Point Type: SLATE - Ground & Polished
  4. Available online: Histoire de la Nouvelle-France by Marc Lescarbot , Gutenberg project.
  5. ^ The Historical Ethnography of the Micmac of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries ( Memento June 6, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), website of Cape Breton University.
  6. Colin Woodard: The Lobster Coast ( Memento from February 19, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), New York, Viking / Penguin, ISBN 978-0-670-03324-9 , 2004, pp. 139 f., 150 f.
  7. ^ Canadian Military Heritage: The Aroostook War ( Memento June 23, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), Government of Canada.
  8. ^ William ES Whitman & Charles H. True, Maine in the War for the Union (Lewiston, Me .: 1865), p. 21.
  9. Maine's Dependency Crisis ( Memento of February 8, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  10. ^ Lewiston Daily Sun ; February 2, 1981; P. 1.
  11. Website of USA climate: Climate in Maine
  12. ^ US Census Bureau _ Census of Population and Housing . Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  13. Extract from . Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  14. Extract from (2000 + 2010) ( Memento from February 15, 2012 in the Internet Archive ).
  15. US Census Bureau
  17. ^ The Bilingual US - French Maine , The Boston Language Institute, August 8, 2012.
  18. On the status of French in Maine, cf. Joseph Edward Price: The Status of French among Youth in a Bilingual American-Canadian Border Community: The Case of Madawaska, Maine , PhD, Indiana University, December 2007. ( online , PDF).
  19. ^ The Association of Religion Data Archives: State Membership Report: Maine ( Memento from June 23, 2013 on WebCite )
  20. Dyke Hendrickson: "The Role of Religion in Maine" , Maine Public Broadcasting Network , August 19 of 2010.
  21. ^ David Leip: Dave Leip's Atlas of US Presidential Elections. Retrieved November 28, 2018 .
  22. Maine Results, February 10, 2017
  23. 2016 Presidential Election Map
  24. ^ State Marijuana Laws in 2016 Map. Retrieved February 13, 2017 .
  25. In a close vote: US state Maine legalizes marijuana . ( [accessed February 13, 2017]).
  26. , accessed February 11, 2011.
  27. ^ Bureau of Economic Analysis: US Regional Economic Accounts
  28. ^ Unemployment Rates for States. Retrieved January 8, 2018 .

Coordinates: 45 ° 22 ′  N , 69 ° 13 ′  W