from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Flag of Massachusetts.svg Seal of Massachusetts.svg
(Details) (Details)
New York Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts New Hampshire Vermont Maine New Jersey Pennsylvania Kanada Atlantischer Ozean Alaska Hawaii Rhode Island Washington, D.C. Maine New Hampshire Vermont Massachusetts Connecticut New York Pennsylvania Delaware New Jersey Maryland Virginia West Virginia Ohio Indiana North Carolina Kentucky Tennessee South Carolina Georgia Florida Alabama Mississippi Michigan Wisconsin Illinois Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Iowa Minnesota North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas New Mexico Colorado Wyoming Montana Idaho Utah Arizona Nevada Washington Oregon Kalifornien Kuba Kanada Bahamas Turks- und Caicosinseln MexikoUSA, Massachusetts map highlighted
About this picture
List of states
Capital: Boston
State motto: Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (With the sword he seeks the quiet rest under the protection of freedom)
Official language : English
Surface: 27,336 km²
Residents: 6,811,779 (2016 estimated) (239 U / km²)
Member since: February 6, 1788
Time zone: Eastern: UTC − 5 / −4
The highest point: 1063 m ( Mount Greylock )
Average Height: 150 m
Deepest point: 0 m Atlantic Ocean
Governor : Charlie baker ( r )
Post  / Office /  ISO MA / / US MA
Massachusetts map
Massachusetts map

Massachusetts [mæsəˈtʃuːsɪts] ? / i (officially Commonwealth of Massachusetts) is a state of the United States of America and part of New England . Audio file / audio sample

The name Massachusetts is derived from the word in the Massachusett language [mass-adschu-s-et] and means “near the big hill” or “near the small, big hill”, roughly “with the big hills” . He referred very likely the Great Blue Hill , a hill in the Blue Hills Reservation - State Park , about 15 kilometers southwest of Boston . The name appears for the first time in Captain John Smith's book A Description of New England (1616). The nickname of Massachusetts is Bay State (State on the Bay).


Valley of the Pioneers south of Mount Sugarloaf near South Deerfield with the Connecticut River

Massachusetts is located in Massachusetts Bay , borders New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, New York to the west, and Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south . To the east is the Atlantic Ocean . The islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are on the southeast coast . The largest city is Boston . Other major cities include Cambridge , New Bedford , Worcester , Lowell , Springfield, and Pittsfield . Massachusetts' highest point is Mount Greylock in Berkshire County (1,063 m). The peninsula in southeast Massachusetts is called Cape Cod and is a popular summer vacation spot. This is where the Cape Cod National Seashore is located .

The state has a total area of ​​27,336 km², of which 7,031 km² are water bodies.



Population density

The population in 2010 was 6,547,629. Of these, 80.4% were white, 6.6% African-American, 5.3% Asians, 0.3% Indians and 9.6% Hispanics or Latinos, who can be any ethnic group.


The religious communities with the largest number of members in 2000 were the Catholic Church with 3,092,296, the United Church of Christ with 121,826 and the Anglican Episcopal Church with 98,963. The Jewish communities had around 275,000 members.

Biggest cities

Somerville (Massachusetts) Lawrence (Massachusetts) Newton (Massachusetts) Fall River (Massachusetts) Lynn (Massachusetts) Quincy (Massachusetts) Brockton (Massachusetts) New Bedford (Massachusetts) Cambridge (Massachusetts) Lowell (Massachusetts) Springfield (Massachusetts) Worcester (Massachusetts) Boston


Early history

The oldest human traces can be traced back to around 10,500 BC. To date. At that time, Massachusetts was located south of the North American ice sheet, which dissolved at the end of the Ice Age. Around 8000 BC BC the megafauna disappeared and the Paleo-Indian cultures were followed by the archaic ones. A distinction is made between three phases, namely the early, middle and late phases, the limits of which are around 6000 and 4000 BC. Be set. The late phase extends to around 1500 BC. Chr.

The Boston metropolitan area has the earliest traces of settlement dating from around 5000 BC. Chr. On.

When the first Europeans came to the region, the Wampanoag tribes, including the Massachusett , Nauset , Nantucket, Pennacook , Pokanoket, and Pocasset , lived on the coastline into the hinterland . In the south-central part of Massachusetts lived the Mohegan , which included the Nipmuck and Pequot , while in the west lived the Mohican , which included the Pocumtuc . Today only the Wampanoag are recognized as a tribe, but there are five other tribes: the Chappaquiddick Tribe of the Wampanoag Indian Nation around Andover , the Chappiquiddic Band of Massachuset around Pocasset , the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People around Franklin , den Hassanamisco Nipmuc Tribe in the Hassanamisco Reservation and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Mashpee.

Champlains map of the port of Nauset, 1605

First Europeans, epidemics

Samuel de Champlain met the Nauset on Cape Cod in 1606. Captain Thomas Hunt captured seven nausets and twenty patuxets in 1614 and sold them as slaves. The Nauset were initially hostile to the Europeans, but soon allied themselves with them and became Christians . Mooney estimated in 1928 that there were around 1200 nausets in 1605. In 1621 there were around 500 and in 1674 there were still 462 Nausets. They gathered in Mashpee , where they still live today.

In 1614 John Smith was the first European to sail the region. In 1617 the Massachuset, whose number Mooney estimated at 3,000 in 1628, fell victim to a serious epidemic ; at the same time they were at war with their northeastern neighbors. In 1631 there were only 500 members. The approximately 500 Nipmuck allied in 1675 in the King Philip War against the colonists; they then had to flee to the Hudson River or Canada . The Pocumtuc, who fled north, and the Pennacook fared similarly . From 1675, Indians were banned from entering Boston by a law that was not repealed until 2005.


In 1620, the English founded the Plymouth Colony in the southeast of what would later become the state , which existed until 1691. Nine years later, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded by English Puritans . In 1630 another group of Puritans formed Boston . The two resulting colonies were merged in 1691.

John Eliot (1604–1690) in particular drove the mission among the Indians. They were collected in separate villages, but there they fell victim to diseases brought in by Europeans. Only the descendants from Punkapog still live in Canton , Mattapan and Mansfield . For the Housatonic, a tribe of the Mahican who was allied with both the rebellious colonies against the British colonial power and previously with them against the French, Stockbridge was built in 1739 in western Massachusetts, where a mission station existed; however, they were later relocated to New York State .

Population development
Census Residents ± in%
1790 378,787 -
1800 422.845 11.6%
1810 472.040 11.6%
1820 523.287 10.9%
1830 610,408 16.6%
1840 737.699 20.9%
1850 994.514 34.8%
1860 1,231,066 23.8%
1870 1,457,351 18.4%
1880 1,783,085 22.4%
1890 2,238,947 25.6%
1900 2,805,346 25.3%
1910 3,366,416 20%
1920 3,852,356 14.4%
1930 4,249,614 10.3%
1940 4,316,721 1.6%
1950 4,690,514 8.7%
1960 5,148,578 9.8%
1970 5,689,170 10.5%
1980 5,737,037 0.8%
1990 6,016,425 4.9%
2000 6,349,097 5.5%
2010 6,547,629 3.1%
Before 1900

1900–1990 2000 + 2010

From the 18th century

Elizabeth Freeman

Massachusetts was one of thirteen colonies that rebelled against British rule during the American Revolution . In 1780 the Massachusetts Constitution was passed, still in force today and one of the oldest modern constitutions in the world. Around 1800 there were around 1100 Afro-Americans in Boston , making them the largest cohesive group in North America. To commemorate them, the Black Heritage Trail was established. In 1781 the black slave Mum Bett sued for release and won the case on the basis of the constitution. She changed her name to Elizabeth Freeman .

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Massachusetts economy benefited primarily from whaling on the island of Nantucket and the towns of New Bedford and Salem, as well as from the cod catches , the world's best fishing grounds then off the coast. Numerous representations and symbols of this fish on coins and as architectural decorations in the capital Boston bear witness to this.

Civil war until the 20th century

The state of Maine was a part of Massachusetts until 1820, although it was not directly adjacent to it. The reason for the split was Missouri's application for admission to the United States. Since this would have upset the 11:11 balance between proponents and opponents of slavery , the Missouri Compromise agreed that Maine would be separated and incorporated as a non-slave state.

During the 19th century, Massachusetts became the leading state in the advancement of the industrial revolution. Numerous factories were built here, they produced textiles, paper, tools and shoes. Before the Civil War, Massachusetts was one of the most progressive states in terms of abolishing slavery. Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson were among the leading American thinkers. Massachusetts was the first state to set up a black regiment in the Civil War, the legendary 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry under Robert Gould Shaw . The Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on Boston Common commemorates the 54th Regiment.

Industrialization declined in the early 20th century. The Great Depression of 1929 hit Massachusetts hard. The Massachusetts Kennedy family played an important role in American diplomacy and politics. Its main representatives were Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. , John F. Kennedy , Robert F. Kennedy , Ted Kennedy, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver , founder of the Special Olympics .

Recent history

In 1987, work began on Big Dig , an extensive traffic project in Boston.


Overall, especially in national elections, Massachusetts has long leaned towards the Democratic Party . Since 1997, not a single Republican has been elected to the House of Representatives from the state's ten constituencies . The Republicans have not been able to win the state of Massachusetts in presidential elections since Ronald Reagan's 1984 landslide victory over Walter Mondale . The political landscape of the state has spawned other well-known Democrats such as Michael Dukakis and John Kerry in addition to the Kennedys . Accordingly, Republican Scott Brown's victory in the by-election for the Senate seat of the late Edward Kennedy on January 19, 2010 came as a big surprise.

According to a ruling by its Supreme Court in November 2003, Massachusetts became the first US state to allow same-sex marriage (in effect since May 17, 2004). Other important liberal decisions were made in Massachusetts; For example, the passing of a health reform that provides for basic coverage by the state for all residents and that people who live below the state-defined poverty line are paid for their health insurance. In 2008, citizens also voted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.



Economy and Infrastructure

Important industries are

  • electrotechnical and electronic industry
  • mechanical engineering
  • Metal industry
  • Food industry
  • Sea fishing
  • Textile industry

Massachusetts is one of the wealthiest states in the United States. In 2016, Massachusetts had an economic output of $ 724 billion, making it the eleventh highest economic output in any state in the United States and a 2.75% share of the total American economy. Counted as a separate country, Massachusetts’s economic output would be about the same as Sweden’s . The real gross domestic product per capita (GDP) was USD 74,564 in 2016 (national average of the 50 US states: USD 57,118; national ranking: 2). The unemployment rate was 3.6% in November 2017 (national average: 4.1%).


Massachusetts is one of the strongest educational locations in the United States. The most important state universities are grouped together in the University of Massachusetts (UMass) with headquarters in Amherst . The best-known private universities include Harvard University , located in Cambridge near Boston, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Other well-known private colleges are Boston University , Boston College , Brandeis University , Northeastern University , Suffolk University and Tufts University . These and other colleges are included in the list of universities in Massachusetts .



  • Donald B. Ricky: Encyclopedia of Massachusetts Indians. St Clair Shores, Michigan 1999.
  • Tingba Apidta: The Hidden History of Massachusetts. A Guide for Black Folks. Reclamation Project, 2003.
  • John Duncan Haskell (Ed.): Massachusetts. A Bibliography of its History. University Press of New England, 1976.
  • William S. Fowler: A Handbook of Indian Artifacts from Southern New England. Massachusetts Archaeological Society, 1983. (obsolete)
  • Benjamin Woods Labaree: Colonial Massachusetts: A History . 1979.
  • Susan L. Porter: Women of the Commonwealth: Work, Family, and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts . University of Massachusetts Press 1996.
  • Dominik Nagl: No Part of the Mother Country, but Distinct Dominions Legal Transfer, State Building and Governance in England, Massachusetts and South Carolina, 1630–1769. LIT, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-643-11817-2 . [2]

Web links

Commons : Massachusetts  - collection of pictures, videos, and audio files
Wiktionary: Massachusetts  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. US Census Bureau
  2. ^ The Association of Religion Data Archives: State Membership Report: Massachusetts ( Memento of October 4, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  3. This and the following from Donald B. Ricky: Encyclopedia of Massachusetts Indians , St Clair Shores, Michigan 1999.
  4. ^ Archeology of the Central Artery Project: Highway to the Past , Commonwealth Museum - Massachusetts Historical Commission
  5. ^ Pennacook Indian History
  6. Antiquated law banned Native Americans from Boston until 2005 , in: The Daily Caller, May 1, 2012 or Banned in Boston: American Indians, but Only for 329 Years , in: The New York Times , November 20, 2004.
  7. ^ US Census Bureau _ Census of Population and Housing . Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  8. Extract from . Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  9. Extract from (2000 + 2010) , accessed on April 4, 2012.
  10. ^ Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment . National Park Service . Retrieved October 19, 2009.
  11. ^ Augustus Saint-Gaudens . National Gallery of Art . Retrieved October 19, 2009.
  12. Biography: Edward Moore Kennedy . In: American Experience . Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  13. The Kennedys: A Family Tree . In: St. Petersburg Times . Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  14. Grunwald, Michael. Dig the Big Dig [1] The Washington Post . August 6, 2006, accessed May 31, 2010.
  15. 2008 Presidential Election Interactive Map and History of the Electoral College
  16. ^ Same Sex Marriage: A Selective Bibliography . Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  17. ^ "Massachusetts Makes Health Insurance Mandatory
  18. Marijuana Decriminalization Law goes into effect
  19. ^ US Department of Commerce, BEA, Bureau of Economic Analysis: Bureau of Economic Analysis. Retrieved August 27, 2017 (American English).
  20. ^ Unemployment Rates for States. Retrieved January 8, 2018 .

Coordinates: 42 ° 17 ′  N , 71 ° 54 ′  W