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New England

The six northeastern states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont have been called “New England” since they were first settled in the seventeenth century. New England was the center of some of the first American industries. Boston in Massachusetts and nearby Providence in Rhode Island are the region’s largest cities, but New England, especially the three southern New England states of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, is heavily urbanized. Major cities include Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport in Connecticut, Worcester and Springfield in Massachusetts, Manchester in New Hampshire, Burlington in Vermont and Portland in Maine. With the demise of many traditional industries like textiles, many of the distinctive brick factory buildings in the regions have been converted into living space, office space and art studios.

Despite its industrial heritage, New England has areas of great natural beauty. Its long coastline, stretching from just north of New York City to the border between Canada and Maine, brings up images of lighthouses, beaches, fishing villages, sailboats, lobster dinners and idyllic summers at the shore. The region’s interior rural areas are quite different, with rolling hills and gentle mountains interspersed with farmland, lakes, quaint villages and picturesque country roads. Interior New England is known for its spectacular fall foliage, the short period in autumn during which the leaves on the region’s trees turn multiple colors before falling. The region is equally beautiful under winter snows and is a major ski destination.

New Englanders tend to have a strong regional identity. The region has long had an association with open-mindedness regarding social issues: gay marriage and abortion rights for example. New England is also known for its highly regarded educational system; it is home to top universities like Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, MIT, Brown, Clark, Wesleyan, Middlebury, Williams, and Amherst among many others. The New England manner of speaking, especially around Boston, is distinct.

Life In The USA has a separate section covering New England Style Food.

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