New England is a region in northeastern United States.
It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick to the northeast and Quebec to the north. The Atlantic Ocean is to the east and southeast, and Long Island Sound is to the southwest.
The states of New England have a combined area of about 186,500 square kilometers (72,000 square miles), making the region slightly larger than the state of Washington and slightly smaller than Great Britain. Maine alone constitutes nearly one-half of the total area of New England, yet is only the 39th-largest state, slightly smaller than Indiana. The remaining states are among the smallest in the US, including the smallest state — Rhode Island.
The physical geography of New England is diverse for such a small area. Southeastern New England is covered by a narrow coastal plain, while the western and northern regions are dominated by the rolling hills and worn-down peaks of the northern end of the Appalachian Mountains. The Atlantic fall line lies close to the coast, which enabled numerous cities to take advantage of water power along the many rivers, such as the Connecticut River, which bisects the region from north to south.
New England’s long rolling hills, mountains, and jagged coastline are glacial landforms resulting from the retreat of ice sheets approximately 18,000 years ago, during the last glacial period.
Boston is New England’s largest city, as well as the capital of Massachusetts. Greater Boston is the largest metropolitan area, with nearly a third of New England’s population.
New England has developed a distinct cuisine, dialect, architecture, and government.
The earliest known inhabitants of New England were American Indians who spoke a variety of the Eastern Algonquian languages. Prominent tribes included the Abenakis, Mi’kmaq, Penobscot, Pequots, Mohegans, Narragansetts, Pocumtucks, and Wampanoag.
As early as 1600, French, Dutch, and English traders began exploring the New World, trading metal, glass, and cloth for local beaver pelts.
New England was named by Capt. John Smith, who explored its shores in 1614 for some London merchants.
It was settled by English Puritans whose aversion to idleness and luxury served admirably the need of fledgling communities where the work to be done was so prodigious and the hands so few.
Many of the first European colonists of New England had a maritime orientation toward whaling (first noted about 1650) and fishing, in addition to farming.
During the 17th century the population’s high esteem for an educated clergy and enlightened leadership encouraged the development of public schools as well as such institutions of higher learning as Harvard (1636) and Yale (1701).
Isolated from the mother country, New England colonies evolved representative governments, stressing town meetings, an expanded franchise, and civil liberties.
New England writers and events in the region helped launch and sustain the American War of Independence, which began when fighting erupted between British troops and Massachusetts militia in the Battles of
Lexington and Concord. The region later became a stronghold of the conservative Federalist Party.
Residents of Rhode Island captured and burned a British ship which was enforcing unpopular trade restrictions, and residents of Boston threw British tea into the harbor. Britain responded with a series of punitive laws stripping Massachusetts of self-government which the colonists called the “Intolerable Acts”. These confrontations led to the first battles of the American Revolutionary War in 1775 and the expulsion of the British authorities from the region in spring 1776.
It was at the center of the Industrial Revolution in America, with many textile mills and machine shops operating by 1830.
By the 1840s, New England was the center of the American anti-slavery movement and was the leading force in American literature and higher education.
The 20th century witnessed many changes in New England. In the years following World War II, the region’s once-flourishing textile and leather-goods industries virtually deserted the region for locations farther
south. This loss came to be offset by advances in the transport-equipment industry and such high-technology industries as electronics, however, and by the late 20th century New England’s continued prosperity seemed assured owing to the proliferation of high-technology and service-based economic enterprises in the region.
New England maintains a distinct cuisine and food culture. Early foods in the region were influenced by Native American and English cuisines. The early colonists often adapted their original cuisine to fit with the available foods of the region. New England staples reflect the convergence of American Indian and Pilgrim cuisine, such as johnnycakes, succotash, cornbread and various seafood recipes.
New England has a strong heritage of athletics, and many internationally popular sports were invented and codified in the region, including basketball, volleyball, and American football.
There are several American English dialects spoken in the region, most famously the Boston accent, which is native to the northeastern coastal regions of New England. Boston accents were most strongly associated at one point with the so-called “Eastern Establishment” and Boston’s upper class, although today the accent is predominantly associated with blue-collar natives, as exemplified by movies such as Good Will Hunting and The Departed.
Candlepin bowling is essentially confined to New England, where it was invented in the 19th century.
Notable actors and actresses that have come from the New England area include Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, Steve Carell, Ruth Gordon, John Krasinski, Edward Norton, Mark Wahlberg and