What States Make Up the New England Colonies?

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Colonial New England architecture is a popular tourist attraction.
Colonial New England architecture is a popular tourist attraction. (Image: new england church image by Salvatore Coppola from Fotolia.com)

New England was one of the first European settlements in America in 1620. The first action of the American Revolution took place across the six colonies, and their liberal traditions were instrumental in the promotion of public schooling and the fight against slavery. Today the area is world famous for its Ivy League schools, stunning scenery and vibrant culture.

Maine

Maine endured a number of false starts before European settlement truly took hold. Due to the harsh conditions of the Maine winter, both the French settlement of 1604 and the English “Popham Colony” of 1607 were abandoned in less than a year. It took until 1820 before Maine separated from Massachusetts to become the 23rd state. Today the "Pine Tree State" is known for its beautiful national parks, huge lakes, and seafront towns. The Portland Head Light Station, constructed at the order of George Washington in 1787, attracts visitors from all over America.

Try a genuine Maine lobster in the "Pine Tree State."
Try a genuine Maine lobster in the "Pine Tree State." (Image: Maine lobster fest at rockland image by Chee-Onn Leong from Fotolia.com)

New Hampshire

New Hampshire is one of the 13 founding colonies of America and the first to declare its own sovereign government. Initially visited by Europeans in the early 1600s, New Hampshire became the ninth state on June 21, 1788. Named after the English county of Hampshire by John Mason, the "Granite State" is known for its stunning mountain vistas, dense forestland and Dartmouth University.

Charming covered bridge in New Hampshire.
Charming covered bridge in New Hampshire. (Image: Albany Covered Bridge image by JerseyDevil1953 from Fotolia.com)

Massachusetts

The first English settlement in Massachusetts was established in 1620, and the state is known as the epicenter of the American Revolution. The 1780 Massachusetts Constitution, written by Samuel Adams, protected the universal rights of the American citizen and would later be used to support the call to abolish slavery. The largest city of the "Bay State," Boston, is one of the oldest cities in America and New England's unofficial capital. Today the state is known for its exceptional colleges–in particular, Harvard University. The beautiful beaches and islands off the coast of Cape Cod are famous for their exceptional beauty.

Boston's Quincy Market.
Boston's Quincy Market. (Image: Boston image by Alessandro Lai from Fotolia.com)

Rhode Island

Founded by the joining of the Providence, Portsmouth and Newport colonies in 1644, Rhode Island was the first colony to declare independence from the British Crown. The "Ocean State" was also the first to raise arms against the British and the first to make slavery illegal. Rhode Island is now known for both its natural and architectural beauty. It is the home of the Ivy League Brown University.

One of Rhode Island's beautiful harbors.
One of Rhode Island's beautiful harbors. (Image: newport in rhode island image by Ritu Jethani from Fotolia.com)

Connecticut

While Connecticut was first settled by the Dutch in 1623 as part of New Netherlands, New Haven and Connecticut were united under British rule in 1662. The "Nutmeg State" has since prospered to become the wealthiest in America, while Yale University in New Haven has risen to become one of the world's elite centers for education.

Connecticut is home to the famous Yale University.
Connecticut is home to the famous Yale University. (Image: church in connecticut image by Ritu Jethani from Fotolia.com)

Vermont

In 1609 Vermont was claimed for France by Samuel de Champlain, and the first British settlement had to wait until 1724. It wasn't until 1763 that the Treaty of Paris gave Great Britain official control of the state, and by 1777 “New Connecticut” declared its independence from the British Empire. Now known as America's premier producer of maple syrup and known for its exquisite New England autumns, the "Green Mountain State" is a popular destination for nature-loving tourists.

Green rolling hills in Vermont.
Green rolling hills in Vermont. (Image: Vermont Summer image by bzphoto from Fotolia.com)

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