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Maine,largest of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by New Hampshire (W), the Canadian provinces of Quebec (NW) and New Brunswick (NE), the Bay of Fundy (E), and the Atlantic Ocean (the Gulf of Maine; SE).
Facts and Figures
Area, 33,215 sq mi (86,027 sq km). Pop. (2010) 1,328,361, a 4.2% increase since the 2000 census. Capital, Augusta. Largest city, Portland. Statehood, Mar. 15, 1820 (23d state). Highest pt., Mt. Katahdin, 5,268 ft (1,607 m); lowest pt., sea level. Nickname, Pine Tree State. Motto, Dirigo [I Direct]. State bird, chickadee. State flower, white pine cone and tassel. State tree, Eastern white pine. Abbr., Me.; ME
Located in the extreme northeast corner of the United States, Maine consists largely of a coastal plain of eroded valleys, with more resistant rock forming the generally mountainous west (the Longfellow Mts., an extension of the White Mts. and part of the great Appalachian system), Mt. Desert and other islands in the east, and isolated peaks including Katahdin (5,268 ft/1,606 m), the highest point in the state. Receding glaciers deposited long drift ridges across the countryside and dammed the valleys to form more than 2,200 lakes (Moosehead Lake is the largest) and to establish new, rugged watercourses for more than 5,000 streams and rivers. The major rivers are the St. John (which, with the St. Croix, forms part of the international boundary with New Brunswick), the Penobscot, the Kennebec, the Androscoggin, and the Saco. The sea has encroached on the low coastal valleys, leaving a jigsawed coastline of 3,500 mi (5,630 km), including numerous irregular and rocky islands offshore. East of Casco Bay the coast of Maine is rugged and wild, but farther west the shoreline has sandy beaches and marshy lowlands.
Over 80% of Maine is forested with great stands of white pine, hemlock, spruce, fir, and hardwoods. Sheltered by the woods and with abundant water from numerous lakes, particularly in the northern counties, wildlife includes moose, deer, black bear, and smaller animals; fish and fowl are also plentiful.
The population of Maine is centered on the cleared land along the coast and major rivers. AugustaAugusta
. 1 City (1990 pop. 44,639), seat of Richmond co., E Ga.; inc. 1798. At the head of navigation on the Savannah River and protected by levees, Augusta is the trade center for a broad band of counties in Georgia and South Carolina known as the Central Savannah River
..... Click the link for more information. is the capital; PortlandPortland.
1 City (1990 pop. 64,358), seat of Cumberland co., SW Maine, situated on a small peninsula and adjacent land, with a large, deepwater harbor on Casco Bay; settled c.1632, set off from Falmouth and inc. 1786.
..... Click the link for more information. , LewistonLewiston.
1 City (1990 pop. 28,082), seat of Nez Perce co., NW Idaho, at the Wash. line and at the junction of the Snake and Clearwater rivers; founded 1861. It is the commercial and industrial center of a timber, grain, and livestock region that also has lime, clay, and
..... Click the link for more information. , and BangorBangor
, city (1990 pop. 33,181), seat of Penobscot co., S Maine, at the confluence of the Penobscot and Kenduskeag rivers; inc. as a town 1791, as a city 1834. It is a port of entry, commercial center, and gateway to an extensive resort and lumber region.
..... Click the link for more information. are the largest cities. Maine's two great parks are Acadia National ParkAcadia National Park,
48,419 acres (19,603 hectares), SE Maine, on the Atlantic coast; est. as Sieur de Monts National Monument 1916, designated Lafayette National Park 1919, renamed 1929.
..... Click the link for more information. on and around Mt. Desert Island; and Baxter State Park, which includes the northern end of the Appalachian TrailAppalachian Trail,
officially Appalachian National Scenic Trail,
hiking path, 2,144 mi (3,450 km) long, passing through 14 states, E United States. Conceived in 1921 by Benton MacKaye, forester and regional planner, and completed in 1937, the trail extends along the
..... Click the link for more information. at Mt. Katahdin in the N Maine wilderness.
Maine's generally poor soil, short growing season, and remoteness from industrial and commercial centers have long militated against development and population growth. Lumbering, shipbuilding, and textile production have all enjoyed booms in the past, but changes in technology and competition from other states have always undercut the state's economic position.
In the 1980s, however, Maine successfully transformed a major portion of its economy into trade, service, and finance industries, the greatest growth occurring in and around Portland. Picturesque coastal and island resorts and the promise of tranquil outdoor life hold a strong appeal for tourists, recreational and seasonal visitors, and, increasingly, retirees, and tourism is an important contributor to the state's economy.
Many of Maine's traditional economic activities have experienced difficult times in recent years. Fishing, the state's earliest industry, has declined considerably, although lobsters are still caught in abundance. Lumbering—the first sawmill in America was built in 1623 on the Piscataqua River—dominated industry and the export trade from the days when the white pines provided masts for the British navy, but with the big trees largely exhausted, Maine loggers now produce chiefly pulp for papermaking. The proximity of harbors to forests early encouraged shipbuilding, which reached its peak in the 19th cent. With the disappearance of wooden ships and the related timber trade, commercial activity slackened. Portland, the largest port, now operates far below its substantial capacity, handling chiefly oil for the pipeline to Montreal. Bath Iron Works, which builds warships, remains the state's largest single-site employer.
Manufacturing is still the largest sector in the state's economy. Maine is a leading producer of paper and wood products, which are the most valuable of all manufactures in the state. Food products and transportation equipment are also important, but production of leather goods (especially shoes) has declined. The mineral wealth of the state is considerable. Many varieties of granite, including some superior ornamental types, have been used for construction throughout the nation. Sand and gravel, zinc, and peat are found in addition to stone. However, much of Maine's abundant natural and industrial resources remain undeveloped.
Agriculture has always struggled with adverse soil and climatic conditions. Since the opening of richer farmlands in the West, Maine has tended to concentrate on dairying, poultry raising and egg production, and market gardening for the region. The growing of potatoes, particularly in Aroostook County, was stimulated by the completion of the Aroostook RR in 1894. Blueberries, hay, and apples are other chief crops, and aquaculture is growing in importance.
Government and Higher Education
Maine is governed under its 1820 constitution as amended. The state has a two-house legislature of 35 senators and 151 representatives, all elected for two-year terms; the governor is elected for a four-year term and may be reelected once. Maine politics are noted for their unpredictability. Angus King, an independent, won the governorship in 1994 and again in 1998; he was succeeded by John Baldacci, a Democrat, elected in 2002 and reelected in 2006. In 2010 and 2014 Republican Paul LePage was elected governor. Democrat Janet Mills was elected in 2018, becoming the first woman to win the office. The state elects two representatives and two senators to the U.S. Congress and has four electoral votes.
Among the state's leading educational institutions are Bowdoin College, at Brunswick; Colby College, at Waterville; Bates College, at Lewiston; the Univ. of Maine, with campuses at Orono and five other locations; and the Univ. of Southern Maine, at Portland.
Early Inhabitants and European Colonization
The earliest human habitation in what is now Maine can be traced back to prehistoric times, as evidenced by the burial mounds of the Red Paint people found in the south central part of the state. The Native Americans who came later left enormous shell heaps, variously estimated to be from 1,000 to 5,000 years old. At the time of settlement by Europeans the AbnakiAbnaki
, Native North Americans of the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). The name Abnaki was given to them by the French; properly it should be Wabanaki,
..... Click the link for more information. were scattered along the coast and in some inland areas.
The coast of Maine, which may have been visited by the Norsemen, was included in the grant that James I of England awarded to the Plymouth Company, and colonists set out under George PophamPopham, George
, c.1550–1608, early colonist in Maine, b. England. He was named in the patent granted to the Plymouth Company in 1606. In consequence of the colonization project of his uncle, Sir John Popham, and Sir Ferdinando Gorges, George Popham, in the
..... Click the link for more information. in 1607. Their settlement, Fort St. George, on the present site of Phippsburg at the mouth of the Kennebec (then called the Sagadahoc) River, did not prosper, and the colonists returned to England in 1608. The French came to the area in 1613 and established a colony and a Jesuit mission on Mt. Desert Island; however, the English under Sir Samuel ArgallArgall, Sir Samuel
, d. 1626?, English ship captain, prominent in the early settlement of Virginia. He commanded a ship sent to Jamestown in 1609 and had charge of one of the ships Baron De la Warr brought to the failing colony in 1610.
..... Click the link for more information. expelled them.
In 1620 the Council for New England (successor to the Plymouth Company) granted Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason the territory between the Kennebec and Merrimack rivers extending 60 mi (97 km) inland. At this time the region became known as Maine, either to honor Henrietta Maria, queen of Charles I, who was feudal proprietor of the province in France called Maine, or to distinguish the mainland from the offshore islands. Neglected after Gorges's death in 1647, Maine settlers came under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1652. King Philip's WarKing Philip's War,
1675–76, the most devastating war between the colonists and the Native Americans in New England. The war is named for King Philip, the son of Massasoit and chief of the Wampanoag. His Wampanoag name was Metacom, Metacomet, or Pometacom.
..... Click the link for more information. (1675–76) was the first of many struggles between the British on one side and the French and Native Americans on the other, all of which slowed further settlement of Maine.
French influence, which had been reasserted east of the Penobscot, declined rapidly after 1688, when Sir Edmund Andros, royal governor of all New England, seized French fortifications there. After the colonists overthrew Andros, Massachusetts received a new charter (1691) that confirmed its hold on Maine. With Sir William PhipsPhips, Sir William,
1651–95, American colonial governor. Born in what is today Maine, he was a carpenter and shipbuilder in Boston and became interested in sunken treasure.
..... Click the link for more information. , a Maine native, as governor and the territorial question settled, local government and institutions in the Massachusetts tradition took root in Maine. Maine soon had prosperous fishing, lumbering, and shipbuilding industries.
Revolution and Economic Development
Dissatisfaction with British rule was first expressed openly after Parliament passed the Stamp ActStamp Act,
1765, revenue law passed by the British Parliament during the ministry of George Grenville. The first direct tax to be levied on the American colonies, it required that all newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents, commercial bills, advertisements, and other papers
..... Click the link for more information. in 1765; in protest, a mob at Falmouth (Portland) seized a quantity of the hated stamps. As conflicts increased between the colonies and England, nonimportation societies formed to boycott English goods sprang up in Maine. During the American RevolutionAmerican Revolution,
1775–83, struggle by which the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic seaboard of North America won independence from Great Britain and became the United States. It is also called the American War of Independence.
..... Click the link for more information. Falmouth paid dearly for its defiance; it was devastated by a British fleet in 1775. In that same year Benedict Arnold led his grueling, unsuccessful expedition against Quebec through Maine.
During the war supplies were cut off and conflicts with Native Americans were frequent, but with American independence won, economic development was rapid in what was then called the District of Maine, one of the three admiralty districts of Massachusetts set up by the Continental Congress in 1775. However, the Embargo Act of 1807Embargo Act of 1807,
passed Dec. 22, 1807, by the U.S. Congress in answer to the British orders in council restricting neutral shipping and to Napoleon's restrictive Continental System. The U.S.
..... Click the link for more information. and the War of 1812War of 1812,
armed conflict between the United States and Great Britain, 1812–15. It followed a period of great stress between the two nations as a result of the treatment of neutral countries by both France and England during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars,
..... Click the link for more information. interrupted the thriving commerce and turned the district toward industrial development.
Statehood and Prosperity
Agitation for statehood, which had been growing since the Revolution, now became widespread. Dissatisfaction with Massachusetts was aroused by the inadequate military protection provided during the War of 1812; by the land policy, which encouraged absentee ownership; and by the political differences between conservative Massachusetts and liberal Maine. The imminent admission of Missouri into the Union as a slave state hastened the separation of Maine from Massachusetts, and equality of power between North and South was preserved by admitting Maine as a free state in 1820, as part of the Missouri CompromiseMissouri Compromise,
1820–21, measures passed by the U.S. Congress to end the first of a series of crises concerning the extension of slavery.
By 1818, Missouri Territory had gained sufficient population to warrant its admission into the Union as a state.
..... Click the link for more information. .
With Portland as its capital (moved to Augusta in 1832) the new state entered a prosperous period. During the first half of the 19th cent. Maine enjoyed its greatest population increase. A highly profitable timber trade was carried on with the West Indies, Europe, and Asia, and towns such as BathBath,
city (1990 pop. 9,799), seat of Sagadahoc co., SW Maine, on the west bank of the Kennebec River near its mouth on the Atlantic; settled c.1670, inc. as a city 1847. It is a port of entry with a good harbor.
..... Click the link for more information. became leaders in American shipbuilding. The long-standing Northeast Boundary DisputeNortheast Boundary Dispute,
controversy between the United States and Great Britain concerning the Maine–New Brunswick boundary. The treaty of 1783 ending the American Revolution had described the northeastern boundary of the United States as running due north from the
..... Click the link for more information. almost precipitated border warfare between Maine and New Brunswick in the so-called Aroostook WarAroostook War,
Feb.–May, 1839, border conflict between the United States and Canada. In 1838, Maine and New Brunswick both claimed territory left undetermined on the U.S.-Canadian border, including the valley of the Aroostook River.
..... Click the link for more information. of 1839; the controversy was settled by the Webster-Ashburton TreatyWebster-Ashburton Treaty,
Aug., 1842, agreement concluded by the United States, represented by Secretary of State Daniel Webster, and Great Britain, represented by Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton.
..... Click the link for more information. with Great Britain in 1842.
Political Issues since the 1850s
Political life was vigorous, particularly in the 1850s when the reluctance of the Democrats, who had been dominant since 1820, to take a firm antislavery stand swept the new Republican party into power. Hannibal HamlinHamlin, Hannibal,
1809–91, Vice President of the United States (1861–65), b. Paris, Maine. Admitted to the bar in 1833, he practiced at Hampden, Maine. He was a Maine legislator (1836–40, 1847), a U.S. Representative (1843–47), and a U.S.
..... Click the link for more information. was a leading Republican politician and was vice president during Abraham Lincoln's first administration. Antislavery sentiment was strong, and Maine made sizable contributions of men and money to the Union in the Civil War. Generals Oliver O. HowardHoward, Oliver Otis,
1830–1909, Union general in the Civil War, founder of Howard Univ., b. Leeds, Maine, grad. Bowdoin College, 1850, and West Point, 1854. Made a brigadier general of volunteers (Sept.
..... Click the link for more information. and Joshua L. ChamberlainChamberlain, Joshua Lawrence,
1828–1914, Union general in the Civil War, b. Brewer, Maine, grad. Bowdoin, 1852, and Bangor Theological Seminary, 1855. He taught at Bowdoin from 1855 to 1862, when he became lieutenant colonel in the 20th Maine Infantry.
..... Click the link for more information. were from Maine. For decades regulation of the liquor traffic was the chief political issue in Maine, and the state was the first to adopt (1851) a prohibition law. It was incorporated into the constitution in 1884 and was not repealed until 1934.
State politics entered a hectic stage in 1878 when the newly organized Greenback party combined with the Democrats to carry the election, ending more than 20 years of Republican rule. The following year the coalition was accused of manipulating election returns, a charge sustained by the state supreme court, which seated a rival legislature elected by the Republicans. In 1880 the fusionists were again successful, but from that time until the 1950s the state was generally Republican, providing that party with such national leaders as James G. Blaine, Thomas B. Reed, and Margaret Chase Smith, who in 1948 became the first Republican woman U.S. senator. Former U.S. Secretary of State Edmund S. Muskie, a Democrat, was elected governor in 1954. In 1964 and 1968 (when Muskie, then a U.S. senator, ran unsuccessfully for vice president) the state voted Democratic in the presidential election for the first time since 1912.
In 1969 personal and corporate income taxes were added to the sales tax within the state. Maine's population grew 13.2% during the 1970s and 9.2% during the 1980s, its largest increases since the 1840s. Environmental issues have occupied the state's attention in recent decades. In an attempt to revive native salmon populations, river logging was banned in the 1970s, and some dams have been removed or slated for removal. Maine voters narrowly defeated several referendum proposals to hasten the scheduled 1997 closing of the nuclear power plant at Wiscasset. The effects of clear-cutting practices in Maine's forests and of large-scale fish farming along the coast were also focuses of debate.
See Federal Writers' Project, Maine, a Guide Down East (2d ed. 1970); L. D. Rich, The Coast of Maine (3d ed. 1970); M. Dibner, Seacoast Maine, People and Places (1973); E. Schriver and D. Smith, Maine: A History Through Selected Readings (1985); D. Delorme, ed., The Maine Atlas and Gazeteer (1988)
Maine(mĕn), region and former province, NW France, S of Normandy and E of Brittany. It now comprises the departments of Mayenne and Sarthe and parts of Loire-et-Cher, Eure-et-Loir, and Orne. Le Mans, the historic capital, is an important industrial and commercial center. Other towns in the region are Laval, Mayenne, and Vendôme. Maine is primarily agricultural, with important stock raising in the hilly Perche; it is well irrigated by the Mayenne, Loire, and Sarthe rivers. Important during Roman times, Maine was Christianized between the 4th and 6th cent. Made a county in the 10th cent., it passed (1126) to Anjou and was held for long periods by England. It frequently reverted to the French crown, or to members of the royal family, until it was finally united with the crown in 1584 upon the death of FrancisFrancis,
1554–84, French prince, duke of Alençon and Anjou; youngest son of King Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici. Although ill-shapen, pockmarked, and endowed with a curiously formed nose, he was considered (1572–73) as a possible husband for Queen
..... Click the link for more information. , duke of Alençon and Anjou.
Maine,U.S. battleship destroyed (Feb. 15, 1898) in Havana harbor by an explosion that killed 260 men. The incident helped precipitate the Spanish-American WarSpanish-American War,
1898, brief conflict between Spain and the United States arising out of Spanish policies in Cuba. It was, to a large degree, brought about by the efforts of U.S. expansionists.
..... Click the link for more information. (Apr., 1898). Commanded by Capt. Charles Sigsbee, the ship had been sent (Jan., 1898) to Cuba to protect American life and property from the revolutionary turmoil there. The sinking of the Maine produced an outcry against Spain in the United States, particularly by the more jingoistic newspapers, which held the Spanish government responsible for the disaster. The cause of the explosion was never satisfactorily explained. A U.S. naval inquiry, headed by W. T. Sampson, reported on Mar. 21 that the Maine had been sunk by a submarine mine but that responsibility could not be fixed on any person. A Spanish naval inquiry reported that the disaster was an accident resulting from an explosion in the forward magazine. Recent evidence, however, points to an accident. Whatever the truth of the matter, "Remember the Maine" became a patriotic slogan during the Spanish-American War. The vessel was raised from the harbor, towed to sea, and sunk in 1912.
Maine State Information
Area (sq mi):: 35384.65 (land 30861.55; water 4523.10) Population per square mile: 42.80
Population 2005: 1,321,505 State rank: 0 Population change: 2000-20005 3.70%; 1990-2000 3.80% Population 2000: 1,274,923 (White 96.50%; Black or African American 0.50%; Hispanic or Latino 0.70%; Asian 0.70%; Other 1.80%). Foreign born: 2.90%. Median age: 38.60
Income 2000: per capita $19,533; median household $37,240; Population below poverty level: 10.90% Personal per capita income (2000-2003): $25,969-$29,164
Unemployment (2004): 4.60% Unemployment change (from 2000): 1.30% Median travel time to work: 22.70 minutes Working outside county of residence: 21.90%
List of Maine counties:
- US National Parks
- State Parks
- Parks and Conservation-Related Organizations - US
- National Wildlife Refuges
- National Scenic Byways
a historical region in central France; its principal city was Le Mans. Maine is part of the present-day departments of Sarthe and Mayenne.
a river in France; a right-bank tributary of the Loire. It is formed by the confluence of the Sarthe and the Mayenne rivers. It measures 295 km in length (from its source at the Sarthe River) and drains an area of about 26,000 sq km. The average flow rate of the water at the mouth is 142 cu m per sec. The river floods in winter. The Maine is navigable. The city of Angers lies on the Maine River.
a state on the north Atlantic coast of the USA, located in New England and bordering on Canada. Area, 86, 000 sq km. Population, 992, 000; urban population, 50.8 percent of the total (1970). The capital is Augusta, and the largest city and port is Portland.
Most of Maine is occupied by spurs of the Appalachians (maximum elevation, 1, 291 m). The climate is temperate and humid. The average January temperature is approximately 5°C, and the average July temperature, 15°-18°C. The annual precipitation is about 1, 000 mm. More than half of the state is covered by forests, most of which are secondary. There are many lakes, as well as rivers with rapids, and there is abundant waterpower. In 1973 the capacity of the state’s electric power plants was more than 1.5 gigawatts.
Agriculture is an important branch of the state’s economy. Farms, primarily small ones, occupy 18 percent of Maine’s territory. As of 1971, animal husbandry accounted for 65 percent of commercial agricultural production. There were 142, 000 head of cattle in 1972, including 66, 000 dairy cows. Maine ranks first in the USA in the production of potatoes, which are grown chiefly in the Aroostook Valley. Of great economic importance are lumbering, the wood products industry, and especially the pulp and paper industry. Also well developed are the footwear, textile, and garment industries, as well as the production of machines for the textile and footwear industries. Shipbuilding is of some importance. On the coast, fishing and the fish-canning industry are well developed. As of 1971, the state’s manufacturing industries had 103, 000 employees.
V. M. GOKHMAN
a gulf of the Atlantic Ocean off the eastern shore of North America (the USA and Canada). The Gulf of Maine is bounded by the peninsula of Nova Scotia on the northeast and by Cape Cod on the southwest. Its shores are deeply indented. The maximum depth is 329 m. The northeastern part of the gulf, the Bay of Fundy, has the highest tides in the world (18 m). Located on the Gulf of Maine are a number of ports: Boston, Portsmouth, and Portland in the USA and St. John, Canada.
Twenty-third state; admitted on March 15, 1820
State capital: Augusta Nicknames: The Pine Tree State; The Lumber State; The
Border State; The Old Dirigo State
State motto: Dirigo (Latin “I lead”)
State animal: Moose (Alces alces)
State berry: Wild blueberry
State bird: Chickadee (Parus atricapillus)
State cat: Maine coon cat
State fish: Landlocked salmon (Salmo sala Sebago)
State flower: White pine cone and tassel (Pinus strobes, Linnaeus) State fossil: Pertica quadrifaria State gemstone: Tourmaline State herb: Wintergreen (Gaulthoria procumbens) State insect: Honeybee (Apis mellifera) State soil: Chesuncook Soil Series State soft drink: Moxie State song: “State of Maine Song” State tree: Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) State vessel: Schooner Bowdoin
More about state symbols at:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 204 AnnivHol-2000, p. 44
State web site: www.maine.gov
Office of the Governor 1 State House Stn Augusta, ME 04333 207-287-3531 fax: 207-287-1034 www.maine.gov/governor
Secretary of State 148 State House Stn Augusta, ME 04333 207-626-8400 fax: 207-287-8598 www.maine.gov/sos/
Maine State Library 64 State House Stn Augusta, ME 04333 207-287-5600 fax: 207-287-5615 www.state.me.us/msl