Maine is a state of the United States. It is probably named after the French province of Maine. Another possibility for the name 'Maine' is that the people living on islands along the coast of Maine used to speak of going to the mainland as 'going over to the Main". Its U.S. postal abbreviation is ME. Four U.S. Navy ships were named USS Maine in honor of the state. The state is chilly, with moderately warm summers but very few actual hot days.
Originally settled in 1607 by the Plymouth Company, the coastal areas of western Maine first became the Province of Maine in 1622 land patent. Eastern Maine north of the Kennebec River was more sparsely settled and was known in the 17th century as the Territory of Sagadahock. The province within its current boundaries became part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1652, and was part of the State of Massachusetts when the United States was formed. Because it was physically separated from the rest of Massachusetts and was growing in population at a rapid rate, it became the 23rd state along with Missouri on March 15, 1820. This has become known as the Missouri Compromise because admitting both states into the union kept the balance between slave and free states. Maine's original capital was Portland until 1832, when it was moved to the more geographically central city of Augusta.
Law and Government
The capital of Maine is Augusta and its governor is John Baldacci (Democrat). Its two U.S. senators are Susan Collins (Republican) and Olympia Snowe (Republican).
Maine's politics are notable for several reasons. In the 1930s, it was one of very few states which remained dominated by the Republican Party. In the 1936 presidential election, Franklin Roosevelt received the Electoral Votes of every state other than Maine and Vermont. Maine voters tend to accept independent and third-party candidates more frequently than most states. Maine has had two independent Governors recently (James B. Longley from 1975 to 1979 and Angus King from 1995 to 2003). The Reform Party of Ross Perot achieved a great deal of success in Maine in the 1992 and 1996 Presidential elections: in 1992 Perot came in second in Maine to Bill Clinton, despite the longtime presence of the Bush family summer home in Kennebunkport, and in 1996, Maine was again Perot's best state. The Green Party candidate won 9 percent of the vote in the 2002 gubernatorial election, more than in any election for a statewide office for that party. The Green Party also elected a State Representative in Maine, its highest elected official nationwide. Maine politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike, are noted for having more moderate views than many in their party.
Since 1969, Two of Maine's four electoral votes are awarded based on the winner of the statewide election. The other two go to the highest vote-getter in each of the state's two congressional districts.
Famous politicians from Maine include James Blaine, Edmund Muskie, Margaret Chase Smith, William Cohen, George J. Mitchell, Olympia Snowe, and Hannibal Hamlin.
See also: List of Governors of Maine, U.S. Senators from Maine, List of Maine State Senators, As Maine goes, so goes Vermont.
To the south and east is the Atlantic Ocean, and to the northeast is New Brunswick, a province of Canada. The Canadian province of Quebec is to the northwest. Maine is the northernmost state in the New England region and the easternmost state in the country (the easternmost city in the United States is Eastport, Maine), bordered on the west by New Hampshire. It is the only state that borders exactly one other state. Its largest lake is Moosehead Lake, and its highest mountain is Mt. Katahdin, which is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
It is the most sparsely populated state east of the Mississippi River, owing in part to its huge relative size -- its land mass exceeds that of all other New England states combined. It is appropriately called the "Pine Tree State", as 90 percent of its land is forest. West Quoddy Head is the country's easternmost piece of land. Along the famous rock-bound coast of Maine are lighthouses, sandy beaches, quiet fishing villages and thousands of offshore islands, including the Isles of Shoals, which straddles the New Hampshire border. Jagged rocks and cliffs and thousands of bays and inlets add to the rugged beauty of Maine's coast. Inland, there are sparkling lakes, rushing rivers, green forests and towering mountains. Maine's Acadia National Park is the only national park in New England, and the second most visited national park in the United States.
Maine's total gross state product for 2001 was $37.4 billion, placing it 43rd in the nation. Its per capita personal income for 2000 was $25,623, 36th in the nation.
Maine's agricultural outputs are seafood (notably lobsters), poultry and eggs, dairy products, cattle, blueberries, apples, and maple sugar. Aroostook County is known for its potato crops. Its industrial outputs are paper, lumber, and wood products, electronic equipment, leather products, food processing, textiles, and tourism. Naval shipbuilding and construction remain key as well, with Bath Iron Works in Bath and Portsmouth Naval Yard in Kittery.
Maine ports play a key role in national transportation. Around 1880, Portland's rail link and ice-free port made it eastern Canada's principal winter port, until the aggressive development of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the mid-1900s. In 2001, Maine's largest city surpassed Boston as New England's busiest port (by tonnage), due to its ability to handle large tankers.
As of 2000, the state's population was 1,274,923.
Important cities and towns
Colleges and universities
Professional sports teams
Maine has a long tradition of personal self-reliance, and Yankee ingenuity.
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