As one of the original 13 colonies, Massachusetts is best known for being the landing place of the Mayflower and the Pilgrims in 1620. English explorer and colonist John Smith named the state after the Massachuset tribe. In its early years, Boston, the state capital, was a hotbed in American history for activity, including the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. In addition to its revolutionary spirit, the state is known for sparking the American Industrial Revolution with the growth of textile mills in Lowell, and for its large Irish-American population.
Known as the Commonwealth, Massachusetts transformed its self from a fishing, trade and agriculture economy to a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. Massachusetts is now a world leader in higher education, health care technology, high technology, and financial services.
Tourism has become an important factor in the economy of the state because of its numerous recreational areas and historical landmarks. Cape Cod has beaches, summer theaters, and an artists' colony at Provincetown. The Berkshires, in the western part of the state is the site of Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony. Art museums, including Mass MoCA and the Clark Institute, and Jacob's Pillow, a world renowned dance center.
There are many other points of interest, Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Minute Man National Historical Park between Lexington and Concord, and Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth. In Boston there are many places of historical interest, including Old North Church, Old State House, Faneuil Hall, the USS Constitution, and the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum.
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