New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the United States (U.S. postal abbreviation NH), named for the English county of Hampshire. New Hampshire is called the "Granite State" because it has numerous granite quarries, although that industry has declined greatly in recent decades. The nickname has also come to reflect the state's attachment to tradition and its history of frugal government. The state motto is "Live free or die".
New Hampshire is best known as the state with the first primary in the presidential election (see New Hampshire primary), the spot with the worst recorded weather at an inhabited location (the Mount Washington weather observatory in the Presidential Range), and colorful fall foliage. In 2003 it gained international attention for having the first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, within the Anglican Communion (the Episcopal Church in the USA).
New Hampshire's recreational attractions include skiing in the White Mountains, the Lakes Region, and the New Hampshire International Speedway (formerly the Loudon Racetrack), the home of the Loudon Classic, the longest-running motorcycle race in the United States.
USS New Hampshire was named in honor of this state.
New Hampshire was founded by Captain John Mason and first settled in 1623, just three years after the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts and it was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.
Law and Government
The New Hampshire state capital is Concord, which has also been known over time by the names Rumford and Penacook. The governor of New Hampshire is Craig Benson (Republican) and its two U.S. senators are Judd Gregg (Republican) and John E. Sununu (Republican), whose father John H. Sununu was governor of the state from 1983-1988. List of New Hampshire Governors.
Its strong libertarian heritage has attracted the Free State Project to New Hampshire. It has also earned the positive attention of residents in neighboring states: Killington, Vermont voted on March 2, 2004 to secede from Vermont and join New Hampshire.
The New Hampshire State House of Representatives, which has 400 members, claims to be the third-largest parliamentary body in the English-speaking world, behind only the United States Congress and the British Parliament. Both state representatives and state senators are paid just $100 a year, effectively meaning that state laws are written by volunteers.
New Hampshire is part of the New England region. It is bounded by Quebec to the north, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Massachusetts to the south, and Vermont to the west. New Hampshire's major regions are the White Mountains region, the Lakes area, the Seacoast region, the Merrimack Valley area, the Monadnock region, and the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee area.
Major rivers include the 116 mile (187 km) Merrimack River, which bisects the state north-south and ends up in Massachusetts. Its major tributaries include the Souhegan River. The 410 mile (670 km) Connecticut River, which starts at New Hampshire's Connecticut Lakes and flows south to Connecticut, forms the western border of New Hampshire. Oddly, the state border is not in the center of that river, as is usually the case, but lies at the low-water mark on the Vermont side, so New Hampshire actually owns the whole river. The Piscataqua River and its several tributaries form the state's only significant ocean port where they flow into the Atlantic at Portsmouth.
The largest lake is Lake Winnipesaukee, which covers 72 square miles (186 km²) in the central part of New Hampshire.
New Hampshire has the shortest ocean coastline of any coastal state, just 18 miles (29 km²). Hampton Beach is a popular local summer tourist destination. About 10 miles (16 km) offshore are the Isles of Shoals, nine small islands best known as the site of a 19th-century art colony founded by poet Celia Thaxter.
New Hampshire's 1999 total state gross product was $44 billion, placing it 39th in the nation. Its 2000 Per Capita Personal Income was $33,332, 6th in the nation. Its agricultural outputs are dairy products, nursery stock, cattle, apples, and eggs. Its industrial outputs are machinery, electric equipment, rubber and plastic products, and tourism.
New Hampshire experienced a significant shift in its economic base during the last century. Historically, the base was composed of the traditional New England manufactures of textiles, shoe-making, and small machining shops drawing upon low wage labor from nearby small farms and from Quebec. Today, these sectors contribute only 2% for textiles, 2% for leather goods, and 9% for machining of the state's total manufacturing dollar value ( Source: US Economic Census for 1997, Manufacturing, New Hampshire). These traditional sectors experienced their sharp decline during the Twentieth Century due to increasingly obsolete plants and increasingly cheaper wages available in the US South.
Today's New Hampshire economy is largely driven by fiscal policy. The state has no personal income tax and advocates a frugal budget, thereby attracting commuters, light industry, specialty horticulture, and service firms from other jurisdictions with high tax policies, notably from neighboring Massachusetts. This is a viable fiscal policy for a small, high-income state with limited social service demands, but it has not been one hundred per cent successful, and pockets of depressed manufacturing activity still remain.
The population of the state in 2000 is 1,235,786.
Important cities and towns
Colleges and universities
Professional sport teams
Minor league baseball teams:
Arena football teams: