America's Revolutionary War was fought on many fronts, and according to historical accounts, the first naval action of the Revolutionary War occurred in 1775, when upstart colonials captured the British sloop Margaretta off the Maine coast.
Maine's passionate desire for independence did not waver, but that passion proved costly. By wars end the British were defeated, but nearly 1,000 of Maine's men were dead and the economy was in shambles.
As the new country of America began to take shape, Maine was still an integral part of Massachusetts, the 6th state to join the union. In 1819 Maine's desire to separate from Massachusetts peaked as some of its most influential citizens gathered in Portland to form a constitution. Once again determination and the spirit of independence surfaced, and they would not be denied. On March 15, 1820, Maine became the 23rd state.
Across this fertile land, one literally covered by pine trees, logging industries quickly prospered, and the state's population exploded. Fishing and shipbuilding businesses brought jobs, towns sprang up, and in 1832, the capital was moved from Portland to Augusta.
Across America, the plight of black slaves in the southern states was a growing controversial front-burner issue. That moral dispute between the northern and southern states peaked, and in 1861 America's Civil War began. Slave-free Maine joined the Union cause. Historical records indicate that nearly 75,000 men from Maine served in the Union army and over 7,000 died during the bloody conflict that ended in 1865.
Maine's industries enjoyed a dramatic upward surge following the Civil War. The development of hydroelectric power and the growth of its pulp and paper industry sparked the economy into a strong period of growth well into the 20th century.
Then the Great Depression of the 1930's reared its ugly head, proving financially disastrous across Maine, and all of America. In the end it was World War II that helped to revive (and motivate) the state's 20th century economy. Its many shipyards sprang back to life, building destroyers for the Navy. Additional industries developed as Maine provided materials for the war.
A substantial part of Maine's economy still revolves around the bountiful Atlantic Ocean. In recent years tourism has grown into a major industry as the "Pine Tree" state is home to historic lighthouses, quaint fishing villages, summer and winter sport venues, and a unique, rustic beauty found no where else across America.
Some of the state's busiest attractions include beautiful Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park, and the historic buildings of Augusta. For family outdoor fun and adventure ideas, or for a relaxing weekend getaway at any time of the year, Maine has it all.
Maine Cities, Counties & Area Codes
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