New England is a region of the United States located in the northeastern corner of the country, bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Canada and New York State, and consisting of the modern states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
In one of the earliest English settlements in the New World, English Pilgrims from Europe first settled in New England in 1620, in the colony of Plymouth. In the late 18th century, the New England colonies would be among the first North American British colonies to demonstrate ambitions of independence from the British Crown, although they would later oppose the War of 1812 between the United States and Britain.
New England produced the first pieces of American literature and philosophy and was home to the beginnings of free public education. In the 19th century, it played a prominent role in the movement to abolish slavery in the United States. It was the first region of the United States to be transformed by the Industrial Revolution from Great Britain.
It is one of the most liberal regions in the United States, with every state voting for the Democratic Party in the 1992, 1996, 2004, and 2008 Presidential elections, and every state but New Hampshire voting for Al Gore in 2000. Following the 2008 elections, all members of the House of Representatives from New England belong to the Democratic Party.
New England's long rolling hills, mountains, and jagged coastline are a consequence of retreating ice sheets from prehistoric times. The coast of the region, extending from southwestern Connecticut to northeastern Maine, is dotted with lakes, hills, swamps, and sandy beaches. Further inland are the Appalachian Mountains, extending through Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Among them, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire is Mount Washington, which at 1,917 m (6,288 ft), is the highest peak in the northeast United States. It is also the site of the highest recorded wind speed on Earth. Vermont's Green Mountains, which become the Berkshire Hills in western Massachusetts and Connecticut, are smaller than the White Mountains. Valleys in the region include the Connecticut River Valley and the Merrimack Valley.
The longest river is the Connecticut River, which flows from northeastern New Hampshire for 655 km (407 mi), emptying into the Long Island Sound, roughly bisecting the region. Lake Champlain, wedged between Vermont and New York, is the largest lake in the region, followed by Moosehead Lake in Maine and Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.
Weather patterns are highly variable and climate varies throughout the region. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have a humid continental short summer climate, with cooler summers and long, cold winters. Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, have a humid continental long summer climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Owing to thick deciduous forests, fall in New England brings bright and colorful foliage, which comes earlier than in other regions, attracting tourism by 'leaf peepers'. Springs are generally wet and cloudy. Average rainfall generally ranges from 1,000 to 1,500 mm (40 to 60 in) a year, although the northern parts of Vermont and Maine see slightly less, from 500 to 1,000 mm (20 to 40 in). Snowfall can often exceed 2,500 mm (100 in) annually. As a result, the mountains and ski resorts of Vermont and New Hampshire are popular destinations in the winter.
The lowest recorded temperature in New England was -50 °F (-46 °C), at Bloomfield, Vermont, on December 30, 1933. This was tied by Big Black River, Maine in 2009