Maine, state in northern New England in the United States. It is bounded by the Canadian provinces of Québec on the northwest and New Brunswick on the northeast. To the southwest lies New Hampshire, and to the southeast, the Atlantic Ocean. Maine entered the Union on March 15, 1820, when it was separated from Massachusetts to form the 23rd state. The name Maine probably originated as the word used by English explorers to refer to the mainland; it may also be derived from the province and region of Maine in northwestern France. Augusta is Maine’s capital. Portland is the largest city.
Because of Maine’s proximity to some of the finest fishing grounds in the Atlantic, most early settlers turned to fishing for their livelihood. Later, Maine became an important shipbuilding and trading center. Its ruggedly beautiful coast, indented with many natural harbors, has made the state a popular summer resort area and a haven for artists. Maine’s rich supply of lumber has also influenced the course of the state’s development, perhaps even more than the sea. Nicknamed the Pine Tree State, Maine continues to be largely woodland, and its leading industries rely on wood as a raw material. Encarta © "United States" © Emmanuel Buchot and Encarta
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