Massachusetts covers 8,262 sq mi; its capital is Boston. The state's soils are poor and rocky, and agriculture plays a limited role in the economy, although cranberry farming is important. The region was inhabited by Algonquian Indian peoples when the first English settler, Bartholomew Gosnold, arrived in 1602. Plymouth was settled by the Pilgrims, who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded and governed by the Massachusetts Bay Co., spurring Puritan settlement. It joined the New England Confederation in 1643 and acquired Maine in 1652. The southeastern and central settlements in the state experienced King Philip's War in 1675. After losing its first charter in 1684, it became part of the Dominion of New England in 1686. In the 18th century Massachusetts became a centre of resistance to British colonial policy; it was the scene of the Boston Tea Party and of uprisings at the Battles of Lexington and Concord that marked the beginning of the American Revolution. In 1788, it became the sixth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. It was in the forefront of the 19th century Industrial Revolution and was known for its textile mills. Today its major industries are electronics, high technology, and communications. It is well-known as the location of many institutions of higher learning. Tourism is important especially in the Cape Cod region and the Berkshires.
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