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The Making of the 50 States: Maine

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Part 2: The Rest of the Story

After this war, the Massachusetts colony offered 100-acre lots in Maine free. Many people took advantage of this offer, and the population doubled from 12,000 to 24,000 between 1743 and 1763.

The people who lived in Maine weren't too happy about British taxes, and they staged their own version of the Boston Tea Party, burning a tea storage building at York. Maine was again a battleground during the Revolutionary War, especially along the coastline. In fact, the first naval battle of the war took place in Maine, when Americans there seized the British ship Margaretta off the coast of Machias. The British, of course, pounded the American settlements, and the war was on. Benedict Arnold marched through Maine in 1775 on his famous drive to take the Canadian strongholds of Quebec City and Montreal.

This drive for independence didn't end with the American victory. In 1785, the first newspaper in Maine, the Falmouth Gazette, began campaigning for independence from Massachusetts. That colony, however, wasn't about to let Maine become its own state and resisted for many years, finally agreeing to an independent Maine in 1819.

A year later, Maine became the 23rd state, as part of the Missouri Compromise. The first governor was William King, and the first capital was Portland.

First page > In the Beginning > Page 1, 2

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