User:Andrew Sylvia/New Hampshire
The state ranks 44th in land area, 46th in total area of the 50 states, and 41st in population. It became the first post-colonial sovereign nation in the Americas when it broke off from Great Britain in January 1776, and was one of the original thirteen States that founded the United States of America six months later. It was the ninth state to ratify the United States Constitution, bringing that document into effect.
Its license plates carry the state motto: "Live Free or Die." The state nickname is "The Granite State", in reference both to its geology and traditional granite mining industry. Several other official nicknames exist but are rarely used.
New Hampshire's recreational attractions include skiing and other winter sports, observing the fall foliage, summer cottages along many lakes, motor sports at the New Hampshire International Speedway, and Bike Week, a popular motorcycle rally held in Laconia in June.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Law and government
- 6 Education
- 7 Media
- 8 Culture
- 9 Notable residents or natives
- 10 Granite State firsts
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 Further reading
- 14 External links
New Hampshire is part of the New England region. It is bounded by Quebec, Canada to the north and northwest; Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east; Massachusetts to the south; and Vermont to the west. New Hampshire's major regions are the Great North Woods, the White Mountains, the Lakes Region, the Seacoast, the Merrimack Valley, the Monadnock Region, and the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee area. New Hampshire has the shortest ocean coastline of any U.S. state, with a length of 18 miles (29 km).
The White Mountains range in New Hampshire spans the north-central portion of the state, with Mount Washington being the tallest in the northeastern U.S., and other mountains like Mount Madison and Mount Adams surrounding it. With hurricane-force winds every third day on the average, over 100 recorded deaths among visitors, and conspicuous krumholtz (dwarf, matted trees much like a carpet of bonsai trees), the upper reaches of Mount Washington claim the title of having the "worst weather on earth." A non-profit weather observatory is located on the peak.
In the flatter southwest corner of New Hampshire, the prominent landmark Mount Monadnock, has given its name to a general class of earth-forms—a monadnock signifying, in geomorphology, any isolated resistant peak rising from a less resistant eroded plain.
Major rivers include the 110 mile (177 km) Merrimack River, which bisects the lower half of the state north-south and ends up in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Its major tributaries include the Contoocook River, Pemigewasset River, and Winnipesaukee River. The 410 mile (670 km) Connecticut River, which starts at New Hampshire's Connecticut Lakes and flows south to Connecticut, defines the western border with Vermont. Oddly, the state border is not in the center of that river, as is usually the case, but lies at the low-water mark on the Vermont side; so New Hampshire actually owns the entire river where it runs adjacent to Vermont. The "northwesternmost headwaters" of the Connecticut also define the Canadian border with New Hampshire.
The Piscataqua River and its several tributaries form the state's only significant ocean port where they flow into the Atlantic at Portsmouth. The Salmon Falls River and the Piscataqua define the southern portion of the border with Maine. The state has an ongoing boundary dispute with Maine in the area of Portsmouth Harbor, with New Hampshire claiming dominion over several islands (now known as Seavey Island) that include the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as well as to the Maine towns of Kittery and Berwick.
The largest lake is Lake Winnipesaukee, which covers 72 square miles (186 km²) in the east-central part of New Hampshire. Hampton Beach is a popular local summer destination. About 10 miles (16 km) offshore are the Isles of Shoals, nine small islands (4 belonging to the state) best known as the site of a 19th century art colony founded by poet Celia Thaxter, as well as the alleged location of one of the buried treasures of the pirate Blackbeard.
It is the second-most-forested state in the country, after Maine, in terms of percentage of land covered by woods. This change was caused by the abandonment of farms during the 20th century as many farmers took wage jobs in urban areas or moved to more productive areas. The return of woodlands from open fields forms the subject of many poems by Robert Frost.
The northern third of the state is locally referred to as the "north country" or "north of the notches," in reference to White Mountain passes that channel traffic. It contains less than 5% of the state's population, suffers from relatively high poverty rates, and is losing population as the logging and paper industries decline. However, the tourist industry, in particular visitors who go to northern New Hampshire to take advantage of the winter skiing season, has helped to offset economic losses from mill closures.
New Hampshire experiences a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa in southern areas and Dfb in the north), with warm, humid summers, cold, wet winters, and uniform precipitation all year. The climate of the southeastern portion of the state is moderated somewhat by the Atlantic Ocean and averages relatively milder and wetter weather, while the northern and interior portions experience relatively cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Winters are cold and snowy throughout the state, and are especially severe in the northern and mountainous areas. Average annual snowfall ranges from 60" to over 100" across the state.
Average daytime highs are generally in the mid 70s°F to low 80s°F (around 24-28 °C) throughout the state in July, with overnight lows in the mid 50s°F to low 60s°F (13-15 °C). January temperatures range from an average high of 34 °F (1 °C) on the coast to overnight lows below 0 °F (-18 °C) in the far north and at high elevations. Average annual precipitation statewide is roughly 40" with some variation occurring in the White Mountains due to differences in elevation and annual snowfall.
Extreme snow events are often associated with a nor'easter, such as the Blizzard of '78 and the Blizzard of 1993, when several feet of snow accumulated across portions of the state over a period of 24 to 48 hours. Lighter snowfall accumulations of several inches occur frequently throughout the winter months, often associated with an Alberta Clipper.
New Hampshire, on occasion, is affected by hurricanes and tropical storms although by the time they reach the state they are often extratropical, with most storms striking the southern New England coastline and moving inland or passing by offshore in the Gulf of Maine. Most of New Hampshire averages fewer than 20 days of thunderstorms per year and an average of about 2 tornadoes occur annually statewide.
The National Arbor Day Foundation plant hardiness zone map depicts zones 3, 4, 5, and 6 occurring throughout the state and indicates the transition from a relatively cooler to warmer climate as one travels southward across New Hampshire.
- Berlin, NH
- Claremont, NH
- Concord, NH
- Franklin, NH
- Keene, NH
- Laconia, NH
- Lebanon, NH-Hartland, VT
- Manchester, NH
- Nashua, NH Metropolitan Division (part of Boston metropolitan area)
- Portsmouth, NH-ME
- Rochester-Dover, NH-ME
Various Algonquian tribes inhabited the area prior to European settlement. Europeans explored New Hampshire in 1600–1605 and settled in 1623. By 1631, the Upper Plantation comprised modern-day Dover, Durham and Stratham; in 1679, it became the "Royal Province."
It was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. By the time of the American Revolution, New Hampshire was a divided province. The economic and social life of the Seacoast revolved around sawmills, shipyards, merchant's warehouses, and established village and town centers. Wealthy merchants built substantial homes, furnished them with the finest luxuries, and invested their capital in trade and land speculation. At the other end of the social scale, there developed a permanent class of day laborers, mariners, indentured servants, and even slaves. It was the first state to declare its independence, but the only battle fought there was the raid on Fort William and Mary, December 14, 1774 in Portsmouth Harbor, which netted the rebellion sizable quantities of gunpowder, small arms, and cannon (General Sullivan, leader of the raid, described it as, "remainder of the powder, the small arms, bayonets, and cartouch-boxes, together with the cannon and ordnance stores") over the course of two nights. This raid was preceded by a warning to local patriots the previous day, by Paul Revere on December 13, 1774 that the fort was to be reinforced by troops sailing from Boston. According to unverified accounts, the gunpowder was later used at the Battle of Bunker Hill, transported there by Major Demerit, who was one of several New Hampshire patriots who stored the powder in their homes until it was transported elsewhere for use in revolutionary activities.
New Hampshire was a Jacksonian stronghold; the state sent Franklin Pierce to the White House in the election of 1852. Industrialization took the form of numerous textile mills, which in turn attracted large flows of immigrants from Quebec (the "French Canadians") and Ireland. The northern parts of the state produced lumber and the mountains provided tourist attractions. After 1960, the textile industry collapsed, but the economy rebounded as a center of high technology and a service provider.
Since 1952, New Hampshire gained national and international attention for its presidential primary held early in every presidential election year. It immediately became the most important testing grounds for candidates for the Republican and Democratic nominations. The media give New Hampshire (and Iowa) about half of all the attention paid to all states in the primary process, magnifying the state's decision power (and spurring repeated efforts by out-of-state politicians to change the rules.)
As of 2005, New Hampshire has an estimated population of 1,309,940, which is an increase of 10,771, or 0.8%, from the prior year and an increase of 74,154, or 6.0%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 23,872 people (that is 75,060 births minus 51,188 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 51,968 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 11,107 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 40,861 people.
As of 2004, the population includes 64,000 residents born outside the United States (4.9%).
The largest ancestry groups in New Hampshire are: 
- 26.6% French or French Canadian
- 21.1% Irish
- 20.1% English
- 10.4% Italian
- 10.3% German
- 7.8% Scottish or Scots-Irish
People of old colonial ("Yankee") ancestry live throughout most of New Hampshire.
The large Irish American and French-Canadian populations are descended largely from mill workers, and many still live in the former mill towns, like Manchester. New Hampshire has the highest percentage of residents of French/French-Canadian ancestry of any U.S. state. The fastest growth is along the southern border, which is within commuting range of Boston and other Massachusetts cities.
- Christian – 72%
- Jewish – 1%
- "Other" – 2%
- No Religion – 17%
- Groups with less than 1% affiliation – 8%
- (may include Mormon/Latter Day Saints, Churches of Christ, non-denominational, Jehovah's Witnesses, Assemblies of God, Muslim/Islamic, Buddhist, Evangelical, Church of God, and Seventh-Day Adventist)
The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that New Hampshire's total state product in 2003 was $49 billion. Per capita personal income in 2005 was $37,835, 6th in the nation and 10 percent greater than the national average ($34,495). Its agricultural outputs are dairy products, nursery stock, cattle, apples, and eggs. Its industrial outputs are machinery, electric equipment, rubber and plastic products, and tourism. New Hampshire experienced a significant shift in its economic base during the last century. Historically, the base was composed of the traditional New England manufactures of textiles, shoe-making, and small machining shops drawing upon low-wage labor from nearby small farms and from parts of Quebec. Today, these sectors contribute only 2% for textiles, 2% for leather goods, and 9% for machining of the state's total manufacturing dollar value (Source: U.S. Economic Census for 1997, Manufacturing, New Hampshire). They experienced a sharp decline due to obsolete plants and the lure of cheaper wages in the South.
The state has no general sales tax, no personal state income tax (the state does tax, at a 5 percent rate, income from dividends and interest) and the legislature has exercised fiscal restraint. Efforts to diversify the state's general economy have been ongoing.
Additionally, New Hampshire's lack of a broad-based tax system (aside from the controversial state-wide property tax) has resulted in the state's local communities having some of the nation's highest property taxes. Overall, New Hampshire remains ranked 49th among states in combined average state and local tax burden.
Law and government
The Governor of New Hampshire is John Lynch (Democrat). New Hampshire's two U.S. senators are Judd Gregg (Republican) and John E. Sununu (Republican). New Hampshire's two U.S. representatives (see district map) are Carol Shea-Porter (Democrat) and Paul Hodes (Democrat).
New Hampshire has a bifurcated executive branch, consisting of the Governor and a five-member Executive Council which votes on state contracts over $5,000 and "advises and consents" to the governor's nominations to major state positions such as department heads and all judgeships and pardon requests. New Hampshire does not have a Lieutenant Governor; the Senate President serves as "Acting Governor" whenever the Governor is unable to perform the duties.
The New Hampshire General Court is a bicameral legislative body, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives is the fourth-largest legislative body in the English speaking world with 400 members. Only the United States House of Representatives, the British House of Commons and the British House of Lords are larger. Presumably because the position pays just $100 per year plus mileage, members are more likely to be retired. A survey published by the Associated Press in 2005 found that nearly half the members of the House are retired, with an average age close to 60.  The General Court meets in the New Hampshire State House.
The state's sole appellate court is the New Hampshire Supreme Court. The Superior Court is the court of general jurisdiction and the only court which provides for jury trials in civil or criminal cases. The other state courts are the Probate Court, District Court, and the Family Division.
The New Hampshire State Constitution is the supreme law of the state, followed by the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated. The State Constitution is the nation's only state constitution which acknowledges the right of revolution, and one of the few that does not expressly mandate the provision of a public school system.
New Hampshire is also the only state with no mandatory seatbelt law for adults, and also has no motorcycle helmet law for adults nor mandatory vehicle insurance for automobiles. Although the state retains the death penalty for limited crimes, the last execution was conducted in 1939. New Hampshire is the only state that does not mandate public kindergarten, partly out of frugality and lack of funding, and partly out of belief in local control, a philosophy under which towns and cities, not the state, make as many decisions as possible. As of 2005, all but two dozen communities in the state provided public kindergarten.
New Hampshire is a "Dillon Rule" state, meaning that powers not specifically granted to municipalities are retained by the state government. Even so, there is within the state's legislature a strong sentiment favoring local control, particularly with regard to land use regulations. Traditionally, local government in New Hampshire is conducted by town meetings, but in 1995, municipalities were given the option of using an official ballot to decide local electoral and budgetary questions, as opposed to the more open and public town meeting.
New Hampshire is an Alcoholic Beverage Control state, and through the State Liquor Commission it takes in $100 million from the sale and distribution of liquor. The state also leads the country in per capita sales of all forms of alcohol.
New Hampshire is internationally famous for the New Hampshire primary, the first primary in the quadrennial American presidential election cycle. The primary draws more attention by far than all other primaries, and has often been decisive in shaping the national contest. Critics from other states have tried repeatedly but failed to reduce the state's primary clout. In Dixville Notch in Coos County and Hart's Location in Carroll County, residents vote at midnight the Tuesday the primary is being held. State law grants that a town where all registered citizens have voted may close early and announce their results. These are traditionally the first towns in both New Hampshire and the U.S. to vote in presidential primaries and elections.
In the past, New Hampshire has often voted Republican. Some sources trace the founding of the Republican Party to the town of Exeter in 1853. The state is considered to be the most conservative state in the Northeast. However, the state supported Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, but prior to that had only strayed from the Republican Party for three candidates—Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.
In recent years, however, in both national and local elections it became a swing state. It was the only U.S. state to give its electoral votes to George W. Bush in the 2000 election but then go Democratic in the 2004 election. New Hampshire gave its four electoral votes to John Kerry in 2004 with 50.2% of the vote. The change from voting Republican was solidified by the 2006 midterm elections, in which both Congressional seats were won by Democrats (Paul Hodes defeated Charlie Bass and Carol Shea-Porter defeated Jeb Bradley); Democratic Governor John Lynch was re-elected in an historic landslide with 74% of the vote; Democrats gained a majority on the Executive Council; and Democrats took both houses of the State Legislature for the first time since 1911. Democrats now hold both the legislature and the governorship for the first time since 1874.  Republicans hold both U.S. Senate seats, which were not up for a vote in 2006. Prior to the 2006 elections, New Hampshire was the only New England state in which Republicans held majorities in both legislative chambers. The New Hampshire General Assembly is the largest among state legislatures in the U.S., with 400 members, and has the most representatives per capita (approximately one for every 3,200 citizens). New Hampshire has been known for a Libertarian-like political tradition that values individual freedom and limited exercise of state governmental powers. The Free State Project selected New Hampshire as its destination due to its "Live Free or Die" libertarian-esque heritage.
New Hampshire has more than 150 public high schools, many of which serve more than one town. The largest is Pinkerton Academy in Derry, which is owned by a private non-profit organization and serves as the public high school of a number of neighboring towns. There are at least twenty private high schools in the state.
- See also: List of high schools in New Hampshire
Colleges and universities
- Antioch University New England
- Chester College of New England
- Colby-Sawyer College
- Daniel Webster College
- Dartmouth College
- Franklin Pierce University
- Franklin Pierce Law Center
- Hesser College
- Lebanon College
- Magdalen College
- McIntosh College
- New England College
- New Hampshire Community Technical Colleges:
- New Hampshire Institute of Art
- Rivier College
- Saint Anselm College
- Southern New Hampshire University
- The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
- University System of New Hampshire:
- Berlin Daily Sun
- Concord Monitor
- Conway Daily Sun
- Eagle Times of Claremont
- Eagle Tribune (Lawrence, Massachusetts, area, including southern NH)
- Foster's Daily Democrat of Dover
- Keene Sentinel
- Laconia Citizen
- Manchester Daily Express
- New Hampshire Union Leader of Manchester
- The Portsmouth Herald
- Telegraph of Nashua
- Valley News of West Lebanon
- The Exeter News-Letter
- The Granite State News
- The Hampton Union
- Hippo Press (Manchester, Nashua and Concord editions)
- Keene Free Press
- Milford Cabinet, part of The Cabinet Press, which prints free weeklies in Hollis/Brookline, Bedford and Merrimack)
- The New Hampshire (University of New Hampshire student newspaper)
- New Hampshire Business Review
- The New Hampshire Gazette (Portsmouth alternative biweekly)
- ABC affiliate: WMUR, Channel 9, Manchester
- PBS affiliates in Durham, Keene and Littleton (New Hampshire Public Television)
- MyNetworkTV affiliate: WZMY, Channel 50, Derry
In the spring, New Hampshire's many sap houses hold sugaring off open houses. In summer, New Hampshire is home to many county fairs, the largest being the Hopkinton State Fair, in Contoocook. New Hampshire's lake region is home to many summer camps, especially around Lake Winnipesaukee, and is a popular tourist destination. In the fall New Hampshire is host to the New Hampshire Highland Games. New Hampshire has also registered an official tartan with the proper authorities in Scotland, used to make kilts worn by the State Police while they serve during the games. The fall foliage peaks in mid October. In the winter, New Hampshire's ski areas attract visitors from a wide area, and New Hampshire has more miles of snowmobile trails than roads. After the lakes freeze over they become dotted with ice fishing ice houses, known locally as bobhouses.
Professional sports teams
- Peterborough is the inspiration for the town of Grover's Corners, in Thornton Wilder's play Our Town.
- The novel Peyton Place was inspired by Gilmanton, New Hampshire.
- Bob Montana, the original artist for Archie, attended Manchester Central High School for a year, and may have based Riverdale High School in part on Central.
- Dartmouth College is said to be the inspiration for the film Animal House, as one of the scriptwriters, Chris Miller, studied there.
- Al Capp, creator of the comic strip Li'l Abner, used to joke that Dogpatch, the setting for the strip, was based on Seabrook, where he would vacation with his wife.
- John Knowles based the Devon School in A Separate Peace on the Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter. The prep school in John Irving's The World According to Garp was also based on the Academy. Irving's stepfather was a faculty member at the school, and Irving is an alumnus; New Hampshire references are common in his works.
- The character of Josiah Bartlet, President of the United States on the television series The West Wing, was depicted as a two-term New Hampshire governor.
- Much of the action in Julian May's science fiction saga the Galactic Milieu Series takes place in the state, with New Hampshire being the capital of the "Human Polity", in effect the center of government of the human race.
A number of famous individuals come from New Hampshire, such as Senator Daniel Webster, editor Horace Greeley, founder of the Christian Science religion Mary Baker Eddy, author Dan Brown, singer Mandy Moore and comedians Adam Sandler, Sarah Silverman, and Seth Meyers. New Hampshire has produced one president, Franklin Pierce.
Notable residents or natives
Granite State firsts
- On January 5, 1776 at Exeter, the Provincial Congress of New Hampshire ratified the first independent state constitution, free of British rule. Having done this six months before co-founding the United States of America, New Hampshire was the first post-colonial sovereign country in the Americas.
- On June 12, 1800, Fernald's Island in the Piscataqua River became the first government-sanctioned US Navy shipyard.
- Started in 1822, Dublin's Juvenile Library was the first free public library.
- In 1828, the first women's strike in the nation took place at Dover's Cocheco Mills.
- In 1845, the machine shop of Nashuan John H. Gage was considered the first shop devoted to the manufacture of machinists' tools.
- On August 29, 1866, Sylvester Marsh demonstrated the first mountain-climbing "cog" railway.
- Finished on June 27, 1874, the first trans-Atlantic telecommunications cable between Europe and America stretched from Balinskelligs Bay, Ireland, to Rye Beach, New Hampshire.
- On February 6, 1901, a group of nine conservationists founded the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, the first forest conservation advocacy group in the US.
- In 1908, Monsignor Pierre Hevey organized the nation's first credit union, in Manchester, to help mill workers save and borrow money.
- In 1933 the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen held the first crafts fair in the nation.
- In 1934, the current record for the highest recorded surface wind gust (231 mph) was set on Mount Washington.
- In 1937 The Belknap Recreation Area installed the first chairlift for skiing in the East.
- In 1938 Earl Tupper, of Berlin, invented Tupperware and founded Tupper Plastics Company.
- In July 1944, the Bretton Woods Agreement, the first fully-negotiated system intended to govern monetary relations among independent nation-states, was signed at the Mount Washington Hotel.
- On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard of Derry rode a Mercury spacecraft and became the first American in space.
- In 1963, New Hampshire's legislature approved the nation's first modern state lottery, which began play in 1964.
- In 1966, Ralph Baer of Sanders Associates, Inc., Nashua, recruited engineers to develop the first home video game.
- Christa McAuliffe of Concord became the first private citizen selected to venture into space. She perished with her six space shuttle Challenger crewmates in January 28, 1986.
- On May 17, 1996 New Hampshire became the first state in the country to install a green LED traffic light. NH was selected because they were the first to start installing the red and yellow ones statewide.
- On May 31, 2007 New Hampshire became "...the first state to embrace same-sex unions without a court order or the threat of one."
- Free State Project
- LGBT rights in New Hampshire
- New Hampshire census statistical areas
- New Hampshire State Police
- Scouting in New Hampshire
- NH has a room and meals sales tax and a business profits income tax. Alaska does not have a statewide sales or income tax, but many Alaska towns have a sales tax. No New Hampshire towns have a sales tax.
- NH Department of Resources and Economic Development - State Facts
- Dellinger, Dan (2004-06-23). Snowfall - Average Total In Inches. NOAA. Retrieved on 2007-05-25.
- Annual average number of tornadoes 1953-2004. NOAA. Retrieved on 2007-05-25.
- 2006 arborday.org Hardiness Zone Map. National Arbor Day Foundation. Retrieved on 2007-05-25.
- "What is your religion...if any?". USA Today. Retrieved on 2008-01-03.
- State at a Glance - New Hampshire. U.S. Department of Labor (2007-10-12). Retrieved on 2007-10-14.
- The Tax Foundation - New Hampshire's State and Local Tax Burden, 1970–2006
- "House Fast Fact", New Hampshire House of Representatives
- State of New Hampshire Department of Administrative Services - Monthly Revenue Focus (FY 2005)
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - SURVEILLANCE REPORT #73: APPARENT PER CAPITA ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION: NATIONAL, STATE, AND REGIONAL TRENDS, 1977–2003
- Office of the Governor of the State of New Hampshire (2007-05-31). Governor Signs Law Establishing Civil Unions in New Hampshire. Press release. Retrieved on 2007-07-14.
- "State Vote 2006: Partisan Composition of State Legislatures: New Hampshire" National Conference of State Legislatures, retrieved November 17, 2006.
- "Free State Project: State Vote Results"
- It's Time for Winter Fun
- Susan Morse, "Last of the Yankees", Portsmouth Herald, July 4, 2004.
- [http://www.nhcrafts.org/annualfair.htm League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's Fair] Accessed 9 November 2007
- The Story of the World Record Wind
- Sending a bright signal, Concord Monitor pg B-6, May 18, 1996
- Wang, Beverley. (26 April 2007) State Senate approves civil unions for same-sex couples Concord Monitor. Accessed 26 April 2007.
- NH Firsts & Bests Accessed 9 November 2007
- Michael Sletcher. New England. Westport, CT, 2004.