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Maine was the twenty-third state to enter into the union. Its capital is Augusta. It is one of the liberal bastions in the Northeast, along with much of New England, and is generally has a high concentration of gay activist legislators. This is somewhat out of balance with the general trend of U.S. voters, a majority of whom consistently vote Republican and identify as conservative.

The rocks of Maine are one of the oldest parts of the United States, dating from the Devonian period.[1] The last glaciers of the ice age shaped the coastline into the many peninsulas we see today and formed Maine's 2,000 islands.


Vikings in Maine

Five hundred years earlier than Columbus, the Viking raider Leif Ericson with a crew of 30 sailors are thought to have explored the Maine coast and possibly tried to establish a settlement here. The only piece of real evidence for this is the finding of an 11th century Norse coin in Brooklin, Maine along with other artifacts when a former Native American trading center was excavated. This is not conclusive though, as the coin may have been used in trade from Newfoundland or may have been brought very much later by the English or Portuguese.[2]


In 1498 John Cabot, who was employed by King Henry VII of England, may have explored the Maine coast, although there is no concrete evidence of his visit. A hundred years later, some European ships came ashore to repair the ships and gather fresh supplies.

The Plymouth Company established the first settlement at Popham in 1607, the same year that the Jamestown, VA, settlement was established. However, the severe Maine winter defeated the Popham colony so Jamestown is considered the first permanent settlement in America. The rigors of climate, difficulties of agriculture and attacks by Indians also wiped out many later English settlements that were established in the 1620s.

By 1700 there were only six surviving settlements. Massachusetts had acquired most of the land claims in Maine by that time, and this arrangement continued until Maine acquired its own statehood in 1820. [3]

Disputes over ownership

England and France disputed the ownership of Maine during the early eighteenth century. The French actively supported Indian raids on white settlements, thinking this would drive English settlers out.

William Pepperell of Kittery led Maine forces in the capture of the French fort at Louisburg, NS, in 1745. In 1763 the French surrendered all claims to the territory in the 1763 Treaty of Paris.

Massachusetts offered free 100-acre lots to prospective settlers once the Indian threat subsided and the French had withdrawn, and the population of Maine doubled to 24,000 by 1763, and to over 150,000 by 1800. [4]

Maine during the Revolutionary War

Mainers resisted the oppressive British taxes ten years before the Revolutionary War, seizing tax stamps at what was then called Falmouth but is now Portland. Customs agents were frequently attacked. A version of the Boston Tea Party happened in York, Maine in 1774 when a tea shipment was burned in York.

Hundreds of Mainers joined the struggle for independence. About 1,000 men died, sea trade was almost destroyed, and the British bombarded Falmouth (Portland). Maine's share of the Revolutionary War debt was higher than that later incurred by Maine's debt from the Civil War.

In 1775 the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War occurred off the coast of Machias and Benedict Arnold marched a band of revolutionaries through Maine in a valiant but doomed attempt at capturing Québec City and Montreal. [5]

Becoming a State

After the Revolutionary War, settlers on what was then a frontier area resented being ruled from 'away' in Boston and campaigned for separation from Massachusetts.

Politically powerful merchants resisted the separation movement until after the War of 1812, when Massachusetts proved unable or unwilling to protect Mainers against the British.

Maine eventually became the 23rd State under the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Maine's position as a free state balanced Missouri's entry as a slave state the following year. The state constitution was rooted in political independence, religious freedom and popular control of government.

William King, who served as president of the Constitutional Convention, was a shipbuilder and merchant from Bath. He subsequently became Maine's first governor.

At first Portland was the state capital, but in 1832 the capital was moved to AugustaMaine eventually became the 23rd State under the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Maine's position as a free state balanced Missouri's entry as a slave state the following year. The state constitution was rooted in political independence, religious freedom and popular control of government. because of its more central location. [6]

Maine and Prohibition

The world's first Total Abstinence Society was founded in Portland in 1815 and other temperance societies over the next two decades. Eventually, a state law prohibiting the sale of alcohol except for "medicinal and mechanical purposes" was passed. By 1851 a law banning the manufacture and sale of liquor was passed in 1851 and not repealed until 1934, along with the repeal of Prohibition in the rest of the United States.

Maine and the Civil War

Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin" at Brunswick, where her husband was a professor at Bowdoin College. The popular book aroused anti-slavery feelings throughout the northern states in the 1850s.

Around 73,000 Mainers served with the Union army, and about one in ten died during the Civil War.

Two great generals, Oliver Otis Howard and Joshua L Chamberlain. Howard distinguished himself at Gettysburg and Bull Run, and Chamberlain is remembered for his heroism at Little Round Top and for commanding the Union troops to whom Lee surrendered at Appomattox. After the war, Chamberlain became governor of Maine.

Howard was one of the main founders of Howard University and was its first president. Chamberlain later became president of Bowdoin College.

Maine Politics

  • Maine politics was dominated by the Republican Party from 1854 until the Democrat Edmund S. Muskie became governor in 1954. He and others broadened the Democratic base.
  • Muskie became one of Maine's Senators in 1958. He was prominent in the environmental movement and also considered expert in urban legislation and budget control. He was Hubert Humphrey's Vice Presidential nominee in 1968, and in 1972 was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. President Jimmy Carter appointed Senator Muskie Secretary of State in 1979.
  • Senator George Mitchell of Waterville succeeded Senator Muskie, and became Senate majority leader from 1988 until he retired in 1994. After his retirement, he was much respected for his attempts to work with both sides of the dispute to bring peace to Northern Ireland.
  • Margaret Chase Smith of Skowhegan was the first American woman elected to both houses of Congress. She was in the House of Representatives for nearly ten years, and then a Senator. She was a liberal Republican (RINO), and was notably honest, independent and courageous.
  • Maine is a hotbed of independent voters, who outnumber both enrolled Democrats and Republicans and determine the outcome of most elections today. Two political independents have been governors of Maine: James B Longley of Lewiston in 1974, and Angus S King of Brunswick in 1994.
  • Maine's current U.S. Senators, Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins, are both moderate Republicans. The current Representatives, Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree, are both Democrats.[7]

Since 2004, Maine has offered domestic partnerships, which are similar to same sex marriage[8]

Elected Officials


  • Rep. Chellie Pingree [D, ME-01]
  • Rep. Mike Michaud [D, ME-02]

Notable people from Maine

  • Joshua Chamberlain, a Union officer during the Civil War who quite possibly saved the Union in the Battle of Gettysburg with his "swinging gate maneuver", was born in Brewer and served as Maine's governor.
  • Margaret Chase Smith of Skowhegan was the first American woman elected to both houses of Congress.
  • Stephen King, a popular liberal horror novelist, is a lifelong resident of Maine and sets many of his novels in the state.
  • E.B. White, a writer best known for his children's books Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web, lived in North Brooklin.

Maine is on the Naughty State List

The naughty list of Nanny States was established by polling TSP listeners [9]

Below is the list of gun grabbing Constitution violating, Oath-breaker liberal Democrat elitist[10] [11] states[12]:

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC.

"The East Coast and West Coasts had the most liberal states including Vermont, Massachusetts, Delaware, New York, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Maine, California and New Jersey." [13]

See Also


  9. Accessed March 28, 2014
  10. Accessed March 29, 2014
  11. Accessed March 29, 2014
  12. Accessed March 29, 2014
  13. Accessed March 28, 2014

External Links

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