How much do you know about New England History?

By: Isadora Teich
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The New England region of America is known for its seafood, quaint seaside towns, lighthouses and rich history. Test your knowledge of this slice of America with this HowStuffWorks quiz!

New England is the __________ region of the U.S.

The history of this region is even older than that of the U.S. It predates the country by more than 150 years.

Puritans from which country were the first to arrive in New England and set up permanent settlements?

English Pilgrims were the first to arrive in this area. Many of them were Puritans who fled religious persecution in England.

New England played a ______ role in the American Revolution.

The city of Boston was a buzzing center of Revolutionary activity in particular. New Englanders were proud of their local democracy, which they felt was under threat by the British.

When did English Pilgrims arrive in New England?

English Pilgrims arrived mostly between the 1620s and 1660s. They wanted to start a new society where they could practice their Puritan religion freely.

Who lived in New England before Europeans?

Many Algonquin-speaking groups lived in the New England area, even as far up as Quebec. These included the Abenaki, Pequot, Pocumtuck and many others.

What killed the majority of Native Americans in New England?

As early as 1600, French, English and Dutch traders began to trade with native populations. They accidentally spread European diseases along trade routes, killing most of the native population by the mid-1600s.

Which diseases did Europeans give to Native Americans?

Natives had no immunity or knowledge of European diseases and could not cure the ones they caught from traders and sailors. Most Native Americans were dead long before New England was settled by Europeans.

The ship the pilgrims arrived on was named the Mayflower, true or false?

In the winter of 1620, English Pilgrims arrived in present-day Plymouth, MA. Their ship was named the Mayflower.

In the early stages of English colonization, settlers and natives had a ______ relationship.

From the beginning, colonists and natives did not get along. Hunters went further and further into Native American land as they ran out of beavers to kill for pelts, and colonists would often seize native land and attempt to force those there to live by their rules.

When was the city of Boston established?

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was established in 1628. Boston, its major city, was established 2 years later.

Who founded the Massachusettes Bay Colony?

The Puritans founded this colony in 1628. They came with about 400 settlers.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony started with 400 settlers in 1628 and had ________ by 1640.

While many coming to the New World died soon after arriving, others found ample food and space to thrive. Numbers of settlers were increasing overall.

Where did those banished by the Puritans go?

A group who wanted a separation of church and state and to leave the Church of England entirely founded Providence in 1636. It merged with other settlements and became Rhode Island.

What was New York called before it was New York?

New Jersey and New York were originally Dutch colonies before they were taken by the English. New York was originally called New Amsterdam.

Around the time of the American Revolution, how many New Englanders were there?

By 1770, there were nearly a million New Englanders. Almost all of them were descended from the group that had arrived between roughly 1620-1640.

The New England colonies were originally settled mostly by:

New England was originally settled mostly by farmers, who quickly became self-sufficient. Later the economy of the region grew to focus on crafts and trade.

Which of these things were important to New England's economy?

New England's resources, as well as its position between the rest of the colonies and Europe, made it an important trading hub. Agriculture, logging and fishing were also important to their economy.

Did women work in colonial New England?

A strong Puritan work ethic was a cornerstone of New England culture, and many new occupations opened up for women. These included teaching, weaving and tailoring.

The first public school and oldest school in America opened in:

Boston Latin School opened in 1635. In 1642, the Massachusetts Bay colony made education compulsory.

New England was a pioneer in:

All New England colonies required towns to set up schools, and many did. Male students of all ages were taught reading and arithmetic in one-room school houses, for a fee.

Which famous New England college was founded first?

Harvard was founded by the colonial legislature in 1636. It began as a school that trained young men for the ministry.

Were women ever educated in New England?

Optional tax-supported schooling for girls could be found in some New England towns as early as 1767. Some towns were reluctant because they did not want women to be educated or did not want to pay the extra taxes.

Colonial women were often taught to read but not to:

While many colonial women could read, it seems that many could not write. This is believed to be true as they would sign their names with Xs.

The main problem the colonists had with Great Britain revolved around:

Colonists felt that taxes could only be imposed by their own local governments, where they were represented, and not by Parliament in London, where they were not. This was one of the main grievances of colonists who cried "No taxation without representation!"

New Englanders protested tea taxes during the _________ Tea Party.

In 1773 local New Englander activists disguised themselves as Indians and dumped all the taxed tea on an incoming ship into the Boston Harbor. This has become known as the Boston Tea Party.

New England was anti-slavery: True or false?

By 1784, all of the states in New England had introduced the gradual abolition of slavery. Slavery was completely illegal in Vermont in 1777 and Massachusetts in 1783.

Maine was originally a part of which state?

In 1820, Maine was introduced to the union as an independent state. This was a part of the Missouri compromise.

Which of these states has never been considered a part of New England?

Today New England covers 6 states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Florida has been considered a southern state.

The literacy rate was higher in New England than the South: True or false?

New Englanders were the most urban and educated group of Americans by far. Many notable American intellectual and literary figures of the past were New Englanders. These include Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

New England was an early foothold for the _________ Revolution.

The country's earliest factories were in New England. These quickly spread throughout the country.

Which group of people immigrated to New England due to famine?

Between 1845 and 1842, mass starvation and disease struck Ireland, causing a million Irish to die and another million to leave the country. A number settled in New England due to this event, which is often referred to as the Potato Famine.

Why did many French-Canadians immigrate to the US between 1850-1900?

Many French-Canadians were living a very rural life in Canada at that time. While many came to the US just to make money and return home, by 1900 over 500,000 lived in New England.

When did New England's strong factory economy disappear?

After World War II, New England's once-leading factory economy collapsed. This was largely due to cheap imports and declining exports.

How many U.S. presidents have been born in New England?

Eight U.S. presidents have been born in New England, and four in Massachusetts. John Adams, John Quincy Adams, JFK, and George W. Bush were all born in Massachusetts.

Which of these famous writers is a New Englander?

Thoreau is an iconic New Englander. A writer and philosopher, his ideas about civil disobedience inspired MLK, Gandhi and numerous others.

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