Each state is principally subdivided into small incorporated municipalities known as towns, many of which are governed by town meetings. Census Bureau's nine regional divisions and the only multi-state region with clear, consistent boundaries.

The only unincorporated areas in the region exist in the sparsely populated northern regions of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. It maintains a strong sense of cultural identity, The Penobscot lived along the Penobscot River in Maine.

Southeastern New England is covered by a narrow coastal plain, while the western and northern regions are dominated by the rolling hills and worn-down peaks of the northern end of the Appalachian Mountains.

The Pocumtucks lived in Western Massachusetts, and the Mohegan and Pequot tribes lived in the Connecticut region.

The Connecticut River Valley includes parts of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut and linked numerous tribes culturally, linguistically, and politically.

On April 10, 1606, King James I of England issued a charter for the Virginia Company, which comprised the London Company and the Plymouth Company.

These two privately funded ventures were intended to claim land for England, to conduct trade, and to return a profit.

Mainland Nova Scotia came under the control of New England after the Siege of Port Royal (1710), but both New Brunswick and most of Maine remained contested territory between New England and New France.

The British eventually defeated the French in 1763, opening the Connecticut River Valley for British settlement into western New Hampshire and Vermont.

The New England Colonies were settled primarily by farmers who became relatively self-sufficient.

Later, New England's economy began to focus on crafts and trade, aided by the Puritan work ethic, in contrast to the Southern colonies which focused on agricultural production while importing finished goods from England.

By 1686, King James II had become concerned about the increasingly independent ways of the colonies, including their self-governing charters, their open flouting of the Navigation Acts, and their growing military power.

He therefore established the Dominion of New England, an administrative union comprising all of the New England colonies.

The region also played a prominent role in the movement to abolish slavery in the United States, and was the first region of the U. transformed by the Industrial Revolution, centered on the Blackstone and Merrimack river valleys.