Minnesota


Minnesota
Minnesotan, adj., n.
/min'euh soh"teuh/, n.
1. a state in the N central United States. 4,077,148; 84,068 sq. mi. (217,735 sq. km). Cap.: St. Paul. Abbr.: MN (for use with zip code), Minn.
2. a river flowing SE from the W border of Minnesota into the Mississippi near St. Paul. 332 mi. (535 km) long.

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State (pop., 2000: 4,919,479), midwestern U.S. Bordered by Canada and the U.S. states of Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota, it covers 86,943 sq mi (225,182 sq km); its capital is St. Paul.

The most northerly of the 48 contiguous U.S. states, it has extensive woodlands, fertile prairies, and numerous lakes. Before European settlement, the region was inhabited by the Ojibwa (Chippewa) and the Dakota (Sioux) tribes. French explorers arrived in search of the Northwest Passage in the mid 17th century. The northeastern portion passed to the British in 1763 and then to the U.S. in 1783, becoming part of the Northwest Territories in 1787. The southwestern portion was acquired by the U.S. in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase, and the northwestern portion was ceded to the U.S. by the British by treaty in 1818. The first permanent U.S. settlement was made in 1819, when Fort Snelling was founded. The Minnesota Territory, established in 1849, included present-day Minnesota and the eastern sections of North and South Dakota. Minnesota became the 32nd U.S. state in 1858. The Sioux Uprising in southern Minnesota in 1862 resulted in the death of 500 civilians, soldiers, and Indians. Commercial iron-ore production began in 1884, and after the huge iron reserves of the Mesabi Range were discovered in 1890, the population at Duluth and Superior grew rapidly. Today agriculture, especially grains, meat, and dairy products, is the basis of the economy. Mineral resources include iron ore, granite, and limestone.

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Introduction
Minnesota, flag of  constituent state of the United States of America. Its 84,402 square miles (218,601 square kilometres) are bounded on the north by the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, on the east by Lake Superior and Wisconsin, on the south by Iowa, and on the west by South and North Dakota. A small extension of the northern boundary makes Minnesota the most northerly of the 48 coterminous U.S. states. This irregularity is the result of a general boundary agreement with Great Britain before the area had been carefully surveyed. St. Paul is the state capital.

      The state lies near the heart of the North American continent. Its waters flow southward through the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, eastward through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, and northward via the Red and Rainy rivers to Hudson Bay. Minnesota, which became the 32nd state on May 11, 1858, received its name from the Dakota (Sioux) word for the Mississippi's major tributary in the state, which means “Sky-Tinted Waters.”

      Minnesota is a land of extensive woodlands, fertile prairies, and innumerable lakes, more than 12,000 of which are larger than 10 acres (four hectares) in area. The nearly 5,000 square miles of inland fresh water are a dominant feature of life in Minnesota. Its climate is continental, with cold winters and warm summers. About one in four Minnesotans is at least part Scandinavian, but Germans constitute the single largest ethnic group in the state. In the past the Minnesota economy has been dominated by the production and processing of its timber, iron ore, and agricultural resources. While agriculture remains important, the state's economy has become much more diversified since World War II, with the rapid growth of specialized manufacturing and services.

Physical and human geography

The land
Relief and drainage
  Minnesota's (Minnesota) elevations range from 602 feet (184 metres) above sea level at Lake Superior to 2,301 feet (701 metres) at Eagle Mountain, about 12 miles from Lake Superior's north shore. Most of Minnesota has been covered by glaciers several times, and the land's surface has been shaped by the alternate freezing, thawing, and movement of those glaciers. Prominent reminders are the rolling farmlands, thousands of lakes, steep hillsides, and flat glacial lake and outwash plains. Minnesota's rich prairie soils developed on the finely ground mineral materials left by the retreating glaciers. The majority of Minnesota's lakes are located in the areas of glacial moraine, where glaciers deposited hills of sand and gravel. Lakes of more than 100 square miles in area are Red Lake, Mille Lacs Lake, Leech Lake, and Lake Winnibigoshish; Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake are shared with Canada. With some 160 miles (260 kilometres) of coastline, Minnesota shares Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world, with Ontario, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

      The largest glacial lake plain (more than 100,000 square miles) was formed by Lake Agassiz (Agassiz, Lake), which held the meltwaters as the latest glaciers retreated northward some 8,000 years ago. The southern part of the former lake bed lies along the Minnesota–North Dakota border and is known as the Red River valley. Red Lake and Lake of the Woods, as well as Lake Winnipeg in Canada, are all remnants of this huge body of glacial meltwater. Its southward drainage created the wide valley of the Minnesota River, the flow of which eventually reversed as ice blockage to the north melted. In northeastern Minnesota there are stream valleys and deep, clear lakes that were scoured by glaciers from the granite bedrock. Extreme southeastern Minnesota was the only part of the state to escape glaciation. There, streams have cut their way through layers of limestone, leaving extensive caverns beneath the surface and steep, rocky bluffs rising high above the valleys.

Soils
      The most fertile soils in Minnesota are in the grasslands of the south and west, rich in organic matter and high in soluble minerals. Soils that have formed beneath the coniferous forest in northeastern Minnesota are light coloured, acidic, and low in organic matter, while those formed in the hardwood areas are intermediate in colour and natural fertility.

      Great variations of temperature and growing season occur not only seasonally but also from one part of the state to another. This reflects the fact that Minnesota stretches from the edge of the subarctic forest to the heart of the Corn Belt. During June and July the sun shines more directly over southern Minnesota than over the equator, while in the north frost is possible in any month.

      In July average daily maximum temperatures range from 85° F (29° C) in southern Minnesota to 70° F (21° C) along the shore of Lake Superior. Average daily January highs range from 25° F (−4° C) in the south to 15° F (−9° C) in the north; minimums are from 5° F (−15° C) to −5° F (−21° C). The average frost-free periods vary from less than 90 days in parts of the north to more than 160 days in parts of the south. The average annual precipitation ranges from more than 30 inches (750 millimetres) in the southeast to less than 20 inches in the northwest. Average seasonal snowfall varies from less than 40 inches in the western part of the state to more than 70 inches in the extreme northeastern tip. Many parts of Minnesota have continuous snow cover for at least 90 days, from about mid-December to mid-March.

Plant and animal life
      Minnesota stands astride one of the major physical geographic boundaries in the world, the sharp transition from forest to prairie in the heart of North America. The natural vegetation of Minnesota may be divided into three general categories: needleleaf forests, hardwood forests, and tallgrass prairie. The needleleaf forests originally occupied the northeastern third of the state and included pine, spruce, and fir, with tamarack in the bog areas. A belt of hardwoods extends from southeastern Minnesota northeasterly to the Canadian border, passing through the Twin Cities and lying immediately to the south and west of the coniferous forest. The hardwood forest is known as the big woods and averages some 40 to 80 miles in width. It consists primarily of oak, maple, and basswood, with ash, elm, cottonwood, and box elder along the stream valleys. South and west of the hardwood forests lies the tallgrass prairie.

      Mammals commonly found throughout the state include deer, foxes, raccoons, porcupines, minks, weasels, skunks, muskrats, woodchucks, and squirrels. Black bears, moose, elk, wolves, coyotes, lynx, bobcats, otters, and beavers are found almost entirely in the north. Common year-round birds include chickadees, woodpeckers, grosbeaks, nuthatches, cardinals, sparrows, and jays. Favourite migratory songbirds include robins, orioles, thrushes, meadowlarks, and red-winged blackbirds, the state's most common bird. Migratory waterfowl include ducks, geese, gulls, coots, herons, and egrets. The common loon is the official state bird. In addition to ducks and geese, other game birds include grouse, quail, partridge, wild turkeys, and imported ring-necked pheasants. Important raptors include hawks, eagles, owls, and ospreys.

      The walleye is designated as the state fish and is the most popular object of anglers. Other important game fish include the northern pike, muskellunge, bass, lake trout, crappie, sunfish, and eelpout. Brown and rainbow trout thrive in many streams. The deep, cold waters of Lake Superior contain lake trout, whitefish, coho and chinook salmon, steelhead, smelt, herring, and ciscoes. The timber rattlesnake is found in several southeastern counties.

Settlement patterns
      To serve Minnesota's growing agricultural, forestry, and mining activities in the 19th century, a network of towns emerged across the landscape. In the latter half of the 20th century many of the smaller communities atrophied, while the larger communities extended their influence over wider areas. In general, population densities are greatest in the east and south, declining toward the north and west.

      During a century of white occupancy, virtually all of the prairies were cultivated. The coniferous forestlands, mostly cut by 1920, have become covered again by aspen, birch, and jack pine, while much of the big woods has been cleared for crops and pasture. Minnesota reached its peak in cultivated farmland in 1945. Since then the agricultural frontier has retreated, and farms have been abandoned in the less fertile areas in north central and northeastern Minnesota. The big woods area has become primarily a dairying area. Within 100 miles (160 kilometres) or so of the Twin Cities, dairying has intensified, but, beyond that, dairying has declined in importance. The prairie areas of southern and southwestern Minnesota have a characteristically Corn Belt crop and livestock agriculture.

The people
      The New England Yankees of English, Scottish, and Irish descent who first settled Minnesota were entrepreneurs who helped establish the institutions and many of the traditions that remain important in Minnesota. The first major immigrant groups in the latter half of the 19th century were Germans, Swedes, and Norwegians who cut the trees, built the railroads, and became the farmers, tradesmen, and professionals.

      German settlers dominated the push up the Mississippi, continuing into the central and south central parts of the state. Norwegian settlers moved westward across the southern tier of counties, forming the major ethnic group in west central Minnesota and the Red River valley. The major areas of Swedish settlement are in several counties immediately north of the Twin Cities and scattered locations in west central and northwestern Minnesota. Substantial numbers of Finns live in northeastern Minnesota, Poles in southeastern and central Minnesota, Bohemians south of the Twin Cities area, Irish across the south, French and French Canadians just north of the Twin Cities and in northwestern Minnesota, Dutch and Flemish in parts of southwestern Minnesota, Icelanders in northwestern Minnesota, and Danes, Welsh, and Swiss in scattered pockets.

      Each ethnic group brought with it its religious traditions. Central and south central Minnesota are heavily Roman Catholic, reflecting the German, Polish, and Bohemian populations. Other Germans, as well as most Scandinavians, are Lutheran. Many ethnic clusters have retained a degree of homogeneity in the rural areas. They have been sources of population movement to urban areas, but they have attracted few in-migrants to alter the original stock.

      By 1890 most of the good agricultural land had been claimed. Thus, most immigrants who arrived during the next few decades sought a livelihood in the Twin Cities area or on the iron ranges, where employment opportunities were expanding. The Twin Cities area, in particular, grew rapidly as the state's major centre for cultural contact and variety. These later immigrant groups included Finns, Italians, Slovakians, Croatians, Serbs, Greeks, Jews, Ukrainians, Russians, American blacks, and Hispanics, as well as a continued flow of northern Europeans.

      The American Indian population is primarily Ojibwa, about one-half of whom live in the Twin Cities; most of the remainder live on reservations in rural Minnesota. Slightly more than 1 percent of the state population is black, about 90 percent of whom live in the Twin Cities. Hispanics constitute a sizable community. Since the mid-1970s, refugees from Vietnam, Laos, and Kampuchea have been added to the Twin Cities area population.

The economy
      The economic growth of early Minnesota was related closely to the exploitation of its primary natural resources: soils, iron ore, and timber. These activities, in turn, stimulated the growth of such ancillary activities as railroads, processing of natural resources and agricultural products, and services. During the late 1960s and early '70s, activities based on natural resources, as well as railroads and associated manufacturing, began to decline. Agriculture, however, is still Minnesota's largest industry.

      Agriculture in Minnesota falls into four categories that are closely related to climate and soil type. Minnesota's most valuable and productive farmland lies across the southern quarter of the state, mostly an area of dark, fertile prairie soils and hot, humid summers. Corn (maize), which occupies the greatest acreage, is fed to cattle and hogs; soybeans are the major cash crop. In the Red River valley the growing season is shorter and the humidity is lower than in southern Minnesota, making small grains and specialty crops more profitable. Major crops are wheat, barley, sugar beets, sunflowers, potatoes, and flax.

      Dairying dominates the hilly big woods region from southeastern to west central Minnesota. Milk and milk products are the major sources of farm income in this region, with feed crops being important. Soybeans and potatoes are grown as supplemental cash crops. Large-scale turkey production is important in several localities. In northeastern Minnesota, where soils are thin and acidic, agriculture is much less important than in other parts of the state.

      Iron ore accounts for more than 90 percent of the value of all minerals produced in Minnesota. The Mesabi Range, the largest of three iron ranges in the state, began production in 1892 and at its peak produced one-fourth of the world's iron ore. By the late 1950s, however, most of the high-grade natural ores of the Mesabi had been depleted. A process was developed at the University of Minnesota for extracting iron from the abundant but low-grade taconite rock. To encourage the heavy capital investment required, the voters of Minnesota approved a constitutional amendment in 1964 that guaranteed the taconite industry a tax-free period of 25 years. This resulted in a brief revitalization of the iron ore industry in Minnesota. In the 1980s, however, low-cost foreign steel reduced American steel production, and lower-cost foreign ores replaced Minnesota taconite in American steel mills.

      Other mining activities in Minnesota include granite and limestone quarrying and sand and gravel extraction. There are no coal, oil, or natural gas resources in Minnesota, and geologic formations are such that the discovery of these minerals is highly unlikely.

      Minnesota's earliest industries facilitated exploitation of the state's natural resources with the manufacture of implements, machinery, tools, and hardware. Ancillary activities included processing, packaging, transporting, financing, insuring, and providing the necessary infrastructure for these industries, all of which developed into a complex interdependent economic network. The agricultural servicing industries have diversified into a wide range of consumer products and have grown into major corporations with worldwide markets. The major financial institutions, insurance companies, and merchandisers likewise have diversified and expanded their market areas.

      The major changes in Minnesota's economic structure have come from high-technology and non-resource-based industries. Other growing sectors of the economy are printing and publishing, health care, scientific instruments, industrial chemicals, and recreational equipment.

      The lumbering industry declined rapidly after the turn of the century as the pine forests were depleted and much of the natural regrowth of aspen and birch had limited commercial value. In the latter half of the 20th century, however, Minnesota's forest industry has been revitalized with the growth of the wood pulp and waferboard industries. Pine, balsam, and spruce are harvested for pulpwood, while aspen, once considered a “weed” tree, has become the preferred species for waferboard manufacturing and accounts for about 70 percent of the commercially harvested wood in Minnesota. From the 1880s to about 1920, Minneapolis was known as “the mill city,” producing more flour than any other city in the world. After 1920 Buffalo, N.Y., surpassed Minneapolis because of its proximity to eastern markets. While flour is no longer produced in Minneapolis, the major milling companies retain their headquarters there.

      The movement of people and goods in Minnesota and the upper Midwest is centred on the Twin Cities area. Regional and transcontinental rail and highway systems radiate outward from the Twin Cities, tying the towns and hamlets into one interdependent network. The rail system of northeastern Minnesota brings iron ore and taconite products for transshipment by boat at the Lake Superior ports of Duluth and Superior. Wheat from the Dakotas and Montana also has been an important product transshipped from rail to boat at Duluth. Since the opening of the Great Lakes waterway to ocean vessels in 1959, products of the upper Midwest are carried directly to locations throughout the world.

      River transportation was the first important mode for the movement of both people and goods in many parts of the state. Barges on the Mississippi carry bulk products to and from the major inland ports at St. Paul and Minneapolis. Carried upstream are such bulk products as coal, oil, and salt; grain, sand, and gravel are transported downstream.

      The Twin Cities area, also the air hub of the upper Midwest, is served by several commercial airlines. The Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport is supplemented by a satellite network of additional airports around the state.

Administration and social conditions
      Minnesota's first state constitution was ratified by Congress at the time of statehood in 1858. In 1974 this document was restructured and reworded to improve its utility without altering its meaning. In cases of constitutional law the original document is the final authority.

      Minnesota's constitution provides for an executive branch comprising a governor, a lieutenant governor, a secretary of state, an auditor, a treasurer, and an attorney general. These six state officials are nominated with political party designation and elected by statewide ballot. There are more than 100 administrative departments and independent agencies, boards, commissions, and other bodies.

      The state's bicameral legislature consists of a 67-member Senate and a 134-member House of Representatives that meet in regular session in odd-numbered years. Senators are elected to four-year terms, representatives to two-year terms.

      The judicial branch comprises the Supreme Court, district court, probate court, county courts, municipal courts, and justices of the peace. Nine justices constitute the Supreme Court; each is elected for a six-year term.

      The state's 87 counties range in size from 155 square miles of land area to 6,092 square miles and in population from less than 5,000 to about 1,000,000 people. Counties and municipalities provide most of the local governmental services, but townships assume some authority for planning and zoning and for maintenance of public works, parks, and hospitals. A number of school districts have been consolidated, and special districts have been established to provide for waste management, water supply, fire protection, parks, airports, soil and water conservation, and other interjurisdictional needs.

      The Twin Cities Metropolitan Council, the members of which are appointed by the governor, is responsible for the development of certain areawide services that local government is unable to provide, including sewage and water systems, transportation, and major land uses. It plays a coordinating and regulatory role among the more than 350 local governmental jurisdictions within the Twin Cities area.

Politics and social issues
      From the beginning, Minnesota politics has been characterized by recurring waves of protest and reform that have spawned such national groups as the Grange, the Greenbackers, the Antimonopolists, the Farmers Alliance, the Populists, the Prohibitionists, and the Nonpartisan League. Each of these movements brought about social reforms and influenced the major political parties. Both major Minnesota parties in the late 20th century are amalgams from this tradition. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party was formed in 1944 between the more traditional Democrats and the reformist Farmer-Labor Party. The Independent-Republican Party was created in an effort to attract more of the substantial but diverse independent vote in Minnesota.

      The political environment emerged from the traditions of the original New Englanders who brought their town-meeting form of government to this new frontier. That foundation was reinforced by the Scandinavian and German immigrants, with their ambition and high regard for education. Government has always been accepted as the legitimate means for public decision making in Minnesota, and business has played an important role as a strong participant in public decisions.

      The traditions of citizen involvement can be seen in the many neighbourhood and community organizations and ad hoc issue-related groups in the state and in the relatively large number of Minnesotans of national political prominence. Minnesota has been a leader in such national movements as those to guarantee the rights of women, homosexuals, and American Indians.

      Approximately 90 percent of Minnesota's elementary and secondary students attend public schools. School districts vary widely in size and resources, with the larger and wealthier generally located in the major urban centres. Small rural school districts have often consolidated—or collaborated without consolidating—in order to provide a full range of curriculum opportunities and essential services. On average, more than half of local school district revenues come from the state, with support ranging widely based on local needs. Minnesota ranks among the top states in the proportion of its students graduating from high school, in standard test scores for high school graduates, and in the proportion attending higher educational institutions.

      The University of Minnesota (Minnesota, University of) was established in 1851, with its main campus in Minneapolis and a smaller campus in St. Paul. Smaller branches of the university are located in Duluth and Morris, with four-year programs, and in Crookston and Waseca, with two-year programs.

      The state university system operates campuses in several locations. One of these, Metropolitan State University, in the Twin Cities, is a “college without a campus” that utilizes diverse physical facilities throughout the area to bring higher education to the neighbourhoods. In addition, the state operates large systems of community colleges and of post-secondary vocational-technical schools. Several private four-year colleges supplement the public system.

Health and welfare
      Minnesota is high among the states in the quality of health and welfare services. The state's high standard of general medical services, its extensive children's health and welfare programs, and its innovative approaches to health maintenance, drug- and alcohol-abuse treatment, and care for the elderly have all been praised.

      The Twin Cities and Rochester serve as national health care centres. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester has served patients from around the world since the late 19th century. The University of Minnesota Hospitals in the Twin Cities area has been a pioneer in medical research, while numerous hospitals across the state provide an effective network of medical care.

Cultural life
      Cultural life in Minnesota is highly diversified and seasonal. Many activities are oriented toward the outdoors; they include swimming, boating, canoeing, camping, hunting, and fishing. Popular winter sports include downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing; ice hockey is most commonly played indoors. St. Paul celebrates winter with its annual Winter Carnival, while Minneapolis celebrates summer with its Aquatennial. The State Fair is a major summer attraction of the Twin Cities. Community festivals are abundant throughout the state year-round.

      Whereas “outstate” Minnesota is the outdoor playground for the state, the Twin Cities area serves as the centre of cultural institutions. The best-known musical organizations are the Minnesota Orchestra, which was formed in 1903 as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Minnesota Opera Company. Civic orchestras and colleges and universities throughout the state make substantial contributions to the arts within their communities and regions.

      The Twin Cities area has several resident professional theatres. The best known is the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre Company, formed in 1963. The Children's Theatre Company is nationally recognized as one of the finest of its kind. The Minnesota Dance Theatre is the most prominent resident dance company in the Twin Cities.

      The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Walker Art Center, and the Minnesota Museum of Art are among the most important art museums in the state. Other major museums are the Minnesota Science Museum, the Bell Museum of Natural History, the Minnesota Historical Society, the American Swedish Institute, and the Planetarium of the Minneapolis Public Library.

      Sinclair Lewis and F. Scott Fitzgerald are celebrated Minnesota-born authors. Minnesota's pioneer days are remembered in the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Ole Rölvaag.

History
      Until the middle of the 19th century, two major Indian tribes occupied what is now Minnesota: (Minnesota) the Ojibwa (Chippewa) in the north (Native American) and east and the Sioux (the popular name for the Dakota) in the south and west. Between the time of European exploration and statehood, the Ojibwa occupied the forested areas of the state and pushed the Sioux southward and southwestward onto the prairie. Indians of tribes from as far away as the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains met in a sacred place of peace in southwestern Minnesota to quarry a hard red rock that was used for making peace pipes; (Sacred Pipe) today this area is preserved as the Pipestone National Monument.

European settlement
      Investigation of the Kensington Stone, found in west central Minnesota in 1898 and bearing inscriptions allegedly made by Norsemen who penetrated the continent in the 14th century, has proved it to be a forgery. The earliest verifiable Europeans in the area were 17th-century French explorers who were searching for a Northwest Passage. The first white settlement was made where the French fur traders known as voyageurs had to leave Lake Superior to make a nine-mile portage around the falls and rapids of the Pigeon River. Before the American Revolution this outpost, known as Grand Portage (Grand Portage National Monument), was the hub of an enormous commercial empire stretching 3,000 miles from Montreal to Canada's northwestern wilderness. It was the inland headquarters of the North West Company, which trapped beaver and marketed their pelts, and the meeting place each July and August for fur buyers and sellers. Grand Portage became U.S. territory after the Revolution but did not pass into American hands until 1803, when the North West Company moved 30 miles up the Lake Superior shore to Fort William (now Thunder Bay), Can. Today Grand Portage is a national monument, and part of the fur traders' route east of International Falls has been preserved as Voyageurs National Park.

      The first permanent U.S. settlement was at Fort Snelling, a military outpost established in 1819 overlooking the junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers; the site has been restored as a state park. Immigration into the region was slow during the first half of the 19th century, but, once the value of the vast forestlands of northern and central Minnesota was realized, lumbermen from New England led a large wave of permanent settlers.

Territory and state
      That part of Minnesota east of the Mississippi River was part of the original Northwest Territory, which came under the jurisdiction of the Ordinance of 1787; the part of the state that lies west of the Mississippi was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Minnesota became a territory in 1849, its boundaries at that time reaching as far west as the Upper Missouri River, but most of its approximately 4,000 white settlers were located in the Fort Snelling–St. Paul area in the eastern part of the territory. The lumber industry developed rapidly, and major sawmills were soon built at Stillwater, on the St. Croix River, and at the Falls of St. Anthony, on the Mississippi River. The two villages at the falls were merged in 1872, with the village of St. Anthony on the east bank being absorbed into the larger and more aggressive city of Minneapolis on the west bank.

      Ties with Canada were important during the early settlement period. In 1811 a colony had been established in the lower Red River valley, near modern Winnipeg. As there was little effort to mark and enforce the international boundary, goods and people flowed unhindered between the two countries. Immigrant groups that came into Minnesota via this route were Canadians of English, Scottish, Scotch-Irish, and French extraction. Because it was much easier to supply this area from Minnesota than from eastern Canada, supplies were shipped from St. Paul via St. Anthony to Fort Garry and other Red River valley settlements. As a result of this lucrative trade, people from both sides of the border sought U.S. annexation of western Canada, known as Rupert's Land. This received little support in Congress from Southern states concerned with maintaining the sectional balance. Great Britain effectively undercut any Canadian desire to defect to the United States with the British North America Act of 1867, which brought about the formation of the Dominion of Canada, giving Canada self-governing authority. The efforts of Minnesota expansionists ended in 1870 when Canada established the province of Manitoba and sent troops to Winnipeg.

      When Minnesota became a state in 1858, its boundaries were cut back from the Missouri River to the Red River. In 1861, Minnesota was the first state to send volunteers for the Civil War. Meanwhile, attention at home concerned the Sioux Uprising, one of the bloodiest Indian wars in the country's history. The Sioux Indians who had not been driven from the state were confined to small reservations. The federal government had forced the sale of some of these lands, reversing earlier treaty agreements. Driven further by crop failures and starvation, the Sioux attacked isolated farmsteads. In only a few weeks more than 500 civilians, soldiers, and Indians were killed.

      The most rapid period of settlement in Minnesota was during the 1880s, when homesteaders rushed into western and southwestern Minnesota. In the same period, lumbering was at its peak and flour milling, using power provided by the St. Anthony falls, was becoming important. Both Minneapolis, as the lumber, milling, and retail centre, and its neighbouring city of St. Paul, as the transportation, wholesaling, finance, and government centre, tripled in population during the 1880s. The rivalry between the two cities became particularly intense after the census of 1880, when Minneapolis surpassed St. Paul in population.

      Commercial iron ore production began in Minnesota in 1884 at Soudan, on the Vermillion Range. After the huge iron reserves of the Mesabi Range were discovered at Mountain Iron in 1890, large-scale production began, and the population along the Mesabi Range and in the Lake Superior port cities of Duluth and Superior grew rapidly during the next two decades. Most of the valuable pine, balsam, and spruce in central and northeastern Minnesota had been cut before 1900, after which time the lumbering industry declined rapidly. Wood products remained important in northern and northeastern Minnesota.

Adaptation and change
      Since permanent settlement took hold in central North America, Minnesota has evolved from a frontier outpost to an integral part of the national and global economy. With its traditions of political activism, it has sought to influence those conditions it could and to adapt creatively to those it could not.

      Mechanization of the resource-based economy has meant that fewer people could produce more. As a result, rural populations have declined since about 1920, and people increasingly have sought employment opportunities in the urban centres, particularly the Twin Cities area. The automobile, as successor to the railroad, has strongly influenced this pattern of development because people can now travel great distances with ease.

      The attitude toward the environment has shifted from one of exploitation to more skillful management of the forests, water, soil, and wildlife. Remaining pristine wilderness areas, such as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northeastern Minnesota, are now guarded by many with a loving passion. The large areas of the state given over to parks, forests, and wildlife refuges attest to the high priority given to environmental management in Minnesota.

      During the 20th century the development of Minnesota's economic focus from the regional and national level to that of the world has made its citizenry more conscious of the global community. Increasing exposure to global markets has made the Minnesota economy more vulnerable to fluctuations in international economic conditions and has required new forms of adaptation. Even the sometimes bitter parochial rivalry in the past between St. Paul and Minneapolis has mellowed with the acknowledgment of their common interests and competitors, and, as the core cities have become vastly outpopulated by their suburbs, a growing sense of metropolitan and state identity has developed.

Neil C. Gustafson

Additional Reading
Illustrated overviews of the state's past and present include Federal Writers' Project, Minnesota: A State Guide (1938, reprinted as The WPA Guide to Minnesota, 1985), still worth consulting; and Patricia Condon Johnston, Minnesota: Portrait of the Land and Its People (1987). John R. Borchert and Neil C. Gustafson, Atlas of Minnesota Resources & Settlement, 3rd ed. (1980), contains maps with interpretive text of the state's economic, social, and demographic conditions. Topographic maps are available in DeLorme Mapping Company, Minnesota Atlas & Gazetteer, 2nd ed. (1994). Physical features are described by George M. Schwartz and George A. Thiel, Minnesota's Rocks and Waters: A Geological Story, rev. ed. (1963); and Richard W. Ojakangas and Charles L. Matsch, Minnesota's Geology (1982). Local history and geography are combined in Warren Upham, Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance (1920, reprinted 1969). Hiram M. Drache, The Challenge of the Prairie: Life and Times of Red River Pioneers (1970), looks at family, social, religious, and economic life in the valley of the Red River of the North. June Drenning Holmquist (ed.), They Chose Minnesota: A Survey of the State's Ethnic Groups (1981), covers the years from 1850 to 1980. Merrill E. Jarchow, The Earth Brought Forth: A History of Minnesota Agriculture to 1885 (1949, reissued 1970); and Don W. Larson, Land of the Giants: A History of Minnesota Business (1979), discuss economic history. Mary Ann Grossmann and Tom Thomsen (eds.), The Minnesota Almanac, 1988, 3rd ed. (1987), compiles statistics on a variety of subjects.Studies of Minnesota's past may be found in William Watts Folwell, A History of Minnesota, rev. ed., 4 vol. (1956–69); Theodore C. Blegen, Minnesota, expanded ed. (1975); and William E. Lass, Minnesota, 2nd ed. (1998). Minnesota History (quarterly) contains popular articles on state history.Neil C. Gustafson Ed.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Minnesota — (Details) (Details) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Minnesota — • One of the North Central States of the American Union, lies about midway between the eastern and western shores of the continent, and about midway between the gulf of Mexico and Hudson s Bay Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Minnesota… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Minnesota 13 — was the name given to the corn liquor moonshine distilled on many central Minnesota Stearns County farms. It became well known across America and Canada as Minnesota 13 , a premium quality twice distilled and properly aged whiskey, (said by manny …   Wikipedia

  • MINNESOTA — MINNESOTA, U.S. state in the north central tier with about 4.9 million inhabitants of which the Jewish population is roughly 42,000. (The 2004 Twin Cities Jewish Population Study found 10,900 Jews in St. Paul and 29,100 in Minneapolis. It is… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Minnesota — es uno de los estados que conforma los Estados Unidos de América. * * * Río del centro N de E.U.A, afluente derecho del Mississippi; 534 km. Estado del centro N de E.U.A., junto al lago Superior (E) y Canadá (N); 218 601 km2 y 4 375 099 h. Cap.,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • minnesota — s.f. Rasă de porci creată în America şi crescută pentru producţia de carne. [pr.: mi ni sắu ta] – cuv. engl. Trimis de ana zecheru, 15.05.2003. Sursa: DEX 98  MINNESOTA [pr.: minisăuta] f. 1) Rasă de porci americană crescută pentru carne. 2)… …   Dicționar Român

  • Minnesota 78 — is an old selection of grapevine, developed at the University of Minnesota, United States. It was extensively used in breeding by Elmer Swenson, with its Vitis riparia background providing a degree of adaptation to the harsh climate of the upper… …   Wikipedia

  • Minnesota — (Minesota, Minnisotah), 1) (M. River, d.i. trüber Fluß), so v.w. St. Peters River; 2) einer der Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika u. zwar der jüngste der sechs sogenannten nordwestlichen Agriculturstaaten; grenzt im Norden an die… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Minnesota — (spr. ßōta, abgekürzt Minn.), nordamerikanischer Unionsstaat, zur Gruppe der Staaten am obern Mississippi gehörig (s. Karte »Vereinigte Staaten«), zwischen 43°30 –49° nördl. Br. und 89°39 –97°5 westl. L., wird im N. von Kanada, im O. vom Obern… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Minnesota — état du centre nord des È. U., limitrophe du Canada, sur le lac Supérieur; 217 735 km²; 4 375 000 hab.; cap. Saint Paul. Marqué par les glaciations, drainé par le haut Mississippi et son affl. le Minnesota (510 km), cet état est une grande rég.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Minnesota — [min΄ə sōt′ə] [< Dakota mnísóta, Minnesota River, lit., whitish (cloudy or milky) water] Midwestern state of the U.S., adjoining the Canadian border: admitted, 1858; 79,610 sq mi (206,189 sq km); pop. 4,919,000; cap. St. Paul: abbrev. MN or… …   English World dictionary


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