Apart from Norsemen who may have visited Minnesota in 1362, the first European explorers of Minnesota were two Frenchmen, Radisson and Groseilliers, in 1659. At that time, the dominant native tribe was the Sioux Indians. In 1680, Father Louis Hennepin was captured by the Sioux while exploring the upper Mississippi region. He was taken to the site of modern Minneapolis, where he was the first white man to see the Falls of St. Anthony. Hennepin was later released.
In 1762, Spain received all French land west of the Mississippi, including much of Minnesota, but they did little to exploit their possessions. In 1763, France gave Britain its lands east of the Mississippi, including eastern Minnesota. The British also did little to develop the territory, being more interested in trading. After the War for Independence, Britain ceded its holdings south of the Great Lakes and east of the Mississippi to the United States, although they did not give up actual control for many years.
Napoleon forced Spain in 1800 to return the land that it had taken from France previously. It was then obtained by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Then all of modern Minnesota was owned by the United States, but it was still lightly populated. Administration of various parts passed through the territories of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin before Congress gave Minnesota its own territorial status in 1849. Minnesota was admitted to the Union as the 32nd state in 1858.
After the outbreak of the Civil War, the Sioux decided to use the opportunity as a last attempt to recover their traditional hunting grounds from the encroachments of whites. They conducted a series of bloody attacks on settlements in Minnesota. The federal government responded with troops, who crushed the uprising.
In the second half of the 19th century, the primary driving forces in Minnesota's economy were iron ore and timber. Timber production peaked in 1910 and went into a long decline. Iron ore deposits continued to be exploited for many decades, with a peak production in 1943, but declined in the 1950s as the quality of ore declined. The exploitation of primary resources has been replaced with manufacturing, research, and health care, among other sectors.
See Minnesota .
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Soldier's Heart : Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers by Gary Paulsen.
In spare, almost biblical prose, Gary Paulsen writes of the horrors of combat in a Civil War novella that puts a powerful, more contemporary spin on S...
Lindbergh by A. Scott Berg.
Charles Lindbergh's solo flight from New York to Paris captured the imagination of a postwar generation hungry for heroes, and cemented an exalted spo...