Last Updated 05 Jan 2023

History Of Minnesota How Part Of The USA

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The thirty-second state, Minnesota, first joined the United States on May 11, 1858. The state is bordered by Canada, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Minnesota is also bordered by Lake Superior to the northeast. (One of its nicknames, The North Star State, gave Minnesota its motto which is: “L’Etoile du Nord”. This French phrase means “star of the north” (, n.d.). Due to the climate of the state, many red pine and pink and white lady slippers grow in Minnesota. Both are the state flower and state tree, founded in 1953 and 1967, respectively. The state bird of Minnesota is the common loon, which is a brown bird with white markings. In 1849, the capital was founded, and named St. Paul (Britannica, T. E., August 2, 2016) Nearly 110 years later in 1957, the state flag was officially adopted. The flag of Minnesota is royal blue with the state seal in the center (, n.d.).

Minnesota was first settled by Europeans “in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries” (Benson, S., Brannen, D. E., Jr., & Valentine, R., 2009). The land was bought by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and joined the union later in 1858. When the Ojibwa and Dakota tribes began to give tribal lands to the government, more and more land was “opened [up for] lumbering, farming and settlement” (Benson, S., Brannen, D. E., Jr., & Valentine, R., 2009). As time went on, Minnesota built many railroads, became the nation’s iron mining center, and steadily grew in population. As of 2017, the population of Minnesota is 5,577,847, and is a predominantly white state. The census taken that year showed 19% of Minnesota is people of color, while the other 81% is white non-hipic (, 2017).

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As population grew, so did the manufacturing business, which has brought in a steady amount of income for the state ever since it joined the Union. Currently, the state’s income comes mainly from manufacturing, agriculture, real estate, finance, and insurance (Benson, S., Brannen, D. E., Jr., & Valentine, R., 2009).

The government of Minnesota is extremely similar to the federal government. Just like the federal judicial system, the state judicial system has a supreme court as the highest court. There is a chief justice, and the chief executive fills any vacancies. The executive branch is almost identical to the federal executive branch. However, instead of a president and vice president as the heads of the branch, the state has a governor and lieutenant governor. Additionally, both members of the executive branch serve four year terms, and are elected jointly just like the president and vice president. The state legislative branch is also very similar to the federal legislative branch. The branch is made up of two houses: the House of Representatives and the Senate. For a bill to become a law, it has to pass in both houses and then go to the chief executive, the governor.

While they are similar, the state government does deviate from the structure of the federal government, occasionally. For example, in the bill to law process, the governor has the option to sign, veto, partial veto, or pocket veto if the bill has not been acted upon by the government in fourteen days (In Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States, 2016, p. 463-482). Also, the governor only has to be twenty five years old and a U.S. citizen to be considered qualified for the job, unlike the president whom has to be a native born citizen and at least thirty five years old. The governor also has to have lived in the state at least one year prior to the election, and be a qualified voter. The state legislative branch also has quite a few differences from the federal legislative branch. For one, the state House of Representatives only has 134 members, and the state Senate has a mere 67 members, as opposed to the federal branch, which has 435 house members and 100 senate members (In Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States, 2016, p. 463-482).

The judicial branch is broken down into the Supreme, District, and County Courts. The state Supreme Court has justices elected to serve six year terms instead of being appointed to serve for life like the federal Supreme Court. Each district court has at least three judges that are elected to serve six year terms. These courts deal with any major misdemeanors committed in the state of Minnesota. Lastly, County Courts deal with minor misdemeanors, local court, family court, and civil jurisdiction dealing with $5,000 or less. Every county in Minnesota has a county court except for Hennepin County and Ramsey County because they have municipal courts. When it comes to politics, the state of Minnesota is primarily Republican, but the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party is also a major political party in the state. The two parties make up the majority of Minnesota.

The local government of Minnesota is divided into counties. Each county is governed by a board of commissioners, whom are elected to four year terms (In Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States, 2016, p. 463-482). Counties are responsible for administering welfare, highway maintenance, planning and development, and property assessment. Each regional development commission consists of local officials selected by counties, cities, and townships. Cities have a home-rule charter or are statutory cities (In Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States, 2016, p. 463-482).

Minnesota is a beauty in itself, with many national monuments and parks. In fact, the money that comes from tourism makes up a large portion of income for the state. The state’s national monuments include Grand Portage National Monument in Arrowhead Country and Pipestone National Monument in Southwest Minnesota. As for national parks, Minnesota has five national parks as of 2019 (In Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States, 2016, p. 463-482).

Minnesota is also famous for many of its industries. A major dairy corporation, Land O’ Lakes, Inc., was founded in Minnesota and has been open since June 7, 1921. It was first known as the Minnesota Cooperative Creamery Association, but got its current name from a nickname for the state: Land of 10,000 Lakes (In T. Carson & M. Bonk (Eds.), 1999). The Mayo Clinic, founded by Dr. William W. Mayo, is also a terrific example of large industries in Minnesota. Another large industry founded in Minnesota is Sears, Roebuck & Company, founded by Richard W. Sears. The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is also located in Minnesota and is headquartered in Rochester (In Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States, 2016, p. 463-482).

In addition to its natural beauty and famous industries, Minnesota is also recognized for their prestigious sports teams. The Twins of MLB, the Vikings of the NFL, the Lynx of the WNBA, the Wild of the NHL, and the Timberwolves of the NBA are just a few of their professional sports teams. (In Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States, 2016, p. 463-482). The collegiate sports efforts from the University of Minnesota are also well-known, especially their ice hockey team. The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers are currently ranked in sixth place in men’s ice hockey (, n.d.).

Minnesota has a bit of everything to appeal to everyone. Whether it’s being outdoors, watching sports, being in a colder climate, any of its plants or animals, or its many large industries, anyone can find something in Minnesota that interests them.

Sources Cited:

Benson, S., Brannen, D. E., Jr., & Valentine, R. (2009). Minnesota. In UXL Encyclopedia of U.S. History (Vol. 5, pp. 1006-1007). Detroit, MI: UXL. Retrieved from
Britannica, T. E. (2016, August 02). Saint Paul. Retrieved from
Land O'Lakes, Inc. (1999). In T. Carson & M. Bonk (Eds.), Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. Detroit, MI: Gale. Retrieved from
L'Etoile du Nord. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Minnesota. (2016). In Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States (8th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 463-482). Farmington Hills, MI: Gale. Retrieved from Portal. (2019, January 08). Retrieved from (2019, February 04). DI Men's Ice Hockey Rankings - Retrieved from

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