Minnesota History - the history of Minnesota
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Minnesota   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Minnesota History

   
 

Minnesota History


Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the area that has since become the state of Minnesota was populated by a variety of Native American peoples including the Anishinaabe and the Sioux. French fur traders, who reached the area in the 17th century, were the first Europeans to arrive. Later in the century, they were followed by Ojibwe Indians who migrated Westward into the area.

Fort Snelling, Minnesota The lands that were later to form the state of Minnesota was acquired by the United States in a two step process: the lands East of the Mississippi River were acquired by the 1783 Treaty of Paris at the end of the American Revolution (1775 to 1783), whereas the lands to the West of the Mississippi were purchased from France as part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.

The first American settlement of the region began in 1805, when Zebulon Pike acquired land in the area. This was followed by the construction of Fort Snelling, which took place between 1819 and 1825. The Minnesota Territory was formed on March 3rd 1849 by combining parts of the Iowa and Wisconsin Territories. The state of Minnesota, consisting of the eastern portion of the Minnesota Territory, was admitted as the 32nd state of the Union on May 11th 1858.

Treaties made between white settlers, and the Sioux and Ojibwe, gradually forced the Native Americans off their lands and into smaller and smaller reservations. The deteriorating conditions suffered by the Native Americans, eventually culiminated in the Sioux Uprising of 1862. The Sioux were defeated after a war lasting just 6 weeks, and, following the war, 38 Indians were executed in a mass execution and most of the rest set into exile in Nebraska.

Minnesota's economy was initially centered around logging and farming. However in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, industries began to emerge principally flour milling and iron-mining. Following World War II, farming was mechanized, and a number of new high technology industries began to emerge in the state.


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Minnesota: A History (Second Edition) (States and the Nation)

By William E. Lass

W. W. Norton & Company
Multicolor Paperback (336 pages)

Minnesota: A History (Second Edition) (States and the Nation)
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A comprehensive history of a state thought by many to be the most livable.

In this volume, William Lass tells the story of Minnesota, a state that evolved from many cultures, from its beginnings to the present. This history not only provides descriptions of the essential events of Minnesota's past but also offers an interpretation of major trends and characteristics of the state and its distinctiveness within the context of the nation's story. Illustrated with photographs

A Popular History of Minnesota

By Norman K. Risjord

Minnesota Historical Society Press
Paperback (256 pages)

A Popular History of Minnesota
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What do Paul Bunyan, Charles Lindbergh, and Jesse Ventura have in common? Minnesota, of course! In A Popular History of Minnesota, historian Norman K. Risjord offers a grand tour of the state's remarkable history. This highly readable volume details everything from the glacial formation of the land to the arrival of the Dakota and the Ojibwe people, from Minnesota's contributions to the Northern cause during the Civil War to the key players in reform politics who helped sculpt the identity the state retains today.

A Popular History of Minnesota highlights the historical significance of Minnesota's natural resources—the bountiful north woods, the treasured iron ranges, the impressive Mississippi waterfall on which the Mill City was built. It details the powerful marks left on the state by such luminous figures as Oliver H. Kelley, founder of the national Grange movement, Hubert H. Humphrey, champion of civil rights, and Betty Crocker, aid to homemakers everywhere. Lively side trips outline noteworthy subjects, from the Kensington runestone to the devastating forest fires of the 1890s and 1920s, from the rise of the Mayo Clinic to the preservation of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Handy travelers' guides highlight historic destinations for readers who enjoy seeing where history happened.

Fast-paced and informative, with generous illustrations, A Popular History of Minnesota is a must-read for newcomers and established Minnesotans alike.

Creating Minnesota: A History from the Inside Out

By Annette Atkins

Brand: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Paperback (336 pages)

Creating Minnesota: A History from the Inside Out
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Winner of a Spur Award, presented by the Western Writers of America (WWA), for the Best Western Nonfiction Historical Book.

Renowned historian Annette Atkins presents a fresh understanding of how a complex and modern Minnesota came into being in Creating Minnesota. Each chapter of this innovative state history focuses on a telling detail, a revealing incident, or a meaningful issue that illuminates a larger event, social trends, or politics during a period in our past.

A three-act play about Minnesota's statehood vividly depicts the competing interests of Natives, traders, and politicians who lived in the same territory but moved in different worlds. Oranges are the focal point of a chapter about railroads and transportation: how did a St. Paul family manage to celebrate their 1898 Christmas with fruit that grew no closer than 1,500 miles from their home? A photo essay brings to life three communities of the 1920s, seen through the lenses of local and itinerant photographers. The much-sought state fish helps to explain the new Minnesota, where pan-fried walleye and walleye quesadillas coexist on the same north woods menu.

In Creating Minnesota, Atkins invites readers to experience the texture of people's lives through the decades, offering a fascinating and unparalleled approach to the history of our state.

Minnesota Mayhem: A History of Calamitous Events, Horrific Accidents, Dastardly Crime & Dreadful Behavior in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes (True Crime)

By Ben Welter

The History Press
Released: 2012-06-05
Paperback (160 pages)

Minnesota Mayhem: A History of Calamitous Events, Horrific Accidents, Dastardly Crime & Dreadful Behavior in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes (True Crime)
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Turn back the yellowing pages of Minnesota's past and explore the best of the state's worst moments, as chronicled in the Minneapolis Tribune and its successor newspapers. These stories and photos, culled from the Star Tribune's microfilm archive by author Ben Welter, range from the catastrophic to the merely curious. From a fire that destroyed the State Capitol in 1881, to a wordless fistfight that broke out on a Minneapolis street in 1898, a flu outbreak that killed more than 10,000 Minnesotans in 1918 and the arrest of Frank Lloyd Wright at a Lake Minnetonka cottage in 1926.

Minnesota's Lost Towns Northern Edition

By Rhonda Fochs

North Star Press of St. Cloud
Paperback (240 pages)

Minnesota s Lost Towns Northern Edition
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The long-awaited second book in the Minnesota’s Lost Towns series is now available. Travel along as we visit and learn about more than 125 central Minnesota locations. The book covers twenty-six of Minnesota’s central corridor counties, from east to west. Read how the towns were created, how they developed and lived, and why they died. Discover the people and places of Minnesota’s past. Filled with tales and photos, the book is a fun and educational read for anyone who loves history or a good story.

Little Minnesota in World War II: The Stories Behind 140 Fallen Heroes from Minnesota's Littlest Towns

By Jill A. Johnson

Adventure Publications
Paperback (192 pages)

Little Minnesota in World War II: The Stories Behind 140 Fallen Heroes from Minnesota s Littlest Towns
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Small towns. Big heroes!

During World War II, men from Minnesota’s smallest towns gave their lives for our country. Several were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, or Bronze Star. All received the award no one wanted: the Purple Heart. Little Minnesota in World War II, by Jill A. Johnson and Deane L. Johnson, honors 140 brave men from the smallest rural towns. From John Emery (who died December 7, 1941, on board the USS Arizona) to Herman Thelander (who was lost in the Bermuda Triangle, a mystery unsolved to this day), this unique book allows you to experience the war through personal accounts of the men and their families. Photos from the war, scans of actual letters, journal excerpts, and family memories create a one-of-a-kind book that brings history to life with stories from Pearl Harbor, the Pacific, the Invasion of Normandy, and beyond, and that combines local history with World War II nostalgia.

First Avenue: Minnesota's Mainroom

By Chris Riemenschneider

Minnesota Historical Society Press
Hardcover (240 pages)

First Avenue: Minnesota s Mainroom
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One of the longest running clubs in American rock 'n' roll, First Avenue in Minneapolis finally gets the rock-star treatment it deserves in print. This book chronicles the club's storied past, beginning with its impressive inaugural show in April 1970 (Joe Cocker's "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" tour) and through its oft-maligned disco era of the late 1970s. In the 1980s, it earned global attention as the hub of Prince's "Purple Rain" and the incubator for widely revered, wild-eyed indie-rock bands such as the Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Soul Asylum, and Babes in Toyland. The Ramones and R.E.M., Chrissie Hynde and Lauryn Hill, Wilco and the Wu-Tang Clan, and hundreds more played the hallowed halls of First Avenue and 7th Street Entry, and all are immortalized in this volume.

First Avenue survived corporate competitors, bankruptcy, and a bitter ownership battle to become one of the most successful independent clubs in the country and ground zero to Minneapolis's thriving community of hip-hop and indie-rock acts. Amidst all that history, the book is interlaced with anecdotes, quotes, and occasionally cloudy memories from musicians, employees, and regulars—many of whom are as unique as the club itself. Chock full of concert photos and memorabilia collected from professional photographers and average fans alike, the book is a lavish celebration of a rock 'n' roll landmark.

Weird Minnesota: Your Travel Guide to Minnesota's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

By Eric Dregni

Sterling
Paperback (256 pages)

Weird Minnesota: Your Travel Guide to Minnesota s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
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Hail Minnesota for its strange sites, bizarre history, and peculiar folks! Come along and climb the Witch's Tower, sit down in a two-story outhouse, and spend a night in the Drunk Tank at the JailHouse Historic Inn. Then go gape at the country's largest collection of underwear. After all that, relax at the Bowling Hall of Fame. This new paperback version of Weird Minnesota is a wild and wacky trip you'll never forget.

Asylums, Treatment Centers, and Genetic Jails: A History of Minnesota's State Hospitals

By Michael Resman

North Star Press of St. Cloud
Paperback (213 pages)

Asylums, Treatment Centers, and Genetic Jails: A History of Minnesota s State Hospitals
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In a time when those who were labeled “feeble-minded” and “defective” were locked away and forgotten by their relatives, when patients could be sterilized against their will, and treatments included inducing insulin shock and restraining patients by any means possible, state hospitals in Minnesota proliferated. Sometimes patients were released relatively unscathed, but many times, they lived out the rest of their lives in deplorable, unsanitary conditions. Michael Resman, a former occupational therapist for the Rochester State Hospital, brings these facts and more to light, in order that we might not forget our past.

North Shore: A Natural History of Minnesota's Superior Coast

By Chel Anderson

Univ Of Minnesota Press
Hardcover (632 pages)

North Shore: A Natural History of Minnesota s Superior Coast
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Propelled by wings, fins, legs, and the wind, life has found a way to Minnesota’s North Shore for more than twelve thousand years. Some plants and animals have taken up residence in the region’s ancient mountains, others in its lakes and flowing rivers. Together, they weave a living fabric of sublime and fascinating beauty. These organisms come to life in North Shore, a comprehensive environmental history of one of Minnesota’s most beloved places.

The story of this region unfolds through the five interconnected areas of Minnesota’s North Shore watershed—the meandering rivers of the Headwaters, the deep and dense forest of the Highlands, the rocky Nearshore, the drama of Lake Superior, and its mysterious islands, including Isle Royale and Susie Island archipelagos. Each section begins with an overview of the forces that have shaped the area, then the focus turns to a wide range of inhabitants, such as chorus frogs and star-nosed moles, butterworts and coaster brook trout, jeweled diatoms and pitcher plants, black bears and blue-spotted salamanders. Each chapter links to the region’s broader history, from the sculpting of the land by mile-high glaciers to the role of scientific exploration, the advent of logging, the development of tourism, and the changing global climate.

North Shore reminds us that the natural history of this extraordinary region is still being created and that each of us—individually and collectively—are the authors of this ongoing narrative. Compelling and accessible, the book will provide readers with a science-based knowledge of the Minnesota North Shore watershed so that together we can write a new, hopeful chapter for its inhabitants, both human and wild.



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