History of Minnesota

The French were the first Europeans to enter this region, among them Pierre Esprit Radisson and Medard Chouart, in 1660. In 1679, Daniel Greysolon explored the region and claimed it in the name of King Louis XIV of France.

Since then, French missionaries and leather traders have settled in Minnesota. In 1736 the Dakota Indians attacked the missionaries, allies of the Ojibwa Indians, this skirmish led to a conflict between the two tribes that lasted a century. After the conflict between England and France, the Seven Years War and the Indian Wars, the Treaty of Paris of 1763 stipulated that the lands east of the Mississippi River remained under British sovereignty, and the west passed under the power of Spain.. Spain, however, showed no interest in this region, as it remained on the periphery of its empire in America. Britain then took advantage of this situation to explore and investigate the region’s resources.

During the War of Independence, no battles were fought in Minnesota. After the war, the United States Congress organized its territories in 1787 and the section of Minnesota east of the Mississippi River was included in the Northwest Territories. Although it was an American territory, the British leather companies, especially the North West Company, continued to monopolize the economic activities of Minnesota. In 1797, this company commissioned David Thompson to draw a map of the region. In 1803 France, which had recaptured the colony of Louisiana from Spain, sold the territory to the United States, an operation known as the Louisiana Purchase, encouraged by Thomas Jefferson. Thus, the

In 1805, the United States government commissioned Zebulon Pike, the exploration of the headwaters of the Mississippi and the Minnesota region. Pike managed to reach an agreement with the Dakota Indians for the sale of a plot near the Mississippi. In 1812, after the War between Great Britain and the United States, the American Leather Company

(American Fur Company), replaced the North West, which meant the end of British control in the leather trade. In 1819, Fort St. Anthony was established, the first permanent settlement in Minnesota, created for Swiss refugees from North Dakota. Fort St. Anthony was located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and became the base for colonists’ explorations of the uncharted territory of Minnesota. Starting in 1837, when a treaty was signed with the Indian tribes for the transfer of land, thousands of farmers, trappers and lumberjacks began to arrive. In 1838, the settlements were founded that would later become the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. In 1849 the United States Congress reorganized the territories under its jurisdiction, and created the territory of Minnesota. In 1858, the state entered the Union.

During the Civil War (1861-1865) no battles were fought in Minnesota, but the state actively participated in the war as more than 20,000 men were part of the Union army. During those years, the Indians confined to the reservations, rebelled against the white population. There were numerous clashes and numerous deaths on both sides, eventually the Dakota and Ojibwa Indians were moved to the reservations of Nebraska and other states. At the end of the Civil War, a period of prosperity began for Minnesota, thanks to the expansion of the railroad and the exploitation of the land for the extensive cultivation of wheat. Numerous flour mills were built in Minneapolis. The need for manpower to build the railway and to work in the fields made it necessary to encourage immigration from Europe. Thus, between 1870 and 1890 thousands of Scandinavians arrived in this region. The discovery of iron ore in 1884 and 1890 contributed to the economic growth of this state, as Minnesota became the largest producer of iron ore in the United States in the late 19th century. The First World War caused an enormous expansion of production, both of mineral raw materials and agricultural products.

The dependence on iron ore extraction caused the depletion of high purity iron deposits, starting from 1950, the production of iron starting from other oxides, has implied the use of very polluting foundries. Since 1970, pollution has become a serious problem, for which the state has had to develop plans for the control of industrial processes to prevent the progressive deterioration of the environment and to promote the conservation of the natural beauty of the state.

Minnesota: places to visit

Minneapolis – Nicollet Mall is the heart of the downtown, pedestrianized area that hosts cultural events, including concerts during the annual Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest. The Uptown neighborhood to the southwest is centered around the Chain of Lakes, which offers a network of walking and cycling trails. The largest indoor mall in all of the United States, the Mail of America, is in the Bloomington neighborhood to the south.

Voyageurs National Park– In the 17th century, French-Canadian fur traders, or voyageurs, began exploring the Great Lakes and northern rivers by canoe. Voyageurs National Park covers part of their hunting areas, which later became the border between the United States and Canada. Most of the park is only accessible via hiking or boat excursions. Some access roads lead to campsites and lodges on the lake or near Lake Superior, but these are mainly used by people who have their own boats here.

Crow Wing State Park, offers canoe rides on the placid Crow Wing, which powers the more unpredictable Mississippi. Brainerd is the gateway to the Northern Lakes Region of Minnesota, where the typical shelters so common in this state first arose on the shores of more than 500 freshwater lakes. Mille Lacs Lake, 65km southeast of Brainerd, is surrounded by state parks and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe tribe reserve.

Pipestone National Monument– Pipestone is located in the southwest corner of the state. The name comes from the Dakota Sioux Indians who carved the region’s soft red quartzite to make elegant ceremonial pipes. The catlinite stone, on the other hand, takes its name from the painter George Catlin, who portrayed this place in the 1838 Pipestone Quarry. Indian artisans continue their activity in what remains of the quarries. The pipes are on sale in the adjacent Cultural Center.

Picturesque Winona, 105km southeast of Red Wing, sits on an island in the middle of the river. It had a certain fortune in the 19th century as a refueling point for steamships. Great River Bluffs State Park, 30km southeast of Winona, occupies one of the most spectacular parts of the entire Mississippi river.

Tourist and cultural places – Minnesota is a state that is distinguished by the presence of numerous communities native to northern Europe, especially Norwegians, Swedes, Germans, Finns, Poles, Bohemians, Ukrainians, communities of Irish, Croats are also relevant and Italians.

The main tourist areas are the woods and lakes, in the northern sector of the state; Itasca State Park, where the headwaters of the Mississippi River are located, is one of the most visited.

The most important cultural institutions are: the Minneapolis Art Institute, the Minnesota Art Museum, the Walker Art Center, the Minnesota Historical Society Center, the Minnesota Science Museum, the Minnesota Zoo, the Swedish-American Institute, the University of Minnesota Library, the James Ford Bell Library and the Saint Paul Center for Science and Art.

Fun Fact – Minnesota has several teams in major US professional leagues, such as the Minnesota Twins, in baseball; the Minnesota Vikings, in American football; the Minnesota Timberwolves, in basketball and the Minnesota North Star, in ice hockey. Given the enormous popularity of this latest sport, the Hockey Hall of Fame is located in Minnesota, the center that commemorates the exploits of the teams and famous personalities of this discipline.

Minnesota State Flag

About the author