According to archaeological finds found in the Otter River Valley, the region that now occupies the state of Vermont had been inhabited for at least 12,000 years. Tribes of the Algonquian group, (Abenaki, Mahican and Penacook), native to this area, were driven out by the Iroquois towards the thirteenth century, who lived in the territory until the arrival of the Europeans in the seventeenth century.
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The first Europeans who explored this region were the French. In 1609, Samuel of Champlain traveled northwest of Vermont and claimed this territory in the name of the king of France. The French founded some settlements near Lake Champlain, but none had a permanent character until almost the end of the 18th century. Although marginal as a commercial transit route between Montreal and the colony of Massachusetts, Vermont was explored and traveled by the British, French and Dutch. In 1724, British colonists from Massachusetts built Fort Drummer, near Brattleboro, with the intention of protecting themselves from attack by Indians, allies of the French in this area.
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After the Treaty of Paris, Vermont remained incorporated into the colony of New York, although previously the colony of New Hampshire had claimed the territory as its own and had obtained land concessions for its colonists. The conflict erupted when the New Hampshire settlers were forced in 1770 to pay New York for the lands they had occupied since 1764. The uprising was led by Ethan Allen along with a group called the Green Mountains Boys. Allen and his group began to harass those who had accepted the jurisdiction of the New York colony, and thereby recognize payments to New York to continue occupying their lands. A few years later, when this conflict was still not resolved, there was the declaration of independence by the thirteen colonies. The group headed by Allen joined the independence movement and took Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, considered the first offensive against the British in the American Revolution. In 1777, the settlers of Vermont declared themselves independent as the Republic of New Connecticut, although shortly after the adoption of its constitution, it adopted its present name. In 1791, Vermont was admitted to the Union, the first to do so out of the original thirteen colonies. In order to take this step, Vermont demanded that New York give up its old claim to the land.
Vermont actively participated in the War of 1812 against Great Britain, although the embargo imposed by Jefferson against British goods affected the economy of this state, heavily dependent on commercial relations with Canada, in the hands of the British. Once the independence of the United States was consolidated, the state of Vermont slowly continued with the colonization of these lands, and at the same time improved communications, through the construction of a canal between Lake Champlain and the Hudson River, which allowed the exploitation. of Vermont resources for New York City and other coastal cities. The economy of Vermont during these years was linked to the wool industry, thanks to the breeding of merina sheep, but as the century progressed, the importation of this material at lower prices caused the gradual decline of this traditional sector. Hence, Vermont farmers began to specialize in agricultural products, mainly dairy products.
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During the Civil War (1860-1865), Vermont soldiers fought in the Union, but there was no battle on its territory. The only war-related action was the theft of a bank in St. Albans, in 1864, by Confederate soldiers who managed to escape to Canada. After the war, the Vermont economy continued to transform, and more emphasis was placed on exploiting forest resources. For example, the city of Burlington specialized in woodworking partly imported from Canada, which was transferred from its factories via the Champlain-Hudson Canal to New York and other cities where demand for construction seemed limitless.
The traditional industry of Vermont, textiles, has had less and less importance in state production, as after the World War a process of industrial reconversion was initiated, which managed to attract small industries, while betting on tourism as a fundamental pillar for the economy of this small state.
Montpelier – capital of Vermont
Montpelier, capital of the state of Vermont. Sheltered by the Green Mountains, in the north center of the state and on the banks of the Winooski River. Founded in the decade of 1780, it took its name from the city of Montpellier, France, and was named the state capital in 1805. Aside from its governmental functions, the city’s economy is based on the exploitation of the region’s natural resources. Located in the middle of an agricultural area and granite quarries, Montpelier stands out for its granite, wooden and plastic articles, as well as for food processing. Insurance companies and the printing industry are important to the city’s economy. The proximity to year-round recreation centers attracts many tourists. Among the places of interest of Montpelier, the Capitol, in neo-classical style, completed in 1859 and built with the granite of the region; the Thomas W. Wood Museum, with an important collection of early 20th century American art; and the birthplace of Admiral George Dewey. Higher education institutions include the Vermont Institute, the New England Gastronomic Institute and the Woodbury School. In the vicinity of Montpelier, Hubbard Park offers a picturesque view of the valley of the Winooski Canyon.