December 3, 2015

2094 UNITED STATES (Minnesota) - Minnesota map

Located in the Midwestern United States, Minnesota shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and a land and water border with Wisconsin, bordering also with Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. Its name comes from the Dakota word for "clear blue water". Owing to its large number of lakes, the state is informally known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". It should be noted that it contains some of the oldest rocks found on earth.

Its capital city is Saint Paul, which lies mostly on the east bank of the Mississippi River, at the confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city. Known as the Twin Cities, the two form a metropolitan area which houses nearly 60 percent of the state's residents. The remainder consists of western prairies now given over to agriculture; deciduous forests in the southeast, now partially cleared, farmed and settled; and the less populated North Woods, used for mining, forestry, and recreation.

Until European settlement, Minnesota was inhabited by the Dakota and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe. The first Europeans in the area were French fur traders who arrived in the 17th century. The portion of the state east of the Mississippi River became part of the United States at the end of the American Revolutionary War. Land west of the Mississippi River was acquired with the Louisiana Purchase, although a portion of the Red River Valley was disputed until the Treaty of 1818.

In 1849 was formed Minnesota Territory, which became the 32nd U.S. state in 1858. The founding population was so overwhelmingly of New England origins that the state was dubbed "The New England of the West". Treaties between European settlers and the Dakota and Ojibwe forced the natives off their lands. As conditions deteriorated, the tensions rose, leading to the Dakota War of 1862, the result being the exile of most of the Dakota to the Crow Creek Reservation.

Logging and farming were mainstays of Minnesota's early economy. Innovations by Minneapolis millers led to the production of Minnesota "patent" flour, which commanded almost double the price of "bakers" or "clear" flour, which it replaced. The state's iron-mining industry was established with the discovery of iron in the Vermilion Range and the Mesabi Range in the 1880s, and in the Cuyuna Range in the early 20th century. Industrial development caused the population to shift from rural areas to cities.

Minnesota's economy was hard-hit by the Great Depression, resulting in lower prices for farmers, layoffs among iron miners, and labor unrest. After WWII, industrial development quickened, and the state became a center of technology. The large majority of the original European settlers immigrated from Scandinavia and Germany, and the state remains a center of Scandinavian American and German American culture. Its standard of living index is among the highest in the US, and the state is also among the best-educated and wealthiest in the nation.

About the stamps
The first stamp, dedicated to Janis Joplin (1943-1970), is part of the series Music Icons, about which I wrote here. The second, depicting Great Spangled Fritillary (70c), is part from a set depicting butterflies, about which I wrote here.

Minnesota - Wikipedia

Sender: Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 14.01.2015

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