Minnesota

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  • Minnesota is the 32nd state of the United States, having joined the union on March 3rd, 1849. Its name is commonly abbreviated as 'MN' or 'Minn.', and is taken from the Dakota Sioux (Native American tribe) words for 'sky-tinted water'.
  • Geography
    • Minnesota covers 79,610 square miles (2.25% of the United States). It is famous for its lakes, having in excess of 15,000, depending on the source of the count. Much of the state is flat, having been eroded during repeated glacial periods (most recently the Wisconsin Glacier). Lake Superior is the largest body of water in the state.
    • Minnesota is home to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA), as well as a number of state and county parks, most noteably Itasca State Park, the source of the Mississippi River. Apart from its lakes it is lacking in prominent physical features.
    • It is bordered to the north by Canada; to the east by Wisconsin and Lake Superior, to the south by Iowa, and to the west by North Dakota and South Dakota.
    • The capital is St Paul, which sits on the opposite bank of the Mississippi to the largest city, Minneapolis, (together known as the Twin Cities). Other prominent cities include Duluth, St Cloud, Mankato and Rochester.
    • List of counties:
      • Aitkin, Anoka
      • Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown
      • Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Crow Wing
      • Dakota, Dodge, Douglas
      • Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn
      • Goodhue, Grant
      • Hennepin, Houston, Hubbard
      • Isanti, Itasca
      • Jackson
      • Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching
      • Lac qui Parle, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon,
      • McLeod, Mahnomen, Marshall, Martin, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Murray
      • Nicollet, Nobles, Norman
      • Olmsted, Otter Tail
      • Pennington, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Pope
      • Ramsey, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Roseau
      • St. Louis, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift
      • Todd, Traverse
      • Wabasha, Wadena, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wilkin, Winona, Wright
      • Yellow Medicine.
  • Demography (from 2000 census)
    • The state population is 4,919,479
    • 88.2% of the state is white (excluding Hispanic/Latino), 3.5% Black/African American, 2.9% Hispanic/Latino, 2.9% Asian. Minnesotans traditionally count themselves as of Scandinavian descent (approximately 1.5 million people claim Danish, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish ancestry), though more families originated in Germany (approximately 2 million). More modern immigrant communities include the Hmong people (from the Laos/Cambodia/Vietnam region), and a large presence from Somalia.
    • religious makeup of state
  • Economy
    • State income
    • Major industries/products
      • The twin cities are home to a diverse range of major businesses, including 3M Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, Northwest Airlines, Target Stores, Medtronic, Cray Computers, and Imation. The Twin Cities have recently lost several fortune 500 company headquarters, including Honeywell and Norwest banks. The city of Rochester is the headquarters of the Mayo Clinic, and has a significant manufacturing presence in IBM.
      • A large proportion of the state's economy is still agricultural. Additionally, northern Minnesota is a source for iron ore and wood products, though these are both declining industries.
    • state taxes
  • Law/Government of state [Note that all the U.S. states have similar legal and political systems, so maybe we only need to mention anything that makes the state distinct]
    • The current governor is Jesse Ventura, who ran as a member of Ross Perot's Reform Party but later became an independent. Ventura is a former professional wrestler and actor, and was most recently the mayor of Brooklyn Park, MN and a talk-radio host. Previous governors include ...
    • legislature -- Minnesota has a bicameral legislature (senate and house), although recently Gov. Ventura has advocated moving towards a unicameral system.
    • structure of state judicary
    • information on state constitution
    • does it have referenda?
  • History
    • history prior to joining the United States
    • when first came under U.S. control (if it was a territory prior to being a state)
    • The bill making Minnesota a state was passed on March 3, 1849.
    • major historical events that occured in state
  • Colleges/Universities
    • University of Minnesota
    • Minnesota State University System
      • Minnesota State Univerisity, Mankato
      • Minnesota State Univerisity, Winona
      • Minnesota State Univerisity, St Cloud
      • Minnesota State Univerisity, Bemidji
    • University of St Thomas
    • Hamline University
    • Gustavus Adolphus University
  • Sports Teams

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