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Hyundai Minnesota, MN. Information Page

Minnesota, MN.

Land of 10,000 Lakes

Minnesota is the 32nd state of the United States, having joined the Union on May 11, 1858. Its name is from the Dakota people's name for the Minnesota River, mini sota, variously translated "smoky-white water" or "sky-tinted water." The state's name is abbreviated MN or Minn. Minnesota is the largest state by land area in the Midwestern United States and is in the sub-region known as the Upper Midwest. The most significant metropolitan area is known as the Twin Cities, which contains more than half the state's population. The Twin Cities refer to the state's most populous cities- Minneapolis and Saint Paul, along with multiple "rings" of suburbs. The state is a major food producer for the country, and has a number of natural resources that have been greatly exploited in the last two centuries. The USS Minnesota was named in honor of this state, as was the SS Gopher State. Other nicknames for the state include Land of 10,000 Lakes and the North Star State.

History prior to joining the United States
Before European colonization, the area now known as Minnesota was inhabited by Native Americans, in particular the Ojibwe (Chippewa, Anishinaabe) and Dakota, although the Winnebago also had a presence in the southeastern part of the state. In this time, the economy originally consisted of hunter-gatherer activities, which changed over time as Europeans settled in the area and further exploited the state's natural resources. Before the arrival of Dakota and Ojibwe, Cheyenne and Gros Ventre also made their home in Minnesota. According to local tradition, the first European visitors were Swedish and Norwegian Vikings in the 14th century. The evidence for this is largely based on the controversial Kensington Runestone, which many historians consider to be an elaborate hoax. Some say that the earliest European settlement was in the area of the current city of Stillwater, on the St. Croix River, though many histories focus on the military settlement that took place farther west. Fort Snelling, located at the confluence of the Minnesota River and the Mississippi River, was one of the earliest U.S. military presences in the state. It is now a historic site.

Joining the United States
Much of the state was purchased from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase, although the exact definition of that land was not assessed for many years afterward. Parts were also considered to be in the Northwest Territory and Ruperts Land. Minnesota Territory was carved out of Iowa Territory on March 3, 1849, but it was not coextensive with the present state, since the area included what later became the territory of Dakota (which later still became the states of North Dakota and South Dakota). The eastern half of the territory of Minnesota became the country's 32nd state—after California—on May 11, 1858.


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