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Hyundai Wisconsin, WI. Information Page

Wisconsin, WI.

Badger State

Wisconsin is a state in the United States, located in the Midwest. Although the exact etymology of the name is uncertain, "Wisconsin" is thought to be an English version of a French adaptation of an Indian word. The Ojibwe word Miskasinsin, meaning "Red-stone place," was probably the name given to the Wisconsin River, which then was recorded as Ouisconsin by the French, and changed to its current form by the English. Other theories are that the name comes from words meaning "Gathering of the Waters" or "Great Rock." Wisconsin originally was applied to the Wisconsin River, and later to the area as a whole when Wisconsin became a territory. The state's name is abbreviated WI, Wis, or Wisc. USS Wisconsin was named in honor of this state.

In 1634, Frenchman Jean Nicolet became Wisconsin's first European explorer, landing at Red Banks, near modern day Green Bay in search of a passage to the Orient. The French controlled the area until 1763, when it was ceded to the British. After the American Revolutionary War, Wisconsin was a part of the U.S. Northwest Territory. It was then governed as part of Indiana Territory, Illinois Territory, and Michigan Territory. Wisconsin Territory was organized on July 3, 1836 and became the 30th state on May 29, 1848. Wisconsin's political history encompasses, on the one hand, Fighting Bob La Follette and the Progressive movement; and on the other, Joe McCarthy, the controversial anti-Communist censured by the Senate during the 1950s. The first Socialist mayor of a large city in the United States was Emil Seidel, elected mayor of Milwaukee in 1910; another Socialist, Daniel Hoan, was mayor of Milwaukee from 1916 to 1940. The state mineral is Galena, otherwise known as lead sulfide, which reflects Wisconsin's early mining history. Many town names such as Mineral Point recall a period in the 1820s, 1830s, and 1840s when Wisconsin was an important mining state. When Indian treaties opened up southwest Wisconsin to settlement, thousands of miners—many of them immigrants from Cornwall, England—flocked to southern Wisconsin in what could almost be termed a "lead rush." At one point Wisconsin produced more than half of the nation's lead. During the boom it appeared that southwest Wisconsin might become the population center of the state, and Belmont was briefly the state capital. By the 1840s the easily-accessible deposits were worked out, and experienced miners were drawn out of Wisconsin by the California Gold Rush. This period of mining before and during the early years of statehood directly led to the development of state's nickname, "the Badger State." Many miners and their families lived in the mines in which they worked until adequate above-ground shelters were built and were thus compared to Badgers.


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