Introduction of North-Dakota
State in the N central region, bordering on Canadato the N, Minnesota to the E, South Dakota to theS, and Montana to the W. It is in the geographicalcenter of North America. It was admitted to theUnion in 1889 as the 39th state. Dakota is the nameof an Indian tribe of the western Sioux.In 1738, when the French explorer and traderPierre de la Verendrye entered this region, he foundthe Mand an Indians farming on the banks of theMissouri River. There were other tribes, some alsoagricultural, such as the Arikara and Hidatsa; somenomadic, such as the Cheyenne Cree, Sioux, Assiniboin,Crow, and Ojibwa. Two sons of Verendryearrived in 1742, seeking a route to the Far East. Afew years later fur traders became active and in1804-05 the Lewis and Clark Expedition spent thewinter with the Mand ans. Both the North West FurCompany and the Hudson's Bay Company set uptrading posts in the Red River of the North Valley,but after 1828 John Jacob Astor's American FurCompany won control of the fur trade. When NorthDakota's state boundaries were set, the northwesternhalf came from the Louisiana Purchase, whilethe southeastern half was the result of the boundaryadjustment of 1818 between the United States and Great Britain.The first settlement was made at Pembina in1812, and the arrival of the steamboat on the upperMissouri encouraged more settlement. However, thepermanent population was still very small in 1861when Dakota Territory was created, including bothpresent North and South Dakota and part of Montanaand Wyoming. In 1857 military posts began tobe built to protect travelers and railroad workers; and the Homestead Act of 1862 promoted settlement. Onthe other hand , concern with the Civil War and Indian troubles discouraged many pioneers. War with theSioux was ended by treaty in 1868 but broke outagain in the Dakotas in 1876, when gold was discoveredin the Black Hills of South Dakota and prospectorsrefused to respect Indian rights to the land . In1881 the Sioux under Sitting Bull fled to Canada,where they surrendered. They were returned to theUnited States and were placed on reservations.In the 1870s agriculture bloomed in the RedRiver valley, when the вЂњbonanzaвЂќ wheat fields, farmsof 3,000 to 65,000 acres, were created. The flow ofsettlers increased as railroads were built in the 1870sand 1880s, the immigrants being mostly from Scand inavia,Germany, and Czechoslovakia.Differences between agrarians and mining and railroad interests aroused political controversy. TheRepublicans were in power until the Farmers' Alliancegrew in strength and elected a governor in1892, with Democratic and Populist Party support.In 1915 the Non-Partisan League was formed byfarmers to oppose the grain industry owners. TheLeague achieved power in 1919 and brought aboutstate ownership of grain elevators and the establishmentof a state bank. The state suffered a farmingcrisis in the 1920s and was severely effected bydrought during the Great Depression. Oil was discoveredin 1951, and mining has become a big businessin the mineral-rich state. Also in the 1950s theU.S. government funded the construction of GarrisonDam on the Missouri River, generating enoughelectricity for half the state. North Dakota has seensteady declines in population, with the current populationat the start of the 21st century is roughly thesame as the 1920s.Bismarck is the capital; other cities are Fargo,Grand Forks, and Minot. The Badland s, in the SW,where Theodore Roosevelt owned a ranch and spentpart of each year from 1883 to 1886, were longknown as вЂњHell with the fires out,вЂќ because thetopography made travel so difficult.