Min·ne·so·ta geographical name \ˌmi-nə-ˈsō-tə\
State, midwestern U.S. Area: 86,939 sq mi (225,171 sq km). Pop. (2009 est.): 5,266,214. Capital: St. Paul. Minnesota is bordered by Canada and the U.S. states of Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. The most northerly of the 48 contiguous U.S. states, it has extensive woodlands, fertile prairies, and numerous lakes.
Before European settlement, the region was inhabited by the Ojibwa (Chippewa or Anishinaabe) and the Dakota (Sioux) peoples. French explorers arrived in search of the Northwest Passage in the mid-17th century. The northeastern portion of what became the Minnesota Territory passed from the French to the British in 1763, after the French and Indian War, and then to the U.S. in 1783, following the American Revolution; it became part of the Northwest Territories in 1787. The southwestern portion was acquired by the U.S. in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase, and the northwestern portion was ceded to the U.S. by the British by treaty in 1818. The first permanent U.S. settlement was at Fort Snelling, founded in 1819.
The Minnesota Territory, established in 1849, included present-day Minnesota and the eastern sections of North and South Dakota. Minnesota became the 32nd U.S. state in 1858. The Sioux Uprising in southern Minnesota in 1862 resulted in the death of more than 500 civilians, soldiers, and Dakota. Commercial iron-ore production began in 1884, and after the huge iron reserves of the Mesabi Range were discovered in 1890, the population at Duluth grew rapidly. Services are the dominant economic activity of modern-day Minnesota, but agriculture, especially grains, meat, and dairy products, remains important. In addition to iron ore, mineral resources include granite and limestone. "Minnesota." Merriam-Webster.com Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Minnesota>.